The Parenting Clubhouse Podcast Episode 70: Is It Normal for My Kid to Bite?

behavior biting podcast Jul 21, 2020


Hi, hi! Welcome back! Within the past few months I’ve had some parents approach me and I’ve seen numerous parents on social media ask openly in groups about whether a certain behavior is “normal” for their child. And as I’ve been observing these conversations, especially since more parents are spending more time with their children because of the pandemic, I decided to launch a new series on the podcast all about answering and addressing these questions about certain behaviors. So today is the launch of this new series, and today we are talking about biting! Oh, a good topic, I know!

(And just for the record, if there’s a specific behavior you want me to chat about in future episodes, send me a message on Instagram or Facebook, and know that you can do that about anything you want to hear about on the podcast.)

And if you’re here to learn about some strategies to help manage minor misbehaviors, like whining, pouting, or mini tantrums, check out my Regain Control course at www.bit.ly/regaincontrolnow.

Alright, now let’s chat about biting. Let’s go to the show!

Biting is a really great topic to start this behavior series off with because it’s a behavior that has a lot of parents really concerned, and rightly so.

We often question: Will my child bite other people besides me? What if my kid bites his younger siblings? What if my kid goes to school or goes to daycare and bites his peers? We are left feeling that biting can make us look like bad parents!

And then we have our own beliefs about biting: Biting is not healthy, it’s not sanitary. I don’t want my kid to be the mean kid or the bully who bites other kids. Biting is not the right way to respond in a situation. Something is wrong with my child for biting other people.

Before we get into “is it normal” for my kid to bite or what should I do if my kid bites, we first need to know what biting is, what it includes. (And, really, that’s important for any behavior we talk about.)  

Biting for the most part includes a child putting her mouth on another person, using teeth, and putting force down. It may be one solid strike or it may be more like chewing. It may leave marks if enough force is applied.

Next, we need to ask why our child is biting.

It may be to get access to something the child likes. It may be to escape or get out of cleaning up toys. It may be to get attention from an adult. It may be for sensory reasons, to get a sensory stimulation. And it’s possible that a child may bite for a combination of these reasons.

Yet, it may be difficult to really pinpoint why a child is biting. So how do we know what to do? How do we respond?

Because we may not know how to respond based off of why the child is doing the behavior in the first place, there are a couple of things we can do. First, don’t give in. And second, teach the child an alternative way to get whatever it is that she’s trying to get with the biting.

Like I said, biting can be a really intimidating behavior to deal with, because when it happens, you are likely to be immediately frazzled because your kid just bit you, her sibling, or a peer. Yikes!

But take a deep breath, think about what is going on in that situation, and respond neutrally.

If you’re looking for standard procedures and recommendations for minor unwanted behaviors, check out my Regain Control course at www.bit.ly/regaincontrolnow. My 3 Hacks to Make Behavior Stop at www.bit.ly/3tipsfreebie may also be helpful to you.

My goal is to give you the knowledge to feel more prepared to handle this situation, both mentally and physically. I hope it helps!

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