Monday, May 19, 2008

Biting

Help!! My son is being bitten at daycare. This is the 5th time he has been bitten in a month. I don't know what to do. I love... let me reiterate, L-O-V-E his daycare. They are aware that there is a problem and they said they are trying to fix it but he is in a room with 7 boys and three girls and that's A LOT of pint sized testosterone.

They oldest kid in his room is two and the youngest is my baby and his best friend who is a month younger. So, I'm torn. If it was Zack that was biting and I was doing everything I knew how at home I would not want to be threatened with kicking him out of daycare for an age appropriate action that I was trying to control.

At the same time, there is the mother bear part of me that wants to take the other little kid outside and leave teeth marks on his little arm. (Perhaps that's why they won't tell me which little kid it is, although I have been told that it's not the same one every time)

So, what do you guys suggest? I've talked to the director, Zack loves his room and his teachers and I'm afraid moving him could be MUCH harder on him than this is. Right now he still runs into his room and right up to all of the kids in his room and he has not even attempted biting at home so know he's not picking it up. Is this just something that is normal in a daycare setting and it will end? (Hopefully sooner rather than later)

Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have!!

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

As a parent I can never decide if it is worse if my kid is the victim or the perpetrator - especially when it comes to biting. And unfortunately, Lennon was both at various times when he was a toddler.

I guess my main question to the school since it is not apparently the same kid is how closely they are watching Zack since he has been the recipient multiple times. They should be watching him specifically to make sure he is not involved in interactions where he is in danger of being bitten because 5 times in a month is getting to be excessive.

That said, it is normal behavior, of course, and it seems like it goes in streaks in daycare.

We did pull Lennon out of his first daycare center because this one kid in particular kept hurting him and they didn't seem willing to kick him out. Lennon had started referring to this little boy as his, "Scratching Friend" and his "Biting Friend" which was what drove us to change centers.

But from the other side: Lennon was about 3 - what I would think was WAY past the age of biting. We were at the playland at the mall and I was sitting there chatting with another mother. Lennon had been pretending to be a doggie and crawling through the tunnels. All the sudden there was a blood curdling scream and another mother and I bolted for our kids. Lennon was on top of the other kid. I pulled him off and the other mother picked up her son. She pulled down the neck of his t-shirt and OH MY GOD! There was a bite mark that had ALMOST BROKEN THE SKIN through the kids shirt!! You could see each little tooth mark and it was already a very, very dark purple! It was by far the worst bite mark I've ever seen and, again it was through fabric! The mother shrieked, "Oh my GOD!!! Look what he did!!" and then, "Does he have all his shots????" which even at the moment struck me as funny, as if he had rabies or something. I was mortified and stammered out how sorry I was. I momentarily thought about giving her my phone number but then I instantly realized that, as bad as the bite was, it had not actually broken the skin and the kid would be okay AND that it was going to be REALLY ugly in the morning and she was probably only going to get more freaked out and maybe I didn't want her having my phone number!

I grabbed Lily and the stroller and walked through the mall with Lennon SMIRKING (yes, he was smirking!) to where we were parked which was, of course, on the opposite side of where we had been. I was ranting and raving the whole way, "How could you do that?? You hurt that little boy! You hurt him REALLY badly!!" By the time we got to the car I was so upset and the smirk was putting me over the edge that as I put him in his car seat it was like when the cops load the perp in the car and they don't take extra care to make sure the person doesn't bump their head as they get in. Anyway, he bumped his head and finally started to cry - which I'm sorry to say actually made me feel better because I wanted him to understand how terrible what he had done was and, as adults, we equate crying with being sorry.

I continued to rant and rave all the way home about how he had HURT the little boy and when we got to the house I told Shawn, "You have to deal with this. I am way to mad!!"

So the story as it finally unfolded was that "he was a doggie and the kid had come in his dog house". So he decided to do what a dog would do - bite him.

The consequence was that the next time we went to the playland Lily got to play and he had to sit on the bench with me. After that I knew that as we drove to the playland to coach both kids on, "What do you do if someone won't share?" "What do you do if someone is playing in your tunnel?" so that I could set expectations!

Fortunately that was the last of the biting but I knew after that moment that in most cases it is far worse if your kid is the perpetrator!

As long as the school seems duly concerned and has a specific plan of action my guess is that it will pass soon.

Anonymous said...

Ok Jackson has been getting bit in his toddler room and they had to pull an extra teacher in there to give the child some one-on-one attention. Then they also didn't have enough going on that the child was getting bored and bitting. So they had to introduce more activities throughout the day...as easy as blowing bubbles or reading a book to a select few kids. It is kindof something that the teachers have to handle but this is what worked with Jacksons room. Fortunately I am great friends with Jackson's teachers and they pointed out the kid...and I kept a close eye on him. But now he hasn't acted out that way and gets the attention he needs throughout the day! There is nothing as a parent that you can do to make him stop bitting! Just as much as it pisses you off...take a deep breath and know that we have all been there and this is not the last time it will happen. (Even though we would like to take the child out back and show him whos boss!) I hope it helps...I would just talk to Annette and let her know some of my suggestions. LOVE YA!
Molly

Jessica said...

Send Spike to daycare in armor?

I think 5 times in one month is excessive and like Jennifer said it makes me wonder what they are doing to try and correct or supervise the behavior.
I would probably voice my opinion with the director and just tell them that while you appreciate their efforts to control the behavior and keep you informed if it continues to happen you will have to consider moving Spike to another daycare.
Maybe if you express non-acceptance concern (meaning a willingness to leave) they will be more apt to control the enviornment. Splitting them up or whatever needs to be done.
I also have a hard time believing that Spike got bit 5 times by different children. How many children do you know that bite?

Anyway...that is just my two cents all coming from someone with no children. But a definate love for Spike-man! I am going to be going to daycare to bite the culprit! :)

You threaten them with me! That will stop it! LOL

Good luck!!

DD said...

Your daycare really should have a policy in force regarding these kind of situations (if a child is inflicting harm/if your child is inflicting harm) that includes the number of occurences before they ask the parent to remove the offender for a period of time.

My son was a biter, for a short time, thankfully.

You have to sit down with the care provider/director and specifically ask them what they are going to do. It's the only way you will know what to do next.

Mom said...

Listen to your cousin. She makes the most sense.

OMH said...

Are they sure he is being bitten by someone else? A friend of mine's son started biting himself at about 18 months because it got him lots of extra loving and care from the daycare teachers. He did it a couple of times at home when there were no other children around so........that is how they figured it out.

If he isn't being bit by the same child each time - it just confirms what I have always thought - he is just the sweetest little guy!

I have no idea how to protect him from the biters - I'm hoping it stops for peanuts sake and yours.