|When your child:|
|BITES||CAN’T FALL ASLEEP||HURTS YOU OR OTHERS|
|It may mean your child:|
|Is still trying to put everything in his mouth (toddler).||Does not feel sleepy.||Is too young to understand.|
|Is teething and needs objects or harder foods to chew on (toddler).||Feels afraid.||Is inexperienced, angry or troubled.|
|Is using biting instead of words to communicate (toddler).||Does not feel comfortable.|
|Does not understand that biting hurts (toddler).||Wants attention.|
|Feels frustrated and has not developed other, more positive coping skills (pre-schooler).||Is interested in other things.|
|So do not:|
|Bite your child back.||Completely darken the room.||Get angry, punish or hurt your child.|
|Encourage another child to bite your child.||Reward or bribe your child.|
Threaten your child.
|Make your child feel badly by shaming, ignoring or withdrawing your love.|
|Make your child bite soap.||Scold or punish your child.|
Put your child to bed as punishment.
|Tie or restrain your child.|
|You might try:|
|Providing close supervision of the biter and being ready to step in to protect other children.||Avoiding over-stimulation near bed time.||Attending to the hurt child first and involving the child who did the hurting in the comforting.|
|Comforting the victim first. Tell the biter that biting hurts. Involve the biter in comforting the victim by bringing a cool, wet towel to put on the bite.||Reading, singing or playing with your child before bed.|
Playing soft background music.
|Observing when it happens, how often it happens, who is hurt and what happened before the hurting.|
|Providing an object to bite, such as a pillow or chewy toy.||Seeing that your child’s needs are met before going to bed.||Quietly separating the children.|
|Observing when your child bites, who the victim is, and your child’s reaction after biting.||Tucking your child in bed with affection.||Diverting their attention.|
|Helping your child to use words to cope with frustration.||Allowing your child to look at books or play with quiet toys.||Taking the hurting objects away, calmly and firmly.|
|Thinking about your time schedule, equipment, activities and guidance techniques. Are they creating or reducing stress for the children?||Offering assurance that you will wake the child up (before snack, when the others wake first or whatever is important).||Beginning to teach your child that hurting is not something to do.|
|Putting your child back to bed kindly but firmly.|
|Planning quiet activities for your child as he wakes up so he doesn’t just lie on the bed.|
Permission to reproduce granted by Child Action, Inc.