Biting is not a nice habit

I’m really struggling with my little man at the moment.  Most of the time he is lovely, funny and a joy to be with.  But then there are times when I just feel like the worst Mum in the world.  Biting is not a nice habit, but Monkey is doing just that to all and sundry when he doesn’t get his own way.

Regular readers will know that we meet up with our NCT group every Monday afternoon.  For me, these meet ups are becoming really stressful.  Monkey is always tired in the afternoon, so it’s never the best time to put him in a group situation anyway.  Although his language is really good now, I guess he is still a way behind the others in being able to properly express himself.  His way with dealing with someone who takes a toy he wants to or is playing with is to push/pull them, grab their faces and if all that fails to get what he wants, he just bites them, HARD.  It is obviously, very upsetting for his playmate, as of today, I think he has now eaten his way through the whole group.  It’s obviously very upsetting for my friends and I just feel like a rubbish Mum.

I take him out of the situation, explain over and over again that he’s hurting people and explain a better way of talking through what he would like to achieve, but still he bites first and thinks afterwards.  He always has to apologise to his friend, they obviously aren’t so happy to accept it.

I know all kids go through stages, that doesn’t help when it’s your child inflicting pain on another.  He’s a big boy and his bites are not little nips.

My friends are supportive, but having been the parent of the child that’s been bitten before I know how you start feeling.  Aaargh! What to do?  How long before we’re on to a different problem?  How do I stop my son’s cannibal tendencies?

I just dread that his friends just won’t want to ‘play’ with him before long.  Kids speak their minds, I wouldn’t blame them.

It’s so annoying, when you know that actually he know’s it’s the wrong thing to do.  Is it worst because he’s an only child?  Is he spoilt? Probably?  The guilt of not giving him a brother or sister?  Is it somehow more acceptable to have this issue with a sibling?  I don’t know.  It’s late, I’m tired, but worried.  He can be such a loveable little thing, I hate seeing this side of him.  Why can’t I seem to teach him to deal with the situation differently?

Biting is not a nice habit, I know he know’s that, where am I going wrong?

About Over 40 and a Mum to One

I'm a Mum in my late 40′s with a 7 year old son. I had a busy life in Export Sales before my Monkey came along, but decided to become a stay at home Mum once he arrived. Now I enjoy writing my own family lifestyle and travel blog. sharing the adventures that we have as Monkey makes his journey through school.We have a cat called Brewster who makes appearances and I’m a mad Ferrari Formula 1 fan, so that expect to hear about as each season unfolds.We love reviewing toys, games and books and would love the opportunity to look at anything that fits in with our family lifestyle. We are always out and about and offering an insight on the places we visit, with a passion for nature thrown in for good measure.If you like what you read please leave me a comment, I love to hear from people, and always try to reply. Enjoy the read.

12 thoughts on “Biting is not a nice habit

  1. I don’t think you are going wrong anywhere mary, children are all different and cope differently in different situations. He will grow out of it eventually! If he is not able to express himself as much in a group situation, despite having good language now, then he will still get frustrated and maybe biting is a result of that?? Hope you get it sorted with him! Mr R is a biter!! He is younger though, but at times I’ve found it funny – I know you shouldn’t laugh but when he is annoyed with one of his brothers he launches himself towards them mouth first with his teeth showing and it looks so hilarious. Obviously if I see his, I do come in the middle and stop him before he is able to sink his teeth in :p

  2. Mary a bad mother is one that wouldnt care what their child does. That hit there child , neglected them and caused them sadness and pain. you are an amazing mum. You devote your whole life to that little boy. its nothing to do with being an only child and you must stop blaming yourself. B has bitten his best friend twice now and he has boys excuses in the “unable to express” himself. i was mortified and spoke to the health visitor who told me just how normal it was. Children certainly Dont learn to bite from theit parents.

  3. As long as you continue to make him aware that biting is wrong and take him away from the situation, then there is nothing more you can do. Unfortunately some children will go through stages like this but it passes.
    Your parenting skills are not to blame or the lack of siblings. It’s his way of coping in situations that he is not in control of, and he will find other coping strategies as he develops.
    Maybe this might help
    http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Parenting-Skills/-/Discipline-and-Reward/Put-a-stop-to-biting.aspx
    xx

  4. Honestly, it is ‘just a phase’! Both my kids have done it, and they are not generally violent children (well A isn’t….his sister has her moments though!!). When A was just under 3 he repeatedly bit the same friend at pre school. The other child was Polish and did not speak much English, and A was not fluent either at that stage, so there were some ‘communication issues’! Mostly they played together nicely, but every so often one child would want a toy the other had and A would get pushed by the older boy and his response was to bite. Luckily the other Mum was pretty understanding and we both thought the pre school staff should really be getting in there before it escalated. A started a different pre school after the summer anyway and has never bitten since (although he did whack his best friend round the head with a doll the other day, it was very out of character for him these days!).

    My darling daughter who is just a month younger than Monkey is a bit more feisty and before Easter I had to sign 3 forms in 2 days for her biting 3 different (older!)boys at pre school……slightly embarrassing! I suspect most incidents were a result of her being provoked, but that is no excuse. She likes to play with the older boys as she thinks she is a 5 yr old boy she spend so much time with her brother and his friends. I asked for them to do her a sticker chart if she played nicely all day. She also understood that if she carried on biting no-one would want to play with her. She stopped doing it after that for months…..until she bit someone (again a boy, never the girls!) on penultimate day of term, but the other child had pushed her first apparently.

    I don’t know the answer. I think just being consistent, make sure he understands there is a consequence e.g. if A misbehaves on a warning his Scooby Doo toys go in the garage for the rest of the day! I enjoys a spot of time out on the stairs as the immediate that works better on her than on A. Sticker charts have generally worked with my two. Most of all, just try and intervene before the bite happens and take them to one side to ‘think about it’…your friends will understand. Make sure you have pre school ‘on board’ and that they are dealing with the behaviour the same way you do.

    1. Yes, I’ll mention it when he starts his new pre-school. He’s so damned quick, I do watch him like a hawk as it’s such an issue with him but he is so quick, I never get there in time to stop the crunch 🙁

  5. You’re so not a bad mother – you’re great. You’re trying to do your very best, which makes you great. I know plenty of children go through this phase, though so far (touch wood!) my daughter hasn’t and we’ll have to see if Little Man does. If he bites, and you explain it’s wrong and get him to apologise, what then? Is it worth the consequence being immediate – i.e. you leave the group and all the fun? Along with then, putting in place a reward chart for all the times he’s great and behaves in social situations? Hope it all resolves soon, as I feel your distress x

  6. I have the same problem with H. Do NOT think you are a bad mum. We all have these thoughts but we can only take the time to explain and show them the right way forward.

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