Why do Young Children Bite? Finding the Right Response - From our Blog

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BrightStars, Rhode Island’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, assists families in finding care and recognizes and supports quality in early care and education programs.

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Why do Young Children Bite? Finding the Right Response

Biting is a very common behavior among infants, toddlers, and 2-year olds. The good news is that there are some ways for responding.

Understanding why children bite will help families develop an effective response. NAEYC for families has written an article that helps families understand the reasons young children bite and provides ideas and strategies for responding appropriately.  

A child might bite to:

  • Relieve pain from teething.
  • Explore cause and effect (“What happens when I bite?”).
  • Experience the sensation of biting.
  • Satisfy a need for oral-motor stimulation. 
  • Imitate other children and adults.
  • Feel strong and in control.
  • Get attention.
  • Act in self-defense.
  • Communicate needs and desires, such as hunger or fatigue.
  • Communicate or express difficult feelings, such as frustration, anger, confusion, or fear.

Click here to visit NAEYC for families and read the full article to learn about ways to prevent biting and more.  

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