Positive Ways To Manage Hurtful Behavior

How to Stop My Child from Biting Step by Step

This page explains the specific steps I take as a biting specialist in solving biting issues at home or in group care.          As either a parent or as an early childhood educator, you too can learn how to solve biting problems quickly. Just follow these steps and use the tools on this website and/or in the book.

However, if you want my personal assistance, please get in touch with me directly. I am more than happy to help you develop a customized Action Plan and provide targeted training for the teaching team and the parents. I can observe the child and meet with you in person here in the New York City area OR I can work with you remotely via phone/email, anywhere in the nation or even internationally. Simply go to "Get Help" on the menu bar for contact information.

  • Step 1

    Go to the menu bar and review the Seven Reasons for biting. Both parents and teachers should answer these questions. Keep close tabs on any attempted bites or actual bites by using detailed documentation such as the Sample Incident Form found in the Tools section of the menu bar. This is critical to assess patterns to the biting, i.e., time of day, location, etc. 

  • Step 2

    Ask someone (not a teacher currently needed in the ratio) to do a running observation of the child in his/her group care setting during a free choice time. Write down everything the child says and does for at least 30 minutes, longer if possible, during a time that tends to be when bites occur. Watch for what captures the child’s interest, what stresses the child, how the child makes choices about who to talk to and how to spend his/her time, how others react or intervene, etc. Share this document with the child’s parents. Having this level of detail will help you to customize your solutions for this child.

  • Step 3

    Go to the Tools section on the menu bar to download and print out the Temperament Article and Temperament Worksheet. Both parents and teachers should fill out this form and compare notes, to really understand the toddler or child’s individual style. This activity will be one key to your success in solving the biting problem.

  • Step 4

    Review the Case Study on this website (there are five of these case studies in my book) to see how a customized Action Plan Worksheet is developed. One person should take responsibility for creating a first draft, then it can be adjusted after your next parent-teacher conference. This is an iterative process. First, download the Action Plan Worksheet found under Tools. For each of the seven categories in this form, type your "findings" about the biting from your recent observations, incident reports, and meetings into the column on the left (which will expand as you type). Then, create your "solutions" to the biting in the column on the right based on the Biting Solution book, this website, and through your meetings. Be sure to download the Instructive Intervention Guide and Sample Coaching Dialogue, found in Tools.