Help! My Kid’s a Biter!


Help! My kid’s a Biter!

He is sweet, kind, loving, and cuddly. But for some reason, when he feels threatened, he bites. It happened often when he was younger. He would bite his brother or sister when they smothered him with too much affection or took away his toys. He would bite me when I attempted to help him transition from place to place or when he was disciplined for negative behavior. Sometimes, he would even bite for no apparent reason at all.

Help! My Kid's a Biter from Albuquerque Moms BlogI thought we had put all the biting behind us. He went about a year with no incidents at all. Then, the week before his fourth birthday, I got a message from his Pre-K teacher letting me know that he had bitten again. He bit not one, but TWO kids in his class that day. I went to get him from school as quickly as I could. As I spoke to him and his teacher, I questioned him about what had happened. He responded, “I bit some kids.” I questioned further, “some kids . . . tell me more.” He held up three fingers and said, “I bit three kids.”

Three kids? He bit three kids! My kid’s a biter?!

His teacher looked as surprised as I did. According to this child of mine, she had even missed one event.

He continued to tell me the story of how he had felt wronged and had responded in anger to each child. He was just a big ball of fury that day.

My husband and I spoke to him later and gave him firm consequences. We thought the message sank in.

Then, the next day, he bit his sister!

Why does he continue to respond like this?

This past week, we got a message from his teacher stating that he had an argument with another child in his class. He tried to take a toy away from the other child, and that child bit our child. The tables have turned.

I feel a little bad for admitting this, but him being bit did not make me upset. I felt intrigued to see how he would handle it, to see if it would change him at all. He said it really hurt to get bit. Perhaps, that will help him realize biting is not a great way to resolve problems. Also, I was a little relieved. Perhaps my child is not the only biter. Maybe it’s more common than I thought. Some other mom out there has to be saying, “Help! My kid’s a biter!” Maybe it’s a response kids have when they don’t know how to use their voices to say what they need to say.

At this point, we’re trying to help him learn to use words when he is upset, angry, or sad. If we’re around, we are quick to step in and help diffuse the situation.

But, as you well know, we can’t always be around.

We also refuse to run around cautioning every person he plays with to beware because he bites. It’s not like he’s a feral dog or something.

I don’t know, maybe there’s something else we’re supposed to be doing. Is there a manual I should read? “A Dummies Guide for Parents of Biters” or “Seven Foolproof Hacks When Your Kid Has Gone Feral” perhaps? As parents of kids who play with mine, would you prefer that he wear a shirt that says, “Caution: Give Him Whatever He Wants or He May Bite”? 

Albuquerque Mom's Blog, Help! My Kid's a Biter