Biting can be stopped!

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Did you know that most children bite at some stage of development? We explore the world first with our mouths. It is a tool that is available to us at all times of the day and night. That said, when a child is biting self, others, or inappropriate items, it is our job to guide a child to use the mouth for more appropriate actions.

First, always determine if there is a medical reason that your child may be biting. Is there a loose tooth? A pain may also be somewhere other than the mouth but biting is a way to communicate that pain.

Assuming your child is not biting to communicate pain, they may be communicating a need for sensory input in their mouth.

When biting is about to happen or is in action, offering other biting or mouthing choices immediately can provide quick relief from a stressful situation.

For longer term solutions for meeting sensory needs, create a “bite box”, that includes things that are acceptable to bite. Bring the box out periodically throughout the day for practice AND when your child seems to need to use his mouth for biting.

Biting can be quite painful and surprising. It can trigger the best of us to lose our cool. Having alternative options ready, providing practice, AND ensuring your own stress level is kept manageable can reduce biting quickly and efficiently.

Is this tip helpful? Are you looking for more ways to deal with challenging behaviors? If yes, check out our Calm the Chaos at Home video tutorial series. Click HERE to access practical tips you can apply immediately.

Are you an early educator looking to calm the chaos in your classroom? Click HERE to access our calming the chaos classroom series. Oh, and the product description includes a free tip sheet about biting. Click here to access and download.

Make A Statement

A great way to move from a “no” to a “yes” is to simply stop asking yes or no questions.

Instead, change your question to offer acceptable choices by making a statement.

Offering choices visually can also provide support and ensure you have thought through the acceptable responses for a given situation.

For example, bring your child over to the closet and state, “You can wear the blue pants or the brown pants?” while clearly showing the choice between two pairs of pants.

This said, be prepared to meet the negotiator who adds their own choice to the mix. In other words, be prepared with an open mind to allow unique ideas that may surprise you versus feeling like you have to hold your ground just “because you said so.”

Also, when modifying how you ask questions, avoid those which can be answered with a yes or a no. Instead, try asking open-ended questions.

For example, “What do you want to wear today?”

In these instances, however, be prepared for choices that may not align with your preferences.

Is this tip helpful? Are you looking for more ways to deal with challenging behaviors? If yes, check out our Calm the Chaos at Home video tutorial series. Click HERE to access practical tips you can apply immediately.

Are you an early educator looking to calm the chaos in your classroom? Click HERE to access our calming the chaos classroom series.

Calm the Chaos at Home

calm-the-chaos-at-homeWe heard your requests to bring our teacher tips to parents, too! We are working on a whole new interactive format that parents (and others) can listen to or watch online.

Parents love their children but may not have the training and experience that teachers have in managing challenging behaviors. This series is designed for parents to have an understanding of how to teach before the peak, calm the storm, and stay on the blue train of regulation versus getting on the red train with your child which tends to go off the rails! When everyone is using the same techniques, children feel and are comforted by that consistency.

Can’t wait to share with you later this week!

Barb Avila