Reducing Biting in Children Ages 15 to 36 Months
Topic Overview Back to top
Children who are 15 months to 3 years old may bite other people out of frustration or when they want power or control over another person. Some ways you can help prevent a child this age from biting include:
- Helping the child put words to his or her feelings, such as, "You must feel angry with Bobby for taking your toy."
- Encouraging the child to use language to express himself or herself. Say, "Use your words, don't bite."
- Teaching your child empathy, which is understanding and being sensitive to the feelings of others.
- Encouraging activities appropriate for a child's age and abilities. To prevent frustration, avoid activities that are too difficult or competitive.
- Distracting a child who is becoming frustrated with other types of play, such as dancing. Or you may want to suggest a calming activity, such as reading or working on a puzzle.
- Stopping a child who appears ready to bite someone. Get the child's attention by looking straight in his or her eyes. Use a stern voice and expression and say, "No. We never bite people."
- Praising a child who handles frustration successfully. Say, "Great job. You used your words when you felt angry."
Credits Back to top
|Primary Medical Reviewer||John Pope, MD - Pediatrics|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics|
|Last Revised||March 21, 2012|
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.