Around this time last year, I was receiving a handful of incident reports from Gia’s previous daycare concerning her biting other children. I was really frustrated and fed up so I asked my Facebook friends and family if they had any ideas on how I should help her. Some of them were:
- Tell her to stop biting. ( Duhh… I had been doing that.)
- Put her in time out. ( That doesn’t work for my baby or it’s not being used correctly at daycare.)
- Reward system. (Tried it.)
- Shadow her at school and see what’s going on. ( Her previous daycare wouldn’t allow it! That was a red flag and why I yanked her out of there.)
- Read books about not biting and give her a word or phrase to express her feeling. (DING DING DING! THIS WAS THE WINNER!)
I mean really! My two-year-old is a chit chatting machine and she understands very well. So that’s what did.
In the living room, near her toys, we posted a “Feelings” poster. We have been using this as an educational tool to help her express what she is feeling inside. We also checked out some books on biting and expressing our feelings.
She now has several phrases and better actions that she can use to express herself. We went over a phrase and an action for what she could do when she gets upset. I told her to put her hands up and say, “Stop it.” She utilizes this one very well, even with me, her mother! Haha! And you know what I do, most of the time, I listen. I listen because I want her to feel like she is heard and that she is important.
Therefore, my suggestion to you, the Mama with a little who is biting kids, is to give him/her a word. Give them an action that they can use instead. Correct the behavior. Don’t just spank them or yell at them and tell them not to do that. Show and tell them what to do instead. Show them that by talking and using an action, other than biting, gets the same results without hurting anyone.