Is it Unreasonable to bite your kids back?

(256 Posts)
AnneNonimous Mon 14-Jan-13 16:10:24

When they bite you? Or more to the point a baby?

DS is almost ten months and has discovered biting people. He has almost 5 teeth so it's painful, and he favours the boobs or face but will pretty much go for anywhere. It REALLY does hurt. A couple of times it's hurt so much I've screamed out and scared him so he's cried, but it hasn't stopped him. I've also given him teething rings or something else to chew on, told him 'no' in a firm voice everytime but to no avail - he won't stop.

Anyone I mention it to tell me to bite him back - not hard but so he understands what biting is. I can't quite bring myself to do it but I have to admit I've been close when he's really hurt me! Is it what you would do/ have done? I can't quite believe a 10 month old could learn a lesson that way I just don't know?

Greensleeves Mon 14-Jan-13 17:01:05

Of course you meant to be rude Buddha, how can "grow up" not be rude?

OP has been given bad advice, she hasn't followed it because she felt it was wrong, she has come to MN to ask other parents what they think about it. What has she done wrong? confused

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 14-Jan-13 17:03:46

My son was doing this not so long ago and honestly all I could do was to look him in the eye and tell him firmly "NO! stop it! that hurts!" and distract him. He got the message eventually . Not saying it works on all children/babies but what else is there to do? WOuld never, ever bite anyone back. That logic is totally fucked up to me. confused

perceptionreality Mon 14-Jan-13 17:04:26

'by the way, ignoring children when they do something you don't want them to is also an ineffective (and dare i say..childish?) way of trying to control their behaviour.'

But there is ignoring, and then there is not giving attention to something you'd prefer your child not to do and therefore reinforcing it. For example, I've always found that walking away from a tantrum results in shorter tantrums and less frequent tantrums. Trying to engage with the tantrum usually makes it worse ime.

Of course, when a child is older it's not an appropriate thing to do but for a younger child with not much language, using a behavioural approach can be very effective imo...

BurnThisDiscoDown Mon 14-Jan-13 17:05:08

My DS (17 months) has just been through a phase of this - he likes biting on material and caught me by mistake, I yelped and then he thought it was a brilliant new game! I tell him no then put him down (and try not to squeal!), he's got bored of it now (I think!). I think they like the reaction, DS gets a bit smacky when he's overexcited too, but I take his hand and stroke my face with it and he calms down. I've had loads of people advise me to hit/bite back though, and some of them are my age or younger so not necessarily a generational thing. I never have, of course.

BabsAndTheRu Mon 14-Jan-13 17:07:00

Perceptionreality, totally agree.

HecatePropolos Mon 14-Jan-13 17:08:04

I think the only thing to do is as people have advised. hold his arms to his sides, look him in the eye and say a firm "No." and put him away from you.

Repeat a million times until he gets the message grin At that age, he won't even link him biting you to you biting him. All he'll know is mummy hurt him. He won't understand why. 10 months is too young to understand cause and effect.

I have never understood why people advise bite them back.

child bites me
no. biting is wrong. you must not bite. in order to make you understand that biting is wrong, I will... erm... bite you. [boggle]

same with STOP SHOUTING

and <thwack> no hitting.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 17:11:05

Greensleeves, I think that I have a better idea of what my intentions were than you do/ can. I said I thought the advice was wrong and explained why. I don't see why you are attacking me tbh other than the fact I refuse to pander to op's when I think it is wrong to do so I am sick of the bitchiness on here atm

PastaDee Mon 14-Jan-13 17:13:00

My DD went through a biting phase at the same age. I actually think she was learning to give me a kiss but didn't quite understand how to do it.

It does hurt (she drew blood once) and people told me to bite her back too. I just said 'no, I don't think so' and ended the conversation.

DD grew out of it pretty quickly, never bit anyone but DH or I (was terrified she'd bite another baby) and learnt to give kisses properly. I was teaching her 'gentle' at the time in relation to the cat so just extended this to 'no, that hurts mummy, be gentle'.

I like the advice an OP gave about teaching her to stroke you better etc.

BabsAndTheRu Mon 14-Jan-13 17:15:06

Watch out for phase starting up again, usually because another child has bitten them. Nursery informed me once of DS1 biting a wee boy, I was really worried as he was well past this phase but when changing him that night for the bath two big bite marks in his back from other wee boy.

Greensleeves Mon 14-Jan-13 17:17:35

Buddhas, you told OP to grow up. It was uncalled-for and rude. Just be sensible and accept it <shrug>

I am sick of people being attacked for asking for advice, personally. Save your righteous ire for people who have actually done something wrong.

Flobbadobs Mon 14-Jan-13 17:18:38

Baby bites can really bloody hurt! Try saying 'no' or 'no thank you' firmly and put him away from you for a minute. DD seems to have just come through this stage, fortunately a short one but I was given the same advice and never followed it.

PickledInAPearTree Mon 14-Jan-13 17:20:45

My ds was a biter and a LOT of people told me to bite him back.

I was amazed at the number!

I didn't if course. I just got him a little Hannibal lecter style mask.

BabsAndTheRu Mon 14-Jan-13 17:21:03

Couldn't agree more GREENSLEEVES

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 17:27:42

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All sproggs go through a shark phase. I, too, got told to bite the little buggers back. I didn't, I plonked them on the floor and said 'No' while giving the hairy eyeball. It is a phase, and most of them grow out of it really quite quickly unless you're DS1 who munched anyone who came within snaffling distance until he was 3

BabsAndTheRu Mon 14-Jan-13 17:30:23

Nice language nolittlebuddahs. The rudeness just keeps on coming. Enough said, behave yourself.

exoticfruits Mon 14-Jan-13 17:31:58

Common sense says that if you are telling your DC not to do something then you don't do it yourself!

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 17:32:02

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CatchTheFox Mon 14-Jan-13 17:33:05

i hear you perceptionreality and i agree that there is a difference between ignoring and not giving attention to unwanted behaviour. i feel that 10 months is too young for the 'look the other way' approach though. distraction and redirection is definitely more the order of the day.

BabsAndTheRu Mon 14-Jan-13 17:33:17

That's enough!!

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 17:34:18

The only rudeness was in my explanation of how you and others have made me feel. It's not good enough to say enough said. Stop the bitchiness.

buildingmycorestrength Mon 14-Jan-13 17:34:38

My friend did it and Social Services got involved.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 17:35:27

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ClippedPhoenix Mon 14-Jan-13 17:39:06

OP your child is still tiny and probably teething too.

However, once older and still biting then yes, I'd give a little nip back straight after being bitten and explain that biting hurts.

I'm old school and it worked for me.

Viviennemary Mon 14-Jan-13 17:40:34

This was the advice for decades. Mine were not biters though DD did once bite DH and he let out such an almighty scream as he was so shocked. She never did it again. grin

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