Children who bite others 'not being read to at home'
Children are biting other youngsters and staff at nurseries because their parents do not have enough time to talk and read to them, it was claimed.
Youngsters who spend too much time in front of screens can struggle to communicate and express their emotions, it was suggested.
As a result, they become frustrated and bite other children or nursery staff, experts said.
The warning came as a poll of nursery owners, managers and workers found that 27 per cent say they have seen a rise in the number of children biting in the past five years.
And 62 per cent of the 1,000 people questioned said they often have to deal with children biting at their nurseries.
Sue Learner, editor of the daynurseries.co.uk website, which carried out the poll, said the findings were ‘extremely worrying’. She said children tend to bite when they do not have the language to express their emotions.
‘Our findings resonate with other studies which have found an increase in the number of pre-school children with poor language skills,’ she said.
‘Too much screen time and the pressures on working parents – which means they are not spending time talking to their children – have been blamed for the rise in children’s problems communicating. Family life is so busy but it is vital parents take time to sit and chat with their children and read books to them so they develop good language skills at an early age.
‘Otherwise it is nurseries that have to pick up the slack.’
Miss Learner highlighted a recent study by the Booktrust charity which found that some parents are using technology such as Amazon’s Alexa, apps and video messaging to give their child a night-time story.
‘Reading books to your children and spending time talking to them builds their confidence and curiosity as well as their language and self-esteem,’ she argued.
‘It is no wonder there is a rise in children biting at nursery due to them getting cross and frustrated over an inability to communicate as well as it being a cry for attention.’
Stella Ziolkowski, director of quality and training at the National Day Nurseries Association, said biting was part of children’s development.
She agreed that it was a way for those who cannot talk to ‘express difficult feelings such as anger, frustration or fear’.
But she added that babies and toddlers can also bite to help relieve teething pain, while some children may be imitating others, doing it to get attention or acting in self-defence.Daily Mail