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Why young children bite their friends
Wietske Boon

Small children have not yet learned how to communicate their needs and emotions effectively, thus they might bite or pinch their friends to give them the message that they are not approving of the current situation. In most of these cases the child is feeling angry, frustrated, irritated or even overly excited. They have a feeling that needs to be expressed – now!

A few reasons why children bite their friends:

How to handle the situation

Although biting is a normal reaction for small children, they need to learn that it is not socially acceptable behaviour. 


Dealing with anger in the early years

Anger is a normal reaction to unpleasant events. Children need to learn to handle anger appropriately. When a child gets angry, acknowledge the emotion: “I can see you are angry.” Give him alternatives to deal with the anger like doing star-jumps, to kick a ball or take a deep breath. The child needs to work through the emotion; keeping it all inside is no good. Be his role-model and mentor to understand and communicate his emotions appropriately.


Wietske Boon, Registered Counsellor - Play therapy, 



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