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Daycare and biting-My son was bit

Updated on May 25, 2012
Jacob's bite mark on his shoulder
Jacob's bite mark on his shoulder

The Biting Issue

I picked up my son today from daycare to find that he has been bitten again. It isn't the first time, or the worst time, but it is never a good feeling. I hate to think that my child was bitten like a treat at snack time. I guess I should consider myself fortunate at this point in that my child is not the biter, but with continued exposure to this behavior he will most likely reverse his role from bitee to biter. I can't really blame the other child; my son did take away their toy which to a two year old is the end of the world and not to be tolerated. So how do I help prevent future episodes?

The first time my son was bitten at daycare was several months ago when we lived in Maine. He had a nice bruise with teeth marks for over a week. It then happened again about a month later-via the same little bully. That child no longer attended daycare after that episode. Jacob tried to bite me and daddy after the first episode, but was quickly corrected. A firm no, we do not bite was all that was needed to reduce him to tears and eliminate the behavior at that time. Today, he tried to bite his Nana, which was also quickly stopped. I fear that he will become a biter if he gets bit again now that he is older and a bit more headstrong.

Why do Children Bite?

Every Child is different and responds differently to their environment. At my son's age (under 2) children often have limited communication skills, no control over their environment, undeveloped/unlearned social skills, and an inability to control their feelings. All of this means that an angry, inquisitive, or overwhelmed child may bite simply because they do not know of any other means to deal. Children also do not have the ability to empathize the same way as an adult and do not always realize that their actions hurt others, and this is not okay.

On the other hand some children know better, but will push the limits. My little boy is a limit pusher. He will look you in the eye and do what he knows he shouldn't, just to see what you will do in response. This is normal. How can you be angry when you were most likely the same at that age. I am not saying to let them get by with it; your job is to teach your child after all. Consistency is the most important thing a parent can do-biting is never okay, never funny, and never allowed. Over time they will learn, and hopefully the biting craziness will end.

How common is biting?

Has your child been biten in daycare/school?

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