Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Biting Bryce

No pictures here...just a frustrated and concerned Mommy! Bryce started having a few biting episodes several weeks ago. Unfortunately, it has progressively gotten worse. Typically, he will bite Drew when they are fighting for a toy or position. He has a mouthful of teeth and leaves a horrible bite mark which then turns into a nasty bruise lasting for several days. Today was the worst...he bit Drew 3 times. Poor baby, he just cries as him arm, finger, back or whatever body part is clinched in his mouth. We give Bryce a spanking and then a time out but it keeps happening. Have any of you ever had a biting child? If so, please share your wisdom. This has to stop!


katrina said...

What fun times you are having...Well, Megan tried biting a few times. I bit her back and hard. I had to...she wasn't getting it when I was doing it gently. My theory was that she honestly probably didn't understand how badly she was hurting the person she was biting, but when I bit her back, she got the point really quick. I kept it up and it didn't last very long. We also went thru hitting and that was a much longer battle, so hopefully this one passes quickly :-)

Reagan Mackenzie said...

Sorry Reagan is not a bitter at least not yet. Hope you find something that works.

Aunt Nadean said...

Ronnie bit a few times; the first time it was me on the upper thigh and I hit him before I thought about it! Bites really do hurt!! Later (he was not in school yet but much past the toddler stage) he bit a neighbor kid he was playing with. He came running home--totally out of breath--barely able to tell me there was a lady coming and he thought she was mad. Boy was she! She wanted me to behead him (or at least remove his teeth) on the spot. I thanked her for coming, told her I would talk to him and take appropriate action. I don't recall doing anything to him except talking to him as he was much older. I don't think he bit again. I have heard that biting the biter can do the trick but, Karen, Jimmy will have to inject you with speed! That will be so hard for you to do--unless he bites you. Take my word-that would make it much easier. Maybe longer time outs and a thundering, "NO!!! WE DON'T DO THAT IN THIS HOUSE," perhaps followed by sitting him outside for a while or not letting him play with his brother for a long time.

Angie said...

Gabriel has bitten Casey and I but mostly as like a love bite, but it hurts nonetheless. I wish I had the wisdom for you, but I'll pray that God will send wisdom your way! I've seen this in other children and it's a phase that just passes. You sound like you're doing the right things.

Christy said...

Oh, we have SO been there! I feel like it's such a twin thing, because from the first day of their life they have had to share EVERYTHING! Fortunately, in 3 years, they have never bitten another child...just each other. Ours were the same way, it was never done for no reason, always because a toy was taken from them and it's out of shear frustration! My theory is it's the only way they can defend themselves and their item! The biting seemed to go away once they could really verbalize and let me know what was happening...and now they are happy to let me know! (And also seemed to go away as the teething pains did too...but that's just another thought)

As far as how we handled it, immediately put the biter on the time out mat for 2 minutes (even if they were under two I felt like rounding up couldn't hurt anything!) And very clearly say NO BITE and touch his mouth when you say it so he's understanding. And then comfort the victim...(animal shaped ice packs from bed bath and beyond do wonders.) Biting is non-negotiable...BUT once the victim is comforted it must be addressed that he can not take toys from others! Of course they're probably not really getting what your saying at this age, but just keep being consistent and they will.

Good luck! It takes a while, but this too shall pass! And in the mean time hold your head up high when you drop your children off in the nursery with perfectly shaped oval bruses! :)

Love you!

Leilanni said...

Oh how frustrating! I agree with Angie - it sounds like you're doing the right things and even though it's difficult right now it will pass. Unless he's still biting in college which might hurt his dating scene a bit . . . :-)

Ellie hasn't bitten yet, but she pinches and it HURTS. She mostly pinches me (lucky me!) when she doesn't want her teeth brushed. I used to just do stern mommy voice and timeout, but it keeps on and I'm tired of it. I've added a spanking and then timeout if the spanking didn't seem to make an impression - which it usually doesn't. She much more hates standing in a boring corner for a minute. Anyway - hang in there!!!

By the way, there's a cute series of board books at our library about stuff like this - maybe you've seen them. I know there's one titled "Teeth are not for biting" and others like "Hands are not for hitting" They're cute, short and rhyming but do a good job getting the point across. Probably won't solve the problem but maybe just another reinforcement? You could probably order them online, too. (There are longer soft back versions so be sure and get the board books)

Love ya!