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: I just got off the phone with an acquaintance and am in total shock! Yes, those words came out of this mother's mouth after telling me quite proudly that she had finally figured out a way to get her son (22 mos) to stop biting! "When he bites me on the finger, I bite his finger. When he bites my leg, I bite his leg," she says with almost a chuckle, while I almost barf. I'm kicking myself a million ways for all the things I didn't say... All I could mumble was "that sounds incredibly harsh - DS would be terrified if I did that to him..." She insists that he now realizes that biting hurts and isn't doing it as much... Anyways, I promtly ended the conversation and am inclined to just stay away from this woman, which I've considered several times during our acquaintanceship, but the sticker is that I'm quite worried about her son.

A bit of background so that maybe you all can help me help her. We met in a hospital-taught childbirth class and after all the babies we born we did a "reunion". I didn't have many mama friends yet (I'm the youngest in my group of friends to have kids) so I would occasionally do playgroups with all the stay at home parents from the class. As they grew I started making friends with more similar views/styles (I was the only one who didn't circ, CIO, wean at 6-9 mos, etc) and started hanging with them less and less. Particularly now that our kids are old enough to be "disciplined" (they're 20-22 mos) our parenting differences are blatant and hard to ignore when we're together (you know... other parents giving time outs, shaming, etc).

But... aside from what I view as child abuse (the biting), I also think her ds might have autism, in some form. Disclaimer: I don't know much about autism, so correct me if I'm wrong, but of the descriptions I've heard, he fits in more than one way. He has no words at almost 2 years, and even though she took signing classes from a young age, he never picked up a single sign. He just claps his hands violently whenever he wants something and is easily and very often frustrated. He never interacts in any way with the other kids, while they're all at least parallel playing and sometimes even "sharing" toys. He just enters a room, finds one thing and focuses entirely on that one thing until he leaves, usually in a tantrum. Every week they come to an open gym type thing with tons of toys and ride toys and every week he goes straight for the play mower and pushes it around, in his own little world, for the entire 1.5 hours. Even the kids seem to know that he's different, as they all pretty much are oblivious to his presence. And he uses his mom's hands sometimes (like grabs her hands and claps them together), which I know I've heard is a sign... In short, something just doesn't seem right (and maybe bad parenting is enough of a cause). Anyways, what I'm wondering is: should I do anything to help this poor kid who if not needing some early intervention for possible autism at least needs to be protected from being biten by his own mother, or should I just totally sever ties. She's never been particularly responsive to suggestions and never really asks for input they way most moms do when they're having a parenting struggle about something. What would you do?
 

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I think I'd sever ties.

Since she's involved in other parent-toddler activities, she's likely to notice the difference between her child and the others, and/or a supervisor might notice and say something to her. I don't think she 'needs' your input, and would likely resent it since you aren't close and have so little in common.
 

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I'd have to sever ties with her but not before I told her to stop biting her child!
: That is terrible. She needs to grow up... I mean sheesh! Biting a toddler? I am sorry you are going through this.
 

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Gotta share a funny/sad story depending on how you look at it.

First background, my mom was a pretty AP mom - she didn't know it at the time, just following her instincts. However, my MIL certainly was not - very hands off. Anyways, I never received any type of punishment (physical or otherwise) except...

One day my mom & my MIL were talking. Apparently they shared a biting story. Apparently both my husband and I bit them - once. They both bit us back!!! We were shocked to say the least when we heard this. They claim we never bit anyone again and neither of us remember this.

I still don't know if I should
or
: over this story.
 

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I witnessed the day when the neighborhood biter stopped biting. It wasn't because of parental intervention..oh no...

She was on her trike..peddling around the yard...and up comes this little boy who recently moved into the neighborhood. He stood there for a few minutes just studying her..then..just out of the blue CHOMP right on the nose.

The little girl never bit for as long as she lived (and sadly it wasn't very long, she drowned in a boating accident about a year after the incident)

The little boy, developmentally delayed due to deafness that went undetected till that year...

Both were 2.5-3yrs old at the time.

We all got a chuckle out of it because no one knew how to deal with this little girl's biting. Her mom was at her wits end with it and didn't know what else to do...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cardinal
I'd have to sever ties with her but not before I told her to stop biting her child!
: That is terrible. She needs to grow up... I mean sheesh! Biting a toddler? I am sorry you are going through this.
Amen.
 
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