You’ve noticed that your toddler (or child) is chewing on toys, or maybe you’ve been alerted to your child biting other children at daycare. You’re most likely wondering where this behavior comes from and what is the best thing to do. In this blog, we will discuss the different causes of biting a child as well as possible solutions.
To deal with your child’s biting, it is of course important to gain insight into the situations in which the biting occurs. Biting often stems from not being able to express emotions adequately, as well as a way to process stimuli. In the first situation, it is important to teach your child acceptable ways to deal with emotions by means of example. This can include encouraging verbal communication, giving positive attention to good behavior, and providing alternatives to biting to express frustration. If you have the impression that biting or perhaps sucking is more a self-regulating way, i.e. calming himself in situations of tension or stress, then you want to focus better at times when your kid sits still a lot to activate himself.
If you have the impression that your child bites in moments of more tension and it is a way to process the stimuli of everyday life, then biting has a function to help your child calm down (just like a pacifier or thumb). In this, you might consider giving your child a teething toy or a teething collar (3+ years) to cater to this calming strategy.
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