Have you ever overreacted over your toddler’s tantrums, and do you believe all of her mischiefs to be intended? Well, mothers can be mothers when they discipline their children; however, little do they know that toddlers do not plan to scream, hit, or bite. In fact, they are very kind beings who just wish to be loved.
Biting is one of the conducts that is usually considered disorderly, and many toddlers go through a biting stage. They either bite their mommies, daddies, siblings, or other children. In doing so, they generate an atmospheric tension that puts the parents of the bitten and the biter at pressure. Up till now, even in modern societies, parents still believe that biting is their toddler’s bad deed and wish to end it as soon as she does it.
Nevertheless, toddlers bite unintentionally. For them, it is like sneezing or coughing; i.e., they do it because of an incontrollable internal reason. Toddlers bite whenever their brain experiences a sudden flood of tension that they are unable to stop. Hence, this behavior has no connection with bad parenting.
Why Do Toddlers Bite?
What you need to know is that toddlers don’t decide to bite. They bite because of tension stemming from several reasons.
They Bite Because They Are Frustrated.
To be a toddler means you are small in size looking up to a vast number of people. You try to do whatever the adults are doing but do not have the power. This is a whole deal of frustration that embodies a toddler.
There are massive reasons that make toddlers aggressive. One of which is dealing with challenges. As a matter of fact, being a toddler itself is a challenge that is kind of impossible to overcome. Then again, how is being a toddler challenging and frustrating?
- Having difficulty in communicating needs and emotions
- Being unable to figure out how to stack rings or play with certain toys
- Feeling hungry
- Feeling tired
- Not being given something they want
In addition, parenting approaches can have an important role in causing frustration in toddlers. The environment, family dynamics, and the stress inflicted are significant reasons that cause toddlers to bite.
Do Toddlers Bite Because of Events that Happened in Their Life Earlier?
Yes, it is quite possible for toddlers to develop the act of biting because of tensions stored from their early lives. Studies show that the majority of toddlers who bite had experienced difficult birth. They either had long labor or were stuck in the birth canal for a long time.
What Is the Role of TV?
According to a new study, fussy babies and toddlers who have problems with self-soothing watched more TV. They would be frustrated when settling down to sleep or waiting for their toys or food.
“Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2,” says the American Academy of Pediatrics because they say “a child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.” Thirty-minute TV time would be acceptable if parents wish to limit screen time.
Is There Always a Reason for Biting?
It is helpful to identify why your toddler bites so that you can avoid tension. However, at some point, you don’t need to know the reason. You can save yourself some thinking and look for productive ways to stop it.
What to Do When She Bites?
Always look for productive ways that help teach your toddler to self-soothe and rid herself from biting, but do keep in mind that you need to keep yourself updated with new ways and strategies.
Help Release Tension in Different Ways.
If you think biting helps a baby release tension, you are mistaken. Biting makes him feel much worse. According to Patty Wipfler in Hand in Hand, “Hurting someone adds to his load of upset, and the guilt he feels makes him look like he doesn’t care. But inside, he’s more frightened than before.”
Here’s what you can do when your child bites someone:
- Start by telling him gently that you’re sorry you didn’t get in time to keep him safe.
- Then, look into his eyes and ask him how he feels. He won’t necessarily explain, but he would certainly feel bad about what he had done.
- Keep looking into his eyes until he cries. This way he will release all the tension.
- Try to make him laugh. Laughter is always medicinal.
A child needs a listener according to Wipfler, so the more you try to connect with him, the more tension will be released.
- Designate a special time daily to play with your toddler.
- Ask him gently to include you in his games.
- Make him feel safe by giving him attention and love.
- Let him know that you enjoy playing with him.
For ideas on playing with your baby or toddler, read “Tips on Playing with Babies to Encourage Them to Learn”.
Special time will warm up the relationship between you. Your child may burst into tears as a way of releasing tension. Make sure you never stop listening. A toddler wants his feelings to be heard.
Don’t Shame, Blame, or Punish.
You cannot be crueler when you shame, blame, or punish your child for his tantrums. As stated before, a child bites because of internal frustration that he is unable to control. How can you punish him for that? Well, if you do, the frustration will increase leading to more biting.
Remember that your toddler is not the one to blame for his aggression. All a toddler wants is your attention, so give it to him. Make him feel safe and protected. This is the only way to lessen the biting.
A child bites because of internal tension that he cannot control, so refrain from blaming or punishing him for biting. Keep in mind that tensions stem from challenges a toddler has to endure, so the more love and attention you are able to provide him, the less aggressive he will be.
Suggested for you: “10 Steps that Help You Teach Your Child Good Behavior”.