Our girls are now 19 months old, and they are going through a biting phase. My response is to remove the biter from the situation for a minute. I sit the biter on the step, which is the same time out spot as we do for our almost-4-year-old son. It all sounds good in theory, but here’s what happened last time:
The Biter* bit her sister, The Victim, because The Victim got in her way. The Biter was clearly frustrated and unhappy with the situation. The Victim, with teeth marks on her arm, was also unhappy. When I removed The Biter and sat her on the step, she settled right down. She sat on the step quietly for a few moments, and then was ready to get back to her toys. Meanwhile, The Victim cried because she had been bitten. Then, she cried because her sister got to have a timeout she didn’t. In the end, I had to “give” her a time out too because she felt she had been further victimized by being denied a timeout.
(* I don’t believe in labeling my children this way, and I assure you they have both been biters and victims, but this was the easiest way to keep track of who’s who for the story.)
Any suggestions for next time?