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Anne Cawood


Posted by: Wendy | 2010-07-27


5 year old biting himself

My son is 5 year old , will be 6 in September and sometimes when he gets angry he bites himself on his hands or arms. How can I get him to stop doing this ? Please help , as his creche teacher seems to think he needs professional help

Expert's Reply


Anne Cawood Anne Cawood
- 2010-08-19

I think it will be advisable to try helping your son to express his feelings in more acceptable ways. At 5 years old, he no doubt has strong feelings - but does not yet have the verbal skills to express them. When you see him beginning to bite himself - try verbalising the feelings for him "I can see that you are very angry" then find another outlet for these feelings - give him a bean bag to throw, or a bop bag (one of those boxing practice bags) or peg toy to hammer. Even directing him to draw a very angry picture or to jump up and down saying loudly "I am very cross" - will help him to direct and channel these strong feelings.

I would try this for a while before taking him for therapy. You need to make it safe for him to show his feelings in a way that is not destructive. I think the biting has become a habit - and needs to be firmly and patiently re-directed.

The information provided does not constitute a professional diagnosis of your problem. You should consult a health care practitioner, lawyer or other appropriate professional for formal advice. Parent24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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