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Question
Posted by: Col | 2011/09/08

17 Month Old Biting &  Scratching!

Hi - I previously sent this to the ''Behaviour Modification Expert'' who seems to no longer exist on Health 24. My 17 month old Goddaughter is at the stage where she scratches and sometimes tries to bite us - she has learnt a few words and it seems as if she behaves like this when she is frustrated with not being able to communicate with us verballIy e.g. if I kiss her on her neck and she wants me to stop or if I am holding her and she wants to get down, etc. This happens with everyone, even her Mom and Dad. Is this ''''normal'''' child behaviour for this age and how should it be handled? Thank-you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I wasn't aware of a Behaviour Mod expert having ever been here. At the stage of learning to speak, it must be frustrating to not manage to communicate something verbally but realizing that it is possible to do so. But the situation you describe shouldn't need many sords : "Stop" should be one of the first words a child is helped to learn. If a child is bothered or frightened by an action the adult considers loving and expects to be enjoyable, its not hard for them to indicate this non-verbally, and the adult should promptly stop. I wonder, too, how she is disciplined. One of the under-recognized ill-effects of physical disciplne ( smacking, etc ) is that it teaches kids that this is an acceptable way to indicate disapproval.
What do other parents think ?

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Nia | 2011/09/09

I have a 2 year old, and yes, it is normal for them to do that when they are frustrated. What works for my child is to put him in timeout for two minutes or to take him to his room until he has calmed down.

When they are younger it helps to just focus their attention on something else and they will forget about it.

Reply to Nia
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/08

I wasn't aware of a Behaviour Mod expert having ever been here. At the stage of learning to speak, it must be frustrating to not manage to communicate something verbally but realizing that it is possible to do so. But the situation you describe shouldn't need many sords : "Stop" should be one of the first words a child is helped to learn. If a child is bothered or frightened by an action the adult considers loving and expects to be enjoyable, its not hard for them to indicate this non-verbally, and the adult should promptly stop. I wonder, too, how she is disciplined. One of the under-recognized ill-effects of physical disciplne ( smacking, etc ) is that it teaches kids that this is an acceptable way to indicate disapproval.
What do other parents think ?

Reply to cybershrink

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