My kid was a biter (so I totally sympathise with MFS who has a hair puller, a condition also known as trichotillomania, officially, just so ya know…)
It occurred in private to me and my DH (I looked like I had been beaten up, with bruises all down my arms and thighs) and in public to other kids. Whenever we were in the park and I would hear another child scream I would think “Oh no, what has he done?”. Parties and social occasions were fraught.
Though boychild is now 7 and he doesn’t bite anymore, I wound myself up for years about the reasons for the biting: Was I too soft? Was I not loving enough? Was I ‘secretly depressed’? I blamed my not perfect relationship (please email me if there is a perfect relationship out there…!), blamed food, blamed myself day after day.
Guess what? Blaming myself didn’t stop the biting. Practical, loving, consistent support did.
So, if your kids has some difficult behavioural issues I have 2 things to say: It doesn’t last forever and it’s not your fault.
Now, practical things that did work.
Books one in particular ‘Teeth are not for biting‘ (alas, no hair pulling one in this range…write to them!) but all this range of books I recommend. Read over and over and over and over…
Consistency between all care givers. He attended a fantastic nursery here in Barcelona called The Playhouse who actually devised a biting strategy with us (LOVE) which we all agreed on and followed there and at home. It included things like wearing a baby teething toy clipped to him and when he was about to bite getting other children to say “Don’t bite me, bite this!”, comforting the injured one, encouraging him to ‘make good’ by bringing them ice or a hug, removing him from the situation if necessary, but in a calm and controlled manner (even negative energy is exciting to little ones, so making a big fuss and scolding can actually encourage the behaviour you want to avoid).
S.O.S technique for biting moments. If you do get bitten, don’t try to pull your arm away, it usually makes them bite harder to grip you. Gently but firmly push their head towards your arm/leg, their jaw should loosen up and open, and you whip away quick time. Good little tip to avoid shark teeth circular bruises. Learned this one late in the experience, but it works.
Lots of love, lots of cuddles, try not to lose faith in yourself or your little one. Oh, and my all time fave parenting mantra “Its Just A Phase“.