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Biting toddler, but only me

(3 Posts)
Maghag Wed 10-Apr-13 04:22:50

DD, or not so D sometimes, is biting me very hard when she doesn't want to do something, usually getting in the car, get out of the bath etc. She knows what she's doing and seems amused by it. I usually plonk her down and say the usual NO! things but it's only then she starts to cry because I walk off and refuse to talk to her as I'm so mad.
When I've calmed down I tell her that she musn't bite, it hurts mummy and show her the marks she's left and then she's all serious and contrite but she'll still do it next time, it's pure aggression/frustration.
She's almost 19 months old and I'm too embarrassed to ask any of my mum friends as they'll think she's feral, but it just enrages me and I can't get her to stop. She'll scratch and grab hard too.
If it wasn't for this she'd be wonderful but I hate her when she does this and it makes me shout and feel awful. Help.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 10-Apr-13 09:54:13

I bet if you did mention it, you'd get somebody saying oh thank goodness not just mine then. Scratching, biting is kind of a taboo subject you don't find parents openly admitting to.

Teeth are part of our natural armoury along with our nails so if a child doesn't have the verbal skills to articulate frustration boredom or rage, they will use what they can to (a) gain attention, (b) express how they feel - definitely nothing odd or feral, nor "mean" on purpose.

Some people will say bite back - not enough to hurt her, obviously. Or tap her hand and say "No!" Personally I think that is going to backfire. Your approach seems better - say "No that hurts" or "No that's not nice to bite Mummy" (for some reason "Ow" always makes them laugh - confused).

Just do as you already do, set her down turn your back and walk away. Be consistent, no immediate return and cuddle or hug as soon as she starts bawling or the lesson is lost. It's time out and loss of you that should sink in. Don't raise your voice or yell.

If there is a particular time she tries it on - you mention getting into her car seat- try and anticipate and distract. I found it helped saying "I know you don't like being strapped in but it won't be for long then we'll go to grandma's/go home and do X / see Daddy" etc. Acknowledge she doesn't like to do this but keep bright and breezy distract where possible: songs, nursery rhymes. In another post about the daily car seat trauma, another MNer suggested tickling to stop the whole rigid-body 'planking' toddlers go in for. Perhaps that would sidestep any biting or scratching?

Another suggestion was you carry a small bag of food bribes that she can't choke on would also see results: one if she gets in like a good girl, one if she lets you strap her in.

Lastly if she gives you a hug or blows you a kiss always respond positively, stop and give her tons of affection back. You might find she figures out loving gestures get your positive, undivided attention and praise smile.

Anyhow just a couple of ideas hope you find a solution.

mmmmsleep Wed 10-Apr-13 15:23:13

no big advice but just wanted to say you're not alone. my normally v well behaved just undrr 2 does this on occasion too. he says bite before so I know premeditated and like yours says sorry after. all usual tactics tried as mentioned already. feel your pain!

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