Biting My Classmate: What Was I Thinking?

why children bite

Why Children Bite

Taken from the mind of any two year old, as he sinks his teeth into the arm of the little girl next to him …

“What was I thinking when I bit her?”

The injured girl starts screaming at an ear-piercing level. Adults start scurrying around, separating children, scolding me, and pulling me out of the story circle. The teacher is asking me why I did this, would I like someone to bite me, how do I think the little girl feels right now, and on and on.  All the kids in the room are staring at me and some even look frightened.  As a matter of fact, I’m kind of scared myself.  And now I’m thinking, “What are the odds that my mom is going to hear about this and all these questions are going to be asked of me again?”


I bet we would be hard pressed to find a single child care center that has not experienced a biting. However, it is still a heart pounding situation that requires immediate attention on many levels.  There is dealing with the biting child, the bitten child, the biting child’s parents, the bitten child’s parents.  Then there is the mini-medical attention that has to take place to clean the wound.  This 10-second event will wind up eating up 30-60 minutes of a staff member’s time – every time it happens.


It is really important that child care center staff understands why children bite and how to curtail this “activity”. Many experts tell us that almost every child bites someone at some time.  There are three major reasons that children bite other children because:


  • They are frustrated because they cannot talk yet or sufficiently express their desires
  • They are frightened, scared, or confused about a change in their life
  • They want attention, and biting sure does get attention!

Every child care center must have a protocol in place for when children bite and are bitten. We have a live webinar that helps to design/perfect the protocol.  More importantly, it discusses ways to avoid bite.  Please join us to discuss.