Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
I’m so embarrassed to write this but you said we could be anonymous so here goes. My two-year-old son has started biting me and my husband when he is angry and frustrated. We have tried time outs but it isn’t working. How can we get him to stop biting us? He usually does it at bedtime or when he has to leave the park, any time we have to lift him up to take him somewhere or to bed. He doesn’t have many tantrums but the biting needs to stop.
Because this is Bad Mom Advice I was hoping I could find a baby-sized mask like the type Hannibal Lector wore in the Silence Of The Lambs and just link you to that, but no such luck. I’m sorry your kid is a biter, but lots of kids are biters. They bite because they aren’t great at articulating their feelings, and because you are being a bitch and making them leave the park. God, Mom! Why you gotta be so NOT fun? The first thing you need to do is firmly tell your kid “No biting. Biting hurts Mom (or Dad). We don’t bite. What the hell is your problem?” Or if you aren’t a bad mom like me you can say “No biting, biting hurts. Tell me why you are upset.” You want to teach them to tell you why they are mad rather than resorting to taking a hunk out of your arm or wherever. Explain to them the next time they bite that they will lose a privilege or put them in an age-appropriate length time out. You should never, ever bite your child in retaliation, all that teaches them is that hey, my mom can bite too, this sucks. If the stern reminder and the time out don’t work, you can place your hand over their mouth and remind them “We do not bite.” I’m sure as soon as your kid is able to better express why they are upset, the biting will cease. Until then, I suggest long sleeves. Made of Kevlar.