My daughter is entering those 'terrible twos', and as a father I want to find the method of teaching her discipline and self control that really gets the point across. For most behaviors, my wife and I are doing (to the best of our ability) ignore/reward: we ignore behaviors we don't want to see, and we reward the ones we do.
But we've run into a problem when it comes to things that are too dangerous to ignoer, and they deal with pain, particularly with biting and with pulling hair. I don't really want to hurt her, but I do want her to learn that what she's doing hurts. I can't seem to come up with a way that teaches her that it hurts. I'm also concerned that she will misinterpret a biting response (she bites me, so I bite her back to show that it hurts) as tacit approval of biting (she might see: daddy bites, so I can too!) If she pulls an animal's hair, that animal is likely to snap at her causing significant damage. So we can't simply ignore this.
When I was a child, I bit my mom's toe, and she picked me up and bit mine back. I never bit again. But every child is different, and thus far that hasn't been successful. The same occured with pulling the dog's and cat's hair. We pulled her hair back in response, in an effort to show what she was doing to the dog, and why the dog really wouldn't like it. We've done that twice, and both times she... well... she laughs! And of course that's not good, because the enjoyment from the 'game' is more than any pain she might have received. (Or maybe she's a sociopathic psychopath who is impervious to pain. I'm not ruling that out just yet... grumble grumble...)
For a while she was biting me every night as we brushed teeth. She did this for three or four nights in a row, and then for no reason quit. It's been two months and she hasn't done that since. My wife and I threw out all of her soothers yesterday, and we're certain she's acting out as a direct result of that, but regardless of the cause, she'll act out many more times I'm sure, and we need to make sure that she does so in a non-destructive and non-pain-inducing manner.