Why do chronic biting problems occur?
Chronic biting problems occur for these reasons in general. Number one, the child is reacting to certain stressors or obstacles. It is our job to uncover what they are and that is the seven questions. The second reason children bite is the current interventions people are using are actually making it worse. We do not want to make it worse, we want to step in with some ideas to improve the situation. Third, inconsistent handling can make learning very difficult. You might have one teacher stepping in and handling conflicts one way and another teacher handling conflicts another way. Parents, grandparents, and the nanny or babysitter may be handling conflicts in a completely different way. The lack of consistency does not work in your favor here. Fourth, changes could be needed and are needed in both the home and the school/center/program.
I honestly can't remember one client I have ever had in 30 years where there was no room for improvement in both home and group care situations. Sometimes parents will tell the teachers, "You know what? She doesn't bite at home, so it is happening on your watch, it is your issue, it is your fault." Often, it turns out the child is not getting enough sleep at night, is not coming in with a full tummy full of a satiating breakfast, or parents are very over permissive at home. There is something going on in both places.
This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course, You Can Become a Biting Solution Expert!, presented by Lisa Poelle, MA.