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Biting 2.5yo - help

(16 Posts)
Ozziegirly Tue 02-Apr-13 04:37:31

My 2.5 DS is becoming a biter. He has periodically bitten for a year or so but it has escalated recently, in line with the arrival of DS2. I would say we get one bite per outing, and I have no idea how to solve it.

I have been doing the hovering and watching like a hawk but it's so hard when I have the baby too and he almost always does it when I'm bfing so I'm sure that my technique of "time out" where we remove from what he's playing with and he sits on my lap while I quietly tell him why we don't bite - is actually exactly what he wants, one on one attention.

So how can I fix this?

Skygirls Tue 02-Apr-13 06:43:44

Ok, a time out where he sits on your lap is not a time out, IMO.

He needs to be told, as you've been saying, why we don't bite but also stress that this is unacceptable behaviour. Then, the time out should be away from you in a designated area, where he sits for a couple of minutes to 'reflect'

If he moves from where you place him, during the time out time, you bring him back to the place and say that the time out time will start from the beginning every time he moves from the area. You will have to persevere on this and be consistent.
At the end of the time out time, go to him and get on his level and ask does he know why he was given a time out- let him answer. If he says he doesn't know, you explain that it was because he was biting, mummy told you to stop but you didn't listen, and biting is unacceptable. Then explain that he has to say sorry.
Give him a hug then, introduce him back to playing etc and continue your normal day.

Repeat this every time he bites and he'll get the idea, BUT you must do this EVERY time and be consistent.


cloudhands Tue 02-Apr-13 07:16:14

Don't do time out ! I would say lots of physical play where he gets to channel his aggression into fun and lots of laughter. Laughter helps to release all the fears, stress and tension, that cause aggression in the first place.
When he bites have a time in , say please don't bite gently and then hugs and cuddles.
A few simple steps to give him some more attention to keep those jealous feelings at bay and the biting will reduce I'm sure .

cloudhands Tue 02-Apr-13 07:55:30

sorry had missed a bit of your post about attention. I think he wants and needs attention, he just had a new brother born, and there's nothing wrong with actually giving him attention, as long as you're gently telling him biting is wrong, as well.
A proper time out, where a child is seperated just increases the negative feelings that cause misbehaviour in the first place

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 08:07:38

Ds was a biter. I used time out very effectively. If we were out and about I would strap him into his buggy and face it to the wall for 2 mins. On the second offence I would leave the environment.

I think this sent very clear messages both to Ds and the parent of the bitee that I took this behavior seriously. This worked for us (Ds is 9).I think taking him on your lap and cuddling is a strange way of communicating to a barely verbal child that their behavior is wrong.confused

Ozziegirly Tue 02-Apr-13 08:18:51

Ok, firstly, thank you - secondly, he's very verbal, and the time out isn't a nice cuddle - far from it, it's a restraining hold to basically calm him down and take him away from the bitee and the "fun" - but I acknowledge that it isn't working.

Will read fully am come back with more - am just doing dinner etc

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 08:29:15

Was directed at cloudhands not you. Off to do holiday club run be back soon

Ozziegirly Tue 02-Apr-13 08:46:42

Thing is, I feel that realistically I'm doing pretty much all the attention I can without neglecting DS2!

I like the pram idea a LOT - we actually don't use a pram any more but I would happily buy a cheap buggy as I think it would send a really clear message and he would hate it.

I'm doing all the positive stuff as well, thanks so much for your ideas.

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 10:05:25

I liked the buggy too. It gave me some space too ! The hardest bit for me was making myself leave activities if he didn't respond to the timeout. However it did work. If you Ds is more verbal then I would suggest explaining to your Ds what you expect before you go any where and what the consequences will be. Then you must follow through with that good luck.

Incidentally my Ds had very big milk teeth. When he was older he could articulate that he loved eating big lumps of meat. I have read that they enjoy the mouth feel of bitting. So maybe making sure his diet includes food with some "bite" to it may help. I didn't do this myself as by the time I worked this all out Ds had grown out of it. (Stopped around 2yrs 8m I think)

Ozziegirly Tue 02-Apr-13 12:53:16

ChaTted to DH and he agreed the pram was a great idea. Also like the idea of being able to walk away too.

DS is also a v "oral" child- often sucking at things and biting other things but tbh the biting of people seems to be more just frustration but I really hate it, so embarassing and horribly painful for the bitee.

cloudhands Tue 02-Apr-13 13:02:00

personally I wouldn't use the pram or any time out thing. My DD used to bite me every day, and it stopped when I played lots of physical games to get her laughing.
if you're feeling frustrated and exhausted then it's a good option to walk away, if you're angry and feel like lashing out,
but a much better option, is to use laughter and connection,
there's more advice on this article here. hHelping children with aggression
time out stops behaviour in the moment, by removing the child, but it
makes behaviour worse in the long run, because a child just feels disconnected from parents, and may start using other 'misbehaviours' to cry out attention.
my daughter bites maybe once every couple of months now, and I never used time out. If I ever feel like I"m losing it I'll give myself a time out, but I won't give one to my daughter.

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 13:55:56

Horses for corses clouds. I agree lots of physical play and attention is very important. But not as a direct consequence of misbehavior surely ?

Skygirls Tue 02-Apr-13 14:54:24

My Dc2 used to bite all the time til my arms were covered in bruises. I did the time out thing and it worked for me. Behaviour did not get worse and certainly DC2 did not feel disconnected.
DC realised that I was setting a boundary and that was fine, but the biting wasn't done as aggression.

Anyway, as wish mentioned, it is horses for courses. Every child is different and parenting styles are different.
You just have to try a way that works for you and your child, and just because one particular way didn't work with someone, it doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong.

Ozziegirly Tue 02-Apr-13 18:24:56

ChaTted to DH and he agreed the pram was a great idea. Also like the idea of being able to walk away too.

DS is also a v "oral" child- often sucking at things and biting other things but tbh the biting of people seems to be more just frustration but I really hate it, so embarassing and horribly painful for the bitee.

Ozziegirly Tue 02-Apr-13 18:29:42

No idea why phone posted again!

He does do loads of physical play, gets hugs, kisses etc but I feel that I need to instill how serious biting is as he isn't getting it.

Misty9 Tue 02-Apr-13 22:38:38

A quick one as I really ought to get to bed, but have you checked out the book 'teeth are not for biting' ? Ds (19mo) is a biter and I too hate it. Got this book recently and he loves it - always asking to read it. Yet to discover if its working/helping as not been to many play dates recently, but it's given us a new phrase to use with him!
Also, are all his teeth through now?
Finally, I found this helpful (just sub biting for hitting)

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