Babies explore everything with their hands and with their mouth, and it is normal that from an early age they want to put everything in their mouth. But from 13 months to 3 years, children acquire a very common habit that is biting, not with the intention of exploring but to express repressed desires, feelings and emotions.
BITING CAN ALSO BE A CURIOSITY REACTION TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS OR WHAT EFFECT IT PRODUCES
When I decided to take my son to kindergarten for the first time, my biggest fear was that something would happen to him or some child would hurt him, but my surprise was that he had been the naughty one and that he had bitten one of his classmates on the hand . I did not understand very well what was happening or why he behaved like that. I felt ashamed with child’s mother. The truth was that I was schocked.
The teacher explained to me that some children bite for different reasons, some do it more out of frustration of being in a place they don’t want, when they feel like they are invading their territory or because they want to protect something they consider theirs and are not interested in sharing.
Also, this reaction is manifested because at times they feel stressed, feel that they do not go out or do not receive the same attention as other children, using this maneuver to attract the attention of baby sitters, teachers and parents.
This type of behavior becomes more noticeable when they enter school or kindergarten, the change of environment generates greater pressure on the activities they must carry out and they do not know how to handle some situations, often feeling paralyzed and scared, biting is a form of express repressed feelings or simply take it as a defense weapon when they fear that they will be hurt.
Biting can also be a reaction of curiosity to see what happens or what effect it produces, when they are energetic they may want to bite, it can be a wrong reaction or expression of emotion.
A change of house, a new little brother can also increase this habit, so understanding is vital to be able to help them effectively. First, identifying the reason for their reaction in order to correct and focus children to express their emotions appropriately.
The recommendations that the teacher gave me were that, before this act, they should be explained that biting hurts and that it is an incorrect action, punishing them is not effective in these cases, because it will only make them rebellious by not feeling understood, it is better always keep calm.
Prohibiting a behavior does not make them understand what the appropriate reaction is, examples and explanations must be given. These should be given within the daily habits, show them how to relate, teach them to hug, speak and express what they feel, make them wait turns and borrow when they want to take something from someone. Being kind to other children by sharing games and toys is something they learn little by little as they adapt to new spaces and interact with their mates. This type of socialization will diminish aggressive reactions.
You should never respond with an equal action, biting a child who bites is not the best way for them to understand, scolding in public is not a way for them to change either. It is always better to dialogue and teach by example within the affective bond, with love so that they also give love.
Praising and congratulating them when they react correctly will reinforce their good behavior, making them more and more aware of their actions.