My young son is a biter

Posted by David Beard, Globe Staff  September 8, 2008 01:18 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Here's a question from Child Caring writer Barbara Meltz's latest Q&A with readers:

Question: My 2 1/2-year-old son is a biter. He has stopped biting other children but still bites his father and me. Any advice? Time-outs are not proving effective.

Barbara Meltz: Audra, time out is not working because he's too young. Try (1) anticipating when he is getting frustrated or whatever it is that leads him to bite and distract him to some other activity; (2) let's say he's on your lap and he succeeds in biting you. IMMEDIATELY stand up, putting him safely on the floor, and tell him, "Biting is no. I can't be with you if you bite me."

You have to be willing to tolerate his unhappiness. Let him run through his tantrum. Tell him, "When you are ready to sit on my lap and not bite, we can try again."

If he bites, do the same thing again. Stay calm but be firm and consistent. Once he realizes that he cannot have your attention if he is going to bite, it will abate.

For more from Barbara Meltz's latest chat, click here Barbara's next Q&A with readers is on Monday, September 16.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

add your comment
Required (will not be published)

This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.

About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

Submit a question for Barbara's Mailbag

Ask Barbara a question

Barbara answers questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, breastfeeding, bullying, discipline, divorce, kindergarten, potty training, sleep, tantrums, and much, much more.

Send your questions to her at:
meltzbarbara (at)
Please include your name and hometown.

Child in Mind

All parenting discussions

High needs/fussy baby

memes98 writes "My 10.5 month old DS has been fussy ever since he was born, but I am getting very frustrated because I thought he would be much better by now...has anyone else been through this?"

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street

RSS feed

click here to subscribe to
Child Caring