Family & Children HealthGeneral Health › Is your child biting?

Are you having problems with your child biting you or his friends and it is out of control? At first maybe you thought 'oh, this will end' and it hasn't. We have to discuss putting an end to this bad habit and we can.

Sometimes a child will just be play biting but then it turns to harm to another person. Be sure you aren't nibbling or play biting on the child as we all know children will do as they see adults doing, even though it gets out of hand and gets to hurting someone.

You can try telling him in a very firm voice that biting someone can really hurt and it is time to stop. Don't use a pleading voice: you'll need to be firm. Try just leaving him alone for a few minutes after you have told him to stop, even if he doesn't. Then let him know that you will not be playing games with this biting, it just has to


He will need to be in time out every time this happens so that he will have less time playing with favorite toys or playing with friends if this biting continues. He will learn to associate his biting with your walking away and not giving him any attention.

Sometimes when a child is among other children he learns that he can use his teeth as a weapon. This is another reason to sit down and explain that a person cannot use his teeth to hurt another person. Try to keep an eye on him when he is playing with other children and see what is making him bite. Is he frustrated with perhaps sharing

a toy or just with playing and sharing with another child?

Another thought is when the child bites another to pay lots of attention to the child who is harmed: this may snap him into realizing that your attention will not be on him when he does bite another.

I would mention that if a child over four continues to bite and won't stop you may need counseling, but I don't think that is usually necessary. Just be firm and let him know what will happen when he bites. You will repeat that he

is not allowed to bite, there will be time outs
and also taking away of favorites toys or videos,
etc.: this will work in time, just be patient.

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