Thursday, 5 November 2009

Terrible teeth in his terrible jaws

Imagine a creature so sly that it would smile beautifully at a chubby little baby, toddle over and befriend him, nestle in a little closer…and closer… and closer… and then CHOMP.

Terrible teeth in its terrible jaws indeed, but no, it’s not the fearsome Gruffalo, it’s darling little baby Elliot.

How on earth did my gorgeous baby boy become “The Biter” at nursery? When I collect him, he comes running over with a big grin on his face, and it’s just amazing. The moment is shattered as soon as I spy a crying child with a bite mark on his face (ON HIS FACE!!!) and Elliot’s keyworker walking towards me with a red form in her hand.

Am I to blame? Is it because I watched Interview with a Vampire while I was pregnant? Or because I always talk about nibbling on him because he’s so deliciously cute? Do I not feed him enough?

How do I fix it? I’ve been giving him little one minute time-outs as per the Nursery’s advice, but obviously that’s not working.

Word on the street is that I should just bite him and see how he likes it. I have problems with this:

How do you show a child that biting is wrong by biting him? Surely this is linked to the argument against smacking. If I hit my toddlers every time they hit or kicked me (or ever), social services would have taken them off me long ago.

What if I ignore my gut feeling and just go with what people tell me to do… how hard do I bite him? If I bite him hard enough for him to care, then I will forever feel like the most awful mother in the world. If I bite him softly, then all he’s learned is that biting doesn’t really hurt anyway, so what’s the big deal? Not a great lesson for him to learn.

I really am in turmoil about this and I am desperate for a solution as well as your opinions on the Time Out / Bite Him debate.



  1. I've never been a 'bite the biter' person slovinh a hitting or biting problem by doing the same thing just causes mixed messages. I would try to recognise what triggers him off to make him want to bite. Is it frustration, is he upset, did the other child upset him and he lashed out? You must tell him it is wrong firmly and calmly, do not make a big deal out of it or he will think he is getting attention from biting. Be consistant and if you see him about to bite take him to one side and tell him it is wrong until he gets the message. my 4year old was a bit of biter out of frustration and i did the same things to her and now she doesn't bite, sometimes i see that look in her eye where i know she is thinking about it but a stern look normaly stops her in her tracks. Good luck xxxxx


  2. I agree with Amy - biting back, though tempting, is not the answer. She's given you good advice, too!

  3. The "stern look" definitely works wonders. I hate saying the emotional NO! because then the little ones just end up going No for about 2 months about everything, so I try to only say No if its necessary and do the stern look instead :D

    Amy has definitely given you solid advice I agree that biting back is not a good idea. In the end we have to remember that we are the adults.