So, Kyle who is almost nine, has started something new. He has started biting, his younger siblings being the targets. I am hoping that this is a phase, one that will be short lived, but it still needs to be dealt with and understood.
Kyle has always had issues with transitions and over stimulation. So the last time he bit his younger brother (younger brother is four years old) it was partly my fault for not creating the right environment. He was gone for the weekend and when he was brought home we were next door at my parents' house. Kyle is usually off the wall when he comes home after being away and he is usually off the wall with excitement when he visits my parents. Combining the two proved to be just too much. We were also making decorations and decorating the tree at my parents house.
Kyle loves to play with his siblings, but most of the time it isn't a pleasurable experience for any of them. The little ones don't play 'right' and as much as they try to play by Kyle's rules, they just don't get it. Most of the time what happens is that when they are playing together I need to get involved to help the situation out, but I don't always have the time to devote 100% of my attention to them at the time they need me. So, they get separated. Not because anyone is in trouble, but just so that the situation doesn't escalate into something like biting.
We are still not sure exactly what led up to this particular biting incident, other than the over stimulation. We know that he didn't bite because his brother bit him first. It happened so fast.
So, how does one deal with this scenario? I am not sure, but I will tell you what I did.
I placed Kyle in a time out first. Mainly this was for my benefit so I could process what had happened and derive a plan to deal with this. After a few minutes I brought him out of time out.
First we talked about what had happened. We went through and relived the story, without actually biting anyone. Then we discussed feelings. We discussed that all feelings are okay, including anger, but that it is not acceptable to bite other people or ourselves. We discussed what he should have done before he bit his brother. We discussed biting and how it affects people and that it is not acceptable in anyway. I asked Kyle what he needed to do now, and he said to apologize, which he did.
As mentioned before, the fact that he was over stimulated was what the main cause of this incident was. So, in the future, it is my duty as the parent to try to make sure that he is not overstimulated. We may have to be at home and have a required 30 minute 'space' between him and his siblings when he comes home from being away.