Understanding and Addressing Young Children Biting
Rani Sidhu (VP Academic and Quality Assurance Invictus Preschool)
September 4, 2023
As parents it is essential to understand that young children biting is a common behaviour that can occur during this developmental stage. While biting can be frustrating and concerning, it is important to approach and address this behaviour with patience, understanding, and appropriate strategies. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind young children biting and provide tips for parents on how to address this behaviour.
Reasons behind Young Children Biting:
- Communication and Expression: Young children often lack the verbal skills to express their needs, emotions, or frustrations adequately. Resorting to biting might be their way of communicating or venting their feelings or simply seeking attention.
- Exploration and Teething: Biting can also be a part of a child's natural exploration of the environment or teething process. At this age, children explore the world by putting things in their mouths, and unfortunately, this might extend to biting others.
- Social Interaction and Power Struggles: Young children are learning to navigate social interactions and may resort to biting as a means of asserting themselves, defending their personal space, or establishing dominance in a situation.
Addressing Young Children Biting:
- Observe and Understand: Keep a keen eye on your child's triggers and patterns of biting. Understanding the context in which the biting occurs will help in identifying the appropriate strategies to address the behaviour.
- Communicate and Teach Alternatives: Encourage positive communication by teaching your child alternative ways to express their needs and emotions. Use age-appropriate language to teach them words like "I'm angry" or "I need help." Reinforce appropriate communication by praising and reinforcing their efforts.
- Supervise and Redirect: In early childhood education settings, close supervision of children is crucial. Observe situations that may trigger biting and proactively redirect your child's attention towards other engaging activities.
- Set Clear Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with your child about biting. Explain that biting is not acceptable and hurts others. Be consistent with your responses and reinforce consequences when necessary, such as *time-in or a loss of privileges.
- Encourage Empathy and Social Skills: Teach your child about kindness, empathy, and the importance of considering others' feelings. Engage them in activities that promote cooperation, sharing, and taking turns. Encourage role play with stuffed animals or dolls to practice appropriate social interactions.
By understanding the reasons behind the behaviour and implementing the appropriate strategies, parents can effectively address and minimise biting incidents. At Primus Schoolhouse, we understand the challenges that arise during this developmental stage, and we recognise the importance of teamwork and communication between parents and educators. We work closely with parents to provide support, guidance, and resources to address biting behaviours and other challenges that may arise. We strive to create a nurturing and safe environment where children can thrive and learn appropriate social skills. By working together, we can ensure the overall well-being and development of your child during their early education journey.
Note: * To learn more about how to practice Time-In, refer to the article "Positive Guidance: A Parent's Guide to Nurturing Your Child's Growth."