Thought I would report the broad range of advice/reactions I have received after venting numerous times about Elliot and the biting. I did ask for tips, wanting to see what all you veteran parents would suggest.
- Bite him back. Give him a taste of his own medicine.
- Stay calm and consistent (sounds good to me...).
- Pre-empt the trips to the park or with other kids with a reminder of "When we're at the park, remember, you can't bite." Which hasn't been the issue, but you get the gist.
- This is very normal, you have to tame the animal instinct. He's protecting his territory.
- This is definitely not normal. You should be concerned.
- He's a toddler, he doesn't know.
- He's not in daycare, huh?
- This too shall pass. Sit tight and don't fret so much.
- You're over reacting, stop rehashing it.
All this tells me one thing: There's no golden answer. Well, and another- no two kids are just alike. It's funny how the people who never had a biter react so very differently than the people whose kids were biters.
Anyway, we had a great visit with Nancy and Leroi on Sunday. Elliot found out quickly that Leroi likes his goldfish crackers and readily fed them to him, then asked for his bowl to be refilled. It was quite cute. Leroi is the most gentle dog I've ever seen. Toddler fingers right in his mouth, offering a cracker, and only the tongue searches for the food...