As a former center director, biting is one of the hardest issues to handle. No child deserves to be bitten, and it sounds like your child's teachers are doing a pretty good job working with this. I assume you have talked at length with them? At a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 they should be able to see the biter's frustration growing and remove her from the situation BEFORE the bite happens. Your child is being bit more than others? I would definitly try to figure out why that is happening. Sometimes teachers are afraid to tell parents that their child is instigating something (not that I am saying he is but it should be explored). Offering a prompt to the teachers, like "I know sometimes my child can instigate problems, do you see that happening here?" might give them an "in" to tell you if there are problems. If you dont' get anywhere with the teachers, ask to speak with the center director. Your poor babe shouldn't be coming home with marks from frequent biting. IMO, the teachers might not be watching this closely enough. Oh, another avenue to explore (if you have the time and they have the set up for it) is to try to observe your DS in his room without your knowledge. This might help you "see" first hand what is happening when he is bitten. Good luck! I didn't mean to offend by suggesting DS might be causing probs...
Biting tends to be taken pretty seriously at most reputable centers. ilovemyavery gave excellent suggestions. Biting is a stage and the biter will stop eventually, but the center does need to acknowledge the issue. Maybe they can separate the children into different activites or play groups for a while.
I don't know if I have any advice but I wanted to say that I had a very similar experience with my DD when she was approx. 18 months old. the daycare was very good (reggio emilia model) but there was a biter. My DD was biten twice (as were others) and I think it had a very profound effect on her--she was really afraid of other kids, esp. boys for quite some time (it was a boy who did the biting). I don't think I would have let her stay in the room if it had happened again -- we moved to another city so it never came to that. The staff at the centre blamed the biting on teething -- could that be an issue in your case? They would offer the child a teether or something else to bite on.
I was wondering how old your ds is? Can he talk to you about the situation? Do you think it's having a negative effect on him (outside of the experience of being biten--ouch!)? DD wasn't able to talk much at the time but she was clearly nervous about being around this boy.
Some great advice. I hate being on the other side. ds3 is the biter and his usual victim is ds2. Usually just frustration and ds2 handles it well but his poor back is covered in bite marks. It has been a while since the last bite, but the marks remain. That is the time I hate there only being one of me- I want to console ds2 and praise him for not retaliating and I want to work with ds3 about how it is wrong. If I am right on top of him I can usually redirect, but not always, and I am getting slower.
The part I hate most is DS3 only bites DS2- even at daycare. I did feel better when DCP said ds2 did not provoke, that had been my experience as well.
Good luck! Neither side of the fence is a good one.
Originally Posted by Ynez
the daycare was very good (reggio emilia model) but there was a biter.
that's what our dc is too!! it was the closest to montessori i could find. they are *so* committed to child-led/child-initiated learning, it really impressed me.
so far i see no "effects" on ds- but i know this is impacting him somehow. i've watched him in the room and he doesn't avoid the biter at all, doesn't seem to react negatively to her at all. he's never bit anyone but i am afraid if he is exposed to biting he may try to mimic it. i do talk to him about it, but try not to upset him. i don't think i do a good job b/c it *really* upsets me!! i try not to react like that in front of him (the first time it happened, after he went to bed i bawled). mostly when i've noticed one, on his arm or hand, i talk about it- i focus on him though, not the biter, although i do talk about responding. he isn't too verbal (says <10 words) but is very emotional and although i don't think he understands my words per se, i do think he understands the emotion behind them.
thanks to y'all again- i feel better knowing other people out there have btdt!
magemom, i think it sounds rough from both sides!!
I have just been reading a wonderful book about child development from birth to age 3, that is geared to teachers and how to create the optimum environment for kids at school or daycare.
There was a considerable section devoted to this issue of biting. As many said here: it's normal, hard to take for either parent (of the biter, or the bitee). The book laid out the reasons for biting, and how they can be addressed (it's a very AP/gentle discipline curriculum, much like that described here). But mostly they emphasize the importance of diligence.
If the daycare providers KNOW who the biter is, it really behooves them to "shadow" that child to ensure minimal biting occurs. If I were you, this is the issue I would focus on. I know it's not easy when you are looking after a bunch of kids, but it's really not fair that other kids get bitten so often. Maybe the teachers could rotate shadowing this child, it would be even easier if the behaviour occurs in predictable settings, too. I would not blame anybody or try to get at the "why's" of the biting, but I don't think it is unreasonable to ask that the biter be given extra attention so that such incidences can be reduced.
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