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bitting in daycare

So, I am in the process of dealing with an issue at DD's daycare and am looking for other parent's opinions on how I should deal with the situation, just so you know, it is a daycare run by the hospital that I work at, and as a benefit to the hospital employees, is subsudized by the hospital and only hospital employees are able to enroll their children there. So it is as follows:

DD was bitten last Friday. She was also bitten two times in one day two weeks prior to that, and inbetween the incidents, was not at the daycare for a solid week following the first two incidents since we went on a week long vacation. So she has been bitten a total of 3 times within two weeks. She was also bitten awhile ago. The daycare keeps the biters anonymous, which I have no issue with. But I am not happy that this is the fourth time total she has been bitten. She is 19 mos and recently moved up to the next age group classroom as did most of the children that were in her previous class. She moved up when we got back from our vacation. The first three biting incidents occured in her previous classroom, the most recent in her new one, except her regular teacher was not present that day as she had taken a day off...a different teacher was watching her and the others in her class.

I know the first incident was when she pulled someone's hair and the child bit her in response...I can understand.

The second incident where two bites occured in the same day was one was in the middle of a dispute over a toy, my daughter had the toy, the other kid wanted it, she wouldn't give it up and she was bitten. The other incident that day was unprovoked, the child simply walked over to her and bit her for no reason.

The third incident and fourth biting happened when again, the child wanted to take a toy my daughter had and bit her when she wouldn't give it up.

I sent a fairly not happy email to the director of the daycare program that I did not feel this was acceptable especially the three occurances that happened within two weeks of each other, I could only assume that other children are getting bitten, not just mine and that for the concern of my child's wellfare, for the offending child who is biting to be removed from her classroom.

She responded today to inform me that children bite for a number of reasons and they do not have a policy that removes a child that bites, that they believe in other methods of attempting to prevent biting from occuring such as diversion, shaddowing, etc. My frustration occurs with multiple points: 1) she informed me she was not aware this had happened multiple times to my child until I emailed her 2) She mentioned they can shaddow the child more who is biting.

1) She is the manager, is it not her responsibility to be aware of the things that are going on that are potentially problematic within the daycare she is responsible for managing? 2) Since this child has bitten mine more than once (and from information from another parent in her class, her son has been bitten too) that other children are being bitten, that since they are aware there is a child who bites in the room, that shouldn't this shaddowing have been done initially instead of now? And if they have been doing that, clearly it is not being effective considering my daughter and my coworker's son have both been bitten?

Now, a bit about my personality: I do not back down from an argument, but I will discuss something that concerns me civilly, appropriately and professionally. I am not afraid to confront an issue but I don't go looking for a fight.

My two ways I am considering dealing with this are as follows:
1) I send another not so happy and matter-of-fact email stating the above concerns that I am not happy she is not aware of things like a child being bitten repeatedly, and therefore what sort of reporting system do they even have for these type of incidents? And if shaddowing is something that should be done, why hasn't this been already implemented, why wait until the 4th time and until a parent makes an issue out of it? If the techniques other than removal of the child they discussed were already being done, it is clearly not effective and a risk to my child's safety and health, and I do not feel that they are providing a safe environment for my child, and if the child is not removed, I will involve the hospital administration if necessary.

2) Send another email recognizing the conversation the two of us had, and state that I anticipate further information from her regarding the situation, what is being done about it, and want the two children kept apart. If my daughter is bitten again, at that point I will involve and notify her superior within the hospital administration that she is unable to effectively handle situations concerning the safety and well-being of children in the daycare that she is responsible for supervising.

Any thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

ps I am looking at other daycares in the area...just in case. It is unfortunate, as until this point I have been pretty satisfied with the daycare. And dang is it super affordable, since it is subsudized by the hospital, it is the cheapest. Period. Like less than $200 a week because the hospital foots the bill for the facility, the utilities and upkeep of the building. All the daycare is responsible for are salaries and supplies.

Side note in response to some comments: My daughter is an only child thus far. I am also aware that she may have been bitten by more than one child, I had expressed that idea in the initial email to the supervisor when I notified her of my concerns. I also had stated that if in fact all four instances were the same child, that I felt that my daughter was not adequately kept from the child who has been biting and shaddowing or more close supervision was not done earlier and I did request the child to be removed.


( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
We went through a similar issue about the same age. My son kept getting bitten, hard to the point that he would have teeth shaped bruises that lasted over a week, also they wouldn't tell me which child did it. However, they were pro-active about it. They told me each time it happened, and after the 3rd time they told me they had assigned a teacher whose only job was to follow him around and ensure it doesn't happen anymore. I didn't get anymore bite reports, so I can only assume the child outgrew it when he stopped getting the reaction he wanted.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
and um... where do you live? because $200 a week seems way high for a "discounted" daycare. I paid $180 per week for newborn, at 1 year old it dropped down to $165 per week, and at 3 years old it will drop down to $150 per week.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
Those prices you mentioned are about what I pay, I noted it was under $200...I just can't remember who much, just that what is deducted bi-weekly from my paycheck is about $370. They don't drop the price down until the next class in age which will be the 2-3 year old room. I live outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Edited at 2012-09-06 01:44 am (UTC)
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
Oh sweet barbecue on a stick. We paid $1550 a month in the DC area for a good daycare. I would have been thrilled at $800 a month ith the same quality. O.o

No remorse. Just a little wist. :)
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:04 am (UTC)
Holy shit...we pay $728 a month and live 20 minutes outside Philly.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC)
That was, to be fair, the infant care cost. It went down to $1255 when the ratio of teachers to munchkins changed in the two year old room and down to $1140 when it hit preschool. Bemusingly, the prices were the same whether it was the daycare that was a bit kiddie kenneling or Goddard. They were consistent across the area.

Worth it. But dayamm, I do not miss the monthly fee. O.o
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
Got to love the DC area, even here in the outlying area it would have taken my whole paramedic paycheck to put my son in infant daycare. So, I'll take a dollar less an hour nanny position and take lil man with me instead.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC)
Heh- we pay $1290/month for our two-year-old in Seattle. Enjoy that $180/week!! :)
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC)
yeah, that seems like a management issue to me. I thankfully haven't had those issues with my sons daycare and love the staff.

In your case I would definitely go with having a conversation in person, not email, and make sure she is aware that the biting needs to stop and you want to know what is happening to fix this issue.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh, we've already had a face to face conversation. Her response to me was that she had been unaware that this was happening to my daughter and she will be "looking into ways to deal with the situation" but they do not remove children from their facility who bite. And that they will consider shaddowing the child who is biting. That is what pissed me off. A) you don't know about this? and B) considering? I am coming to you as a parent with a valid concern about a repeated problem, and other children in the class are having the same issue, and you're considering shaddowing? I would have done it ages ago when the kid started biting, to circumvent the issue.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
They had notified me each time she was bitten. It just pisses me off that this manager is more reactive, rather than proactive...a sign of crappy management IMO.

Oh, and the bites? Yeah, she got bit on her face two weeks ago, and there is still a small mark you can see on her cheek where she was bitten. So yeah, this kid bites hard. The one from Friday is still on her arm too.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
I'd like to cautiously point out some alternative perspectives to consider.

A great deal of what you describe the daycare doing is fairly standard for my experiences with a well-run daycare. They usually have policies that keep the biter anonymous, so upset parents don't respond emotionally to a toddler. They use incident reports to document what happened. The teachers usually handle the matter without it becoming a matter for the manager. (I can only imagine how much the manager would be tracking if she could not trust her staff.) The teachers do expect small children to do things that they must be taught not to do.

Shadowing is a very common approach (and it has been effective both on my son and on other children). It seems to usually be invoked not at the first incident but when multiple incidents - at least three - happen within a three week window. In other words, it sounds like the biter might now be subject to shadowing, where she wasn't prior to your vacation.

Next, I feel that I ought to mention that you may be jumping to a conclusion. It may not all be the same kid. And, too, removing another under two year old from daycare without firm evidence of significant over-the-top behavior is an extreme thing to do... and, to be blunt, an extreme thing to demand. How would you feel if someone demanded that of your daughter for hair pulling? Kids learn and experiment and are guided over time. Careful what you demand; you can't predict that at some point your own kid might not need some patient shadowing, too. (I assumed mine wouldn't, until he did.)

What I'm trying to convey here is that I understand that you are upset for your child, and it is understandable. Your response seems a bit unrealistic, and I wonder if waiting to respond a day or two might not turn up a different approach? Alternately, ask the school to help you understand what they will do if shadowing doesn't work, and how they intend to ensure within reason that your child isn't being steadily bitten because she doesn't surrender her toy when not asked to do so. Then, too, it seems to me that the daycare is likely accustomed to extremely upset parents who feel as you do, and may get their defenses up swiftly when they see this approach. You might get further asking for their help.

Honestly, it sounds like a decent daycare at an insanely good price tag. Might be worth working with them.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
so upset parents don't respond emotionally to a toddler....

Like say, calling the other kid, who may actually be several different kids, a "shithead"? I really... find that kind of language extremely inappropriate when discussing a *toddler*. Good grief, I'm glad the parents at my daycare seem more reasonable- and now completely understand the need for anonymous reporting. Yikes.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
I realize that it could possibly be multiple children. I had mentioned that as a possibility to the manager in my initial email when I brought the issue to her attention. And yes, I understand it is not a bad idea to keep the child who bites anonymous, at no point in time, have I ever wanted nor asked for the name of the child or children that have bit her. I'd also appreciate it if you were not so completely judgemental of myself based upon one comment I have made when I have been frustrated and am venting here where it is appropriate to vent, rather than to express myself inappropriately to any of the parents or teachers in my daughter's daycare.

Yes, I am upset. It is hard for me to see bite marks (more than one) all over my daughter's body including one that is now three weeks old right on her face. But again, it is completely inaccurate for you to assume I would EVER consider responding emotionally to a toddler when I know full well that they are learning about their environment as well as psychosocial development as well and most assuredly, that the child is not fully comprehending what their actions are causing. I get that. Believe it or not, I am actually a very level headed, rational and for the most part, understanding person. To judge me so harshly is rash, and not appreciated. I am simply asking for other people's advice about the subject, and if I am overreacting to the situation, so be it and I appreciate other's input from an outside perspective but I do not need to be responded to in such an ill manor. Thanks.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
Well, even venting, it's a bit startling to see a little kid referred to that way. I was taken aback, personally. I would feel troubled to think my son was referred to as a shithead, even if the adult who did so was venting safely about how he had hurt their child. It is hard to ignore language like that.

I am the person who referred to responding emotionally to a toddler, so I'd like to add that my intent here is not to judge you but to try to suggest a more diplomatic approach that is reasonable and assumes a starting point common to many good daycares. Again, coming on as strong as possible may be your least effective tactic.

Good luck.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
You express it better than I did, but calling *anyone's* kid a shithead is just... yes, something that caught me off guard and made me angry. I can't imagine using that to describe any child. I know some parents think it's ok to call their own kids that, and I'm less judgmental about that, but I have zero problem being judgmental about someone using that language to describe someone else's child.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
I worked in a daycare with similar policies~I had 14 two year olds and a part-time helper (we were grossly understaffed, it wasn't a good place at all!)

Yes, our reason for not disclosing the name of the child who bites is for the child's protection~one, so the parent of the bitten child doesn't go off on the biter, and two, so the parents of each kid don't get into an altercation. I've had parents demand to know the name of the "little asshole" who bit their child, and I had parents who would confront other parents all "Is your brat the one biting my kid?!" It gets UGLY.

For the center I worked at to even CONSIDER giving me a floater to shadow a child, there had to be a pattern of incidents~multiple times within over a period of weeks. While part of that was staffing issues, part of it is...kids bite. Not all kids, but many kids. They also throw toys at each other and hit. They have to be taught that these things are wrong, and if a kid isn't also being taught that at home (a parent/sibling who bites or hits back, or who throws toys) it gets VERY difficult to curb the behavior. And I know you work in a hospital and want to think the best of your co-workers, but we had nurses and teachers have their kids enrolled. You'd think they'd know better and be better parents that some of the other parents who had their kids enrolled, but oftentimes they weren't.

I understand that it is incredibly frustrating to not be able to trust that your child is safe and secure in that daycare. But I agree that asking the manager how you can work together to resolve it will be met much better than "what are you doing to fix this/this problem child needs to be removed".

Good luck!
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Good to know. I appreciate your thoughts and input. And yes, I realize that if I step back from it a bit for a day or two, that perhaps I will see things quite differently. This is my first child, I do not have a lot of experience with children otherwise, and already feel bad I have to leave her at daycare. I regret our family is not in a position financially where I am able to stay at home with her, as I would prefer to do that, so truly, any incident like this almost hurts me more than it hurts her. I wish I could protect her from that, and feel bad that if I stayed home with her, that situation would be unavoidable.

I do not fault her current teacher at all, as all instances did not involve her. When she found out about it today, she called me at work and wanted to know what happened. She also had said she was sorry it happeened and she usually tries to keep an extra eye on a child if she knows they bite to intervene before the child bites another. But again, not her fault, she wasn't even there those days, who knows, if she was, maybe she would have prevented it. I will never know.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
Your reaction to the situation is way out of proportion in my opinion.

It is a little concerning that the director isn't aware of this, but rather than threatening her- which is your end point in both conversations(!!)- why not ask her for daily or weekly reports on how shadowing is going? I mean, you're kind of going from 0 to 60 here- in both cases reacting to her simply being unaware of a problem by threatening to rain down hellfire from the hospital administration if she doesn't comply with how *you* want to run the daycare. If I were her, and you did those things to me? I would have *your* child removed from the classroom- I don't want the child of a bully in my classroom!

It's somehow not surprising to me that your daughter won't share her toys when her mother won't be "easily gotten rid of" when you dislike the answer provided for the situation.

One of my children has been bitten twice at daycare. I don't know if it's the same child or not, but you know what? My kid provoked the other kid in one case and was simply being stubborn in the other. Maybe have the daycare shadow the biter, *ask* (not demand) for more frequent updates for the next couple months, and work very hard on teaching your child to share. Lots of positive reinforcement for appropriate sharing, lots of "It's Bobby's turn now, you will get it again later." At 19 mos, I think it's necessary to overexplain and overpraise.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
thanks for your input, will definitely keep this in mind
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
Agreed. OP--- you do understand that for the most part, people who work at daycares tend to treat your child as a reflection of you right? I hear that you are very proud of your ability to speak your mind, and I'm sure that serves you well in some aspects of your life... but in this case it makes you a bully. How do you think the daycare is going to treat the child of a bully? Especially one who may be showing "early bullying behavior" herself? I think you need to take a few deep breaths before you send an email. You are understandably emotional, but going out guns blazing is only going to be bad for you.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
I have also been trying to get in contact with her since the incident happened last Friday, and it is finally Wednesday that she has gotten back to my email that I sent her five days ago. Considering it has taken her awhile to respond, I have been stewing and understand that yes, it was a holliday weekend, but it is very difficult to bring up a concern and not even receive an acknowledgement that the complaint has been received by her and they are looking into the matter at hand.

As far as raining down hellfire, I have not yet threatened anyone, nor am I a bully, hence why I posted possible responses to my situation and the manager because in fact, I actually understand that I could be overreacting, and am responding in a knee-jerk fashion. I have sent nothing in reply, as that I fully acknowledge that I need to process everything a bit more before I respond in a way or react in a fashion that I would regret.

Your generalization that I am a bully is offensive, simply because I state that in no way will I be "easily gotten rid of" by an answer I don't like. I say that in reference to that I am not a pushover and will accept any answer given. Some people in this world will say "Oh, okay" in response to any answer given to them. If I smell foul, I cry foul. Plain and simple. In no way, shape or form is that a bully. Nor do you know that my daughter at this point, is an only child. Outside of daycare she does not interact with many other children her age. The first time my husband and I saw her interact with someone close to her age was when we visited his sister-in-law and were appauled that she would not share her toys and very much so encouraged her to do so with positive reinforcement, praise when she did so. I appreciate your suggestions about asking how the progress is going with shaddowing, as it is something that I had not thought of...but I do not appreciate your quick conclusion in a few paragraphs that you fully understand me completely as a person and feel that my child can't share because I'm a bully. That's a bit harsh. Really. I would never pass judegement so quickly on someone I don't even know.

As far as the child who is biting, I am sure his parents are nice people and feel just as bad about the whole thing. I realize they can't controll everything he does since he is under the age of 2.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:59 am (UTC)
I call them like I see them too- and anyone who vents in a safe space that their first reactions are to go to the administration before trying to work with the director, and then calls the other child(ren) in question a shithead because your precious baby has some bite marks? That's bully behavior. Sorry to have to be the one to let you know.

I get that you're upset, and of course anyone would be upset if their child got hurt and they didn't feel like their daycare was safe, but you know what? The biter is someone's son/daughter too, and they are loved just as much as your baby They do not deserve to be called names by someone bigger than them, even anonymously on the Internet. I apologize if I offended you by calling out your over-the-top responses because I don't know you, but you truly offended me by going directly to thinking about ways to get the director of a daycare fired and calling a baby names because you're upset. That's shitty, even for someone I don't know on the Internet. And I really hate to have to tell you those things, because chances are that you, like me, just want the best for your kid and are trying to do the best you can. But if that were *my* kid that you were calling a shithead for biting your kid? How would you feel if the other parents were calling your kid a shithead or a bully for not sharing her toys to the point where their kid got so frustrated s/he bit her?

Anyway, you have a lot of good feedback that hopefully will help you move forward in a constructive direction, and I apologize again for offending you. I just can't imagine ever thinking it's okay to write stuff like that about other peoples' kids anywhere, no matter how terrible they are.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
How do you know it was all the same kid? At that age a LOT of kids go through biting issues, and it may just be crap luck on your daughter's part.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
I realize it could be multiple children biting her. However, little things that have been said here and there lead me to believe it is one child, as one of the teachers has said "Yeah, we have a bitter in that class..." which sounds as if it is one person doing the biting. And yes, it could be crap luck on my daughter's part. I also have another coworker who dropped her daughter off to another classroom next to my daughter's after I did, and noticed the kid I suspected to be the biter taking my daughter's lovie away and the teacher said to my daughter "Oh honey, I just don't know why he picks on you so much."

But yes, the notion that more than one child could be the offender has crossed my mind, and I expressed that possibility to the manager in my initial email to her. I also stated to her that on no certain terms do I even have the desire to know who it is, as if my child were the one biting I would not want her identity revealed either.
Sep. 6th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
I worked in a daycare in a toddler room. We had "a biter." But that didn't mean that all of the rest of the kids didn't bite. We just had one who was more likely to bite. She was not the ONLY biter in the class by far.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Honestly,I think you're overreacting.

My kid bites. He is not a bad kid and I am not a bad mother. My kid is 21 months old and cannot properly express his emotions, and like ALL per-verbal toddlers, expresses himself physically. Unfortunately, for him that means biting. Lots of kids bite, so it may not just be the same kid biting your child. </p>

Your centre sounds like they are in top of the situation as best they can be. They cannot hover over ever child to ensure none of them ever get hurt, or that there are no toddler-normal incidents with sharing or aggression.

Im not really sure what you expect the manager to do, either. As they cannot police toddlers or treat them like older children or adults. Removing the biter will not solve problems, and there will be other incidents in the future (toddlers throw things, they hit, they are generally incapable of calmly discussing their concerns).

Sep. 6th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
Thanks for your viewpoint from a child that is doing the biting. It is just hard for me to see my daughter come home with multiple bite marks that have accumulated in the past few weeks. I already wish I was in a financial position to stay home with her,and seeing her come home with these bite marks is just hard for me to deal with. I wish I could keep them from happening, and I feel guilty, in some way that it is my fault, that if I could stay home with her, all of this could have been avoided.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
My son also went through a biting phase at 15 months. It lasted about a week before they began shadowing him and then it was over in days. Worked like a charm. One of their tricks, too, was to give him something he _could_ do, instead of just biting or coping. I greatly appreciated the school's even handed and extremely unshocked and calm response. They didn't label him. They treated it as something to be taught past.

He also has been the bitee several times (or the pushee or, once, the whacked with a book kid). One little girl went through a phase of throwing a fuss if he was in the same room or wanted to play in the same area. One biter, heaven help me, was a bit obvious as a repeat incident because they had remarkably even teeth and you could clearly see the imprint of their toddler choppers on his wrist. Not a fun feeling. I get it.

It is not your fault. If you were home with your munchkin, you would probably want to arrange social interaction, and at some point, no matter how vigilant you were, someone was going to get hurt. Kids are kids. I'm sorry you're having this experience, but please, please, don't approach it from the stance that it could have been avoided by preventative stay at homeness. That just makes it harder for you to keep your level stance and get the school lined up.
Sep. 6th, 2012 11:41 am (UTC)
Even of you were home with her, she would still get hurt, she could still get bitten at play dates (this is where my son has bitten). You aren't at fault for her injuries. They are part of growing up. You just have to do your best to make sure she is taught how not to react at home, and hope that the parents of the kid(s) who bite are doing the same.
Sep. 8th, 2012 05:59 am (UTC)
we went through a quite significant biting phase with my little one. Sometimes there was a reason and sometimes it seemed random. it was quite a hard time for me because I felt so bad about not being able to stop her. it was bad when she bit a child with an understanding parent, it was horrid when the other mom didn't react well.

her biting got us bumped out of our spot in line for a coop daycare since they didn't want to deal with it in a new kid.

but now we're through the phase, knock on wood.

the biter or biters are probably good kids. It's really hard to keep a close enough eye on them to stop them biting- trust me, I tried.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC)
I think ask for someone to shadow YOUR kid to keep her safe since we don't know for certain its always the same kid. If they resist this idea, it is likely the same kid and I would request that they then shadow the biter. Also, ask for reports every other day on progress being made and coping strategies being taught (to all the kids!) for handling frustrations. If the problems persist, then mention going to the supervisor - but I wouldn't do that as my first option.

Biting does happen at this age. But you're correct that no one is protecting your child and that is not acceptable.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Great suggestion, I appreciate it...will definitely suggest my daughter being shaddowed. The thing is, is that I KNOW there is another child who is being bitten too, so they would probably dismiss it, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

Edited at 2012-09-06 03:10 am (UTC)
Sep. 6th, 2012 10:43 am (UTC)
I guess I figure it shows you want to work within their parameters while keeping your child safe. And they may say "oh, we have someone shadowing the biter already" which works to keep her safe too (hopefully!)...
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
I agree with this.

I know a lot of the other commenters are saying that you're overreacting, but I'd be equally as upset if my kid was coming home time and again with bite marks. Dismissing your daughter's injuries with "some kids bite" doesn't work for me.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Yes, the director should have known it was happening. I turn in any accident/incident reports to my director and she reads them. And I would likely say "OMG, Johnny bit AGAIN!" to her as I collapsed into a heap in a chair in the office at the end of the day...

But she's right about shadowing the biter instead of your child. The attempt with shadowing is to prevent it from happening, and to teach the child an appropriate way to deal with the frustration of not getting what he wants instantly. Shadowing the biter also helps the teachers figure out a pattern as to why the biter is biting, hunger, fatigue, frustration, etc so they can avoid the circumstances that lead to it.
Sep. 6th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Understandable. What upset me the most about the issue was when the director point blank said to me "I didn't know anything about this." Wrong answer to tell someone. It gives the impression the director doesn't know what goes on daily especially regarding incidents and even less interested in recording situations such as this to identify if it is becoming a pattern and what can be proactively be done about it, instead of just looking at the parent wide-eyed when they ask for a solution to the problem.
Sep. 6th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, my son was shadowed in his preschool classroom for being "a hitter". I was mortified that my child was the class hitter. You never think it's going to be you, you know? Anyway, he was hitting because he was new to the preschool setting (home with a combination of me, my mom, and my husband until right before his third birthday). He was slightly verbally delayed and was getting overwhelmed whenever kids came near what he was playing with. He didn't have the language to express this and would lash out by hitting if a child took a toy from him or even came too close. The shadowing only took 3 weeks to help him break that habit. The constant reiteration of the right thing to do in that situation really worked.
Sep. 6th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, mine was a premeditative biter...She started biting all of a sudden, and it was only the boys. And on the way to school one day she's in the back seat just a chattering about how much she didn't like so and so and it clicked in my head that the kids she'd been biting, she'd been bitching about on the way to school in the morning.

I let her teacher know about my hypothesis and voila, she never bit again. I was mortified. Seriously mortified.
Sep. 6th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
I work in an infant/toddler room. Currently, we have 3 children (out of 12 toddlers) who bite. It's incredibly common. Children this age bite out of frustration, they bite because they can't express themselves properly, they bite because it feels good! I'm not in any way saying it's okay, because it's not. It's a headache for everyone involved (both children, the parents of those children, the teachers, the director).

Here is what we do:
1. We have a bite log for each child that bites that is just for teachers. We write down the date, time, where it occurred, what happened before the child was bitten, and what we did after. This helps us see if there are any patterns to the biting (does it always happen to the same child? at the same time of day? etc)
2. We shadow children if it's severe enough.
3. We keep children separated. In our classroom, we have at least 2 distinct gated areas. The biter goes in one section, the child who keeps getting bitten goes in the other section. They are not allowed to be near each other.

I don't know any good program that would kick out a toddler for biting. It's a natural thing that many toddlers do. Like I said, it SUCKS, but would you expect a toddler to be kicked out for hitting another child? No, because it happens. What good teachers and a good program will do includes the things listed above, and redirection like your center mentioned. They will redirect and guide the child into more appropriate actions and responses. A lot of times, you can only wait until the child grows more verbal. They become more able to express themselves with words, they'll bite less. One of our biters is growing more verbal and hasn't bitten in a few months now.

I understand that you're upset. I just don't think demanding the other child to be removed is the right answer.
Sep. 6th, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
Kids bite. That's just...life. Unless your pumpkin lives in a bubble and never interacts with other children, she will get bitten/hit/pushed/etc at some point. and at some point she will be the biter/hitter/pusher. It wont be the end of the world. Sometimes, she'll even hurt herself. That won't be the end of the world either. Kids are amazingly able to cope with all these things. It would honestly probably be more traumatic for her to lose a potential playmate (due to your demand that the biter be removed) than an occasional chomp. Believe it or not, lots of times kids bite because they are excited or happy or any other multitude of emotions that they can't adequately express.

In a few months, there will be something new to stress about. Just breathe. and in a minute, she'll be asking to borrow the car. Life's too short and this really is not a big deal.
Sep. 6th, 2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
All of this.
Sep. 6th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
My opinion on this partly depends on what exactly the role of the manager is at your daycare facility. For instance, at my daughter's daycare, there are 3 rooms (baby, toddler, kindy) and a head carer within each room with several assistants. The 3 head carers are all qualified to diploma level (whereas the assistants will either be unqualified or have a lower qualification) and they are pretty much responsible for the day-to-day occurrences, structure and incident reporting in their room. The director of the daycare has a much less hands-on role, she deals with money (payments from parents, payments to staff and suppliers), rosters, licencing, new enrolments, overarching curriculum for the centre (while she is obviously qualified to pitch in in any of the rooms when needed). I would not necessarily expect her to be aware of something specific going on in a classroom, except if it was something truly out of the ordinary - and biting is very ordinary for toddlers unfortunately!
Sep. 6th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's fair to get all huffy with the manager and threaten to call her superior. SHE isn't biting your kid. I would nicely ask that the biter(s) is/are shadowed and the teachers are aware your daughter has been victim multiple times, but that's all you can really do. Kids bite. It happens SO FAST and it doesn't mean the caregivers are incompetent. I had a little girl in my class who would bite at least five times a day, even though the daycare had hired someone to shadow her all the time and all three teachers (including myself) were well aware of the problem. It sucks, but it's very normal for toddlers to bite. So even if you do find a new daycare or get this manager in trouble, it doesn't mean your daughter won't be coming home with bite marks anymore.

I didn't read the comments so just ignore me if this has all been said!
Sep. 6th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
I've got two kids and I've been 'lucky' enough to experience both sides; my eldest was bitten, and the youngest was a biter.

With Mr Bitey, it was seriously the most embarrassing situation ever. Forget finding the poppy seed in my teeth after the job interview that time, or the day in high school where my skirt got tucked in my sports knickers and I ran up the stairs in front of everybody without realising the world could see. Having a biting kid is absolutely horrible.

That said, you mentioned that the kids have recently transitioned. My son started his biting shortly after he was moved from the baby room to the toddler room. He had a new teacher whom he wasn't used to, there was a new routine, and everything was different. They also--I found out later--took away his dummy (pacifier) abruptly and without telling me, while he was teething. None of this made me just shrug it off, of course, but please let me assure you that a) the parents are probably mortified, b) when this happened with my son we had daily meetings with the teachers until it resolved, and c) it did eventually stop.

I would recommend being firm in your wishes to have either the potentially known biter shadowed, or, in the instance of multiple biters, to have your child shadowed to keep her from harm until whatever interpersonal issues have been sorted out. Try to keep calm, if/when you can, because while I very much remember feeling like a horrible mother for sending my daughter to childcare when she was the one being bitten I've since realised that, actually, nobody wants your kid to be hurt and everybody there is probably working to be the best of their ability to sort this out. Perhaps the director didn't know because it hadn't been brought to her attention yet, but the classroom teachers probably know all about it and are doing their best. Take a day or two off with your baby if you can afford the leave, give her lots of cuddles, or just tell her you love her before bed and then settle down with a glass of tea/hot chocolate/vodka and just keep repeating 'this too shall pass'. :)
Sep. 7th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
My oldest son (who is in 4th grade now) was a bite magnet. I saw him bitten probably 10 times in toddlerhood/preschool, by nearly every kid we knew. It was rarely provoked by anything-- or grabbing a toy at most.
Honestly, I'd rather have the kid that got bitten than the kid who bites. None of mine ever bit and all the bites they received healed just fine. It sucks, but some kids bite, hit, push, etc. and it's probably not really going to cause any damage.
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