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Biting in the nurseryIt is part of the normal development of the child from time to time, but when the baby or child does it persistently, it can be a cause for concern, both for parents and educators.
The bites of babies and children they are very painful for the recipient and can also cause conflict between colleagues. Children, once they have suffered repeated attacks, tend to refuse the closeness of the biting child and end up isolating him from the group. To stop this type of behavior, the first step is to know why you are doing it.
Babies use their mouth to explore, to learn more about their world, and to connect. They are unaware of the pain of others and lack self-control: they act on impulse. As soon as they bite because they are happy, because they want to know the objects or need to relieve the pain of their gums.
The case of children from 1 to 3 years is different. At this age they have to be incorporated into community life, but they still do not usually have the necessary language, or have sufficient social skills to be able to communicate and be respected. Biting is a quick way to get a toy or get attention. They also use this resource when they experience situations that cause them stress or frustration, such as an unfamiliar environment, being hungry, the birth of a sibling or feeling attacked. Other children bite simply by imitation.
At preschool age, biting is no longer frequent. Sometimes they can turn to this weapon to control a situation, such as self-defense, to get attention or out of great frustration or anger. But if at this age, a child bites persistently, it can reflect emotional or behavioral problems, since they have enough skills to be able to express their needs and feelings without biting. It is possible that his behavior is a reflection of problems of social relations with other children to which he does not want to submit, the result of excessive or severe discipline or a consequence of his experience as a witness or victim of acts of physical violence.
Although the problem of bites is normal, we should not resign ourselves to 'suffer' them in the hope that they will disappear with time, because in many cases it is not. We must study which are the situations in which there is greater risk and we must try to anticipate to reduce unwanted behaviors.
- If the child is teething or is in an exploration phase, you have to provide a variety of toys and things that can chew to calm down (teethers, cookies, cold carrots ...).
- If two children tend to fight often For the same toy, we can buy more copies to play simultaneously.
- If you tend to bite when you are hungry or tired, the playing time can be shortened so that he eats earlier and can rest.
- If you bite to get attention, You should spend a little more time with him, but always doing a positive activity (reading a story, playing ball ...), never as a result of having bitten. Avoid making the playgroup bored, overly nervous, or too large. And, of course, be attentive and close enough to be able to intervene quickly if necessary.
Early Childhood Education Teacher
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