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Ben Trismegistus
November 2nd, 2004, 01:23 PM
I'm at a loss here, honestly. Joey is now 18 months old, and twice in the last week we've gotten a "pink slip" from his day care saying that he either tried or succeeded in biting another child. The first time, they caught him in time, and suggested that it might simply be teething-related. But yesterday, it was more obvious -- another child tried to take a toy away from him, he bit the kid, and took the toy away while the kid was crying.

This is a total shock to me. Joey is an incredibly good-natured kid -- sensitive, happy, laid-back. Full of energy, yeah, but not violent or aggressive in any way. The fact that his teachers are telling us that he acts aggressively at school is just shocking to us.

And frankly, we don't know what to do. He never engages in that sort of behavior at home, and so we can't discipline him for something which he's not currently doing. We talked to him about biting yesterday, but who knows how much he actually understood.

Any advice on this? We don't want to school to think that he's a "bad kid" or that we're doing something wrong.

misschief
November 2nd, 2004, 01:26 PM
my kids all went thru biting, i can't give a solution. i used to get those day care calls too, like..EVERY day. they just stopped eventually. i had people say 'bite him back' uh,, yeahhhhhhhh right. it's hard at that age b/c they know right and wrong, but aren't old enough to understand punishment. i don't really know, i have four kids, every single one went thru that.. but i never found a solution. with my oldest i'd say no, and kind of push his mouth off of what he was biting, didn't help at all. i tried smacking fingers, didn't help. i don't know... i'd ask the doctor if they have a suggestion.

DraconisArcanus
November 2nd, 2004, 01:28 PM
Has he been around other kids prior to this incident? It may be a social fear issue.

Ben Trismegistus
November 2nd, 2004, 01:34 PM
Has he been around other kids prior to this incident? It may be a social fear issue.
No it's not that - he's been in day care since he was 2 months old, and is VERY social and friendly.

Part of it is just that he's stubborn and doesn't like people taking things from him.

DraconisArcanus
November 2nd, 2004, 01:38 PM
Try to recreate a similar situation at home with one of you giving him a toy and have the other take it away to see what his reaction is. If it is negative you can attempt to do a positive re-enforcement of what he should do.

Good luck!

Zoritsa_Nepenthe
November 2nd, 2004, 01:39 PM
Gosh,I wish I had some advise.My two year old just bit his brother's finger hard enough that he's going to lose a nail :sick: My nephew just went through that phase too,and no one knew how to stop it.He'd only do it when he was so angry and didn't know how to express himself.Sorry...no advise,but I can sympathize with you :hugz:

Ahautenites
November 2nd, 2004, 01:43 PM
Here's what Amazon had to say...

Lunacie
November 2nd, 2004, 01:43 PM
Both my granddaughters went through a biting phase. All I can say is that they both outgrew it.

Ahautenites
November 2nd, 2004, 01:44 PM
If you can't follow Joey around like this person did, you might try inviting some children over to your house to play with him. And whenever he tries to bite, you correct him then the way the book says.

Ben Trismegistus
November 2nd, 2004, 01:45 PM
Try to recreate a similar situation at home with one of you giving him a toy and have the other take it away to see what his reaction is. If it is negative you can attempt to do a positive re-enforcement of what he should do.
Yeah - when we take things away from him at home, he just cries. He'll throw an occasional temper tantrum, but he's never tried to bite either of us.

Weird.

LisaT4P
November 2nd, 2004, 02:20 PM
He's probably learned it from another child at daycare. Kids pick up on that stuff quickly. They will tell him no at daycare, and if you see him do it at home, you'll tell him no. Eventually he'll get it. Mine never did the biting, but they did the Head-Butting. *sigh* :goodgrief

Ben Trismegistus
November 2nd, 2004, 02:32 PM
Update: The wifey just spoke to the director of the day care center. The director pointed out that they're not concerned about his behavior at all, that it's perfectly normal for his age group. They only wanted to inform us so we could watch for the behavior at home.

One of the reasons we freaked about this was that teacher, when she reported this to us, gave us the impression that they think he's a rotten kid or something. The director of the center said that's not the case at all, and is going to talk to the teacher about her method of conveying information.

So, I feel better now. Thank you to everyone for your comments and advice!

diamondtiger
November 2nd, 2004, 02:41 PM
I'm at a loss here, honestly. Joey is now 18 months old, and twice in the last week we've gotten a "pink slip" from his day care saying that he either tried or succeeded in biting another child. The first time, they caught him in time, and suggested that it might simply be teething-related. But yesterday, it was more obvious -- another child tried to take a toy away from him, he bit the kid, and took the toy away while the kid was crying.

This is a total shock to me. Joey is an incredibly good-natured kid -- sensitive, happy, laid-back. Full of energy, yeah, but not violent or aggressive in any way. The fact that his teachers are telling us that he acts aggressively at school is just shocking to us.

And frankly, we don't know what to do. He never engages in that sort of behavior at home, and so we can't discipline him for something which he's not currently doing. We talked to him about biting yesterday, but who knows how much he actually understood.

Any advice on this? We don't want to school to think that he's a "bad kid" or that we're doing something wrong.
I'm no doctor and I am far from being an expert in child psychology. I do however, have 2 children of my own (ages 11 and 6). I have also had the pleasure of working in daycare centers with children of this age (my personal favorites). Both of my kids went through short lived biting phases. I was told that this was due to 1) them wanting to explore their environment with their mouths (which they do through out infancy) and 2) they are “testing” boundaries and limitations as to what is acceptable or what they can get away with. They'll also hit, pull hair, throw tantrums and so on. It's all a part of growing up. Remember, to them the world is kind of scary and they are learning how to “deal” and find THEIR place in the order of things.

I started watching my kids and those that I worked with, to see for myself if this were the case. Surprisingly they do seem to know exactly what they are doing and why. With my own kids, when they'd bite, I would take what they wanted (toy, cookie, etc) when the biting occurred and I would put it away. I would tell them “no biting” and I'd put them in time out (usually in a high-chair). We'd do this all day if the biting continued that way... the point is consistency.

Now daycare is different. The state you live in decides the “appropriate” disciplinary actions, so the workers hands are somewhat tied. Where I worked, we could not put a child of such a young age in “time out”. What I did, was take the child out of the “scene” for a period of time. Usually this happened during free play, so I would have the child sit with me at the table and look at a book or color. If he/she wanted to rejoin the group, I'd allow it, but I'd say “no biting”. If it happened again, I'd do the same as before with the table and book. Talk to your center, ask what their policies are with discipline. Some states allow more “severe punishment” (such as high-chair restraint) with parental consent (in writing of course). The point is to be consistent with him and work with the daycare. (I've been on both ends of this and it's dang frustrating when one or the other doesn't feel like co-operating. Potty training was my issue. I worked so hard with my son at home, only to have the daycare worker not “want to be bothered with it”. Then I've worked hard with children in daycare, only to have the parent “reinforce” the behavior they ask us to help change. GRRRRR!!!!) Anyway, he doesn't do it at home because he knows it isn't allowed (or because he doesn't have to). Is he an only child?

Hey, don't worry. Any school that's worth its salt will know he's not a bad kid (there's no such thing at that age) and they'll be more than happy to work with you to find a solution.