As both a mother and an early childhood educator I have experienced biting in childcare from both positions and I can tell you it hurts. It hurts both as a parent and an educator to see a little one your own or someone else’s little person get upset because another little person has bitten them.
But, why do children bite?
Children bite for a number of reasons, some of which may include:
- Acting out of frustration
- they’re unable to clearly express themselves or communicate what they need
- they want a certain reaction
- they are teething and are attempting to soothe their gums, or
- they are exploring the world around them.
There are many strategies educators use to support children & preventing biting. Some of these include redirecting the child, supporting the child to self-regulate, and consistently promoting & demonstrating positive behaviours.
What can you do if your child is biting?
- Speak with your Educators about your concerns. Biting is common with young children and while it is not a pleasant experience your Educators are experienced in supporting children & families with strategies to minimise these behaviours.
- Get down on the same level as your child and explain to them that by biting it has hurt their friend.
- Redirect & support your child to self-regulate if they tend to bite when they are overexcited.
- Provide teething children with appropriate items to soothe their gums.
It’s important to keep in mind that while they won’t always understand that biting hurts it’s okay because they will learn empathy and sympathy, it just takes time, and these little people are exactly that little people.
For more information check out this handy link: biting-in-childcare.pdf (startingblocks.gov.au)