top of page

Breaking the Biting Habit

The two–year-old ran to his Mum crying. The bite marks on his arm showed bright red, and the culprit, running round the garden laughing, on the tricycle he had taken from his little brother, was oblivious of the hurt he had caused.

This was not the first time – and it took his Mum by surprise when her older son suddenly started biting, usually when he wanted something or was upset.

When your usually loving playful child turns into a Biting or Bashing Brat, you need to take immediate action.

DO NOT Shout at him or give anger for anger: that just exacerbates the problem.

  1. Calm yourself, don’t react in panic or anger. Take a few deep breaths.

  1. Stop, get to his level, hold his face,

  1. Talk to him, quietly and calmly, eye-ball to eye-ball:

‘NO! you will not hit / bite. If you are angry, you use your words, tell me. No hitting. No biting.’

  1. Reassure him, tell him it’s ok, we all get cross sometimes, but we need to talk about it. Let’s find another way to show we are cross.

  1. Hold him or sit close to him and repeat until he has calmed down.

Occasionally, a child is really mischievous and reacts to the unusual attention – my youngest son went into gales of laughter when I told him ‘No! you do not bite’.

In the end, when this had happened several times, I demonstrated to him what biting feels like. I took his arm and bit him, not hard enough to hurt him but for him to feel the sensation.

He was shocked! And that did the trick, he never bit anyone again!

Please do share your ideas, you may have found a strategy that works even better.

Margi Kulsoom

Like what you read? Subcribe to Receive Margi's Weekly Articles!

Would you like to read more articles like this, and learn more practical tips and guidance for dealing with learning and communication difficulties?