Our one-year-old Avery has about eight little razor sharp teeth now and guess what she has learned to do with them? Oh yes! She can bite things… yay! Isn’t that fun? Not for daddy, it’s not. Avery likes to bang her on my shoulder and nuzzle into my neck to put herself to sleep. We’re working away from that now, but that’s a whole different story. Well, recently I’ve noticed a sharp searing sensation in my shoulder as she’s been doing this. Then she lifts up her head with my shirt clenched in between her little teeth and a wry little smile crossing her face, “Look what I can do, Daddy.” Oh yes, that’s cute baby. Just let Daddy get some gauze to stop the bleeding from my carotid artery.
That’s all well and good and I actually think it is a bit cute. Painful… but cute. The bad part is, I think now she has started to do it out of frustration as well which is not so good. The other day I was playing the keyboard and she wanted me to pay attention to her. I was really into what I was playing, so to get my attention she bit me right on the thigh. Ouch! She’s also started scratching out of anger.
This is parenting. Children find new and innovative ways to get their way, but then we as parents must show them the way. The way being our way. The hard part is finding the proper way in which to do that, which can be different for each child and can be different in each situation. So many times I really feel like a terrible failure as a father and as a parent because I just react out of emotion instead of responding out of love and understanding. My wife is much more patient in this area and she keeps me in balance.
As an aside to dads: Whenever you do overreact out of anger and emotion to your children, don’t be afraid to apologize to them. That’s right! Let them know that you screwed up and that you know it. They need to know that you make mistakes too and that you are aware of it. I believe that they will have more respect for you in the end because you are level with them and that you let truth reign in your household.
Ok, back to biting. What shall we do? I have no idea really. All children do it. All of ours did. We just corrected it as we saw fit during that time and tried to stay on top of it. Eventually they stopped. Not good enough? Ok, here are some links to some resources on biting.
- Dealing with Biting Behaviors in Young Children
- When Children Bite
- What to Do About Biting?
- Biting in the Childcare Setting
- Why Kids Bite Other Kids…..and How to Stop It!
So are these articles any good, Jonathan? I have no idea. I just Googled them. You could do the same thing yourself! I may go back and read some of them later, but for now I have to go treat my wounds so I don’t develop an infection. 🙂