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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Reducing Biting in Children Ages 15 to 36 Months

Reducing Biting in Children Ages 15 to 36 Months

Overview

Children who are 15 months to 3 years old may bite other people out of frustration or when they want power or control over another person. Some ways you can help prevent a child this age from biting include:

  • Helping the child put words to his or her feelings, such as, "You must feel angry with Bobby for taking your toy."
  • Encouraging the child to use language to express himself or herself. Say, "Use your words, don't bite."
  • Teaching your child empathy, which is understanding and being sensitive to the feelings of others.
  • Encouraging activities appropriate for a child's age and abilities. To prevent frustration, avoid activities that are too difficult or competitive.
  • Distracting a child who is becoming frustrated with other types of play, such as dancing. Or you may want to suggest a calming activity, such as reading or working on a puzzle.
  • Stopping a child who appears ready to bite someone. Get the child's attention by looking straight in his or her eyes. Use a stern voice and expression and say, "No. We never bite people."
  • Praising a child who handles frustration successfully. Say, "Great job. You used your words when you felt angry."

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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