It might be shocking the first time your little one bites another child, but by the time most children are in preschool, they have bitten someone. They have also been on the receiving end of a bite as well.

As children get older, and they can talk about their feelings, biting tends to subside. However when children are preschool age, biting is always a possibility. Children bite when they are overcome with emotions such as frustration or anger that they are not able to express with words. They might also bite because another child bit them or sometimes children bite when they feel cornered or under attack.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your child does not want to bite, and they do not want to hurt other people. They want to explore and play with their friends and just don’t know yet how to express their negative feelings effectively. As a parent you want to help your child grow, not just stop their “bad” behavior. Therefore, finding out what is causing your child to bite is the first step to stopping it.

Here is what you can do when your child does bite:

  • Separate the children involved and make sure both of them are a safe distance away from each other.
  • Set boundaries, and do not punish or blame either child. Stay calm. – You might be tempted to punish the biter to impress upon them how serious their actions were, but this can actually lead to more aggression.
  • Help both of the children, because both the aggressor and the bitten child need your attention. – You might need to administer medical help to the bitten child and they will need lots of caring and warmth. The child who did the biting needs warmth and caring too. This will help them express their emotions about the bite, and about what was bothering them in the first place.
  • Reassure your preschooler that they can come to you when they are upset. Your child needs to know that they can come to you when they are angry, sad, frustrated or they are struggling with any negative emotions. Make sure you give your child your full attention when they do come to you, so they feel comfortable and safe confiding in you.

At Montessori Children’s Center, our teachers guide the classroom in a way that allows each child to feel supported and heard. To see the difference for yourself, please contact us to schedule a tour of our Fremont preschool today.