Our 18-month-old is one of the most laid back, mellow kids I’ve been around. Since our three kids are so close in age, we’re expecting our fourth & our middle child is rambunctious, his calm & pleasant disposition has been a wonderful blessing. He loves to play with his sisters, but they see him as The Destroyer – as he’s better at knocking stuff down. So he gets super excited when he’s around kids that are close to his size and age. And he loves to run up and give them hugs and kisses – only thing is, he doesn’t like to let go when he gives hugs & his kisses can turn into a painful experience for the receiver.
You have to catch him in the first split-second of the kiss, or else he takes things a step further and clamps down on the receiver’s cheek. Thankfully, we caught him just in time at his cousin’s first birthday party yesterday. His forceful hug scared her, but we were able to save her from being caught in his chompers. Unfortunately, a little girl at Church last night was not so fortunate, and we were called to the nursery in the middle of service. Our mellow son had bit a little girl and left her with a bruise. And we are mortified.
What are the words to say when your child bites? How do you stop your child from biting? Neither of our girls were ever biters, so being the parents of a biter is a completely new experience for us. Where did he even get the idea to bite? Is it because he has so many teeth? At 1, he already had 8 teeth – our girls only had 2 teeth at age 1. Is it because he’s a boy? How do we stop this behavior?
It’s not an everyday occurrence for him. He’s bit me three (maybe four) times in the last 6 months. A couple times he was playing and he’d put his mouth on my arm or leg and then chomp down. And once, while I was getting him dressed – I had him standing as I was pulling his pants up and he leaned forward and bit me on the shoulder. He bit his 5 year old cousin on the leg, while his cousin was laying down watching tv. He has bit a little boy in the nursery at Church, and he bit my 1 year old cousin at Christmas (with the kiss on the cheek maneuver).
I read a couple articles on toddler biting (here and here), and he seems to fall into the category of Emotional Overload “love-nip” biter. All his bites seem to be out of affection and he thinks he’s being nice (or funny) – as he’s all smiles or giggles before and after and not frustrated or angry. So I guess I’ll just keep trying to catch him and let him know that biting is bad and real kisses do not involve teeth. But in the meantime, keep your eyes open for our little Dracula Casanova!