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Featured Baby Articles12 Items Every Breastfeeding and Pumping Mom Will Want to HaveSo, You Want to Breastfeed? You can also use a biting incident as an opportunity to teach your child that biting is inappropriate.
One day, Adama€™s mom got a report from his caregiver that he bit another child in his group.
Past Experiences and Recent Changes: Adam had never been the recipient of a bite at home or at the child care program but he had seen other people getting bitten. Physical Condition: He had never had any ear infections and appeared to have no hearing problems.
The Environment: The two year old classroom was a comfortable and soothing yet stimulating place to spend time. Adama€™s biting was being caused by things adults were doing at home and in the child care center. Adam had been using bottles to soothe himself orally when feeling fussy or tired for nearly two years. At home, Adam was allowed to solve his fussiness with oral satisfaction by using bottles constantly.
So, while the parents taught him new ways to deal with frustration, they also began to limit the number of bottles he got at home. Adam needed specific help in learning to interpret the feelings and intentions of other people. The caregivers tried sitting near the play areas and acting as a commentator on the childrena€™s activities to help them learn to decipher the situation and to teach pro-social behavior. The parents started to realize the importance of maintaining a normal sleep schedule for Adam.
It was also recommended that Adama€™s mom work with a counselor if she needed more specific ideas on how best to get him to bed at night when she was on her own. Adam needed focused help to learn new verbal skills so that he could interact with other children more successfully. His parents began to read to him as much as possible so he could hear the flow of their language in context with the pictures in the story. Both parents and teachers began using a€?Extensiona€? with Adama€™s language when he used one-word sentences.
Both parents and teachers began using a€?self talka€? to describe your actions during daily life. The teachers started to encourage Adam to use specific phrases in potential confrontations when interacting with children, such as: my turn, dona€™t push, my seat, I want that, help me, hurry up, stop that, please, etc. Because Adam didna€™t show a lot of emotion in his face, it was more difficult to know what he was feeling. Adam was a very persistent child, and parents knew that they would have to stick to their limits in order to teach him new behaviors. The parents started to help Adam learn patience by helping him to see the rationale when they didna€™t jump to his demands immediately.
Since the playground was under-equipped, the teachers counted the total number of play spaces available to the toddlers and kept adding items until they had provided 24 two year olds with 36 play spaces outdoors. The only types of play available to the children on the playground had been activities that involved running, riding, and climbing.
At home, Adama€™s mom and dad needed to work on developing ways of setting limits with Adam in ways that were firm and clear, without being tentative and apologetic.
At the center, when Adam bit or attempted to bite, the teachers removed him from the scene of the bite to an out-of-the-way area to be watched by another caregiver for a few minutes. They began responding to all biting incidences in the same serious, matter-of-fact manner, refraining from lecturing, scolding or reasoning. They started seeing their intervention as an opportunity to teach Adam alternatives to using his teeth to express himself.
The staff at the child care center had not known that Adam was getting eight bottles a day on the weekends. Please note that we are unable to respond back directly to your questions or provide medical advice. As the fastest growing consumer health information site a€” with 65 million monthly visitors a€” Healthlinea€™s mission is to be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of health and well-being.
Sometimes children bite because they are trying to gain control over another child or because they feel powerless or frightened. Biting is a form of oral behavior which may continue normally into the second year, according to Dr.
An immediate, calm, and firm statement of “no biting” and then distracting the child with an appropriate activity will help. Let your child aid in treating the victim, instructing them that biting “hurts” and that biting should not continue. She had found a family daycare home near her house and Adam was very happy there as an infant. She immediately phoned Adama€™s pediatrician who assured her that this was normal behavior for a toddler and that the child care staff should be able to handle it easily. He usually had some difficulty in separating from his mother in the mornings, but after she left, he happily settled in to play with his favorite toys.


Recently, Adama€™s dad had begun traveling a lot for his job, sometimes being gone for two weeks at a time. While he could understand what adults said to him and could comply with their requests, he had a hard time making his own needs known. It was adequately-sized and rich in a wide variety of age appropriate and challenging materials.
For months, he had been allowed to constantly use a bottle to relieve any type of stress at home, and it created a tendency for him to respond to daily stressors orally, through biting.
Recently, he had been put at a severe emotional disadvantage because of the different expectations around the use of bottles.
He had not been learning any other means of dealing with life other than to block it out with a bottle. They distracted him from his desire to have a bottle by offering him a pacifier or a washcloth or a rubber toy to chew on. Ideas included: limiting the use of the two remaining bottles to certain locations in the house, using shorter bottles, diluting the milk with water, giving only bottles with water, providing alternate types of containers, and drinking milk together with their child using cups.
Keeping him up past a two year olda€™s normal bedtime was interfering with his ability to take full advantage of the morninga€™s activities at child care. When Adam pointed to the crackers and said, a€?More!a€? they said, a€?Sounds like you want some more of those cute little square crackers.
Teachers stopped assuming that he didna€™t care about something because his reaction were of low intensity. Adama€™s mom, who tends to be much less persistent in her temperament, realized that this would be especially difficult for her.
They started giving him a concrete explanation why he couldna€™t have what he wanted right away. Bringing a€?loose partsa€? materials out of doors meant extra clean up for the caregivers but it paid off in a happier well-occupied group of children, especially those children who preferred to play on their own, or with small motor activities.
Adama€™s mom realized that as he moved into the next phase of his development, he would exhibit more oppositional behavior and she would need to be prepared for him to push her limits on a regular basis. If no one was available, they would take him with them, while they tended to the victim by washing the wound and getting ice. Their comments began to reflect the fact that they recognized he was upset but that a€?we dona€™t put our teeth on peoplea€?, no matter what. They realized that simply saying, a€?You should have used your wordsa€? was too abstract for a toddler to be able to extrapolate into useful actions. The parents had not seen the connection between non-stop bottles at home and Adama€™s dealing with stress at child care through oral means, such as biting.
Both of which will support, guide, and inspire you toward the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. Carl Arinoldo, parenting expert and author of Essentials of Smart Parenting: Learning the Fine Art of Managing Your Children. It is important to remember that in handling toddlers, reacting to a behavioral issue in an emotionally charged manner may unintentionally reinforce the behavior that you are trying to eliminate.
Another strategy is to give your child ample attention when he or she is not making an inappropriate bid for attention. When he was twelve months old, a space opened up at the child care center sponsored by his moma€™s company so she moved him into the toddler room. However, each day the caregivers reported several biting episodes, always taking place in the morning and always outside on the playground.
He had a strong preference for small motor toys such as manipulatives, rather than large motor toys such as bikes and balls. Adama€™s mom didna€™t like to be alone at night, so she had been letting Adam stay up late watching TV with her. His speech was very unclear, hard to decipher by adults and children alike, and he stuttered occasionally. He ate breakfast in the morning at the child care program, and he had a big lunch at lunchtime. He was more sedentary, content to sit and look at books, use paints, or play with peg boards and puzzles.
His parents were very conflict adverse, opposed to any kind of confrontation so they let Adam do as he pleased. His verbal skills were minimal, partially due to overall lack of rich language experiences offered to him both at home and at the center. As soon as he was transferred to the two year old room, he had to suddenly give up his daytime bottles, leaving him at a loss of how to deal with stress, frustration or disappointment.
Having a bottle in his mouth all evening and weekend was also interfering with his speech and language development. They spent focused time with him doing household things together or playing on the floor with his toys. In a few weeks, the plan was to gather up all the bottles, put them in a box, and send them to a€?the babies who need thema€?.
By 10:30 am every morning, he had begun to get really tired and had a harder time coping with the normal stressors of being around a group of children without resorting to grabbing and biting. The teachers provide tables for the staging of activities such as art supplies or manipulatives. Even though he was not biting at home, Adam needed to know where his boundaries were, in all types of negative behaviors.


They intervened in the same way whether they caught it in time or not, because his intentions had been the same. As soon as both parties understood this fact, they began a fruitful conversation about how to help Adam with weaning and in learning verbal tools and self comforting techniques to replace his bottle habit.
This will help your toddler learn to use words to express their feelings and learn to control his or her behavior. As an additional preventative measure, allow your child to take daily naps and make certain he or she gets a good night’s sleep. This arrangement was very convenient for her and Adam seemed to really like the larger space and wider range of play activities. Adama€™s parents became very defensive, convinced that Adam had learned this behavior at the center. Most of the time, he played comfortably alongside other children in parallel play, as would be expected of a toddler. She rationalized it by saying that he got plenty of sleep since he napped every afternoon at the child care center.
Adam didna€™t show much facial expression regarding his feelings; his a€?affecta€? was very mild, making him hard for people a€?to reada€?.
Their solution to any kind of fussy behavior was to offer him a bottle so he would calm down.
They found new ways to spend time together such as singing songs, reading books, taking walks, and playing with play dough. Letting go of the bottles helped Adam become more autonomous, to see himself as a big boy, not a baby. Ia€™ll come over and play that game with you when my hands are all done with this.a€? This kind of explanation defined their availability in a more recognizable way, allowing Adam to feel more patient.
They added a large, empty plastic wading pool to create a soft spot to sit on pillows and look at books, kind of like an outdoor a€?nesta€?. Parent education or short term counseling was suggested to her as a useful adjunct to The Action Plan Worksheet.
They went through the same discussion with him each time he attempted to bite, like a broken record, to maintain a consistent response and establish a firm limit that never changed. The parents stopped blaming the center for Adama€™s biting and the center purchased some new items for the playground that benefitted all of the two year olds.
Then, when he turned 22 months old, he was moved into the two year old room; an opening had come up and he was next on the list so he was moved up early, before turning two. Adam was always exhausted by naptime, falling asleep as soon as he lay down on his cot, napping for two and one-half hours each day.
They reported giving Adam an average of eight bottles per day on the weekends and two or three bottles on weekday evenings. Regarding emotional development, Adam wasna€™t learning any new skills for dealing with his frustration, given the inadequate limit setting practices provided by his caregivers. Also, the teachers started letting the children paint with water on the walls of the school and the concrete walkway, using large paint brushes and buckets of water. The doctor had said biting was normal but the child care staff seemed unable to stop it from happening.
The playground consisted mainly of a large climbing structure on rubber mat, assorted riding toys, and a large sandbox. Adama€™s parents were at a loss about what to do on the home front regarding biting, since he never bit them. Interestingly, his biting only occurred in the morning on the playground, where play materials were inadequate and less teachers were available to supervise. They found that this problem solving method was useful for all sorts of conflicts on the playground and in the classroom. But now that he was in the two year old room, he had to abide by the a€?no bottlea€™ policy. When they got him home in the evening, they tried to reason with him, asking him to be nice to his friends, saying it a€?made mommy sad when he bit people.a€? Regarding limit setting at the child care program, the current staff had various levels of expertise in handling misbehavior and they were inconsistent in how they responded to biting. As it turned out, there were many ways in which the adults could make changes and intervene more effectively, to help Adam stop biting. After about a month of this, the parents were informed that they should begin looking for a€?alternate placementa€?.
Children got mixed messages, depending on who stepped in to deal with the conflict at the time.
The next day, after Adam bit the daughter of his moma€™s colleague, Adama€™s mom reached out for professional help. There werena€™t any tables set up for playing with bubble-making fluids or building with small blocks.
Lately, the teachers had started sending him to the directora€™s office when he bit, to remove him from the yard altogether. When they plopped him down in the directora€™s office they said, a€?Ita€™s not nice to bite people, Adam. You have to sit here and think about that.a€? Needless to say, this approach did not have the desired effect.



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Comments

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