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Gentle Ways to Prevent Biting, Hitting, and other Misbehavior

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 11-01-2007

Biting and hitting are obviously signs of aggression; but they are also signs of frustration. Words don’t come easily for toddlers below 2 years, and hitting may sometimes seem to be the only way they can express their frustrations. Parents should understand such behavior as a form of ‘communication’ and try to understand what is really going on in their children’s lives.

Here are some suggestions to help control your kids’ behavior:

  • Stay Calm: Don’t respond with yelling and hitting your children – you will only exacerbate the situation.

  • Avoid lectures: Toddlers are not capable of cognitively understanding the problem of hitting others. Firmly say “No bite!”

  • Show them it hurts: Let your children know that it feels real bad when they act aggressively

  • Teach them control: Show them alternative ways of dealing with their feelings – like talking them out or counting to ten before they break out

  • Solve the problem: Separate the victim of biting/hitting from the situation. Administer proper first aid if required (see below). Don’t ask for explanations from the aggressor

  • Be realistic and appreciative: Show faith in your children’s natural goodness and their ability to change for the better
A short guide to treating Human Bites:

  • Clean the hurt area with soap and water Cover the area immediately with a sterile bandage

  • If the child’s skin is broken, it is time to visit the doctor
Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please consult your doctor.