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Q&A:
My toddler gets bite marks at day care -- what should I do?

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Question


My daughter will be 3 tomorrow, and for the last six months she has insisted that she is a boy. I never thought I would be concerned, but it is getting to the point that it is all she thinks about. How should I handle it? Should I be concerned?

Answer


Odds are that the biting is bothering you much more than it does your son. Toddlers tend to take such things in stride. The best thing to do is to talk to the child care provider. Toddlers bite because they're emotionally overwhelmed and don't yet have the verbal skills to put their intense feelings into words. The problem usually goes away as the children's word power increases. One effective approach is for the adults in the biting child's life to state some simple rules such as, "People are not for biting. Bananas are for biting. But people are not for biting." Then watch the child closely when he becomes angry or excited. Most children visibly "rev up" before chomping on a playmate. If you see the child becoming overwhelmed, distract him with something else for a minute so that he can regain control of his feelings.  
 
 
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