What do you do if your child is a biter?

Master2 has just had his first session at pre-school, he is 2 and 8 months and i thought he was more than ready to go, he has been having taster sessions with me staying and has been absolutely fine.

He has always had a short fuse and with him being the youngest of 6, he has had a good excuse, he gets easily frustrated, which most toddlers at this age do.

I have just picked him up and am absolutely mortified, he has bitten another child on his arm, hard enough to leave a mark.

He has bitten his siblings in the past and has always been punished by having time out and yes call me what you will, i have bitten him back, I know 2 wrongs don’t make a right and that is giving him the wrong idea, but, as my mum will say, it worked when my sister bit me. I thought Master2 was out of this phase as he hadn’t bitten for months.

I have  spoken to the bitten childs mother as i know her quite well, she was very understanding but that doesn’t make me feel any better, I don’t want to send him back to play group now for fear he will do it again, i am gutted and don’t know what to do, does he understand me when i tell him biting is wrong?

I would really appreciate any comments and advice on the subject.



9 responses to “What do you do if your child is a biter?

  1. My Mum bit me when I bit my sister! I think they do understand. However I don’t really no what the answer. What does he value most that he would be mortified if it were taken away. Maybe if he bites he has to have something taken away. The problem is if he does it at nursery they have to deal with it there because you can’t really punish him twice plus if he is anything like my son he won’t really remember. My hea;th visitor told me it was a sign of affection; if that is the case maybe try and get it to cuddle instead. Tough one. x

  2. hes still only a baby really but he probably would understand if you talked to him, timeout has workded for my second youngest but i never used timeout with someone so little, could it be just a transition thing? about trying to find his self at pre school? ive always found that the bigger you make the issue the bigger it actualy gets, i’m not saying ignore the behaviour but dont go in all guns blazing if that makes sence,
    to be honest im not sure what the answer is and things that have worked for me may not work for you,
    all the best with it x

  3. Hi this is a great post. I remember my youngest did the biting thing, he is now 10 and surprise surprise doesn’t do it any more!! I too remember doing it back on advice from my mum, however the trick is to catch him either just before he does it with a stern NO, or a quick reprimand if he does it there and then. But believe me although very stressful for us mum’s at the time they do grow out of it. Found your blog via another and will definitely be following. If you get a chance pop to mine muminmeltdown.blogspot.com. Thanks

    • I have asked Playgroup to keep an extra eye on him, the trouble is, he is the youngest there at the moment and so all the others talk well , poor master2 struggles to get across what he wants and so gets frustrated.

  4. I’m sorry, I have no advice for you but I’m really interested in the comments. Miss P is nearly 16 months old but is already showing signs of being a biter when she’s frustrated. I know this is a common problem but it doesn’t really help when it’s you stood there being told that your child has bitten another!

  5. I wish I had some advice for you, but I don’t. I hope it’s just a sign of him adjusting to pre-school, and won’t be a problem once he’s settled. What a horrible thing to have to cope with 😦

  6. I can understand your initial reaction and reluctance to send him back to nursery, but all children go through this stage and it sounds as though you are doing all you can to teach him not to do it. It’s impotant you do send him back to nursery and maybe ask the nursery nurses to deal with it the same way you would at home to give consistency. Good luck x

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