Growing of teeth is a very tough time for children. Playgroup toddlers, during this stage, are seen biting without any regards to what their actions may lead to in the future. Biting can inflict serious physical harm on the toddler if they are not stopped. Aggressive biting commonly takes place between the age of 18 months and 29 months; this is the time when kids are unable to communicate using the verbal method. He can only communicate using his actions. A child usually stops his biting habits when he is able to communicate with words.
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Role as a parent:
1. Understand: Biting usually begins as a socially incorrect gesture. However, if this is not checked, it can turn into aggressive behaviors. This is why you need to amend this before they become a part of the child.
2. Do not bite back: You need to give your child an early lesson of empathy and teach sensitivity to him or her. You can adopt the tooth-for-tooth method. Press the forearm of your child against his or her upper teeth and ask to bite, not in an angry manner, but only as a part of your teaching. This will instill upon the child’s mind that biting hurts!
3. Look out for a mean streak: Keep a watch on your toddler; see if he or she is habitual to banging toys or throwing them. If this becomes a habit, they are at a risk of treating humans in a similar way. Encourage gentle play and show them it is good to be sensitive, even to their toys. Ask them to hug the doll, or pet the toy.
4. Supervise: It is important that you keep a supervising eye on your child. You can talk to the teachers or other parents. Many have gone through similar phases and they might be able to show you the right way to deal with your toddler who bites. As a parent, it is important that you play your part right. Often, parents of biters are blamed for their aggressive behavior.
Role as a teacher:
1. Find out the source of the behavior: As a teacher, you should know what triggers a child’s aggressive behavior. Keep a journal, if that helps you.
2. Teach the kids what being gentle means: If you see a child demonstrating aggressive behaviors such as snatching or pushing, gently tell him that he is wrong in doing so. Teach them to say sorry. On your part, make sure you do not show similar behavior in front of the children. They do what they see.
3. Reward: It is seen that children often respond to rewards better than any other type of incentive. Tell them they will get a surprise reward if they keep their best behaviors.
As guardians, parents and teachers, it is our responsibility to ensure that children do not make aggressiveness a part of their daily life.