The Best Ways to Respond to Biting and Hitting

3. BE ATTENTIVE. Respond to the "victim" first. Apologize for your child. (Read below for how to treat human bites.)

4. BE CALM. Your child will learn more from this experience if she is reprimanded in a firm but neutral voice.

5. BE FIRM. Set your child an arms distance away and say to her, "Don't bite. Biting hurts."

6. BE REALISTIC. Have confidence in your child's natural goodness and in her ability to make positive changes -- but expect change to come about slowly.

7. BE APPRECIATIVE. Praise your child whenever she handles herself well.

Treating Human Bites

• Clean the area with soap and water and cover with sterile bandage
• If the skin is broken, visit your health care provider
• Gather and share information about the general health of the biter

TIP: Treat your child with respect, and she'll treat you (and others) with respect in return.

Cathryn Tobin, M.D., is a pediatrician, midwife and a member of the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. Her new book The Parent's Problem Solver: Smart Solutions for Everyday Discipline and Behavior Problems was published by Random House. Dr. Tobin has been speaking on parenting issues for more than 20 years. She lives with her husband and four children in Ontario.

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