Our Children, Our Future

Have You Ever Wondered Why Toddlers Bite?


Illustration by Zahari Hamidon

Have you ever encountered problems with your toddler biting other children in the nursery? Well actually this is a common behaviour. When children are afraid or feeling frustrated they do not know how to vocalise their feelings and frustration. The only next best way they know how to release their tension is by biting.  Some times even when a parent leaves home for a long time it could build up frustration for the toddler, who on the other hand do not know how to release it. Research has also shown that these frustrations could also be a long term hidden frustration  such as difficulty  during delivery.

So what can we do as adults to help? Sometimes toddlers need to be observed, to see what actually is frustrating them. We could actually help to lessen the frustration or show them another  avenue to throw out their frustration. Showing children that biting hurts by saying out loud, ouch! that hurts, would help the toddler to understand that biting is painful. Teacher could use stories and role play to help toddlers understand how painful biting is and why it should not be done. No blaming , scolding and hitting should be done to teach the toddler as that would also teach the toddler  that physical use of force is acceptable.

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