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biting/hitting phases?

I hear all the time that lots of toddlers go through a phase where they hit, bite or scratch all the time. Just wondering how true that is. Have any of yours kids gone through that? And how long did it last?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:50 AM on Mar. 18, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (6)
  • With mine it's always been, hitting, biting then screaming but eventually they outgrow it.

    Answer by Slinkee at 11:52 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • my 4 year old never bit... my 2 year old bites because she thinks its funny... she started this about 3 months ago? i just tell her it's not nice to bite, and keep my eye out for those bicuspids. lol.

    Answer by gracefulsky at 11:57 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Some do, some don't, but they all test the limits of their "power" to establish position. Sounds primal, but we are all mammals. At a toddler level of development, their brains aren't much beyond acting by instinct. If they succeed in getting a toy by biting the kid who has it, they'll do it again. Mine didn't stay in that stage long. I based my behavior modification at the same level of cognitive ability -- translation: If they bit, hit, screamed, or otherwise animalisticly behaved, they got an immediate pain response like a pinch, a jolting lift off the ground, a smack on the diapered bum, a louder scream in return...
    At that age, they want to be happy & have what they want. For the most part you provide both. When they start wanting what they can't have (another kid's toy) you can only reason with them on a very basic level. When/if that fails... they bite; you cause displeasure.

    Answer by cutiemoose at 12:03 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • mine responded to being put into time out - one right after the other for hitting. and taking away privileges for things like that too. While everyone else was eating the delicious dinner she loved she would have to eat something not so tasty for dinner.
    I think it was when she had to eat oatmeal and boiled eggs that she decided that it just wasn't worth it anymore!

    she did occasionally forget herself and give in to temptation, but she outgrew it.

    She was always told that doing thing like that hurts a person-

    reminds me of a letter I read-a little girl kept hitting her brother, mom told him she didn't understand that it hurt. So he hit her on the head and said "now she knows!"
    I don't suggest doing that- but this did bring it to mind.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:30 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • my bratty little sister was BAD about that- I'd be playing and she's just come up and hit me. I'd tell her that she was going to get into trouble, and she'd just say "Naw huh! I'm little!" she was right, my mom would just tell me that she was too little to know any better and just deal. She even told me one day to quit coming to her about it.

    I figured if she was old enough to know that she could do this without punishment, then she knew better. So I took a pencil and wrote her name on the wall. (she could write and read very early) she just looked shocked and said she didn't do it. When I was asked I just shrugged and asked "why would I write HER name on the wall?"
    She got in trouble big time with a shocked look on her face and that stopped the hitting for a long time since I told her that if she didn't stop then I would keep on getting her in trouble- when she stopped hitting I never did it again :)


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:36 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Both my dd and ds went through these phases. For my dd it was at least a month of nonstop biting, meaning she would literally bite her little brother daily. Often times she would walk up to us while I was BF and bite his foot/leg. With one quick, swift motion, before I could even lift a finger to stop her she would be biting him. Luckily a few timeouts and a few weeks later, and she was 'over' that stage. Then she moved on to the hitting when she was about 3...she would walk by our dog and hit him, walk by her dad and hit him, she would get consistent timeouts for this behavior and within weeks, like the biting, it was over. There was also the screaming phase...! Drove me nuts! This lasted longer than the biting and hitting. No form of discipline seemed to stop this, she just quit doing it one day.
    Ds has just begun his hitting phase, biting was a few months ago. It's common, just use consistent discipline!

    Answer by MandaLynn05 at 1:53 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

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