Dealing with Biting Behaviors in Young Children
Ron Banks and Sojin Yi
2002 (Last updated February 2007)
Biting behavior in young children is a cause of concern for parents and child caregivers. Although little empirical research focuses specifically on this topic (Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994), a variety of practical resources offer some guidance to parents and caregivers. This report discusses (1) why young children bite, (2) how common biting problems are, (3) what interventions might be considered, and (4) how teachers or caregivers can interact with and involve parents in dealing with biting behavior.

Why do young children bite?

The literature suggests that biting may be a normal developmental phase for infants and toddlers, with virtually no long-lasting developmental significance. Once a child turns 3 years old, however, biting may indicate other behavioral problems, especially if the biting incidents are frequent. Because of the developmental nature of most biting, experts stress that biting is not something to blame on the child, parents, or teachers (Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994).

Infants

For infants, developmental theorists suggest that biting is probably a form of exploration--infants use their mouths to explore because it is one of the most developed parts of their bodies. Biting in infants may also be a primitive form of communication; it is likely that the infant does not connect biting to pain experienced by others (Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994; Marlowe, 1999; Oesterreich, 1995). Infants also are impulsive and lack self-control; some babies may bite simply because something is there to bite; others bite when they are excited or over-stimulated (e.g., music stimulates the infant, who then bites because he or she is so happy and excited) (Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994). Thus, the literature concludes that infants bite because they want to smell and touch objects, experiment with cause and effect, or relieve teething pain (the National Association for the Education of Young Children [NAEYC, 1996] suggests offering infants who are teething chew toys, frozen bagels, or other safe items--see http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content3/biters.p.t.4.html).

Toddlers

Oesterreich (1995) and other theorists believe that, as with infants, biting in toddlers between 12 and 36 months old is a form of communication (i.e., to communicate frustration while learning social, language, and self-control skills). Oesterreich also posits that toddlers seldom plan ahead, but rather that they see and act on what they are experiencing at the moment. Toddlers, Oesterreich claims, do not have the language necessary to control a situation, or their attempts at communication are not understood or respected. Biting becomes a powerful way to communicate with and control others and the environment. Biting demonstrates autonomy and is a quick way to get a toy or attention (Oesterreich, 1995). Many toddlers display extreme ranges of emotions, both happy and sad, and they lack labels for communicating these emotions. Too many challenges (from activities that are too difficult), demands, wants, and obstacles can anger and frustrate toddlers and may lead to biting. Many toddlers do not yet understand sharing or that touch can hurt, and they need to learn other ways to communicate besides biting (Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994).

Child caregivers have noted that toddlers may also bite when they experience a stressful event, a particularly distressing lack of routine, or inadequate adult interaction. According to Claffey, Kucharski, and Gratz (1994), toddlers may be more apt to bite if they have not interacted with adults for more than 5 minutes. Other toddlers may bite as a self-defense strategy, or they may simply be imitating other toddlers who bite (Marlowe, 1999; NAEYC, 1996).

Preschoolers

Occasional or rare biting from preschoolers may occur for some of the same reasons as it does for infants and toddlers--to exert control over a situation, for attention, as a self-defense strategy, or out of extreme frustration and anger. Frequent biting after a child turns 3, however, may indicate other behavior problems, because by that time many children have the communication skills necessary to relate their needs without biting. Kranowitz (1992) speculates that biting may also be caused by sensory integration dysfunction in a small number of young children. She suggests that developmental screening for preschoolers may be useful to identify children with tactile dysfunction. (These children may respond negatively to touch sensations, becoming anxious, hostile, or aggressive. They may be under- or over-responsive to touch, or react negatively when others are close. Light touches from behind may be particularly distressing, leading, in some situations, to biting.)

Incidence of biting behaviors

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (1996) estimates that 1 out of 10 toddlers/2-year-olds engages in biting behaviors. Garrard, Leland, and Smith (1988) examined the injury log of one large (224 children) early childhood center. They also studied the biographical information about each child filled out by the parent at the time of admission and financial records to document enrollment. They determined that 347 bites occurred during the study year. Seventy-two bites were attributed to infants, 195 to toddlers, and 80 to preschoolers. The highest incidence of biting behavior occurred in September, and male toddlers initiated most episodes.

Of the 224 children enrolled in the center, 29 were infants (0-16 months), 62 were toddlers (16-30 months), and 133 were preschoolers (30-72 months). Toddlers were the most likely to bite; each toddler on average initiated 3.13 bites per 100 days of enrollment (the figure was 3.66 for males and 2.3 for girls). The corresponding figure for infants was .7129 bites and, for preschoolers, .5611 bites. No gender differences were noted in the infant and preschooler group. Finally, no demographic characteristic predicted children who were bitten vs. those not bitten other than number of days of enrollment (newer children were more likely to be bitten) (Garrard, Leland, & Smith, 1988).

What to do when biting occurs

No research was located for this report that evaluated different strategies for handling biting incidents, but the literature does present some practical ideas and strategies for dealing with a biting child offered by experts, child caregivers, and parents.

Respond immediately

Infants may not yet understand the difference between biting a toy and biting a person, so a repeated message in an honest tone of voice that conveys pain (saying "Ouch, that hurt me, Joey!") can help teach infants age 4 months and older not to bite others (Marlowe, 1999).

The literature strongly suggests that caregivers and parents not bite the child back as a punishment or to show the child how it feels to be bitten. Biting back communicates to the child that violence is acceptable (Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994; Garcia, 1999; NAEYC, 1996). Because theorists think that biting may be related to the child's developmental stage, punishment in general is not advised either at home or in a child care center (Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994). Instead, experts recommend focusing attention on the victim, shielding the victim from the biter, initiating first aid measures as necessary, and consoling the victim (Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994; Greenman, 1995).

Garcia (1999) and Greenman and Stonehouse (1995) suggest that biters who have reached age 2 or older may benefit from assisting in the first aid process. The biter can assist the victim by demonstrating "gentle touching," having the biter rub the victim's arm, and generally assisting with taking care of the victim to teach nurturing behavior (without letting these activities become a game). Other sources recommend that biters should be removed from the situation without dramatic movements, attention, or an emotional response that could provide negative reinforcement to the biter. Parents and caregivers can tell the biter that "biting is not OK," "I can't let you hurt your friends," etc. Toddlers in particular may not understand time-out, but caregivers need to make sure that the biter is not near other children until he or she has calmed down and can be redirected to other play (Garcia, 1999; Greenman, 1995; NAEYC, 1996).

Stress communication skills

Greenman (1995) suggests that emphasis be placed on teaching biters to develop and use their expressive communication skills instead of biting, so that they can learn to "use words" to express their feelings. Good caregivers consistently promote the child's use of language to enhance cognitive development, and some experts believe that promoting children's language development is also helpful to reduce biting behaviors. For example, if another child is taking a toy away from a child who has a history of biting, caregivers can teach the potential biter to say "stop," "mine," etc., and tell the child "We don't bite people, we bite food" or "It hurts when you bite" (Hewitt, 1995). Claffey, Kucharski, and Gratz (1994) and Legg (1993) suggest that using positive language to tell the child to "touch gently" rather than "don't hit/bite" can be helpful. They also suggest that caregivers can help children verbalize their feelings by saying "You look angry, Peter. Tell Amy to stop pulling, you don't like that." Caregivers and parents should try to be specific with their language. Instead of saying "Stop being mean to Peter," for example, they can say "Peter is angry because you are taking his truck." Experts also recommend consistently teaching the child to say "no" to other children rather than biting (Todd, 1996).

Examine context

Experts recommend that efforts be made to examine the pattern of biting incidents to determine if factors such as crowding, over-stimulation, lack of toys, lack of attention or supervision, or other factors seem to precede biting episodes. Garcia (1999) suggests that caregivers become adept at observing the child's physical state and noticing whether factors such as new teeth or other kinds of pain on a given day seem to be associated with increased biting episodes. Caregivers might think about whether children bite when their bowels are irregular, when they are hungry, or when they are sleepy. Some experts believe that emotions and stress inducers such as a new baby in the house may also be associated with an increase in biting episodes for individual children (Garcia, 1999).

Create positive physical and learning environments

If caregivers determine that a child is biting more than once a day for more than a week, experts suggest that it is probably time to develop a plan to decrease the biting. They recommend attempting to break the cycle by varying activities and the child's schedule. Legg (1993) suggests that it may help to break up the density of the toddlers in the room to enhance program quality (one group goes outside, another stays in the room, etc.). Experts suggest tracking these changes so that there is a written record that can help to determine the context of the biting incidents and to show the results of interventions (Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994; Hewitt, 1995).

Greenman (1995), Hewitt (1995), and NAEYC (1996) suggest that attempting to maintain a consistent routine, developing and maintaining rituals, and finding effective ways of calming children after energetic activity or during transition times (using calming music, relaxed/calming physical contact, etc.) may serve to relieve the conditions that lead to biting episodes. These experts also recommend avoiding grouping biters and previous victims together to the extent possible.

Several experts (e.g., Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994; Garcia, 1999; Greenman, 1995) suggest that caregivers examine the center environment and try to minimize congestion and confusion, competition for toys and adult attention, frustration, and boredom. Young children do better in small groups, according to these experts, so spreading out activities and staff may help reduce undesirable behaviors. They also suggest the following strategies for caregivers:

  • Be aware of the children's favorite toys and educational materials and duplicate these (because sharing is not always in the toddler's behavioral repertoire!).
  • Provide a variety of options and motor/sensory choices (e.g., make the toys and climbing structures challenging but not so frustrating that the children become angry or bored). Adjust the schedule so that the children eat and nap when they are beginning to get hungry and tired rather when these conditions become extreme.
  • Find ways to strengthen the sense of security/stability in the environment.
  • Maintain a consistent routine that minimizes surprises for children.
  • Ensure prime times with the child's favorite primary caregiver.
  • Create warm/cozy places to be.
  • Avoid unnecessary staffing changes.
  • Develop/maintain group rituals.

Claffey, Kucharski, and Gratz (1994) detail other environmental factors to consider, such as creating a balance of open and closed spaces so that the children may move about freely but also feel protected and not feel overwhelmed. They suggest that counters and shelves be low so that the children are always kept in sight. Colors should be chosen carefully so that the overall color environment is not too stimulating. Noise-absorbing materials should be used so that the environment offers a sense of warmth and security. Materials can be open-ended so they may be used in many different ways to accommodate differing abilities (choosing blocks that can be stacked, sorted, classified, etc.).

The Web site of the Children's Environments Research and Design Group at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers additional guidance in the area of environmental design for young children [see http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/cerdg/].

Educate teachers and caregivers

Legg (1993) suggests that teachers and caregivers need to understand why children bite and the range of developmental issues that arise when toddlers are in group care. They should understand that very young children really are not developmentally ready to share, and that toddlers communicate physically before they are ready to use language. Because their social conscience and expressive communication skills are limited, toddlers may tend to shove, push, and bite. Claffey, Kucharski, and Gratz (1994) note that properly trained caregivers will be able to engage in positive guidance to show the children in their care how to play safely and to be considerate of others. Caregivers also must become adept at mediating disputes. They should anticipate problem situations and stay alert. If a particular child has difficulty in transitions, for example, the caregiver should stay close to the child and praise positive behavior, especially for children who bite. Caregivers can teach children age-appropriate ways to control themselves, which will encourage confidence and serve to guide children who bite toward self-control and away from biting. NAEYC (1996) suggests that the key to successful management of biting is understanding--for kids and adults alike. Staff at center-based programs need to recognize that biting is as normal and natural as toileting and tantrums, yet accept their responsibility to provide and maintain a safe environment (Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994).

Plan for biting epidemics

When a rash of biting incidents occurs in a center, Greenman (1995), Legg (1993), and Hewitt (1995) suggest that the following steps be taken:

  • Meet with the director and room staff.
  • Chart every occurrence and indicate location, time, participant behaviors, etc.
  • Evaluate the immediate staff response to ensure appropriateness (comforting bitten child and treating injury, providing a cool, firm disapproving response to the biter that does not inadvertently reinforce the behavior).
  • Determine the context of the biting incidents: analyze, chart, and profile.
  • Shadow children who have a biting tendency--anticipate biting situations and teach non-biting responses, adapting the program as necessary. Staff might shadow a severe biter for 2 weeks to prevent the behavior, because there is some evidence that if staff can prevent biting during this time period, the behavior will dissipate.
  • If necessary, briefly place young children who bite in a crib or playpen to contain the child who is engaging in frequent biting, if the shadowing teacher has to do something else.
  • Shadow children who tend to be bitten and anticipate potential biting situations; teach children who get bitten responses that will minimize the chance of their becoming victims.
  • Consider early transition to another room for children who bite frequently, because the older children are better able to defend themselves.
  • Extreme biting epidemics may require extra help from a consultant, parent educator, or counselor, especially if the behavior occurs daily or persists.

Parent communication

Much of the literature that is focused on issues related to biting also addresses communicating with and involving parents. Most experts stress confidentiality; they recommend that teachers or directors NOT reveal the identity of the child who is biting to parents of other children. Instead, experts suggest that child caregivers assure the parents that they are aware of the problem and are working toward solutions, but that all children are capable of having problems with biting. Parents should know that biting is a normal occurrence for many children in group care situations, particularly when they are in the toddler stage (Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994; Legg, 1993; Todd, 1996). These authors also recommend that parents be apprised of the possibility of biting incidents occurring in child care facilities during the initial intake process, or when infants are making the transition into the toddler room.

Legg (1993) also recommends that apologizing to family members is not an effective strategy, because an apology implies that there is a foolproof way to prevent the incidents. Instead, she suggests relating to the parents what is being done to insure the safety of all of the children. She also recommends focusing on what first aid treatments are used when incidents occur and what else is being done for children who are bitten.

As explained by Greenman and Stonehouse (1994), in extreme cases, termination or suspension of the biting child from a center may become necessary. The center should have a policy that offers guidance related to how long a severe biting problem can be allowed to continue. It is important that the parents of the biter be notified early of this possibility so that they can begin to make inquiries regarding alternate child care arrangements. Legg (1993) suggests that in many cases enrollment may only need to be temporarily suspended until the child improves his or her communication skills.

Claffey, Kucharski, and Gratz (1994) and NAEYC (1996) recommend that caregivers try to determine whether biting is occurring at home. Breaking the biting pattern will be difficult in an early childhood center if biting is allowed to occur at home without the same formal interventions being applied at the center. Marlowe (1999) advocates teaching parents to offer choices so that the child is given power and control at least a few times a day. Caregivers can keep parents informed about their child's favorite toy, what happened in the school day, etc. Overall, experts note that it is essential to maintain positive relationships with parents during biting outbreaks, to keep parents informed of the strategies being employed, to empathize with parents of both biters and victims regarding their feelings of helplessness related to the safety of their children, and to communicate to parents the staff training and intervention efforts that are occurring to remedy the problem (Greenman, 1995; Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994; Legg, 1993).

Conclusion

Understanding the developmental factors that contribute to biting behavior can help parents and caregivers make environmental or programmatic changes as necessary to minimize the behavior; caregivers need to provide accurate information to parents (Reguero de Atiles, Stegelin, & Long, 1997). Guidance to children who bite should be provided with the goal of helping children develop inner control of their feelings and actions. A quick and consistent response at home and in the center can help children who bite learn to express their feelings in words so that they can become better able to control their behavior (Claffey, Kucharski, & Gratz, 1994; Garcia, 1999).

References

Claffey, Anne E.; Kucharski, Laura J.; & Gratz, Rene R. (1994). Managing the biting child. Early Child Development and Care, 99, 93-101. (ERIC Journal No. EJ486889)

Garcia, Veronica. (1999). Understanding and preventing toddler biting. Texas Child Care, 23(1), 12-15. (ERIC Journal No. EJ606990)

Garrard, J.; Leland, N.; & Smith, D. K. (1988). Epidemiology of human bites to children in a day-care center. American Journal of Diseases in Children, 142(6), 643-650.

Greenman, Jim. (1995). Reality bites (frequently): Biting at the center--Part 2. Child Care Information Exchange, 101, 65-67. (ERIC Journal No. EJ503564)

Greenman, Jim, & Stonehouse, Anne Willis. (1994). Reality bites: Biting at the center--Part 1. Child Care Information Exchange, 99, 85-88. (ERIC Journal No. EJ489936)

Hewitt, Deborah. (1995). So this is normal too? Teachers and parents working out developmental issues in young children. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press. (ERIC Document No ED391589).

Kranowitz, Carol Stock. (1992). Catching preschoolers before they fall: A developmental screening. Child Care Information Exchange, 84, 25-29. (ERIC Journal No. EJ443462)

Legg, Jackie. (1993). "What's a little bite among friends?" Child Care Information Exchange, 92, 41-43. (ERIC Journal No. EJ467457).

Marlowe, Dana. (1999). The stages of biting. Montessori Life, 11(2), 33-34. (ERIC Journal No. EJ584452).

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1996). Biters: Why they do it and what to do about it [Online]. Washington, DC: Author. Available: http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content3/biters.p.t.4.html.

Oesterreich, Lesia. (1995). Biting hurts [Online]. In L. Oesterreich, Bess Gene Holt, & Shirley Karas, Iowa family child care handbook (pp. 239-242). Ames: Iowa State University Extension. Available: http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/bit.hurt.html.

Reguero de Atiles, Julia T.; Stegelin, Delores A.; & Long, Janie K. (1997). Biting behaviors among preschoolers: A review of the literature and a survey of practitioners. Early Childhood Education Journal, 25(2), 101-105.(ERIC Journal No. EJ558652)

Todd, Christine M. (1996). When children bite. Day care center connections [Online], 1(6), 3-4. Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service. Available: http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/dc16_children.bite.html.

Organization

National Association for the Education of Young Children
1509 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036-1426
Telephone: 202-232-8777 or 800-424-2460
Fax: 202-328-1846
Email: naeyc@naeyc.org
Web: http://www.naeyc.org

Web Resources

Play Right—Don’t Bite!
http://illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/biting.htm

Ouch! That Hurts!
http://umaine.edu/ccids/files/2009/12/biting120309.pdf

Biting in the Toddler Years
http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/cgs.pub.BitingTodYears.pdf

Biting Hurts!
http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/bit.hurt.html

Biting in the Child Care Setting
     In English:http://www.ucsfchildcarehealth.org/pdfs/healthandsafety/bitingen060604_adr.pdf 
    In Spanish:http://www.ucsfchildcarehealth.org/pdfs/healthandsafety/bitingsp060604_adr.pdf

Biting Must Never Be Permitted
http://www.kidsgrowth.com/resources/articledetail.cfm?id=244

Expert on Call: Q - Sometimes my two-year-old pushes other children and has recently started biting, too! What can I do?
http://www.parentstoolshop.com/HTML/tips4.htm

Fighting and Biting
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
http://aacap.org/page.ww?name=Fighting+and+Biting&section =Facts+for+Families

How to Deal with a Biting Child
http://www.ehow.com/how_3391901_deal-biting-child.html

Handling Challenging Behaviors in Child Care: Aggression and Anger in Young Children
http://illinoisearlylearning.org/chat/hemmeter/

UCB Parent Advice: Biting
http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/worries/biting.html

When Children Bite
http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/dc16_children.bite.html

Biting http://www.parenting-ed.org/handout3/Specific%20Concerns%20and%20Problems/biting.htm Editor's note: This url has changed:http://www.parenting-ed.org/handouts/biting.pdf

Other Resources

Brazelton, T. Berry. (1992). Touchpoints: Your child's emotional and behavioral development. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. (ERIC Document No. ED354103)

Davis, Laura, & Keyser, Janis. (1997). Becoming the parent you want to be. New York: Broadway Books. (ERIC Document No. ED408022)

Shelov, Steven P., & Hannemann, Robert E. (1993). Caring for your baby and young child: Birth to age 5. The complete and authoritative guide. New York: Bantam. (ERIC Document No. ED363446)

ERIC Resources

How to Obtain ERIC Documents and Journal Articles:

References identified with an ED (ERIC document)or EJ (ERIC journal) are cited in the ERIC database. ERIC Documents (citations identified by an ED number) may be available in full text from ERIC at no cost at the ERIC Web site: http://eric.ed.gov. Journal articles are available from the original journal, interlibrary loan services, or article reproduction clearinghouses.

If you would like to conduct your own free ERIC database searches via the Internet, go directly to http://eric.ed.gov/

Biting

ERIC database search through 02/2007

EJ673623 PS534599
Title: Taking the Bite Out of Aggressive Biting: An Action Plan. Teaching Strategies.
Author(s) Cooper, Mark; Filer, Janet
Source: Journal of Early Education and Family Review, v10 n5 p11-19 May-June 2003
Publication Date: 2003
ISSN: 1084-6603
Language: English
Document Type: Journal articles (080); Reports--Descriptive (141)

Journal Announcement: CIJJAN2004

This article discusses explanations for aggressive biting among young children and describes an intervention for family or early childhood settings. Strategies include avoiding labeling the child, teaching the child to view biting as unsafe, teaching appropriate play behaviors with peers, acknowledging appropriate behaviors, providing opportunities for appropriate behaviors, using a monitoring system to remind adults to recognize appropriate behavior, nurturing compliance, and improving the adult-child relationship. (KB)

Descriptors: Aggression; Behavior Change; *Behavior Problems; *Change Strategies; Child Care; Child Safety; *Classroom Techniques; Early Childhood Education; Emotional Development; Intervention; Labeling (of Persons); Peer Relationship; Play; Prevention; Social Development; *Teacher Student Relationship; *Young Children
Identifiers: *Biting


ED475175 PS031176
Title: Practical Solutions to Practically Every Problem: The Early Childhood Teacher's Manual. Revised Edition.
Author(s) Saifer, Steffen
Pages: 222
Publication Date: 2003
Notes: For 1990 edition, see ED 363 431.
ISBN: 1-929610-31-9
Available from: EDRS Price MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Availability: Redleaf Press, 450 N. Syndicate, Suite 5, St. Paul, MN 55104-4125 ($27.95). Tel: 800-423-8309 (Toll Free); Tel: 651-641-0305; Fax: 800-641-0115 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.redleafpress.org.
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Non-classroom (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Minnesota
Journal Announcement: RIENOV2003
Target Audience: Practitioners; Teachers

Based on sound developmentally appropriate theory, this revised guide is designed to help early childhood teachers deal with common problems that arise in all aspects of their work. Following an introduction and a list of the 20 most important principles for successful preschool teaching, the guide is divided into nine parts. Part 1 addresses daily dilemmas such as schedule planning, meal and nap times, transitions, and outdoor play. Part 2 covers classroom concerns, such as physical environment, curriculum, assessment and accountability, and coping with accidents and emergencies. Part 3 addresses children with particular needs, including children with suspected or overt disabilities, limited English speaking children, gifted and talented children, and sexually precocious children. Part 4 concerns children who must cope with major changes, including divorce and remarriage of parents, death of a loved one, or a new sibling. Part 5 focuses on children with challenging behaviors, and includes steps for preventing behavior problems and for addressing specific behaviors such as biting, lying, sexual acting out, and crying and whining. Part 6 addresses working with parents and families, covering parents who want reading taught to their child, complaining parents, and parents who may be abusive to their children. Part 7 discusses working with other staff, including preventing problems with difficult bosses, assistants or volunteers, and co-workers. Part 8 deals with individual problems teachers might face, such as time over-commitment, burn-out and stress, and low wages. Finally, Part 9 provides tips on promoting oneself as a professional, and includes a list of professional organizations, journals, and books. A glossary of common terms and jargon completes the guide. (HTH)

Descriptors: Caregiver Child Relationship; *Child Care; *Child Caregivers; Disabilities; Parent Caregiver Relationship; Parent Teacher Cooperation; *Preschool Teachers; *Problem Solving; Special Needs Students; Student Behavior; Teacher Student Relationship; Teaching Conditions; Young Children


EJ671934 PS534152
Title: Biting. ERIC/EECE Report.
Author(s) Cesarone, Bernard
Source: Childhood Education, v79 n3 p185-86 Spr 2003
Publication Date: 2003
ISSN: 0009-4056
Language: English
Document Type: Journal articles (080); Reference materials--Bibliographies (131)
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC2003

This column summarizes recent ERIC documents and journal articles, and highlights some World Wide Web resources, that discuss issues related to the problem of children biting in preschool. (Contains 13 annotated summaries.) (SD)

Descriptors: *Behavior Problems; Child Behavior; *Preschool Children; Preschool Education; *Resource Materials; *Resources; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting; *ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary Early Child Education


ED463073 PS030213
Title: No Biting: Policy and Practice for Toddler Programs.
Author(s) Kinnell, Gretchen
Pages: 69
Publication Date: 2002
Notes: Produced for the Child Care Council of Orondaga County, Inc. Funded by Mutual of New York (MONY).
ISBN: 1-929610-19-X
Available from: EDRS Price MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Availability: Redleaf Press, 450 Syndicate, Suite 5, St. Paul, MN 55104-4125 ($12.95). Tel: 800-423-8309 (Toll Free); Tel: 651-641-0305; Fax: 800-641-0115 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.redleafpress.org.
Language: English
Document Type: Book (010); Guides--Non-classroom (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Minnesota
Journal Announcement: RIESEP2002

Noting that no single issue in programs for toddlers inflames parents and frustrates staff the way biting does, this book provides guidance on program policy and practice. The book is based upon discussions of a task force on biting comprised of caregivers and administrators from the child care centers and Early Head Start in Syracuse, New York, and the surrounding Onondaga County. The book's introduction addresses the language used to describe biting and common assumptions about biting. The remainder of the book is divided into three main sections. The first section addresses the problem itself, the second section contains information on talking with parents and other caregivers about biting, and the third section focuses on creating policies about biting. The chapters are: (1) "Why Do Toddlers Bite?"; (2) "What To Do When Toddlers Bite"; (3) "Handling Ongoing Biting"; (4) "Working with Parents and Other Community Members"; (5) "Staff Members Working Together"; and (6) "Developing Policies about Biting." The book includes sample information sheets and other forms. (KB)

Descriptors: *Administrative Policy; Administrator Role; *Behavior Problems; Change Strategies; Child Behavior; *Day Care; Developmental Stages; Educational Practices; First Aid; Parent Caregiver Relationship; Parent School Relationship; Parent Teacher Cooperation; Policy Formation; *Preschool Education; School Community Relationship; Teacher Collaboration; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting


EJ606990 PS530640
Title: Understanding and Preventing Toddler Biting.
Author(s): Garcia, Veronica
Source: Texas Child Care, v23 n1 p12-15 Sum 1999
Publication Date: 1999
ISSN: 1049-9466
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Classroom--Teacher (052); Journal articles (080); Reports--Descriptive (141)

Discusses the problem of toddler biting behavior in child care settings. Describes reasons for biting by toddlers, recommends caregiver responses to toddler biting, presents tips for observing children to identify the biter's patterns, and outlines ways to prevent biting in child care settings. (KB)

Descriptors: Behavior Patterns; *Behavior Problems; Caregiver Child Relationship; Child Behavior; *Day Care; Discipline; *Early Childhood Education; Observation; Prevention; Problem Children; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting; Caregiver Behavior


ED443527 PS028673
Title: Learning Skills of Peace through Every Day Conflicts: Practical Activities and Resources for Families, Teachers and Other Caregivers. {Loose-Leaf Pages and Pack of Cards}.
Author Affiliation: Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, Columbus.(BBB33023)
Pages: 411
Publication Date: 1999
Available from: EDRS Price MF01/PC17 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Non-classroom (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Ohio
Government Level: State
Target Audience: Parents; Practitioners; Teachers

Noting that the conflicts arising daily for young children provide an opportunity for adults to model and teach skills for handling conflict peacefully, this guide provides tips for preventing unnecessary conflict, offers "first aid" for conflict moments, and provides resources for addressing common situations that can cause conflict. Developed cooperatively by Ohio's Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, Head Start Association, and Department of Education Division of Early Childhood, with implementation facilitated by many Ohio public libraries, the guide is comprised of 40 thematic units of instruction for the early childhood setting, with most units accompanied by home cards providing tips for preventing conflict and suggested activities. Each unit contains information on the importance of the topic for conflict management and its link to peace, suggested books, activities, and copies of home cards. The 40 units cover: (1) anger and aggression; (2) art; (3) bad day; (4) bad language; (5) bathtime; (6) bedtime; (7) behavior; (8) big and little; (9) big brother, big sister; (10) biting; (11) conflict; (12) cultural diversity; (13) death; (14) disabilities; (15) divorce; (16) dressing; (17) family; (18) fears; (19) feelings and emotions; (20) free choice; (21) lying; (22) mealtime at school; (23) mistakes; (24) nap time at school; (25) new baby; (26) teaching the problem-solving process; (27) safety; (28) school; (29) security objects; (30) self-esteem; (31) sharing; (32) siblings; (33) sickness; (34) stealing; (35) stress; (36) tantrums; (37) time out; (38) transitions; (39) whining and nagging; and (40) work. Also included in the guide are additional resources, such as a list of books for each unit, information on child development and child needs from birth to five years, and suggested readings for teachers and parents. (KB)

Descriptors: Books; Childrens Literature; Class Activities; Classroom Techniques; *Conflict Resolution; Coping; Early Childhood Education; Instructional Materials; *Learning Activities; Parent Child Relationship; Parent Materials; *Parents as Teachers; Partnerships in Education; *Peace; *Preschool Curriculum; Teacher Student Relationship; Units of Study; *Young Children
Identifiers: Conflict Management; Ohio; *Peace Education


EJ584452 PS529203
Title: The Stages of Biting.
Author(s): Marlowe, Dana
Source: Montessori Life, v11 n2 p33-34 Spr 1999
Publication Date: 1999
ISSN: 1054-0040
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Non-classroom (055); Journal articles (080)

Describes infant and toddler biting behavior as related to developmental differences in exploring the environment, learning cause-effect relationships, and using power to elicit a response. Discusses ways to deal with biting at each level, how to support parents dealing with the behavior at home, and the importance of taking biting related to power responses very seriously. (KB)

Descriptors: *Behavior Problems; Caregiver Child Relationship; Developmental Stages; Early Childhood Education; Infant Behavior; *Infants; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting; Parent Caregiver Relationship


EJ558652 PS527511
Title: Biting Behaviors among Preschoolers: A Review of the Literature and a Survey of Practitioners.
Author(s): Reguero de Atiles, Julia T.; Stegelin, Delores A.; Long, Janie K.
Source: Early Childhood Education Journal, v25 n2 p101-05 Win 1997
Publication Date: 1997
ISSN: 1082-3301
Language: English
Document Type: Journal articles (080); Reports--Research (143)

Reviews research on biting among children in child care settings. Reports a study examining procedures established to handle biting by child care facilities in a southeastern state, which found that 60% of respondents (n=326) handled biting incidents, but only one third reported a policy on biting. Fewer than 3% understood the developmental nature of biting behavior. (Author/KB)

Descriptors: *Behavior Problems; Child Behavior; Child Development; Day Care; *Preschool Children; Preschool Education; Surveys; Teacher Attitudes; Teacher Response
Identifiers: *Biting


EJ555928 PS527257
Title: Managing Expectations: Notes to Parents. Living in the Real World.
Author(s): Greenman, Jim
Source: Child Care Information Exchange, n118 p26-28,30 Nov-Dec 1997
Publication Date: 1997
ISSN: 0164-8527
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Non-classroom (055); Journal articles (080)

Examines how child caregivers can shape parents' expectations of child care through written and visual materials. Includes suggestions for writing notes to parents, focusing on characteristics of good parent notes. Provides excerpts from sample notes and lists nine sources of parent/program conflict, including biting and child aggression, outdoor and health policies, transitions to an older group, and fees.

Descriptors: Administrators; *Caregiver Role; Child Caregivers; *Day Care; *Expectation; *Family School Relationship; *Parent Attitudes; Parent Materials; Parents
Identifiers: Parent Caregiver Relationship


EJ538103 PS525991
Title: Using NAEYC's Code of Ethics.
Source: Young Children, v52 n2 p54-55 Jan 1997
Publication Date: 1997
ISSN: 0044-0728
Language: English
Document Type: Journal articles (080); Opinion papers (120)

Notes that children biting other children is a serious health concern, because of the danger of infection. Explores the ethical dilemma of upholding child and family privacy while promoting home-center partnerships when one child is biting others. Offers viewpoints of parents, teachers, and center directors and reports the responses to this problem from directors and teachers. (AMC)

Descriptors: *Codes of Ethics; *Early Childhood Education; Parent Attitudes; Parent Grievances; Parent Role; *Parent School Relationship; *Privacy; *Professional Development
Identifiers: *Biting; *National Assn for the Education of Young Children


ED406033 PS025257
Title: Identifying Dilemmas for Early Childhood Educators.
Author(s): Dockett, Sue; Tegel, Kim
Pages: 10
Publication Date: 1996
Notes: In: Australian Research in Early Childhood Education. Volume 1, 1996; see PS 025 254.
Available from: EDRS Price MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: Reports--Descriptive (141); Speeches/meeting papers (150)
Geographic Source: Australia; New South Wales

This paper outlines situation-based learning as used within the Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) program at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and the processes of reflection and evaluation that accompany it, and discusses how issues identified by educators are incorporated as subjects into packages for students' study and investigation. The program's approach involves structuring the curriculum around teaching situations that need to be explained or managed and which, therefore, act as a stimulus for learning. Students propose ways to manage or resolve relevant issues, suggest courses of action, and reflect upon their own thinking and learning. One way in which data have been collected about the situations or dilemmas commonly confronting educators has been to meet with early childhood educators with a range of experience and who work in a variety of settings. From these meetings, several issues have been identified. Dilemmas related to working with children include dealing with tantrums, child biting, gender stereotyped play, and rough-and-tumble play. Issues related to working with families include communicating with parents of non-English speaking backgrounds, staff-parent conflict, and explaining accidents to parents. Dilemmas related to working with other staff include personality clashes, coping with stress, and staff turnover. Issues related to management and administration include fundraising, staff organization, parents not paying fees, and dealing with salespeople. Dilemmas like these are then used as the basis for packages of study to be undertaken by early childhood students. (Contains seven references.) (KDFB)

Descriptors: Action Research; *Curriculum Development; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; *Preservice Teacher Education; *Reflective Teaching; Teacher Education; *Teacher Education Curriculum; Teacher Education Programs; *Teaching Experience
Identifiers: Dilemma Discussion Approach; *University of Western Sydney Macarthur (Australia)


ED392546 PS024046
Title: A Practical Guide to Solving Preschool Behavior Problems. Third Edition.
Author(s): Essa, Eva
Pages: 400
Publication Date: 1995
ISBN: 0-8273-5812-1
Available from: Document Not Available from EDRS.
Availability: Delmar Publishers, 7625 Empire Drive, Florence, KY 41042 (Individual orders, $23; Educational orders, $17.80).
Language: English
Document Type: Book (010); Guides--Non-classroom (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Nevada

Focusing attention on possible underlying causes of a child's misbehavior, this guide uses a situational approach for solving specific behavior problems that commonly occur with young children. Each behavior is discussed in a separate chapter, with step-by-step recommendations provided to correct the problem. The book encourages readers to consider the influences of developmental, environmental, and health factors on children's behavior. The chapters are grouped in sections as follows: (1) "Overview," including setting a positive environment to encourage appropriate behavior, and why children misbehave; (2) "Aggressive and Antisocial Behaviors," including hitting, biting, stealing, and noncompliance; (3) "Disruptive Behaviors," including running aimlessly around the classroom, shouting in the classroom, and dropping objects to create noise; (4) "Destructive Behaviors," including breaking toys, flushing objects down the toilet, and destroying the work of others; (5) "Emotional and Dependent Behaviors," including tantrums, baby talk, clinging, whining, and seeking attention; (6) "Participation in Social and School Activities," including non participation, shyness, and infrequent large-muscle activity; and (7) "Eating Behaviors," including finicky eating and overeating. The final two chapters cover dealing with multiple problem behaviors, and record keeping. (HTH)

Descriptors: Affective Behavior; Aggression; Antisocial Behavior; *Behavior Change; *Behavior Problems; *Child Behavior; Child Development; Classroom Environment; Classroom Techniques; Developmental Stages; Discipline; Eating Habits; *Preschool Children; Preschool Education
Identifiers: Disruptive Behavior


ED391589 PS023805
Title: So This is Normal Too? Teachers and Parents Working Out Developmental Issues in Young Children.
Author(s): Hewitt, Deborah
Pages: 142
Publication Date: 1995
ISBN: 1-884834-07-8
Available from: Document Not Available from EDRS.
Availability: Redleaf Press, 450 North Syndicate, Suite 5, St. Paul, MN 55104-4125 ($14.95; discount available on quantity orders).
Language: English
Document Type: Book (010); Guides--Non-classroom (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Minnesota
Target Audience: Parents; Practitioners

Intended to facilitate communication between parents and child care providers through creative problem solving, this guide explains young children's normal developmental behaviors that frequently cause concern, and identifies factors parents and caregivers can control in the environment that may have an immediate positive response from a child. The guide consists of 16 chapters on the following topics: (1) separation anxiety; (2) toilet training; (3) finicky eating; (4) activity level; (5) getting attention; (6) sexual curiosity; (7) tall tales and falsehoods; (8) power struggles; (9) temper tantrums; (10) superhero play; (11) joining a group of players; (12) turn taking; (13) inappropriate language and swearing; (14) tattling; (15) aggression; and (16) biting. Each chapter is divided into four sections. The first section of each chapter, "For Providers," contains information for early childhood settings, while the second section, "For Parent(s)," offers advice for the family context. These two sections are of similar structure and include a description of the behavior, observation questions, suggestions for both the provider and the parent, guidelines regarding when to seek professional help, and further readings on related topics. The third and fourth sections of each chapter, "A Plan for Action" and "Parent(s) and Provider Action Form," present an overview of the chapter and a planning form to help providers and parents plan, modify, and promote consistency between the early childhood setting and home. Contains 60 references. (AP)

Descriptors: *Behavior Development; Caregiver Child Relationship; *Child Behavior; *Child Rearing; Childhood Attitudes; Developmental Stages; Discipline; Eating Disorders; Group Activities; Parent Child Relationship; Play; Separation Anxiety; Sex Education; *Young Children
Identifiers: Biting; *Parent Caregiver Relationship; Superhero Play; Toilet Training


EJ503564 PS522854
Title: Reality Bites (Frequently): Biting at the Center--Part 2.
Author(s): Greenman, Jim
Source: Child Care Information Exchange, n101 p65-67 Jan-Feb 1995
Publication Date: 1995
Notes: For part 1 of this article, see EJ 489 936.
ISSN: 0164-8527
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Non-classroom (055); Journal articles (080)
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners

Offers caregivers of children recommendations on what to do when an infant or toddler bites another child; changes in the room environment that can reduce biting; dealing with biting when it becomes a frequent, expected occurrence; and maintaining positive relationships with parents. (AC)

Descriptors: *Behavior Problems; Caregiver Role; Day Care Centers; *Discipline; Early Childhood Education; *Educational Environment; *Environmental Influences; Peer Relationship; Student Behavior; *Teacher Role; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting


EJ489936 PS522328
Title: Reality Bites: Biting at the Center--Part 1.
Author(s): Greenman, Jim; Stonehouse, Anne Willis
Source: Child Care Information Exchange, n99 p85-88 Sep-Oct 1994
Publication Date: 1994
ISSN: 0164-8527
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Classroom--Teacher (052); Journal articles (080)

Examines the problem of biting in group child care, especially among toddlers. Discusses reasons for the behavior such as teething, impulsiveness and lack of self control, excitement and overstimulation, and frustration. Offers advice for child caregivers when biting occurs in their program. (TJQ)

Descriptors: *Behavior Problems; *Child Behavior; Child Development; *Day Care; Developmental Stages; Discipline; Early Childhood Education; Peer Relationship; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting; Child Safety


ED372845 PS022581
Title: From a Parent's Perspective.
Author(s): Gonzalez-Mena, Janet
Pages: 104
Publication Date: 1994
ISBN: 1-879215-20-9
Available from: EDRS Price MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Availability: Sheffield Publishing Company, P.O. Box 359, Salem, WI 53168.
Language: English
Document Type: Book (010); Guides--Non-classroom (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Wisconsin

The series of articles on parenting compiled in this book bridges the gap between educational theory and the everyday problems parents must deal with. The book's perspective encourages parents to be gentle, flexible, observant, and not too attached to expectations. The first chapter, "Surviving Parenthood," discusses topics such as managing conflict, balancing needs, enduring arguments, and preserving individuality. Topics in the second chapter, "Parenting Skills," include learning parenting techniques, listening, teaching children to solve their own problems, and disengaging from power struggles. The third chapter, "Discipline," contains sections on parents as allies, consequences in lieu of punishment, cooperation, and use of talk instead of corporal punishment. The fourth chapter, "Problems," covers the specific problems of biting, lying, using bathroom talk, testing limits, dawdling, making messes, and being stubborn. The fifth chapter, "Self-Esteem," looks at empowering children, encouraging competence, praising, balancing skills, and pleasing people. The sixth chapter, "Kids Are Individuals," examines different types of children, including contrary children, difficult children, and the wild child. The final chapter, "A Few Laughs," offers a humorous perspective to some of the challenges of parenting. (TJQ)

Descriptors: Behavior Problems; *Child Rearing; Children; Conflict Resolution; Discipline; Parent Child Relationship; *Parent Education; Parent Materials; *Parenting Skills; Problem Solving; Self Esteem
Identifiers: Parent Empowerment; Self Empowerment


EJ486889 PS522033
Title: Managing the Biting Child.
Author(s): Claffey, Anne E.; And Others
Source: Early Child Development and Care, v99 p93-101 1994
Publication Date: 1994
ISSN: 0300-4430
Language: English
Document Type: Guides--Non-classroom (055); Journal articles (080)

Discusses the causes of biting behavior and techniques that parents and educators can use to manage biting toddlers. Notes that solutions need to consider the developmental level and needs of the child, the influence of the child's environment, and the role of adults in the child's life. (MDM)

Descriptors: *Behavior Change; *Behavior Problems; Caregiver Role; *Child Behavior; *Developmental Stages; Early Childhood Education; *Emotional Development; Environmental Influences; Interpersonal Competence; Teacher Role; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting


ED372872 PS022710
Title: A to Z Guide to Your Child's Behavior: A Parent's Easy and Authoritative Reference to Hundreds of Everyday Problems and Concerns from Birth to 12 Years.
Author(s): Mrazek, David; And Others
Author Affiliation: Children's Hospital, National Medical Center, Washington, DC.(BBB18856)
Pages: 325
Publication Date: 1993
ISBN: 0-399-51796-0
Available from: EDRS Price MF01/PC13 Plus Postage.
Availability: Perigee, The Putnam Publishing Group, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 ($14.95).
Language: English
Document Type: Book (010); Guides--Non-classroom (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; District of Columbia
Target Audience: Parents

The product of a close collaboration between mental health and child development professionals, this book provides essential information about the many types of behaviors--both normal and atypical--that children can show, with a sensitivity to the complex issues that child behavior problems can sometimes create for mothers and fathers. Following an introduction to parenting skills such as active listening and rewards and time-outs, the book discusses various child behaviors, arranged in alphabetical order. The behaviors discussed include such common problems as bedwetting, biting, nightmares, and temper tantrums. Other less common problems discussed include: (1) anxiety; (2) compulsions; (3) depression; (4) reactions to divorce or death; (5) learned helplessness; (6) oppositional behavior; (7) perfectionism; (8) rocking; (9) cruelty to animals; and (10) staring. An appendix provides a chart of developmental tasks for different age ranges through age 12. (HTH)

Descriptors: *Behavior Development; Behavior Problems; *Child Behavior; *Child Development; Child Health; Child Psychology; *Child Rearing; Childhood Needs; Children; Developmental Stages; Developmental Tasks; Parent Child Relationship; Parent Influence; Parent Materials; *Parenting Skills; Personality


EJ467457 PS520572
Title: "What's a Little Bite among Friends?"
Author(s): Legg, Jackie
Source: Child Care Information Exchange, n92 p41-43 Jul 1993
Publication Date: 1993
ISSN: 0164-8527
Language: English
Document Type: Journal articles (080); Reports--Descriptive (141)

Toddlers may bite as a reaction to being forced to be part of a group. Toddlers communicate in a physical manner but do not always connect the social consequences with their actions. By analyzing the circumstances surrounding a biting incident, teachers can redirect the child's energy and avoid a situation where biting might occur. (PAM)

Descriptors: *Behavior Problems; *Day Care Centers; Early Childhood Education; Infant Behavior; Student Behavior; Teacher Behavior; *Teaching Methods; *Toddlers
Identifiers: *Biting


ED341488 PS020277
Title: Aggressive Behavior in the Pre-Verbal Child.
Author(s): Robinson, Georgia
Pages: 24
Publication Date: November 1991
Notes: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Denver, CO, November 7-9, 1991).
Available from: EDRS Price MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: Reports--Research (143); Speeches/meeting papers (150)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Illinois

Directors, teachers, parents, and mental health professionals in child care centers were interviewed about aggressive behavior of preverbal children to determine the caregivers' level of understanding about children's emotional development. The definition of aggressive behavior included hitting, biting, pushing, scratching, pinching, grabbing, tantrums, whining or screaming, pulling hair, walking on another child, and running into people. Hitting, biting, and pushing were the mostly commonly observed problems. Ways that aggressive behaviors were handled by the centers were analyzed in terms of intervention techniques, center rules and procedures, and parent roles. The various approaches illustrated helplessness toward and misunderstanding of children's emotions. It was concluded that caregivers need more knowledge of children's emotional development. Commentary is offered about the intervention strategies employed, and examples are given to show the extent of parent anger, guilt, and stress over handling aggressive children. An eight-point plan is suggested for centers to use when confronted with aggressive behavior. The plan includes adapting the curriculum, recognizing the value of calm adult reactions, taking care of both victims and aggressors, keeping logs of behavioral problems, and establishing a cooperative relationship between the center and the parent. Contains 17 references. (LB)

Descriptors: *Aggression; *Behavior Problems; Child Caregivers; *Day Care Centers; Discipline; *Emotional Development; *Nonverbal Communication; Parent Attitudes; Preschool Education; Teacher Attitudes; *Toddlers