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> Biting, How do I stop my son from biting?
kklein
post Mar 25 2005, 11:46 PM
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My son is 16 months old. He has just start biting other kids at the daycare. Everyone tells me he will grow out of it. What do I do in the meantime. He is biting, pulling hair, or hitting kids everyday. I am afraid my son is turning into a bully. Help!!
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ImagineThat
post Sep 11 2005, 04:19 PM
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Biting is a big issue, especially in daycares where other children are affected.

If your toddler is a biter, you and anyone who is a caregiver for your child will have to be extra vigilant for situations that trigger his/her biting episodes. Biting triggers: having to share a favored toy, taking turns on playground equipment, and crowding, for example around a sink for clean-up before snacktime. Toddlers are learning to be independent. They value their personal spaces which also include the things they feel are important in their spaces, whether they truly own them or not. You know how you feel when someone you don't know very well stands too close to you? You know how you feel when someone you don't know very well starts handling your things? You feel invaded! LOL! Toddlers do,too, but they haven't developed enough language capabilities and reasoning capabilities (based on past experiences) to deal with the problem like adults can. Toddlers communicate their dislike emotionally by crying or physically by biting, pinching or hitting. It's a natural reaction, but not a socially acceptable one.

The one thing that worked the best for me as a daycare director/teacher was to be vigilant for those trigger situations and to use a firm "NO!" whenever it looked like a toddler was about to attack. The shock value of the word "NO!" interrupts the attack motion and gives the toddler a chance to reconsider. I even encouraged the other toddlers in the class to use "NO!" whenever it looked like someone was going to hurt them. They did it and loved the power it gave to them. The power of language. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

One last thought, it also helps to curb a problem before it begins. Knowing that luvees from home can be a problem in a daycare because the other children do not understand why they can't have a chance to have the other child's favored toy, it's best to leave loved toys from home at home. Sharing is a learned skill. Children should be given many opportunities to share with items that are meant to be enjoyed by all.

Okay....one more thought... (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/lol.gif) if an item at daycare is quite popular and causes problems, the daycare should either put the toy away or purchase more toys similar to it. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Columbia4Kids
post Sep 11 2005, 07:44 PM
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Whew, my son was the vicitim of a scratch-and-bite attack the day before pictures when he was about 18 months old... poor thing looks like a war refugee or an abused child in that picture.

I have to say, I was really disturbed because it was like 3 bites and some scratches- one across his eye. - I had to wonder where the teachers were while this was going on. It wasn't just one bite. He was at Gateway Academy at the time and overall I trusted them, but it really, really upset me. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/mad.gif)

Kids don't know any better, they have to be taught so I wasn't really mad at the other child. (OK, I was a little. They wouldn't tell me who had done it my my son knew!) But I did speak to them about making sure they kept the other child separated from mine until she learned the rules.

Next week, I saw another child in the class with a big bite mark on her cheek. I knew who did it!

There comes a point where you have to be concerned about the safety of the other children. One accident is one thing, but a pattern of abusive behavior needs to be dealt with quickly.
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ImagineThat
post Sep 12 2005, 10:30 AM
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I am really sorry that your child was a victim of a scratcher-biter. No one likes to see marks on a child. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif) *I tried to find an emoticon with a tear. I'm big on emoticons. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif) A hurt child or even the thought of a hurt child brings tears to my eyes. A good daycare will do everything possible to insure the safety of the children. That's job #1.


QUOTE
There comes a point where you have to be concerned about the safety of the other children. One accident is one thing, but a pattern of abusive behavior needs to be dealt with quickly.


That is so true and makes a daycare director's job really hard when every option has been tried and nothing has worked. Parents have to be told that their child can no longer attend the center. The parents already feel like outcasts and bad parents. Showing them the door just puts a final stamp on what they believed to be true of themselves as parents. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif) It's really sad and nothing the director can say will speak louder than the action of "showing them the door". This happened to me and I still dread running into those parents. No one likes to be disliked when they've tried their best. Their little boy was a real cutie and greeted me with hugs every morning. You know, I even suggested a time-out at home with a sitter or a smaller home daycare situation. That would give the child some time to mature to a point that he understood the seriousness of biting. My words feel on deaf ears.

Let me note here the options that were tried to curb his biting. It might help someone else.

*shadowing This means someone (usually a teacher's aide or helper) is assigned to watch the child's every move throughout the day.
*taking care to remove any biting triggers (*see post no. 2 in this thread)
*sucking on a washcloth soaked with lemon juice (Parents' idea.)
*time-out
*firm "No!"

Toddlers can move like greased lightning. Sometimes, you can see what is about to happen and still not be quick enough to stop it. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif)
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Renee
post Oct 7 2005, 06:26 PM
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My son bit for 2 weeks straight...no matter what we tried, he still kept biting. He finally stopped. Now he hits! For about 2 weeks now. I think you should just pick a consistent method of letting him know that you do not approve, stick with it every time and he'll get tired of the reaction, maybe? Funny for me to give this advice, I don't even think I do this myself!! It's stressful when they tell you that your kid bit someone. Also stressful to be the victim.
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ImagineThat
post Oct 7 2005, 10:56 PM
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(IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/hi.gif) Renee! Is your child in daycare or at home? Is there anything that seems to trigger the attacks?
QUOTE
I think you should just pick a consistent method of letting him know that you do not approve, stick with it every time and he'll get tired of the reaction, maybe?
I agree that's the key, but I'd add one word to that, the word "firm". I think children learn to read body language and sense emotion from a very young age. If they sense any lack of committment from adults who are disciplining, they simply persist until the adults wear down. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/eek.gif) (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/ignore.gif)
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Renee
post Oct 8 2005, 01:54 PM
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Yes, he is in daycare and the triggers are being sleepy and/or hungry!! Or, bored.
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foster2adopt
post Oct 12 2005, 10:31 AM
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Both of our boys went through the biting and hitting stage. Imagine that had some wonderful suggestions that we have found to be effective. Most kids bite or hit when they are in stressful situations. When we were having issues with our 3 yr. old we found that we bit late in the morning and late afternoon. The daycare combined classrooms at these times because of the rotating teacher schedules and the number of children who were there. There was a lot more noise and activity too with dropping off and picking up. The teachers decided to move him to a quieter space during this time and it really helped. A few weeks later they moved him into the regular area and he was fine.
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Hayley
post Oct 14 2005, 11:58 PM
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I think everyone, unfortunately, will either be a bite victim, a biter, or both at some point in our lives!
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ImagineThat
post Oct 15 2005, 09:31 AM
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When my 4 children were growing up, my mil kept them 9 months of the year, while I taught school. We never had biting problems. The boys never had biting or slapping problems. My girls,who are twins, had problems slapping one another. I guess even 2 can create a crowd scene in the eyes of a toddler. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif)
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CristinaEM
post Oct 17 2005, 08:34 AM
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My 2 year old has now been bitten 3 times by the same little boy at her school. I've talked to the teachers and I know they are trying to stop him. They want me to talk to the principal about having him removed from the school. I know he's bitten almost every other child in the class. I know that some kids go through a biting stage, but these are pretty bad bites that leave bruises for several days. Plus I'm worried that she's learning it's acceptable behavior - she bit my 6 year old this weekend.

I hate to make his family's life harder by asking him to leave, but I also need to protect my child. This weekend we taught her to say "[Name] no bite" whenever he comes near her. She has fun saying it so we'll see if that keeps him away.
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foster2adopt
post Oct 17 2005, 10:12 AM
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I understand your frustration. Has your school askeda licensed behaviorist to observe the classroom? We have asked our school to do this in the past when my two yr. old was getting bit repeatedly by the same child. He was able to give them some really good advice. If that doesn't work then by all means ask them to remove the child or move your child to a different classroom.
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Columbia4Kids
post Oct 17 2005, 10:35 AM
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LOL- like "Swiper no Swiping!"

She needs to stay as far away from that child as she can- tell her to run if she has to.

If the child has bitten every child in the class, he needs to be removed or isolated. That is sooo dangerous for a lot of reasons. Maybe the parents need to be prompted to get help for him.

He will grow out of it, but it sounds like he has some agressive tendencies that need to be nipped in the bud.
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ImagineThat
post Oct 27 2005, 07:36 AM
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(IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/hi.gif) foster2adopt! I have not heard of licensed behaviorists. Wish I'd known about them way back when I was a daycare director. Sometimes, if age difference isn't too great, a child can be "promoted" to a classroom of older children. Aggressive behavior often stops when the victims don't look as helpless. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif)
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CristinaEM
post Oct 27 2005, 08:36 AM
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Her phrase worked! He hasn't bitten her again since she started saying it. We've also been working on integrating her into a new classroom. ImagineThat, you're right about the behavior of the victims being a factor. My daughter is very calm and easy-going, an easy victim. We're moving her to a classroom with slightly older kids than her current class. She's right in the middle of the age groups, turns out she's rather mature for her age, so she's fitting right in with the older class. They all seem much calmer in there, so hopefully the biting won't be an issue in there.
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ImagineThat
post Oct 28 2005, 07:38 AM
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Cristina, that's wonderful news! (IMG:http://people.delphiforums.com/SUNSHINE210/luxhello.gif) I know you must feel so relieved. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/yahoo.gif) It's great that your daycare has worked so closely with you on this situation. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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foster2adopt
post Nov 16 2005, 10:35 AM
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Great news. (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/clapping.gif)

The behaviorist was a godsend for the two daycares that we used in NC. He worked with all the daycares in the area through a grant from the state. Our last center had cameras and microphones in all the classrooms that the college used for their early childhood program. Many times he would use them to observe the classrooms. It worked great. The kids behaved normally and he could monitor the behavior without their knowledge. He could also videotape the class and show the teachers (and parents) things that they were missing by being too close to the action.
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ImagineThat
post Nov 19 2005, 09:19 PM
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I've noticed that more and more of our local daycares are becoming equipped with cameras. I think it's a smart move. Sounds like you had a really good experience with daycares in the past. Finding a good daycare is not always an easy task.

foster2adopt, I love the picture of your hugging children. That was indeed "a Kodak moment". (IMG:/forum/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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foster2adopt
post Nov 22 2005, 08:16 PM
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Thanks. This was one of those rare moments of brotherly love and I was so glad we caught it on film. The oldest one (doing the hugging) was our "vampire". The youngest did the opposite though - he bit himself! Anytime that he got upset or stressed he would bite himself. The first time he did this it really freaked the teachers out. The behaviorist told us that it was his release and that the bite was less painful to him than the way he was feeling at the time. We learned how to get him to self-soothe in other ways and now he's bite-free.
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