Few children develop a biting habit that fades away with age. This is not a serious behavior problem, but should not be left unaddressed. This is a part of development process and can be controlled with little efforts.
There are several reasons behind this kind of behavior, shown by the child. A few reasons we encounter in our day care center are:
Teething Period: During teething period children experience soreness and irritation in their gums and children get a lot of relief & satisfaction out of biting things. So during this phase we can provide children with special teething toys and slices of carrot, radish, cucumber and other nutritious food stuffs in order to prevent the child from biting others or anything he gets.
Part of development process: Biting is also a part of normal development process, through which every child undergoes. During infancy the child passes through the “Oral Stage“ of development. At this stage children get a lot of satisfaction out of sucking, licking & biting things. So they chew & bite whatever comes in their hand and sometimes they even bite other children and adults too. They do this almost till the age of 2yrs. However in the absence of proper supervision and control, it might develop into a habit. So at this stage we need to keep the child under observation, in order to control this behavior.
Lack of understanding: Children are too young to understand things from others perspective. At this stage the child is not able to understand the pain other person experiences out of his biting, he only concentrates on the pleasure he gets out of biting others.
Inability to express: Sometimes the toddlers are not able to express their needs & feelings properly in words as a result they get angry and frustrated, so they may impulsively bite.
Disturbed Family Environment: If the child is not getting enough time, attention and love from parents, especially after the birth of second issue, or if parents have made strict schedules to which the child is not able to adjust, adopting very strict parenting style, inattention, lack of warmth & affection and disturbed family environment, are also some of the reasons behind such kind of behavior of the child.
Measures for control: In order to control the child, we need to keep him/her under constant supervision. We should stop the child from biting others by holding him back and saying "NO" firmly. You can also put any edible substance that tastes bad, into the child’s mouth just after the child bites anyone, so that the child can associate the unpleasant experience to follow after biting. This can help the child to unlearn the habit.
So we can teach appropriate behavior best by constant supervision, setting limits, spending quality time with the child, giving enough love and affection, by trying to understand the child’s special needs, giving the child a happy family environment and by becoming a good role model for our child.
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