He bites a child

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Parenting Skills -

1 SET A GOOD EX­AM­PLE

Im­me­di­ately apol­o­gise to the other child and par­ent, and ex­press sym­pa­thy to en­cour­age your child to em­pathise. M&B ex­pert and child psy­chol­o­gist Sally-Anne McCor­mack says your lit­tle one will see you show­ing attention to some­one else and will soon re­alise this isn’t the out­come he wanted from the be­hav­iour.

“Help him learn words that de­scribe how he’s feel­ing so he doesn’t have to use ac­tions in fu­ture,” she says. A good way is sim­ply to ex­plain to him how he must be feel­ing. “For ex­am­ple, try say­ing, ‘You’re an­gry be­cause he took your toy.’ This shows your tod­dler you un­der­stand and helps him build a vo­cab­u­lary to ex­plain his feel­ings in fu­ture, in­stead of act­ing on them.”

2 BE FIRM AND EX­PLAIN

Bit­ing feels good be­cause it is a sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially if your lit­tle one has started teething. But when he bites friends (or you), be con­sis­tent and firm in your re­sponse. Re­move him from the sit­u­a­tion and say, “No, that makes me feel sad.” Ac­cord­ing to Sally-Anne, ‘sad’ is an emo­tion most tod­dlers will un­der­stand.

3 COUNT IT DOWN

Shar­ing is a chal­lenge, so make it eas­ier by us­ing count­ing. Tell your tod­dler that each child can have the toy or book for a cer­tain amount of time, then start the count­down un­til it’s his turn. This helps him learn pa­tience and how to take turns, which are two key life skills.

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