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What do I do with a biter?

My son has always been a biter. He has gone through stages but luckily had grown out of it, we thought. Now he is 3 and it is back with a vengence. He bit 3 kids at daycare today, and got bitten back twice. We have tried everything: praise when he is good, consequences (like taking his favorite toy or timeout) when he is bad. We even tried the "bite him back" thing which started two months of him biting himself on the arm when he was mad and leaving bruises! He doesnt do it at home, and doesnt do it at church in the nursery so it makes it hard to take care of it when I dont see him do it! Any advice on how to get him to stop?

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Asked by Cass052005 at 7:28 PM on Dec. 3, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 6 (126 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Talk to him about it as soon as you get him from daycare; maybe even while still at daycare. If he continues I would have the talk and tell him that as soon as you get home you are going to put a bar of soap in his mouth since he can't keep it closed and not bite anyone. That might be enough to scare him into stopping you should know by his reaction. If he doesn't seem bothered by you saying that then when you get home do it. Hopefully that would stop it; you've tried what I would have said, but it sounded like you needed something more...uh terrible lol Anyways I know I would stop biting if I had to have soap in my mouth every time I came home from daycare.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:35 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Sounds like you've tried all the usual things. If it were me at this point I think a spanking would be in order. I try everything else first and then if all else fails, spanking is a last resort that usually works. Good luck, hopefully he just starts to realize that when he does that he hurts other people. Maybe tell him that when he bites other kids that makes them not want to play with him, Idk, grasping for straws here.

    Answer by AshleyBDG at 9:59 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Spanking. I was gonna suggest biting back but it seems you did that already! Wow!!!

    If he seems to be acting up at school/daycare only, it may be a behavioral issue, and maybe he needs to see a therapist. I know it sounds "bad" but even little kids can have issues, and if it IS behavioral, the faster you catch it the better. It might be worth it to take him to a pediatric behavioral therapist just to SEE if it is something that needs counseling. At the very least they could give you suggestions to kill the behavior. He could be doing it for attention at day care because with so many kids its hard to give them individual attention, and maybe he only gets attention when he is bad, and this is what he has come up with.

    Answer by missbreezy214 at 10:04 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • If he's only doing it at school, you need more info. Is there a certain kid bothering him? Taking his things? Etc. Kids this age don't have the verbal skills to "discuss" their issues with another 3 y/o. So they bite. It's a gutteral response to "something". You need to talk to the teacher and see what started it, who was involved, have he and this child had previous "spats"?

    You are telling him not to bite, and that's a symptom. Find out WHY and you can stop it. My 3 y/o nephew was grounded one afternoon for hitting at school. He wasn't allowed to play with his toys. Every time he wanted to play with something, his mom would tell him again for the 1000th time, that if he couldn't keep his hands to himself that he wouldn't get to play with his toys. Granted it was probably only 3 hours from the time he got home until bed-time, but 3 hours for a 3 y/o with the continual reinforcing solved that problem for them. Good luck.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 10:01 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • Thanks girls. I have ran out of ideas. I have taken toys from him. His favorite thing is playing with his leggos, and he knows he doesnt get to play with them if he bites and will tell me when I pick him up "I cant play blocks, I bit" Being a teacher myself, I have tried things I have seen work in my 3 and 4 year old classroom and it doesnt work. I have noticed it seems to be worse once he has spent a lot of time with his grandparents (my husband's parents). They tell him he is the king and let him do whatever he wants. We have talked to them multiple times and even kept him from seeing them and his behavior improves. I am almost to the point of not letting him go back at all because I would hate for him to get kicked out of daycare over this!

    Answer by Cass052005 at 3:31 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • my daughter has bit before and I yelled at her...when she did it to me, i spanked her and told her it was not acceptible and that it hurts other people when she does that....i hav lightly tapped her cheek (and i do mean VERY lightly, to the point where she almost wants to laugh because she thinks it's a game) but it's enough to shock her and she knows that she crossed the line....i do NOT condone "slapping a childs face" and just want to make it clear that I have never slapped her any harder than a light tap. instead of taking something away, try making him do something he dislikes. ie, if he doesn't like sweeping, make him sweep the floor (at least as well as he can) every time he bites. It doesn't have to be cleaning but if you take one toy away, he's still got others....but making him do something he dislikes, might curb his attitude so that he wont have to do it anymore! good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:45 PM on Dec. 12, 2009

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