Preschoolers have big emotions in those little bodies. Their journey to understand the world around them just begins as they step into their second home (preschool). These tiny tots are impulsive, still figuring out the cause and effect in terms of their impact. Sometimes they donâ€™t have words to express their feelings as theyâ€™re still learning to communicate. Thatâ€™s why they tend to express their emotions by way of biting and nibbling.
Reasons a child might bite:
- To explore cause and effect.
- Know-how the sensation of biting is.
- Imitate other biters. Or act in self-defense.
- Communicate needs and desires, such as hunger or wanting a toy.
- Express feelings, such as anger, affection, confusion, or fear.
- Get rid of pain from teething.
- Satisfy a need for oral-motor stimulation.
How to stop?
- Disciplining toddlers is challenging. And if you use harsh behavior to discipline their harshness, it will only confuse the child. It may undermine the childâ€™s attachment with you.
- Teach social and emotional skills.
- Observe your child to understand in what situations biting occurs. Remove him from the situation. Provide him what he needs and redirect your child to a new activity.
- The more they are able to communicate, the less they are going to bite. Help him think about other ways to express his feelings of anger, fear and affection. Make him understand that it is not an acceptable way of expressing negative feelings.
- Make the message clear. Speak to him using simple language. Say, â€œ Biting hurts â€ If you say such words with expression and make a sad face to show your child that youâ€™re in pain, itâ€™ll help your child make the connection that biting hurts.
- Use positive words. Avoid â€œ Noâ€™s â€œ and â€œ Donâ€™ts â€™â€™
- Reconnect with your child. Sometimes it is merely to draw your attention.
- If it is as a course of teething, provide items to bite, such as teething rings.
- Offer food with different textures in order to meet your childâ€™s sensory needs.
Remember that biting is a temporary phase. Children eventually learn to handle their expressions. Just be consistent in your approach.