Thursday, August 5, 2010

Biting...Advice Please!!

My intention was to blog today about all the words they've been saying. After this morning's incident, it's time to talk about biting. Both boys had a little bit of a biting issue when they first started teething. Ethan stopped as soon as his mouth filled up with teeth. His bites were usually your fingers on a little munch on your shoulder when you were holding him. Lucas, however, has not stopped and he's graduated from misdemeanor biting to felony biting.

He used to bit at your shoulder when you were holding him, your belly if he was sitting in front of you, my knees if I'm on the floor with my knees in the air, my ankles if my legs were straight out in front of me. Now he's biting Ethan. But he's not biting Ethan the same ways he's biting me or James, he's leaning over and chomping on Ethan's cheek. He's done it twice now. "No Bite!!" isn't working. I've asked a few friends and they've suggested that we bit Lucas back. Not hard enough to leave marks, but hard enough where he learns that it hurts. Those who've suggested it say it worked for their kids. These are people I trust and their kids are well behaved. We have to teach him not to bite. I'm confident this will end when he isn't teething anymore, but the boy has 4 front teeth and two molars that have started to come in. We have a LONG way to go before he's finished. What do I do? I want to teach him that it hurts and is wrong. Do I bite him back? Time out doesn't work. He gets distracted, but it isn't teaching him not to do it.

I'm also dealing with him learning not to turn off the tv. We have a flat screen in the living room and James said it's not good for him to keep turning it on and off. Plus it's annoying, whether I'm watching something or if it's off and he turns it on. He loves to cruise up to the tv, press the button, then turn around and smile. I said firmly NO, smack his hand and he laughs. Why is he laughing? Does he not see me as a disciplinarian? They've never really done anything up to this point that required more than a NO NO. I'm not really sure where to go fro here; what to do. Help me, please. What did/would you do???


Amy said...

oh boy! and toddlerhood is just beginning, haha! here's my take.

the biting: i would not bite back. he is too little right now to understand cause and effect. i've heard the bit back method work, but for older children that understand that the bite is causing them pain, so they shouldn't do it to someone else. little Lucas is too small to comprehend all of that. i used to work in daycare a lot with this age of children. when biting would become an issue we would have to be on bite-mode all.the.time. you can figure out why and when he is biting if you watch him like a hawk and learn what type of circumstances he is in to make him bite. then you can alleviate it next time around. i know this is what child psychologists do as well.

with the tv thing, the little guy is testing his limits with you. i would agree with you in that maybe he doesn't see you as a disciplinarian? every time he attempts to turn the tv off, walk over to him, get down to his level, and firmly tell him "we do NOT touch the tv." then get him involved in something else. also, i'm pretty sure they make guards for electronics like this. maybe try that? or else stick some duct tape on it, that outa do the trick, ha!

good luck, mama!

Alicea said...

I completely agree with Amy - do not bite back. That doesn't teach them anything other than that it must be ok if Mommy does it. He's way too young to understand discipline. You just need to stop him, redirect him and praise him when he stops. Always remember positive reinforcement! They burned it into our brains when I worked at the daycare - I worked with toddlers for 4 years.

Kyle has started doing this, too, but I just stop him in his tracks and tell him no and then give him one of his teething toys. I tell him "no biting people, but you can bite your toys, teething rings, etc.". Always follow your "don'ts" with "dos".

Good luck!