Biting and hitting

  • I am sure this is a problem many parents have faced, but not sure how to handle it.  My one twin has taken to biting or hitting his twin when he is mad at him.  Any suggestions of how to get him to stop??? I don't think giving him a swat is going to resolve the issue and haven't tried it.  I just get him from his twin and tell him not to bite, but other than that not sure how to keep this from happening.  Of course at this point have two screaming toddlers, the one that got bit and the other who is mad.  They are 19 months old. 

    What leads to the biting is the other twin will just go take a toy from his brother and that is what starts everything.  I try to sidetrack with another toy and on the rare occasion he won't let the toy go they both start screaming and I am at loss as how to sidetrack them both for another toy.  They both are screaming and want the same toy.  I know that at this age they don't quite understand sharing yet, but just for my sanity wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to handle the feuding as well???

    I am expecting a little girl in Sep and I know there is probably going to be some adjustments on everyone's part when she arrives home and hope to have some of these behaviors a little more under control as I know there will be the jealous factor to deal with when she arrives.  I have some of that now between the two of them. 


    Thanks everyone for advice, suggestions, etc.

  • This is a hard one and one that will not be easily remedied. For starters, you have to be consistent....decide ahead of time what you will do when one of them bites or hits. Say the SAME phrase when it "NO NO..we do not hit". And then remove the child from the room and put them in time out...or give the one who was bit..the toy that they were fighting over. Then after time out, show your son how to ask for something he wants or show him a better way to play. As long as he is getting attention and getting a reaction, he may continue this behavior....but if you are consistent, then he will eventually learn how to get what he wants in a different way. 

    As far as fighting over toys.....they probably always will!! Just try to show them how to play together with toys instead of being adversaries. If you are still having trouble with them, talk to your pediatrician for more advice. Good luck!

  • As  preschool teacher, I can tell you that biting is a normal act of can seem very frustrating, but it can be dealt with.  He is ony 19 months old, and babies or children at that age are very oral, you do need to remember that as well. Yes, you do need to be consistent, every time hit bites, you must remove him from the other twin and put him in time-out, 1 minute for each year old he his (19 months old, I'd say 2 minutes), set a timer and use the same time-out spot every time.  Explain as he is going into time out that he is there for biting his brother/sister and that is not okay. Walk away from him...if he gets up put him back without speaking to him...keep doing that until he sits.  When he gets out of time-out explain agin why he was sitting there.  Tell him to say sorry to his brother/sister.  You could also try giving him a teething ring to bit and explain to him that if he needs to bit, he bits that and not his brother/sister and I would leave it out so that he can have access to it (this will be hard thing for him to remember to do each time he wants to bit b/c his first reaction will be to go after his brother/sister, but it gives him another option and eventually he may catch on!). As a 19 month old the teething ring thind could be difficuilt to do, but you never know.  It will take a lot of time to get him to stop biting.  Swatting him is not the answer, you are right on that, it only reinforces bab physical behavior.

    Yes, he will eventually out grow it!  Patience, patience, and patience!