My young son is a biter

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

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Here's a question from Child Caring writer Barbara Meltz's latest Q&A with Boston.com 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 Boston.com readers is on Monday, September 16.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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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.

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

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meltzbarbara (at) gmail.com.
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