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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bite me

The biting continues.

Never having bit anyone before, the girl has bitten her brother five times since yesterday. Four of those were today. The husband and I can't figure out where this is coming from. Is she suddenly now, after almost nine months, jealous of her brother? Is she mad? Anxious? Wanting attention?

We were both feeling uncertain about what to do. So we did what we always do when we don't know something. We turned to Google.

And it turns out, at least according to the Supernanny, that what we have been doing up until now is wrong. I'll admit it, I got upset with the girl when she bit her brother. Maybe not the first time, but by the third time I did yell at her. Each time my reaction was to pick up the boy, tell her "no" and give her a timeout. As the day wore on I had less and less patience and my voice was getting louder and louder. She knows she isn't supposed to bite. When I asked her why she was biting she said "because biting is wrong". What kind of weird toddler logic is that?

After reading this article we have a new strategy for tomorrow. The girl and boy will not be left in the room alone together (although she did bite him right in front of me today so that may not have too much of an impact) and we will praise her for not biting (the things I never thought I would do). If she does bite him we will say "no", give her a timeout and then lavish attention on the boy. Instead of dwelling on the why and giving her attention after the biting, he will get the attention.

As much as I was tempted today, apparently biting the child to show them biting actually does hurt is not a good idea.


  1. She already told you he's tasty. She's just going back for a snack ;)

  2. Yikes, I hope the new techniques work! Good luck.

    Once, as a very little kid, I hit my mum... She told me, "Oh, we're playing "Knuckles-til-they-bleed", are we? Okay, my turn" and she hit me back!
    I was surprised but figured okay, it's my turn and hit her again. She said, "Are you sure you want to keep playing? Then it's my turn again" and hit me again!
    I figured out pretty darn quick that I didn't like the game too much and the next time she asked me if I I wanted to keep playing I said no!

    I'm not suggesting that as a parenting technique (though it sure made an impression on me), but I can see your temptation to bite to show that it hurts!

  3. Hilarious that she said 'he was tasty'.

    The only thing that worked for me was biting him back - so I'm not the best person to help you probably :)