Saturday, April 10, 2010


So, I mentioned a few days ago that Vivian has started fighting back against the oppression that is her brother- and her method of fighting back is by biting.

Here's the thing- and my source of confusion about all this. Vivian does not bite until the late afternoon/evening, when her brother has been picking on her all day. The kids love to play together, but pretty much every time Ethan is near Vivian, he's pushing her over or randomly sitting on her or stealing her toys or being mean to her in some other way. I am fairly certain that I say "ETHAN! Stop hitting/pushing/kicking/sitting on/taking the toy from Vivian" 45 times per day by the time they've been up for 10 minutes. That's just their life. They're always in the same space wanting the same toy, and right now Ethan is bigger and he has more tools to fight with.

So, I'm 95% proud of Vivian for finally finding a way to fight back and not get pushed around. But, at the same time, biting other people is probably not something we want to encourage. And she's biting him hard- hard enough to leave bruises and marks on his arms for days afterwards. Which means I need to do something about it. Even though Ethan, so far, completely deserves being bit.

Anyone been here before that has great advice for me? Anyone???


Andrea said...

Well, my problem was with the two year old biting the baby. But when Emma was little we had a biting period. (She was 14 months old when she cut her first tooth so she was older and maybe understood more) that said, we bit her back. It's not the best parenting advice, but it worked for us. We obviously didn't bite hard, just enough to tell her that it hurts, and no biting. However, my concern would be that Ethan would see and start biting her too. I think maybe just a firm NO and moving her out of the situation, maybe into a place she doesn't like, like the pack n' play for a couple of minutes might help?

Good luck.

Karen said...

While biting may seem justified or deserved it's not an appropriate coping mechanism to allow any more than hitting/kicking/stealing behavior.

If you can pinpoint a time of day when their bickering is at its worst maybe plan to spend that part of the day focusing on monitoring their play and participating with them so that you can mediate and nip bad behavior in the bud. Modeling and reinforcement at this age is way more effective than speaking directives to them. Vivian and Ethan are so close in age they're going to compete for everything. Learning to share toys, mommy, space, and alone time isn't something that will come naturally to them.

Andrea has some good ideas, too. Good luck!