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My 2 year old is biting herself??

When she gets irritated she bites her arms! Is that normal??

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:47 PM on Jul. 16, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (9)
  • Yes,to a degree!! If she is drawing blood,then that is going too far!!!

    Answer by dancer at 4:51 PM on Jul. 16, 2011

  • Nope she's not really even leaving marks, just like gnawing at her arms. It's bothering me though :(

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:53 PM on Jul. 16, 2011

  • lol yes its the same as head banging it cause she anger and not getting what she wants its all so attention seeking behaviour as she wants you to fell sorry for her or for you to be shocked /worried and back down . my son dose it or head bangs then put his hands up to be picked up then gives me his demand again lol.

    so the way to deal with this is ignore ignore ignore . the more attashon you give her for doing it the more she will and yes it can look very nasty but they don't do it harder than what they can cope with


    Answer by feralkitten at 5:44 PM on Jul. 16, 2011

  • Depending, Some times this can also be a sign of distress, Talk to your childs Doctor, they will be able to let you know if they are going to far, or if this is normal. When I was a child, I bit myself, hit people and screamed, but more then normal, this is because I have ADHD and I didnt know how to cope with myself.

    Answer by ChrystelleK at 6:10 PM on Jul. 16, 2011

  • My two year old is doing that too and laughs about it..

    Answer by jzmommy10 at 8:09 PM on Jul. 16, 2011

  • Do you mean that she bites herself as part of a tantrum, getting upset & overwhelmed and biting her arms at those times (such as feralkitten mentions, likening to head-banging or hitting herself when very angry)? Or by "when she gets irritated" do you mean a lower level of upset, and that her main expression of frustration/irritation is to sit and "gnaw" at her arms? Like the gnawing is not necessarily dramatic or explosive, but it is a habit (like twirling hair or sucking on hair, or thumb-sucking, pulling out eyelashes/pulling out hair, etc.)?
    I would say that this type of behavior could be thought of as "normal" in the sense that it's a behavior children do begin to use (it's not unheard of) but that it IS a sign of frustration & distress. In my opinion, there are lots of "normal" behaviors that shouldn't be ignored as "okay" or taken for granted. That doesn't mean freaking out over them, just viewing them as a signal or

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:43 AM on Jul. 18, 2011

  • (cont)
    symptom, a sign that something is "off" for the child. Usually, it's a relationship dynamic.
    Seeking help (start with mentioning it to the child's doctor) is a reasonable first step, as ChrystelleK suggested.
    But generally, the more you can boost "attunement" in your interactions with a young child (attunement is accurately understanding a child for what she intends, or for her own experience of situations, rather than just responding to behavior & situations based on your experience of them, or reacting to them), the more you can reduce frustration & anxiety that lead to such coping behaviors. If you view the behavior as a signal or indicator that is manifesting because of an existing underlying condition that is causing a problem for the child, you can see the situation resolve, without focusing on the behavior like IT is the problem (which can reinforce the behavior, or set up a power struggle dynamic.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:50 AM on Jul. 18, 2011

  • Anyway, kids (all humans) do things for a reason, and compulsive behaviors are distortions due to a need to cope. Addressing the underlying dynamic also resolves the symptom (but if you leave the underlying cause unchanged, you might stop the specific signal but there are many others to fill the void.)
    I would look to possible causes for frustration (in the absence of unusually stressful situations or recent significant changes, you could assume dynamics around discipline are a source) and examine that. It's true that kids/humans will adapt themselves to negative pressure and we can survive almost anything, but that "adaptability" is literally a distortion of normal behavior and is the source of all sorts of behaviors on a continuum (some being more pronounced & extreme, so more obviously "not normal" or "disturbing" or "concerning," but ALL of them expressive of some frustration & distortion as a result of pressure.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:58 AM on Jul. 18, 2011

  • my 1 yr old bites her arm anytime i say no or correct her. i can tell shes doing it for attention purposes....she also throws her head back and arches her back when i go to grab her arm if she doesnt want me to. that i cannot stand cuz im scared shes gonna hurt herself

    Answer by cnv13085 at 8:25 PM on Jul. 25, 2011

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