While picking your child up at preschool, you find out he's bitten another student. Humiliated, you wonder what the cause was and how you can prevent it from happening again. Children bite for a variety of reasons, and while you can't promise that your child will never bite again, you can figure out why your child is biting and find activities to curb the behavior.
Teach Personal Space
Biting can sometimes occur when your child feels crowded by a tight space or by other children. You can teach your child about personal bubbles and how to create his own personal space. Put your arms out to your sides and spin in a circle. Have your child copy you and explain to him that all around him he has about an arm's length of his own personal space. Reinforce this idea by playing bubble tag with your preschooler. Anytime your child is able to get within your arm's length of personal space, he has popped your bubble and you are "it."
Preschoolers can get stressed too. Moving to a new home, a change in the family dynamic or just being too busy can cause kids to feel out of sorts. Your preschooler might be biting because he has no other way to relieve stress. Try to decompress with your child by engaging in some silly dance moves. Throw on some music and get in the groove. If your child prefers a quieter activity, blowing bubbles induces slow controlled breathing and is a fun way to relieve stress.
Another reason your preschooler might be biting is frustration at his limited verbal skills. Although your preschooler might talk incessantly to you at home, he might not have the words he needs to communicate when he wants another child to back off. Cut pictures from books or magazines of children playing in different settings. Hold them up and use them to tell a story about what might be happening. For example, tell your preschooler that one child wants a turn but the other child isn't sharing. Ask your preschooler what he should do. Suggest using words in these settings such as: "My turn," "I need my space" or "Give me back that toy."
Engage in Play
If you suspect your child is biting because he is bored or wants attention, you need to be prepared with plenty of activities during play dates or time he will be spending with siblings. Sensory play in water, sand, or clay is calming and usually appealing to preschool aged children. Keep your child entertained and busy and he might not even think to bite. Spend some extra time lavishing attention on your child by reading books together or playing a game.
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