Your response to biting should leave no question but that you mean business. Make the rule absolutely clear, "Don't bite, it hurts, we don't bite people."
- First: Give your child verbal disapproval in a sharp voice. Say: No biting! It's fine to startle your child for this type of behavior.
- Second: Put him in time-out for a few minutes. Use a boring place like an out-of-the-way corner.
- Third: Offer him an alternative behavior, such as biting a toy animal. Tell him, "When you feel like biting, it's okay to bite the horsey, but we never bite people."
- Fourth: Never bite him back because you will only teach your child that it's okay to bite if you're bigger.
- Fifth: If you're not making progress, try to interrupt the behavior at an earlier stage. When it looks as though your child might bite another, send him off to time-out, before the victim is hurt and screaming. Also give the victim some noticeable sympathy.
In summary, biting behavior will make your child very unpopular, so quickly remove it from his repertoire. If you have other questions about biting, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.