Thursday, November 20, 2008

Biters Biting

Okay, raise your hand if any of your kids are or were biters?  Be honest, there is usually one in every family.  This happens in the eighteen month to three year old range.  I have had a couple biters in my family.   They are sneaky about it.  Biters can also be quite shameless about it.

My first born started biting the new baby, not right away, but when Grant could crawl around and touch his stuff, the biting began.  At first, I did not know what was going on, just that the baby was crying and Tyler was running the other way.  Sneaky, sneaky.  My niece was a biter too, but she was beyond cute as a toddler.  The Sunday school teacher actually told my sister that they had a biter in class, but did not know who it was.  My sister, being an honest but embarrassed mom, told the teacher it was my niece.  The Sunday school teacher refused to believe it, "she is an angel in class."  Sneaky sneaky.

Have you ever been bitten by a little one?  They always manage to get the smallest piece of skin in the most sensitive spot.  My niece, the biter, took a small chunk off the top of my shoulder, I almost dropped her it hurt so bad.  Then I did what I believe stops biting and what all the books tell you never to do, I bit her back.  Then I told the precious, shocked looking angel that I would not bite her if she did not bite me.  She never bit me again.  Quit calling 911 and reporting me, I did not break the skin, but I did make my point.

I did the same thing when my little chomper started to bite and I caught him at it.  I bit him back.  I know every book out there says not to do it, but it works.  My kids always stopped biting by the second bite back.  Their actions have to have consequences or they will just keep on doing what they are doing.  

Some of you are thinking I am nuts, and that is okay, but I truly believe it is the only thing that works with biters.  I had a neighbor who had a biter that was biting all of our kids at play dates.  I told her the only way to stop it was to bite him back.  She was appalled, and put her child in time out.  He came out of time out to bite again.  And again.  And again.  Pretty soon, our kids did not want to play with the biter.

I understand that today most books are touchy feely and never hurt their feelings type books.  Sometimes, you have to go back to the good old days.  I am a recovering biter and the only thing that stopped me was my mom biting me back.  Action, consequence.  Pretty black and white to a three year old.  I do not advocate any type of abuse, a little swat on a diapered butt is not abuse, neither is a small bite on the arm to prove a point.  

Your little guy or girl, and the age of eighteen months understands every word coming out of your mouth.  They are way smarter than we give them credit for and will manipulate a situation to their advantage.  I have seen this with my own eyes, it is true.

I totally understand that not all will agree with me on this, and I appreciate you knowing your own mind, I truly do.  I am just being honest about something that worked in my world of biting.

God bless you and yours.


Baby Z's Mom said...

It is true. When the biter is bit, either by another little one or the parent - the behavior stops. My DD was bit twice at daycare, she still talks about it. She was still biting us though, so I finally bit her back. She looked at me like I just cut her arm off, ran off calling to her Dad, "Mommy bite me!" Talk about guilt, but you know what, she doesn't bite. Sometimes you just have to do what you feel is best for your family and not listen to all the experts.

Christina said...

Bite on, momma, bite on!!! Woo!