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3 year old biting

(7 Posts)
Pigsinblankets Tue 13-Sep-11 17:05:42

This has probably been covered but most of the threads I have found have been related to children biting other children at playgroup etc. DD was 3 in June and has taken to biting her brother (5) and only him. No problems with other children at playgroup, in fact she is an angel but at home she is biting on average twice a week. Today she bit him so hard through his jumper it drew blood.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to deal with it, I've tried naughty step, putting her in her bedroom, speaking calmly to her, rewarding good behaviour but it just keeps happening. DS is no angel but he is never aggressive, her reason today was that he "pulled a grumpy face at her"

Most of the time they play well together, I think she's jealous of any attention I give him, he came home from school and I sat with him whilst he ate his snack not giving her undivided attention as before.

DH is of the opinion she needs a smack but I don't want to go down that route.

I know she'll grow out of it but it's not fair for DS to have chunks taken out of him while she's growing up....

I guess I'm looking for anyone who has had a similar situation and / or some advice on how to deal with it over the short / long term.

nametapes Wed 14-Sep-11 16:53:34

With this situation I would be really REALLY firm. Your poor son doesnt deserve this treatment,, and think how dam painful it must be for him. IMHO I wouldnt mind how furious and angry I got with my 3 yr old DD if she was biting my 5 yr old. She is really hurting him and she deserves punishment. I would be very vigilant and be close by if they are together. Pr-empt the situation and 'know ' that she is going to bite him, and the second she leans forward I would grab her very sharply, and put her with very firm assertive words on the naughty step,, saying, "You were going to bite DS, and that is very naughty, bad behaviour" Make her physically stay on the naughty step for 3 mins and then make her say she is sorry to her brother. Tell her that EVERY time you see that she is about to bite him, (or has done so) you will put her on the naughty step. Plus, she will have no favourite desert / treat.
She may be jealous of DS when he comes home from school, but she has a brother and has to learn to share your affections.
You cant have her biting like an animal, so you must deal with this horrendous behaviour immediately.
I have had 3 children, the youngest DS is now 11yrs . If my children bit each other they would hear my wrath, and realise straight away how wrong this behaviour was!!

Pigsinblankets Thu 15-Sep-11 21:45:01

Thanks, I have been really firm with her since it happened, all family members who have been here have told her how disappointed they are with her and she seems to be very sorry. I am being more vigilant. This afternoon they played really well together, laughing and chasing each other. I know it's just a phase but whilst it's happening I am keeping close watch!

thecaptaincrocfamily Thu 15-Sep-11 22:05:03

This website gives some good advice

It is quite normal but it does need some firm management to stop it becoming a habitual response to a situation. smile

I think you are right about her being jealous and you are right to use time out away from you, so she sees she gets no attention. Use simple instructions for time out i.e. No, biting isn't nice' and remove. Get her to tell you why she has been in time out. Try a pasta jar to get a treat at the end of a week where she doesn't bite or daily star chart depending on her understanding. Praise her when she plays nicely and perhaps get your 5 yo to give her her treat for not biting him, so she sees him as kind.

You are also right about not going down the smacking route or biting her back as she will see that if you bite or smack you get what you want.

Tell her what is going to happen, i.e. I am just going to read with x and then I will do x with you. Try to involve both dc together if possible.

thecaptaincrocfamily Thu 15-Sep-11 22:09:26

I think you should also subtly observe your ds because he may be provoking her to get her into trouble. I have seen my dd do this and become wise. For us dd2 was smacking dd1 and was constantly told off, but dd1 was deliberately taking toys away/ kicking her when I wasn't in view sad. I now tell dd1 to expect what she gets if she teases her sister and not complain. Things have become much better because she realises that I don't assume it is her sisters fault.

Pigsinblankets Fri 16-Sep-11 20:32:41

thanks captaincroc, you are right about the provocation, although ds isn't aggressive with her he does seem to know how to push her buttons!

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 20:36:27

Ah thats siblings smile My dd1 was always very jealous so this was just a progression really. Much better now they don't spend all day together smile

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