Will you bite your child to discipline him/her?

United States
May 3, 2007 6:30am CST
One of my friends said something shocking to me yesterday. She said if her daughter bites her (she's 2), my friend will bite her back to discipline her and show her that it hurts and she shouldn't do it. I'm shocked beyond words! I don't think that biting them back is the right way to get them to stop biting. Err..it's like..it's ok for me to bite you cos' I'm an adult but it's not ok for you to bite me? I dunno. I just think that's really strange and wrong. She also told me she'll smack or pinch her daughter if that's what the daughter is doing. But her justification is that "oh...but I don't do it too hard cos' it's just enough for her to feel a little pain but not to hurt her". Do you think that's right?
16 people like this
43 responses
• India
3 May 07
The first thing to do is to find out the reason for this behaviour . In many cases the reason may be due lack of attention given to the child and I am sure that if a little more love is given,the child will be OK
5 people like this
• United States
4 May 07
Exactly, if these poeple spent a little more time with there kids and paid them more attention, they wouldn't be having so many problems. I agree with others that every child is different, but nothing justifies biting your child, but I guess later down the road when they are dealing with far worse behavior and psychological problem, they may see the error of their ways, just sad that they can't see it before it gets out of hand.
1 person likes this
@magikrose (5425)
• United States
3 May 07
In my opnion hurting a child of that age just to make them understand that it hurts is NOT the right way to do it. My youngest is 3yr old and she tried the biting thing and what we did was say "OUCH that hurts" then ask her to not do it again. It only took 3days for her to get the clue that it was wrong and she has not done it ever since. We use spanking as a last resort when everything else dosnt work. Most of the time we dont ever get that far but for those times that we do all it is 1 firm tap on her bottom and then she stops and cries it out.
5 people like this
• United States
3 May 07
That's the same with us as well. Mine just turned two and all I have to do is say "Ouch! That hurts!" and make a face and he knows he's not supposed to do that. Eventually he stops.
1 person likes this
@dramaqn (1990)
• United States
3 May 07
Being a mother of 5 and one on the way, and as one who was raised old school, I feel that as long as she doesn't bruise the child, she should do what works. I have a thing (mostly in public) where I will flick the child or give them a froggy. But I started the flicking thing with my first, at around age 2, and continued with the others. After doing this about 2 or 3 times, the children got the hint. Now, all I have to do is set my fingers in position and say "Do you want me to flick you"? And they say no, and whatever bad thing they were doing is stopped. Sometimes if you start a small form of discipline when they are young, and you stick to it, it will become very beneficial in the long run. Now, if only those parents who let their kids run around the store, up and down the aisles, in and out of the clothing racks could find something like my flicking, they'd have less of a headache. The main thing to remember is to discipline and teach a lesson to stop such behavior, which can be done without harming the child. But the whole timeout thing, is just simply for the birds or very mild incidents (at least in my opinion). The kids today are of a whole new breed, and it's almost scary. We, as parents need to step up to the plate and learn how to discipline without giving the child any reason to try and report us for doing our job. That's why the key is to do whatever you need to do, but with out bruising.
5 people like this
• United States
4 May 07
Oh my God!!! I so hope you know how wrong that sounds. I did not really think that there were that many people out there who still thought this way. There is a whole hell of a lot of damage you can do to a child, without ever causing a bruise. I am not saying the flicking is all that bad, as long as it is on the arm or leg or something. But, you have to take in to consideration all the different ways people can take what you posted, it could be very harmful for some poor innocent kids out there.
1 person likes this
@KissThis (3008)
• United States
3 May 07
I have often heard of people who bite their children back for biting. I don't believe that its is the right way to handle the situation. You are just showing the child that it is ok to bite. I found that id my child did something to hurt another child I would ask if they would want that child to do the same to them. Then I put them in a time out for a minute or two to think about what they have done. Then I always have them aplogize for what they did wrong.
5 people like this
@sunshine4 (8710)
• United States
3 May 07
Children at the age of 2 don't know what it feels like to be bit, unless you show them. I have bit my children when they bite. I only had to do it once and they stopped. I wouldn't just bite them, I would talk to them and tell them the reason I had to bite them was to show them that it hurts. Then explain that when they bite their friend, they are hurting them. It is a process, but it really does work.
4 people like this
• United States
4 May 07
It is very sad that you feel this way, I would not go around telling everybody that, unless you want someone to report you for child abuse.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8710)
• United States
4 May 07
I take great offense that you think I am abusing my child. I have never bit them hard enough to make a mark and only had to do it once. It isn't like I am beating them~ I don't even spank my kids!! I think your comment was uncalled for.
@Rickrocks8 (1751)
• United States
3 May 07
Your right she's wrong. Her child will be the one in preschool biting all the other kids. EEEKS Mine were always the ones who got bit! Maybe you could suggest time out. Because she will keep doing it you can ask her, "how's that working for ys?"
4 people like this
• United States
3 May 07
Yeah, I should. I haven't spoken to her much lately.
1 person likes this
@mememama (3077)
• United States
3 May 07
I think retaliating by doing the same behavior will just reinforce it. My son has bit me, I told him "oww that hurt mommy" and he felt bad. He hasn't done it since.
4 people like this
• United States
3 May 07
That's how I feel too.
1 person likes this
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
3 May 07
I've always had a hard time with this one, because to me it doesn't seem like it's discipline, but that the parent is being vindictive. I however believe in spankings, but as a discipline tool, not that they hit me, so I'll hit you back. And I don't see how anyone can justify biting as discipline, it doesn't seem like the parent has the right motivation. THey just want to show the child it hurts, but the child already knows that it hurts, especially at age 2, they should be finding a discipline that works to show the child that it is untolerable, and won't be put up with. I've always hated this idea, that well, you act like a child, so I will return the behavior, and see how you like it. It's foolish, and dangerous.
4 people like this
• United States
3 May 07
That's kinda how I feel too. I felt like my friend should have tried other methods first before resorting to this...if at all there is a need. I'm sure using a gentler method would have shown some kind of success.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 May 07
i've yet to see what she'll do if her daughter accidentally stabs her with a pencil in her hand. ;) discipline through physical means (beating, slapping) is not the right way to do it. not only will it be traumatic for the child but it will also make him do the same to his/her kids when he/she grows up. and for heaven's sake - that's a kid! what is she trying to tell the kid? that it is right to act childish infront of your kids? "hey you! you stabbed me with this pencil! come here and i'll show you WHY you shouldn'T do that!"
4 people like this
@eanna13 (133)
• United States
3 May 07
My daughter at that age bit me ONCE I bit her back ( not leaving any marks) and explained that it hurt, and she NEVER bit anyone again. One of my friends just tells her little boy that it hurts and to stop doing it. He stops at that time, but will bite someone again. Another friend has tried to bite her grandson (she is his main caregiver) and explain in the same way I did, but it dosen't work, and he will continue to bite. In conclusion, I think it also depends on the child. some types of discipline will work for some children, but not for others.
4 people like this
@anonymili (3140)
3 May 07
I don't have kids of my own but I have many friends who have small and grown up children. Different strokes for different folks. Some people use spanking to get the message across and it works in some cases and not in others, some people sit down and talk to their kids explaining why something is wrong and it also works in some cases and not in others. Sometimes a child might be just too young to understand getting talked at by their parent. I personally wouldn't judge your friend too harshly for biting her daughter back. Hopefully she's not doing it so hard that the child will be marked or start crying but just enough that the child will realise that it's not a nice feeling to be on the receiving end. Other people have responded here saying this sort of thing works whilst others are against it. I think we all have to realise that it is down to a child's parents to determine what sort of guidance they will give their own children - as long as this guidance doesn't become violent abuse then we should let parents make their own choices about how to bring up their children and teach them the right values :)
• United States
3 May 07
I know she's just trying to teach her child a point but I hope she's doing the right thing and not setting her daughter up for failure. I know sometimes just a good talking to to children that young doesn't really do much good. Personally, I prefer just telling my child "No and It Hurts".
1 person likes this
@Gemmygirl1 (2871)
• Australia
3 May 07
Well, i dunno yet but apparently this is a very common thing that has been going on for quite some time. This isn't the first time i have heard of this & for some people it seems to work - it might not work for all but everyone has their own ideas on how to teach a child not to do something. I think if you don't want to do it, then you work out your own way of doing things but if another parent has discovered biting back stops their child from doing it again, then it has worked for them. I don't necessarily think it's the right thing to do but it's not really for me to judge - if it works for some, then it's up to them.
3 people like this
• United States
4 May 07
That is not really the right way to look at it. If it works for them??? So, if beating the crap out of a kid gets them to stop the behavior, it is justified?? It is not. Biting your child is child abuse, by most state laws anyway. Children learn by example, so all you are showing them is that if they get bit, it is ok to bite back, that is not the kind of society anyone would want to live in. I have had a few friends over the years that have shared the same mentality, the child bites or pinches, they bite or pinch them back. It just irritates me that there are people out there ignorant enough to think that this is teaching there child anything, other than violence.
1 person likes this
@steney (1418)
• Philippines
4 May 07
I think this picture is very wrong. The child is just 2 years old for crying out loud! Basically, she doesn't know yet the consequences of what she's doing and maybe why she's doing it. Hurting her back will not make the situation right. Inflicting pain no matter how 'little' it is is still pain inflicted. Your friend might start with her discipline method at this level, but eventually, when the child grows older and the offenses become bigger, she might already hit her child depending on the gravity of the offense, just 'to show her that it hurts and she shouldn't do it'. Try to talk your friend out of her disciplining method and suggest better ways to teach her child without hurting. Goodluck!
@Calais (10905)
• Australia
4 May 07
Thats quite disgusting, how horrible. A child of 2 does not realise their strength or really what they are doing, everything is learning or a game for them.....Sorry but thats shocking.
3 people like this
@Carrie26 (1587)
• United States
3 May 07
I would not bite my child back at all if they bit me.I would tell them No that thathurts people when you bite.I would put them in time out if my children bi again.If they continued doing it I would spank their rear lightly.I think if you bite a child back that is encourgeing them to bite again or bite other people.I have heard of people doing that.All I can say is I would not do that to my kids.It would be mean.Maybe they dont understand at that young og age or they want attention and they think thats the only way to get it.
@planyak (31)
• Malaysia
3 May 07
I agree with your opinions. That was a wrong way to dicipline our child. Bite, smack or pinch her daughter was a very bad idea. it was painfull. For me..we have to do is decipline ourself 1st.
@palina77 (1178)
• United States
3 May 07
I heared bitting of child in USA is offense, my cousine said me, it is true? If so how your friend bit her 2 years kid? Even is hurt me to bite 2 yrs. baby, at this age baby will flourish merit, will learn seeing other and at this age she will do some potty things to see her as a jack of all trade. So this is not fair to bite a 2 years old baby.
3 people like this
@skydancer (1716)
• United States
3 May 07
It seems like while she is right to teach her child not to do violent things, this "eye for an eye" type reinforcement doesn't seem like it's a good way to go. First of all, biting her could have harmful effects both physically and emotionally. Plus, when you're only two years old, I would think having your mother mimmick your behavior may send a message that this type of behavior solves problems. She seems to be into the "terrible twos" as most two-year-olds are. It's probably a phase she'll grow out of. In the meantime, I don't know what's provoking her, but biting her back just does not strike me as a good idea. While your friend probably means well, she should consider thinking about another tactic as mimmicking the child's behavior probably won't accomplish her goals as a parent.
3 people like this
• United States
3 May 07
Almost all children go through a biting stage. Eventually they will stop. To bite a child or anyone is wrong. This only shows that '''might makes right" The bigger stronger one wins. When my duaghter went through this phase, she stoppped biting people aftr we said it was wrong to hurt others and how would she feel. that worked for humans. Unfortunately, she was crying on the coouch one day and I asked her what happenned. she said the dog bit her(a Shi Tsu). I asked her what she did to the dog. Her reply? "i bit his tail." She hasn't bit anyone or anything since.
• Malaysia
3 May 07
erm.. i think it's okay if you uses that technique to dicipline her child..i think some parents do practise such dicipline.. last time my parents too will tell me the same.. but they didn't do it.. they always say if i always show my temper.... and want to beat them.. they will do the same and i will feel what they feel.. that's how they train their child.. and sometimes it works.. we don't deny the probability of failing and success.. right? ... i think it's okay for a mom to do as long as it doesn't hurt that much .. and it must be much lighter than what her child does =)
3 people like this