Biting and Day Care

Although there are a lot of benefits that can come from taking your child to day care, unfortunately they can sometimes pick up bad habits too such as biting other children or adults. Most of the time the child is unaware that they have hurt the other person or do so as a reaction to not getting what they want, but there are things that can be done to stop biting issues at day care.

The parent of the child who bites as well as those who have children who have been hurt can mean a lot of confrontational issues which is the reason why finding a solution needs to be done sooner or later. There have in the past and even until today parents who have chosen to bite the child back so that they learn. Although in some cases this has proved successful it is not at all acceptable behavior as treating one negative action with another will not be sending the right message.

Unfortunately as youngsters do not have the same vocabulary as an adult or older child, this is one way they are trying out to express themselves. It is not always done as a means to express anger or upset, but this can be the case. This is why it is better to look at the situation as a whole including whether they bite everyone or just certain people.

As with most behavioral problems once a reason can be found, this can be dealt with which could put it all behind you. As part of learning any parent or person working with children will notice that from an early age many items are put into the mouth, even before they are weaned onto solids. They explore different textures and see others as just another item to be explored, not realizing that they are causing upset or wondering why they get the reaction they do.

Try to think about whether there have been any changes that a child may be reacting to, this could be a new baby or pet being brought into the home or even starting nursery itself. In other instances it is a way to get the personal space they desire and once they get the reaction of people moving away from them they have achieved the desired effect.  In order to deter the behavior it can seem an easier option to give the child what they want rather than having to face an ordeal while friends are over or when out and about. This will only give reassurance to any child that biting ultimately gets them their own way and puts them in control.

For younger biters who cannot take on board an explanation as to why the behavior is wrong, the problem could be something as simple as them teething. Ensure that whether in the home or out that there is available something that they can bite on instead of a person. Do let the day care workers know about what you are doing and provide them with the teething ring or similar toy.

Like most reactions warning signs become apparent to the parent or day carers, giving them a chance to step in before they bite by taking them away from the situation before it gets out of hand. Depending on the child’s age calmly but firmly let them know that they are not to bite others. For the very young use the word ‘no’ and for older children with a better vocabulary a simple explanation can be used alongside a time out when they do react in this way.

Before children bite if possible it is good to step in the center of the child and their target. Once this has been done and they have received an age suitable verbal explanation for the behavior any further verbal communication should be kept to a minimum. Giving lengthy talks after each action is giving attention whether good or bad, such attention needs to be reserved for when it has been earned. Any attention to a child is positive so even a telling off gives them the desired response.

Leading by example may seem like common sense but unless children see the correct behavior from their care givers they have no way of learning how to do things right.  Show love with hugs and kisses, when you are upset or angry walk away from the situation or distract yourself with something else such as going to a different room or finding someone to talk to. Within time they will copy your behavior and learn how to deal with their emotions in a positive way that does not hurt others.

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