Biting and slapping at 11 months??!?!?!!?!

AmyBDecember 10, 2001

I wasn't sure whether to post this on the toddler forum or the infant forum.

Here goes. My 11-month old has just recently started biting me. She tries to bite my nose, my arms, my toes...whatever she can get her mouth on. I'm hoping her gums are just bothering her and she is using me as a teether. I don't want her to become one of those little biters that everyone talks about at daycares, nurserys, etc!!!

The real issue, though, is our discipline problem. When she was around 6 -7 months old we began telling her NO very sternly to discipline her. If that didn't work, we would smack her hand and remove her from the situation/divert her attention to something else. That usually got her worked. Well, the past couple of months, when I tell her no or smack her hands, she tries to smack me back IN THE FACE. I've realized that maybe our smacking of the hands technique was not such a good idea.

Now the question. How do I reverse the damage we've caused? A stern NO doesn't work anymore. What are some other techniques I can use without physical "abuse" for lack of a better term!~???

Please help me before I lose it!!!

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Hi. I have been having the same problem with my dd who is now 1 and a half. For the life of me, I cannot remember a time when she DID listen. Now, when I tell her no, I give her 3 chances to listen. If she doesn't, I sternly put her in the corner and yell to her not to move. She will normally stand there looking at me and crying, but she doesn't move. When I tried it for the first time, I was shocked that she actually stood there until I told her to move. It's worth a shot. Good luck to you.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 8:05PM
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I think you have to modify your thinking of "works". Kids test. There is no majical punishment techinque that can be used once and forever stop offending behavior. I don't think any one punishment works compared to you consistently demonstrating that a behavior is inappropriate every time it is demonstrated.

At the 11 month old stage, when she tries to bite, move whatever she is trying to bite away from her and say sternly, "No biting", "Biting Hurts". She will constantly test this reaction. You must be consistent and patient.

I believe that 11 months is to young for her to associate something like being put in a corner with the fact that she bit you. When she is old enough to understand these types of cause and effect, then you can start making the punishment fit the crime. In the meantime, basically you must physically intervene to stop the bad behavior (grab hands in the act of hitting for example) and stern in your tone of voice.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 12:26PM
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You should never smack your kid, in my opinion. What you are teaching your child is that smacking is okay, and your child has already learned that by smacking you. Same goes for yelling, if you want your child to yell as he/she grows older to get what he/she wants for him/herself, then you yell. If you want a quieter peaceful house, you refrain from yelling.

You, however, reserve yelling for when you really mean it.
I have never yelled at my son except once when he started to run out into the street. He cried because he never heard me yell, and he did not run out into the street again. But I also had to teach him to stop at the curb and wait for adults which he does everytime. I still remind him and give him praise when he does it right.

Disciplining a child takes a long time and you have to do it again and again. My 2 1/2 year old child now rarely bites. When he first started at about 1 year of age, I said "no, biting hurts, and if you bite you can't be with mommy or whomever" and put him down away from people. They do not understand the words, but they understand the action and its consequences. For a child that small, they understand and remember when love has been withheld. They also remember the consequences, but you must be consistent every time. If you are not consistent, how can they learn?

The most difficult thing about disciplining your child is that you must discipline yourself to behave consistently every time. You also must not get angry at your child. They are not doing it to intentionally to hurt you. Remember that and stay calm.

To discipline your child well, you have to be at your best.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 7:49PM
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Just say 'no.' It doesn't have to be loud or shocking or otherwise painful. 11 months is young enough that you can say no, give no animation whatsoever in your manner (be cool, steady, calm and collected) and take away her chance to engage the problem behavior.

You can redirect her attention to some other activity that does not involve being close enough to your parts to risk biting. If it is a teething thing, you can present her with things she can chew on or bite (frozen or cooled washcloth? something else?).

All you really have to do once you decide on a plan is to be consistent. If you decide you will not let her bite you, when she does (every single time she does) say 'no' and re-direct her to some other activity. That's the basic training thing. It is essential to not be animated, because she may well 'test' her new reality and your new behavior. If you get animated, even in anger an 11 month old will interpret that as game-like and will want to keep playing.

You might notice sometimes if she gives you cues she is heading toward biting. If she gets stressed, or angry and is giving signs of that before biting then you can begin to redirect her before you even have to say 'no.' You can say out loud that you can notice she's stressed and should probably do something else (just do a re-directed activity where she can't bite you, and which she'll like to do).

don't beat yourself up, because toddlers, whether they are disciplined in the manner you used before or not, will tend to slap, hit at or bite all by themselves (it seems to just come naturally for some of them, and given their lack of other means to express themselves it makes some sense)... Rather than worry about 'undoing damage' it might help to think in terms of how to help her develop or train patterns of behavior which will serve her better as she interacts with others

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 10:17AM
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I want to commend you for your parenting skills. I am 44 yrs. old and my DH 45 yrs. old and we were both raised with our parents sternly telling us no and popping our hands. It taught us to respect our parents. We now have two grown daughters that we raised the same way and both have turned out to be wonderful well adjusted adults and one has two children of her own that she is raising the same exact way. I am so sick and tired of people yelling it is child abuse if a parent smacks their childrens hand or pops their behinds. I would rather see a parent sternly tell their child no and pop their hand than see the parent letting their child run through stores and restaurants yelling and screaming to the top of their lungs and the parents saying please don't do this and please don't do that. A child needs love first and foremost but also they need consistent discipline and they need to know the consequences of their actions. Keep doing what you are doing and let your daughter know that hitting you is not going to be allowed. Again Kudos to disciplining your child.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 2:06AM
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BITE HER BACK !!!! Its that simple.. First of all i agree with Sheila 100%/ Mickey sounds like a big wind bag to me, sorry pal. His kid will be the first troublemaker on the block and he'll be the "not my kid" dad... Anyhow, when my daughter was like 1 1/2 she suddenly got into biting. This went on for about 2 days and she bit my wife hard enough to draw blood. My wife bit her back and she did not know whta the hell to think. She tried it again about 2 minutes later and my wife bit her again. NOT HARD (i dont need a bunch of crap emails) but enought o get her attention. Bottom line,.. she learned in about 10 minutes that biting hurts and 2 years later she has never bitten anyone again.. ITS THAT SIMPLE THEY GET THE MESSAGE LOUD AND CLEAR..NONE OF THIS SCREWING AROUND WITH TIME OUTS OR BETTER YET MAKE THEM STAND INT HE CORNER, NOW THERE IS A ROCKET SCIENCE APPROACH..

    Bookmark   December 20, 2001 at 3:18PM
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Really what Joe is saying is true. Kids don't always exactly understand it when you say no it hurts and stuff like that. A little tiny bite is usually enough for them to see that it hurts them and theyn they realize it hurts mommy and daddy, too. Your child is just at that stage in her life. My MIL warned me when our son was little that there would be a time when he'd throw his arms around you and you'd be hugging and think it was so sweet and then his biting into your shoulder would change that feeling. She was right. It's a stage right now.

We also slapped our son's hands when just saying "no" all the time wasn't getting us anywhere. When he's really bad and keeps at it, he gets a little smack on his butt. He's a well behaved child when we are out in public and at others houses and is really only trying at home once in a while. He rarely has to be punished for anything and most times it's time out in his bedroom. No problems. I was raised the same way and so my fiance' and both of us have respect for our parents and appreciate that they made us behave. I also can't stand watching the kids act up in the store with the mothers saying, "Now honey, you know you're not supposed to do that. Mommmy told you no. Please sweetie stop that." All in this sweet sing songy voice as they continue on the way. You can really tell the kid doesn't give a crap and will continue. Reminds me of this lady who is friends with my SIL. Their son yells and screams at them and tells them how it's going to be. You know how they get him to "listen"? They tell him, "Ryan, don't do this. Be good. Stop." Nothing comes out harsh, it's all normal tone or they just sit there with this look on his face while he's cracking them in the face and yelling his head off. He's 5! They need to do something about it and what they're doing isn't working.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2001 at 4:24PM
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I agree with Joe on biting back lightly. We did this with my oldest daughter and she never bit anyone again. My youngest daughter at age 3 bit her grandfather who in returned gave her a good swat and she never bit again. I hate to see parents pleading with their children in public. I would love to just smack the parents sometimes for pleading and yelling at their kids.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2001 at 11:54PM
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We're talking about a *baby* here. I have 4 kids and the youngest is three so I have been there. He is just doing what has been taught to him, I never spanked or hit my childs hand at that age. At two, definately, but as a baby there is no way you should resort to that stuff. My kids all got it very quickly at that age when I would put my finger on their bottom jaw and push down firmly and say very sternly,NO BITING! Then put them down and walk away. They would scream bloody murder, for the fact that they were scolded and put down. I am a pretty stern mom when it comes to misbehaviour, and I have spanked my kids at times and given them time outs. But *not* as babies. They act out what you teach, so you have to use a light hand with corporale punishment.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 9:59AM
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Jynx I am happy that putting a finger on your childrens bottom jaw and pushing down firmly and saying no sternly worked for you. To some people this could be considered corporal punishment because you are pushing down firmly on their little jaws. I am 44 yrs. old and I believe in corporal punishment from the time the child is at least 10 months old. NO they do not learn to hit because a parent smacks their little hands or bottoms. I was spanked as a child but I knew damn good and well not to hit my parents or any other adult and so did everyone else that I know that was popped on the hands or bottoms. Corporal punishment isn't for everyone and that is alright but when the parents start complaining and having trouble in school with their kids then they should think back at all of the time outs and pleading they did with their kids. I don't believe in this new age of parenting by reading books and listening to psychologists but listening to my innner instincts on being a parent.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 11:37AM
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Hellulujah to you, SheilaNC. I am also an older first time mom ( 40 ) and I totally agree with your methods of disciplining. My parents were on the abusive side when we ( my siblings and I ) were disciplined and I would not go to that extreme with my DD. She is now 10 months old and I have only tapped her hand once and she did not hit me back!
Even though I was somewhat abused ( physically and emotionally ), I have not had the urged to hit someone or yell at someone for no apparent reason. So, I do not agree at all with Mickey.
I have a friend with a 4 year old who doesn't get yelled at or spanked -ever. I call him a monster because he hits his mom and does not listen to anyone. His parents took him to a restaurant once and said they will never do it again. Even though he's young, he's one of the most unpleasant human beings to be around. I hope that things will change someday, for his sake. So , to parents who think that their child is an angel, ask your real friends what they really think. You might be surprised.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 2:03PM
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Kvksmom I was also abused physically and emotionally by a very domineering mother. Even though I didn't agree with some of her methods of parenting didn't mean that disagreed with her popping by hand or my bottom when needed. I see to many kids running in the stores and restaurants screaming to have their way and the parents are pleading and begging them to please calm down. When I was little if we disbehaved in a store or church we were carried outside and we knew that we were going to get spanked. We never did it again either because we knew what would happen. I treated my girls alot differently than my Mom did me but they still got popped on the hands and behind when they needed it. They knew what boundaries were and what consequences were.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 3:19PM
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So you're saying it's okay to smack and spank a baby? You gals are proof positive that abused children grow up to be abusers. And I'm 37 so don't think you're talking to some young ignorant thing, and I have 4 kids. Yes, I *do* spank when the situation deserves it and my kids are disciplined in public and in private. They are good children, and I'm glad I'm their mom instead of you people.
The definition of corporal punishment is; flogging, as of the body. Maybe in your mind you can see yourself yanking on a babies jaw, *I* use a gentle firm pressure, no flogging, bruising, smacking involved.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 6:44PM
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Jynx who mentioned anything about flogging or bruising. I for one am talking about a light tap on the hand or bottom. As for me turning into an abuser I can tell you, my children can tell you and anyone who knows me can tell you that I never abused my children and this would include their doctors as well. If you spank your children when the situation calls for it then you to are using corporal punishment. IMHO who are judging me before you have had a chance to walk in my shoes. If you can raise your children with a stern no and a firm pressure to the jaw and them obey then I say more power to you. The overall parents that I witness in public pleads, begs, and lets their kids run the household instead of them being parents and taking control by setting rules and boundaries for these kids to abide by. I personally don't call a light tap on the bottom or a slight tap on the hand abuse. Abuse is someone who gets slapped in the face, hair pulled, objects thrown at them and derogatory names such as stupid. I grew up with this and through talking with a counselor and going to church I have learned to forgive my parents for this type of abuse but I greatly praise them for taking me to church, instilling moral values in me and teaching me to obey all types of rules. Just because someone was abused as a child does not label them one also.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2001 at 10:35PM
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I disagree with the need to use physical punishment on a BABY. They are not mentally mature enough to understand the connection. Sheila, you said that using pressure on my childs jaw was a form of corporal punishment, it is npt, and that is why I posted the definition of the phrase. I happen to agree with you on the older child aspect, and have seen plenty of moms pleading with their children to behave. I don't tolerate that with my children and we remove ourselves to the bathroom or car for a discussion or punishment for misbehaviour. I will say again though, there is no need to smack a baby, I don't care what the reasons are. Happy Holidays, I've said my piece here.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 7:51AM
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This will never end. Parents have different feelings on this issue. Oh, and spanking a child really can't get you in trouble unless you leave marks! Do you realize how thick a diaper is and how hard you would have to smack them with your hand to do that? Your hand would end up hurting and stinging more than the kids bottom at that point. We're not talking beating here~just a little tap on the butt or on a hand. It doesn't usually even hurt the child, just scares them enough to know they did something wrong and not to do it again.

Funny thing is when more parents did smack their kids and actually discipline them for things, weren't they all more behaved? Weren't there less rebellious kids and teens years ago? Just a thought.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2001 at 11:00AM
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I agree that parents will disagree on this subject. Leslie you made my point that kids who were disciplined years ago were less rebellious because we knew the consequences of our actions. Everyone have a very Merry Christmas!!!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2001 at 12:53PM
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Over the holidays, I asked a bunch of parents their opinion and I got the same reply from everyone. Pushing down the jaw is a lot harsher than a tap on the hand.Jynx, I am not calling you an abuser, but you should try to get someone to push down on your jaw to see how much it hurts.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 1:54PM
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Amen to Joe!! In my opinion, lack of sufficient disipline is one of the causes of the major problems in this country today. We have thrown out corporal punishment as one of our options, allowing some of our young people to become monsters..Spanking does not teach a child to hit or bite, they know how to do that when they are born..They don`t need to be taught. When you allow them to get away with doing something wrong, THAT teaches them to do it again! Children AND adults do what works for them! DOCTOR SPOCK was wrong on this and society is paying the price for listening to him. We have to return to punishing bad behavior. Or we will encourage it!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 8:55AM
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