Topic 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.”

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD – Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD – Pediatrics

Current as ofMay 4, 2017

Current as of:
May 4, 2017