Friday, October 12, 2012

14-month old biting

Hello Kay!

I'd like to first thank you for taking the time to read my question. I have a 14 month old girl who just started biting in anger and frustration. My son who is now 3 was never a biter, so this is new territory for me! In the past two weeks, we started her in a day care program from 8 - 12 each day, moved her from two naps to one and she's also cutting 3 teeth. A lot for a little one to handle! However, the biting is very concerning to me, and I want to address it quickly and correctly.

My husband and I have told her no very firmly, but it doesn't phase her. From what I've read, it's normal behavior at this age, but she's gone from my sweet baby to "spirited" toddler pretty fast. I appreciate any thoughts!
Thanks again.
Jennifer

Dear Jennifer:

Biting is always a challenge for parents. I strongly encourage you to run to the book store. There is agreat little book of which I cannot remember the name of however it goes like this...teeth are not for biting others, they are for biting apples, hands are not for hitting, they are for catching balls, feet are not for kicking...you get the idea. Look around I am sure you can find it or a similar book. Also look for books which help her identify her feelings of frustration and anger. The more she can identify her feelings and express them with words the less likely she will be to act them out. Children often are not granted a large feeling vocabulary.

Another suggestion is to teach her feeling words with sign language! This too can be a great relief to sign out her feelings. Especially if everyone in the house models the behavior it will reinforce more positive expressions!
Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller