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My 3 year old has started biting because my 15 month old bites. How do I teach my 3 year old that this is not okay ?

My 3 year old has started biting because my 15 month old bites. How do I teach my 3 year old that this is not okay and how do I discipline my 15 month old in front of my older son so he understands it is not okay to bite? When my older son bit as a baby I would say, “Biting makes me not want to be with you.” and I would walk away. He stopped biting soon after.
This does not work with my 15 month old now, because I have a toddler to deal with as well. I feel like I am trying to over explain to my 3 year old what baby understands and it is definitely not sinking in! I would really appreciate some feedback! Thank you.

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Asked by mamaof2boys81 at 10:40 PM on Mar. 21, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • Show understanding for what drives him to bite. Just acknowledge the situation, so you are connecting to the frustration or anger that is driving the behavior (rather than just focusing on how the behavior is not okay, which ignores the context & his feelings), and tell him what you want him to do at those times instead.
    Maybe he's retaliating because he got bitten & it hurts. Maybe he's trying to defend his boundaries (little brother grabs his crayons or messes up his tower or takes Legos.) Or maybe the biting expresses his frustration or anger, when he's overwhelmed & impulsive. All these things are understandable, though problematic.
    Show that you see why it happened, and you understand, and let him know that biting hurts, so you want him to [call you for help, etc.] instead.
    At that point, you intercede (just as you would if you'd been called, or had gotten there sooner.) Help negotiate their conflict. Support him (them.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:16 PM on Mar. 21, 2013

  • I had a biter in my daycare. She was 3 and started biting the other kids. I would take her arm and put it to her mouth and say "we don't bite other people, bite your arm if you want to bite". She stopped biting soon after I continued doing this. It is worth a try. :-)

    Answer by LeJane at 12:11 AM on Mar. 22, 2013

  • Each time you catch either of them biting remove them from the situation and tell them that biting hurts and that people don't want to play with biters.

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 5:54 AM on Mar. 22, 2013

  • PATIENCE!!! Every time she bites, remind her that "BITING HURTS" "Teeth are for eating". Give her the verbal skills to express her feelings. Whatever you do , DO NOT BITE HER BACK.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:34 PM on Mar. 23, 2013

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