August 1, 2005

Bite Me

At least the kid isn't inciting a nurseryful of her colleagues into a biting frenzy that sends their hapless victim to the hospital, like they do in Croatia. Supposedly.

But still, I have to confess, the kid knows her way around a set of teeth. The last few weeks especially, when she gets riled up--usually because we don't let her do something fun, like turn on the stove, or flip my phone the other way instead--she'll scrunch up her face, doing a pretty advanced (for her age) Buffy-style demon impression with that brow thing and the snarl, and try to chomp someone. Or something. She bit her bib the other day when we wouldn't let her down without eating dinner. Ever considerate, [?] she'll now announce that she's going to bite, as if we couldn't already tell.

The whole "don't react, that'll only reinforce her biting" thing seems to have lost some credibility a couple of biting phases ago. I'm still trying to figure out if biting isn't a symptom, not the problem, especially since it tends to happen in the context of a freakout when she can't have her way atthatverymoment.

Oh, I'm sorry, did you think I was talking about my kid? Haha, no no, Ms. preschool admissions officer, I was just posting here for a, um, a reader who asked to remain anonymous.

Biting Babies Leave 30 Wounds On Toddler [skynews.com]

2 Comments

I think that my kid's teeth are made out of diamonds... he bites so hard and without warning. On occasion he has bitten painfully hard that I scream, which then makes him immediately shutdown and cry.

From what I can gather from my 2yo that the biting is a symptom, or rather in his case, frustration from not being able to communicate as efficiently as he would like. When he begins to bite, we immediately ask him what does he want. If he does want something, like juice, then we say "Use your words when you want juice"

People tell us that it is a phase, but I have bruise marks on my shoulders and arms. Not react to it... it's tough but I often to react or else he'll start turning into Hannibal Lector. Now, if we can cut out the scratching and pinching...

it may be a little on the early side for this for your daughter (i almost typed "your dd." shoot me now.) but this is what stopped the biting when my son was closer to 2: i gave him a special toy to bite when he felt frustrated. the logic was that there's nothing wrong with feeling the urge to bite (hello, traffic jam), but that you have to channel that urge away from biting other people or animals. so he and i went to the pet store and he picked out his choice of color of the braided-rope dog chew toy, and we gave it a name and talked about biting that when he felt frustated instead of people. then i carried the thing around with us all the time for weeks and shoved it in his mouth when he'd do the bela lugosi act. after a few weeks he started asking for it to bite when he felt angry.

i don't know if it would work for the first biting phase (usually around 15 months or so) but it's something to keep in mind for the second biting phase.

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