Raising a toddler is full of stressful situations, be it toddler proofing your home, or worrying about whether or not your child should stop sucking her thumb already. Your little one may have moved away from sucking on everything in sight and sticking just about every toy in her mouth, but with those newfound teeth of hers, she may be getting into other trouble. Your kid may be biting his nails now, or worse, biting others. When it comes to mitigating this negative behavior, Nancy Campbell shares her advice.
Why Children Bite
When children bite, it’s because sometimes they feel frustrated, afraid, even stressed out, or it may even be a way to express themselves. When toddlers bite, they may be bored, sleepy, or even just seeking attention. However, sometimes biting isn’t an emotional cry for help. Your toddler may be teething, which is the time when a child’s first set of teeth begin to come in. In this case, they’ll feel compelled to bite in order to help their teeth emerge sooner.
What to Do.
As a parent, most would say that they have been through this stage, with their toddler. A biting toddler can frustrate parents, and other parents, if in a childcare setting. Here are a few methods that tend to help:
- Distraction. You can use the child’s favorite toy, or a soft book to get their attention away from negative behaviors.
- Positive reinforcement. Consider praising children for moments when they are not biting.
- Sharing. Teaching children to share is also a good method; you have to do this repetitively.
- Teething toys. Finding an age-appropriate teething toy can keep your little ones from biting people by redirecting their biting energy.
- Stern talks. Getting down to the child’s level, looking him in the eye, and saying ”no biting,” can be very effective. Avoid yelling, or getting angry with the child.
You have to be repetitive with toddlers, when expressing yourself to them, especially about biting. When talking to toddlers about biting, be firm, but no yelling. This is a frustrating time in a parent’s life, but with repetition, and firm, but not a yelling voice, you can get though the toddler’s stage. As difficult as this time can be, it won’t last long. Kids grow up so fast, so try to enjoy their early years.