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Old 06-11-2009, 05:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Biting

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Title: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: caringmommy on June 06, 2005, 08:37:49 AM
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OK, i know you all have probably already answered questions on this, but I'm desparate. My 2 yo is so aggressive and physical. I don't know what to do. He and my 4 yo are constantly getting into knock down drag outs with both getting hurt in the end. My 4 yo usually suffers the most damage. The 2 yo is a biter and hitter. About a month ago he bit another kid in the nursery so bad it drew blood b/c the other kid wanted the same toy as him. I'm trying to do "we don't bite, we use our mouth for kisses." It's worked a few times. (You should see my 4 yo cringe when ds2 comes at him with his mouth first for a kiss.) I am really new to GBD. We are AP and don't spank but still used very punitive discipline in the past. My dh is so frustrated. He keeps asking me when are you going to start time-outs with C. He thinks the reason he's so out of control is that we haven't been "disciplining" him. HELP! I'm going to try to set up a schedule to keep everyone from getting bored. But, what can I "do" when he does bite or hit? Especially so that my dh feels like we're doing something.

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Title: Re: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: Joanne on June 06, 2005, 08:55:36 AM
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Quote:
I'm trying to do "we don't bite, we use our mouth for kisses."
I try not to distract one emotion that needs expression to an opposite. So, I would not try to substitue symbols of love and affection when the child is angry. Instead, teach appropriate expressions of anger. Or how to ask for space, turns, a cookie, a nap.

I would drop the "we don't bite". Because, he *does* bite. Instead, "No biting! Biting hurts".

I would increase texture and sensory play to take the edge off his need to seek sensation inappropriately.

Increase the routine and predictability. Take a look at whether you have too many toys available. Do you have enough outside play? Times to jump, bounce, climb, roll?

I would ban all "touch play".

And I think removing a child who is aggressive from play (essentially a time out) is a related, respectful and reasonable consequence. What *doesn't* make sense is "2 minutes of time out for hitting!" What does make sense is "Hitting hurts. You can't play until you are able to control yourself. I'll help you."

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Title: Re: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: punkie on June 06, 2005, 02:02:48 PM
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I think that's really good advice, Joanne. This is such a tough situation, Cari I wish I had better advice to give!

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Title: Re: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: caringmommy on June 06, 2005, 02:24:11 PM
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Thanks guys! I think sometimes I get caught up in the moment and can't see the obvious. I don't even know where I got the "we don't bite." It really doesn't make any sense. I think sometimes I get caught up in how he reflects me as a parent (especially at church) as one of the few non-spankers. Thanks so much for the tips Joanne. I don't think he's getting enough outdoor play right now or enough organized (by me) activities. With the new baby I've been struggling to get into a routine myself. I think a lot of the boys conflict stems from that.

Title: Re: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: Titus2:5Catholic on June 07, 2005, 06:03:08 AM
Does he do this right in front of you, or when you're in another room? Does he do this at certain times of the day more then others? Is there a certain kind of play they engage in that triggers this? Does he act worse after eating certain kinds of foods?

I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, and I've learned painfully that about 3-5 minutes of unsupervised play is about all they can handle...and some days not even that.

Also, I'd bet good money that he LEARNED this behavior in the nursery, so if not taking him to the nursery is an option for a while, it might be something to consider. I realize it's hard to have a kid in service with you when you're used to not (our church doesn't have a nursery and that's usually a hard switch for new parents) but that kind of play enviroment can often be really tough on a higher-strung kid; too much stimulation, too little supervision (one or two outnumbered adults to lots of kids, etc). Just something to think about.

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Title: Re: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: Quietspirit on June 07, 2005, 06:34:22 AM
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Ditto to what Joanne said!

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Title: Re: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: joystrength on June 07, 2005, 09:49:15 PM
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When my DS was having such a hard time with hairpulling and pushing, we just had to be RIGHT THERE with him. I feel like God told me that with this child, we'd have to teach him specifically how to play. I KNOW it's hard with a new little one, BTDT.

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Title: Re: Help... i don't know what to do???
Post by: caringmommy on June 07, 2005, 10:09:08 PM
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We actually had a really good night last night. He's a very physical kid. From birth he's needed a lot of attention and physical touch (only from mom for the first year.) He's not as verbal as his older brother so he resorts to being physical quickly. Ds1 has done his fair share of instigating and teaching his brother how to fight. We'll get there. I just was getting overwhelmed with how to handle it when they get into those brawls.

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Title: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: MamatoLLL on September 04, 2005, 11:01:56 AM
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And *I* was in the class with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was in tears by the time I left. I had to tell the parents. They were "nice" but obviously not real happy with it. This is my 22 m.o. and yes he has a history of biting, and aggression in general. He picks on his older siblings all the time. This is an ongoing challenge for us. We've only been going to this church for a few months and I'm having a hard time feeling like I "fit in" (my own issues, I know) anyway and now this......It just makes me feel so sad for the other children/ parents, like a failure as a parent, and as if people are going to cringe when they see me and my kids coming. I worry about ds and why he does this and I worry about my ability to cope with it myself and helping him find better ways to express himself. After the second time I just held him the entire time so he had no chance to bite again. Maybe I should have done that after the first time or better yet shadowed him from the beginning so he had no chance at all. I just wasn't expecting it to be a problem there- even though it is at home- I've never had any reports of him being aggressive there and I was actually in his class last wk too and it was not a problem. Maybe I shouldn't teach in his class at all- maybe my presence was the problem- a jealousy thing? To make matters worse my dh is gone for a week so I'm already a bit stressed.

When he bites: Anytime anyone is in his way, gets in "his space", during "fights" over toys, when he's mad (like if I am removing him from something he's getting into, etc he may try to bite me). This morning once it was over a toy, and once it was in a little tunnel.

What I've been doing when he bites: Tell him, no biting, biting hurts- show him the other childs boo boo and that they are sad, and yes, I make him sit down for a while. That means physically sitting with him and holding him. Now, he also pinches and pushes the other two a lot at home and dh recently got fed up with the other two just standing there crying and told them to push and pinch back which they have been doing. SOOO that throws another whole problem in there.

How can I fix this?
I need help and ideas with ds but also with the situation at church. Is there any way to make futher amends with the parents other than the apologies I made this morning? Should I not work in his class?

I need to get to the root of the problem but I guess I'm gonna need help digging..... anyone got shovels?

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: MarynMunchkins on September 04, 2005, 11:14:03 AM
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IMHO, the root of a an almost 2 yo biting is teeth. I'd stock up on Motrin, and expect it until all his teeth are through.

What you're doing sounds fine. My kids have been bitten before, and while I wasn't happy, I understand that it's part of life with a toddler. We all survived, and I certainly never blamed the parents!

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: Garnet on September 04, 2005, 11:25:23 AM
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there was a little girl at my church who bit when she was upset and being possesive. now sh'es the sweetest thing! i think it has to do with teeth like mary said and the inability to use words to express feelings or emotions. this too shall pass.

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: MamatoLLL on September 04, 2005, 11:40:40 AM
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Can you tell I've been sitting here waiting for a reply?

Really, you think it's just teeth? Even tho he has an overall pattern of being aggressive?

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: MarynMunchkins on September 04, 2005, 12:34:35 PM
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He's a little boy with older siblings. Colin tends to be agressive because he's protecting his stuff, and he sees a lot more agression. He only bites when he's cutting teeth - even if he is hitting at other times. I really wouldn't sweat it too much at his age.

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: Kasi on September 04, 2005, 12:46:10 PM
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I'll share my opinion...I believe his biting and aggression may be from his communication skills.

I used to work with toddlers & two's for many years, and I noticed that children who did not use their words were more apt to agression and biting. It was their way to communicate "I don't like what you are doing" or "Give it back to me" to their peers.

At 22 months, his verbal communication skills are still developing and he might just need a little more help and encouragement in this area. Helping him find words to say when he wants something, when someone bothers him, when he's trying to express emotion will help lessen the agressive behavior overtime. He may also need a little more help with empathy when he hurts someone---he need to know that they are sad and that he can make them feel better.

No parent likes their child to be hurt, and may take biting even worse than a child shoving their child to the floor. But biting is a normal part of toddlerhood...but with quick intervention, redirection and empowering the children with words will help this stage pass.

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: LisaM on September 04, 2005, 12:58:12 PM
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I would try teaching him some basic sign language. Signing Time has some great DVDs and it's REALLY helped my DD with her frustration (she only bites me and DH, thankfully, when she's frustrated.)

I used to work in a daycare and preschool, and HONESTLY biting has nothing to do with parenting. It's out of frustration, usually from the inability to communicate needs. Biting something when you're frustrated feels good. If I were you, I would shadow him like a hawk for a few days and when you see him get frustrated, give him an apple or a vibrating teether (The First Years make a good one--get the star, not the fish--Walgreens has them) and show him he can bite that when he's frustrated. You may also want to have him take a break from his class at church--it may be too much for him (and you) right now. While biting is a normal stage some kids go through, not all parents understand this and turn it into something personal.

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: Katherine on September 05, 2005, 05:42:02 PM
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I totally agree with the idea that it might be due to a frustration at not being able to communicate with words, or just not knowing what to do with his big feelings. My 2yo still tries to bite me, and still succeeds at biting his brother when he's frustrated. We're working a LOT on using words. That is helping, and honestly, just getting older is helping. (and teething does aggravate the whole situation for sure, but it's been an ever-present issue for him, so I know that's not the *only* cause)

I also just wanted to tell you that I personally think some kids just express themselves more physically in general. DS2 bites, head-butts, smacks, and rams FULL-FORCE into people and things whenever he's excited/happy.... it's not always just a matter of defending his turf or being mad at someone. One time dh came home and the boys ran to door screaming and jumping excitedly. Ds2 just couldn't contain himself for another second and while I standing right there he whirled around and sunk his teeth deep into the nearest piece of flesh--which happened to be his brother's arm! When he was a baby (teeny baby) he would grab handfuls of hair or skin and hair, and it HURT! I thought he would never stop.. but he did.. and moved on to other physical forms of expression.

He's getting better, and I expect the improvement to continue as his verbal skills blossom.

As for addressing it, I remove him from situations where's he's getting over-excited or frustrated.. I try to do it before he starts biting, but as I'm sure you know that's easier said than done. I also work a lot on what to do instead--kisses instead of "happy" bites, words instead of "angry" bites and so on. As for church, the one thing I *wouldn't* do is send him to the class/nursery without going yourself. The other adults there aren't going to be able to anticipate his biting as well as you can, and might react in a less-than-helpful way. :/ I would either keep him out for a while or continue going and work on it there just like you do at home.

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: reneandbaby on September 05, 2005, 05:57:23 PM
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Quote:
I also just wanted to tell you that I personally think some kids just express themselves more physically in general. DS2 bites, head-butts, smacks, and rams FULL-FORCE into people and things whenever he's excited/happy.... it's not always just a matter of defending his turf or being mad at someone. One time dh came home and the boys ran to door screaming and jumping excitedly. Ds2 just couldn't contain himself for another second and while I standing right there he whirled around and sunk his teeth deep into the nearest piece of flesh--which happened to be his brother's arm! eek When he was a baby (teeny baby) he would grab handfuls of hair or skin and hair, and it HURT! I thought he would never stop.. but he did.. and moved on to other physical forms of expression
I whole heartedly agree. Elijah is a biter when he's frustrated and angry, but he also bites when he's just over-the-top excited, and sometimes he just bites out of boredom and teething. Luckily for us, the only things he tries to bite are me/dh, and any object that he is angry at (i.e. he can't get the train to do what he wants, so he screams, bites it, and then hurls it across the room). He regularly tries to bite me when I am moving him and he doesn't want to go. I can usually head it off pretty quickly...but the happy biting almost always catches me by surprise. I don't know why--- I currently have two huge bruises on my arm from his "I'm so happy" biting that you think I would get it by now!
Rene

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: caringmommy on September 05, 2005, 05:59:43 PM
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No advice just BTDT. Mine actually drew blood in the church nursery. He gets really aggressive when he's frustrated or mad too. I think its a communication thing. He wasn't very verbal (until the last month or so) and he got in a habit of using biting, hitting etc to "resolve" conflicts with his brother. He's actually a really sweet kid, just has a fierce temper. I'm just waiting until he gets through it.

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Title: Re: Son bit 2 others at church
Post by: mama2madj on September 05, 2005, 06:38:37 PM
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((((HUGS)))) BTDT and don'thave the t-shirt cuz i don't want it!
my ds though was wanting to give them kisses, but his teeth got in the way. he was 14-20mts at the times.
he also drew blood twice , one poor boy still has the scar on his nose last i saw him fortunately his mom is more understanding/forgiving of it since her son was also a biter :/
my ds sounds lot like palils son, with his physical expressions, whether happy, mad sad, or etc...
id watch him like a hawk, hover over him and engage him in plenty of apropriate play. if he seems to be getting to excited, try to divert some of his expression towards a game of catch with you and such.

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