The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning at Vanderbilt University offers an excellent guide for Responding to Your Child’s Bite, a behavior with which many parents of young children have had to contend. This article is definitely one you’ll want to save for future reference.
The authors explore the many reasons why children bite and give very specific ideas about what parents and caregivers can do. They suggest quickly and calmly removing the child from the situation, directing your attention to the person who was bitten (rather than the biter), acknowledging the biter’s feelings, and offering alternative behaviors the biter can use to express strong emotions, such as saying “Stop!” or “Help!” The article also describes the need for patience and proactive monitoring, discussing with other caregivers how to respond, and teaching the child about teeth and what they are for. They even recommend a handful of books to read with your child who bites (Teeth Are Not for Biting by Elizabeth Verdick; No Biting by Karen Katz; No Biting, Louise by Margie Palatini) so you can discuss the problem at a time other than during the heat of the moment when it is occurring.
Check out and save a copy of the article. You’ll be glad you did! Also, feel free to leave your comments and observations below. We’d love to hear from you.
The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, click here.
This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:
- Core Knowledge (CK):
- CK2: The role of primary social and emotional relationships as the foundation for early learning.
- Evaluation and Assessment (EA):
- EA1: Knows strategies that support parents/caregivers in identifying and articulating their concerns about their infant/toddler’s development and needs.
- Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-i):
- IFSP-i1 (EIS): Knows generic and specific evidence-based early intervention strategies to support all areas of development.
- IFSP-i6 (EIS): Understands the need for developmentally appropriate strategies (for example, hands-on, experiential, child-centered, play-based activities within daily routines), adaptations, assistive technologies and other supports that maximize the child’s learning opportunities.