15 month DS biting dilemma

(5 Posts)
babrow13 Sat 19-Jul-14 00:57:34

Hi everyone

Sorry for the long post.

For the past 2 months my DS has been showing some difficult behaviour and I was after some advice of how best to handle it from parents who have experienced this.

So basically my DS has made at least one child/baby cry on every social outing recently whether it be a party, soft play, park etc. I am a first time mum so have not experienced this before and it was quite a shock at first. He has bitten, grabbed, pulled to the ground, pulled hair and smacked other children, usually smaller babies, apart from hair pulling which is older kids too. Just to mention he hasn't learnt this from myself or DH! It is very upsetting, sometimes I dread taking him out but I don't want to exclude him socially. I would love to let him play freely like his little friends, but I am constantly shadowing him to catch him before he does anything. I am very nervous with him around other babies his height or smaller. He loves the bigger kids, he is steady on his feet and it doesn't phase him if he is knocked over. He is a stocky baby who doesn't realise his own strength.

Yesterday before a play date I made sure he had a long nap, a full belly and a dose of bonjela but he still bit his little friend on the shoulder. I felt so awful. He was fine after a couple of hours, I have come to the realisation that he gets very excited with other children especially when it is very busy, when he settles he is okay. On the other hand he also cuddles and kisses other children. I just never know whether he is going to a kiss or bite! I always tell him firmly 'no biting' for example, then try to ignore him and see to the other child if it is safe to do so.

Bit of background - he doesn't go nursery, I work part time and Inlaws watch him a couple days a week. He is usually calm and affectionate, he is bigger than his peers, always been 98 centile, always been very active and curious. I remember him at 8 months crawling and climbing onto the other babies and dragging them to the ground. They usually cried with the shock.

Most research I have done says this is not uncommon of 18m - 3 years but he is just 15m. Some questions?

When will this stop? Is it just a phase or may he still be doing it it 3confused

Any good tips for getting him to stop?

In your experiences what have been the triggers?

How do I handle the parents? They always seem annoyed with me but what do I do apart from tell him no and apologise to them?

Thanks x x

CustardFromATin Sat 19-Jul-14 02:56:59

This is so hard, many of us have been through this, you're not alone or a bad mum!
It sounds like you're doing lots of things right by trying to head the behaviour off before it starts with food and rest. The other pieces that helped us were first being really really consistent across carers, and then at the suggestion of our childminder,as soon as dd bit we would say a clear calm no (holding up a hand as a 'stop' symbol), then immediately telling her 'soft hands' (or whatever you use) while helping her gently pat the other child. It wasn't a simple solution but it did seem to help over time (or maybe time fixed it, but at least it helped that other parents could see that we were trying hard!)

There's not masses of discipline options at this age as they are too young to really understand over time, and they do change so much over the next few months. Good luck!

minipie Sun 20-Jul-14 09:37:19

DD was a hitter at this age, as you say it was especially bad when teething, tired, hungry or overwhelmed with lots going on. (So most of the time!)

she's now 20 months and stopped hitting a few weeks ago.

We kept telling her things like cuddles are nice, be gentle , give cuddles, hitting is not nice, hitting is nasty. We actually tried to avoid saying the phrase " no hitting" as it seemed to have the opposite effect and make her think hitting was a game. We also tried to talk to her before we went to see another child, eg "we're going to see jack, you need to be gentle with jack, give him cuddles, jack likes cuddles, jack doesn't like hitting"

For a while it made no apparent difference but after a month or two it seemed to be working and then finally she just stopped hitting altogether. She will now say to us "not hitting" if we talk about going to see another child!

good luck. It's very difficult and embarrassing being the parent of a child who hurts others but it's nothing you have done - some kids do it others don't, it's just chance I think. He will grow out of it. In the meantime all you can do is keep up a consistent message and apologise...

Heyho111 Mon 21-Jul-14 06:46:19

This is your son developing cause and effect skill. When he bites he gets the toy - good result for him or the child goes purple screams and this is also an entertaining result. This mixed in with them not understanding our feelings. At this age they learn how they feel. It's later they can relate them on others. They are also egotistical - it's all about them.
Language development at that age means words only mean something for the instant they are said. So when told 'no' they would stop momentarily about 75% of the time. Then continue.
Keep telling him no as this builds understanding for the future.
But it's all about modelling behaviour. When you go to a toddler group or see little ones physically show him alternate ways to have contact. Eg take his hand and stroke it on the other child and say kind hands.
Play turn taking games with the other child and your son. Take a toy off your son , give it to the other child and just say 'Fred's turn' let them have it a few seconds and take it back saying 'your sons names turn' repeat and repeat. It will work. Do turn taking with you and him. Dad and him and all three of you. This teaches communication, social interaction and behaviour.
Don't go strictly by ages in books they are just an estimation.

babrow13 Tue 22-Jul-14 00:32:33

Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions. I will definitely try these. Some good things here that I would never have thought of. Thanks again.

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