My Child Bites! : Ask Mrs. Manners

Sheri Reed

toddler biting kids ear

Photo by thomasfam14

The toddler years are the perfect age to start teaching your kids manners and good habits.

CafeMom MrsManners aka: Angela Pitre, owner of the CM group Manners for the Modern Family and, is here to help.

Dear MrsManners:

My daughter is in daycare and has started biting other children. What should I do? I'm concerned that my daughter will be thrown out of the daycare.. -- Anonymous

From: MrsManners

If you find out your child is biting, it's best to be as proactive as possible. Start by talking to the preschool and asking them as many questions as you can. You are looking for clues because a child bites for many reasons, such as jealousy, frustration, anger, attention, stress, habit, trying to seek control, self protection, and so on. Your job is to try and figure out what triggers the biting so that you can begin to correct the behavior.

If you have done your research beforehand and I am sure all of you have, you know most daycare centers and preschools have a biting policy. Hopefully you know your center or school's policy, and you should work within the guidelines of that policy to prevent your child from getting expelled from the school.

Here is the real kicker, ladies. You are going to have to talk to your child. If you can get your child to talk about why he or she is biting, you may be able to solve the problem a lot faster. You can't do this by attacking the child though. You have to make sure that you have your temper in check and are ready to talk. Hopefully you are going into the situation armed with some fore knowledge from the caregivers about what was happening before the biting incident took place.

First, establish why your child bit. Then talk about other ways that he or she can handle the situation, such as, using their words. Remember to keep an open mind; you never know what may have driven your child to bite. If it was because the same child at school keeps taking the same toy away from her every single day and one day she just snapped, then you may need to talk about better ways to handle that. While she wasn't right to bite, she does need to know how to stand up for herself in an appropriate fashion.

If you are there when your child bites, swoop in and address it right away! Stay controlled with your voice but be stern — "No biting! Biting hurts people and we DO NOT hurt people!" It may be appropriate at this point in time to remove your child from the setting to give them a moment to calm down and possibly talk about what happened some more.

Ladies, preschoolers bite. It is an unfortunate but common issue. It is one that you need to deal with as swiftly as possible, and you may find that you need to get a little creative with the way you handle it. Because there are SO many possible scenarios, I would love to hear from some of my fellow CafeMoms about how you have handled biting. Don't forget by sharing your information and knowledge you may just be helping a fellow Mom who is at her wits end!

Don't forget to submit your manners/behavior questions in a comment on this post or via PM to Cafe Sheri!

Is your child going through a biting stage? If you have gone through a biting stage, how did you handle it? What worked and what didn't work?

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