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    Pulling, Hitting and Biting in Toddlers
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    Parenting Development
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    Why do toddlers hit
    08 March 2016

    Pulling, Hitting and Biting in Toddlers

    3 mins read
    for Toddlers
    1595 engaged
    Why do toddlers hit? Toddlers tend to hit, bite or pull hair when they're upset for some reasons. Since they got a limited vocabulary and social skills, it's difficult for them to use words to express their frustration and anger. They often perceive such aggressive behavior as communication tools.


    Toddlers often become aggressive in order to either show dissatisfaction, to control a situation, or to retain a toy in a squabble. Sometimes, when toddlers feel tense, frightened or emotionally isolated, they tend to act in this manner. Within a few times of a child exerting his aggression, he discovers a great way to get a reaction too!

    Why do Toddlers Pull Hair or Even Bite?

    It's quite often noticed that what starts off as a simple socially incorrect behavior in infants goes on to become an aggressive behavior in toddlers. So the lessons have to begin early. Kids need to be shown and taught what socially acceptable behaviour is and what isn't. Here's a list of few dos and don’ts to teach your child to communicate properly.
    • Identify the causes of Aggressive Behaviour in Toddlers:

      If your toddler has suddenly started showing aggressive behaviour, try identifying what's going on around him. Where is the source of his aggression? It can be from television, a change in daycare, a change from home to preschool, older siblings or playmates. Once you have been able to identify the cause, try changing the setup within the possible limits.
    • Be a Role Model and Set an Example:

      Want to know how to stop a toddler from hitting? Parents, preschool teachers, and caregivers are a child’s first teachers. It is up to them to show the child the behaviour you want them to emulate. Teach him how to use words to express his needs or unhappiness and how not to harm and hit others.
    • Time out Mode:

      Worried about biting behaviour in toddlers? A "time out" strategy often works well. As soon as a kid is aggressive toward a playmate or sibling, separate them and put the child into a two-minute "time out" period. He would quickly make the connection between behaving badly and getting punished.
    • Show and Tell:

      For stopping biting in toddlers, you need to teach your child that hitting or pulling or biting hurts, and causes pain and injury. Ask your child to softly bite his own finger not angrily but as if he was biting himself. Try explaining the point "See? Biting hurts!"
    • Do not do the Same:

      If you pull his hair to stop him from pulling his friend’s hair, you're only teaching him that hair pulling is the way to alter someone's behaviour. To figure out how to get your toddler to stop biting, try making him understand the alternative solutions possible to solve the problem. Help him practice saying no to his friend and expressing himself in words.
    As your child becomes more verbal, the question of why do toddlers bite and pull would disappear. Moreover, the child also develops more of a vocabulary to communicate with words instead of aggressive actions.

    Share your tips and tricks on how to stop toddlers from pulling and biting. We'd love to feature your answers!

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