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How do I stop my 10 month old from biting, scratching, etc.... ?

Please help, I end up yelling and feeling horrible about it. I don't know how to get him to understand.


Asked by Anonymous at 3:35 PM on Apr. 7, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (3)
  • Any method you use will have to be repeated over and over again at this age. Their neural paths in their brains are still forming and becoming more and more strong with each repetition. (Like a path in the woods that is walked over and over again, and eventually becomes a trail, and then a road.) Each time he does it, grasp his hands firmly but gently and say, "Ouch! Hurts mama. Gentle touches, so nice" Take his little hand and stroke your arm or face with it gently so that he can begin to understand what "gentle" feels like. If he bites, say "Gentle kisses!" and show him gentle, loving kisses. It takes a while and he won't get it at first; be patient and consistent and he will internalize the idea of being gentle. Another thing you may want to do is give him things he CAN hit and things he CAN bite. Pillows, teething toys, etc, and say calmly, "Hurts mama! Hit pillows!" You can do both if you need to! Both help meet a need.

    Answer by Collinsky at 3:48 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Well, for my son at that age it was out of teething frustration that he would do that . for biting my husband bit him back - not hard enough to bleed or anything but hard enough to let him know now to do it and he told him, see , biting hurts - NONO - I could not do that though and he will still bite me sometimes when he's frustrated. sometimes they just don't know how to express thier emotions at that age.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:44 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Another thing you can begin doing is giving him words for his feelings, if he is doing these things in frustration and not in playfulness. You can say (as you stop his hands) "Hitting hurts me. I'm stopping your angry hands. Oh, you're so mad! You want to hit! The blocks are falling down/Jimmy took your toy/whatever. You're so angry! Mama will help you." It gives him the words and concepts to understand and process his feelings, and he learns that it is okay to be frustrated, that you are there for him when he is having trouble with his emotions, that it is not okay to hurt others or break things, and that there are solutions to problems. All good things to understand in life. Obviously he won't have figured all that out in the next month, that's an awful lot to learn LOL... but you begin laying the foundation for those things now. Your example (how you handle frustration in front of him) is also a way you teach him daily.

    Answer by Collinsky at 3:57 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

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