Author Topic: Biting etiquette - what does one say?  (Read 3448 times)

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MariaE

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 02:13:10 AM »
Non PC method of handling it:

Back in the Dark Ages of My Youth, there was a kid in the neighborhood who bit EVERYBODY.  Repeatedly.  Would not stop.  He bit me on the leg one time and drew blood.  I went in the house in tears, and my mother walked out and picked him up and bit him back.  Not as hard, but she left a short term mark.  He apparently never did it again, according to my mother, and we lived there another year or so.  I fully realize you can't do that in the OP's (or anywhere, these days) situation, but it DID do the trick then and there.

That is similar to how my mum handled it. I'm the oldest of 4 girls. One of my sisters (I honestly don't remember who any longer) was a biter. My parents had always drummed into us that no matter what one of the others did, we weren't allowed to retaliate in kind. So no hitting back, no kicking back etc.

That rule got suspended when it came to biting. If one of the others bit us - we were allowed to bite back. I seem to remember it curing her of biting pretty fast. I'm not recommending it outside a sibling environment though.
 
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Millionaire Maria

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 06:29:48 AM »
This is an epic fail on the part of the child-minding staff. They should have been keeping a better eye on the biter, but more importantly, when reporting to the OP what happened, they should not have identified which child did the biting. That is a huge no-no in a daycare situation. All they should have said was that the child would no longer be allowed in the program.
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson

Cherry91

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 06:55:46 AM »
Ugh, this reminds me of one of my worst experiences with children.

I was doing (unwilling! long story, won't get into it here) work experience at a nursery at the age of 15, and while most of the kids were alright, there were some little monsters.

One of the boys was especially troublesome. One day, I turned around to see him fighting with two little girls. As he was the most common instigator, I tried to get him away from the other two to try and defuse the situation, but the two girls weren't done with their scrap just yet, and were trying to follow and hit him again. I picked the boy up to get him away from them, but any sympathy I might have had disappeared the instant he twisted in my arms and SANK his teeth into the side of my neck.

The point of my long and slightly bitter story? Let kids think they can bite other children and they'll progress to biting adults as well. The child of the OP's story should be banned for good.

AnnaJ

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2013, 12:00:21 PM »
This is an epic fail on the part of the child-minding staff. They should have been keeping a better eye on the biter, but more importantly, when reporting to the OP what happened, they should not have identified which child did the biting. That is a huge no-no in a daycare situation. All they should have said was that the child would no longer be allowed in the program.

But the problem here is that they have been letting that child back in, and he continues to bite.  Given that, I think it's reasonable that the parents of the bittee should know who the biter is - that way if they bring their child in again and see the boy, they (parents) can choose whether or not to leave their child in care or not work out that day...though I'd be for making sure the gym isn't letting him back or I'd be changing gyms.

TootsNYC

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 12:23:58 PM »
I think you can say to the mother of the biter, "I'm really upset right now."

I think you can say, "That's one hell of a bruise on my daughter--I've seen biting before, but I've never seen such a deep bite. It's pretty upsetting."

I think it's fine for these basic statements of fact to make the mother feel upset.

I personally might say something like, "I know it's tough to have a kid that bites, but I hope you figure out how to stop it soon."

And I think it's OK to use a tone of voice that's really even and not particularly friendly or "nice."

I *don't* think it's OK to berate her or rant at her.

And yes, epic fail on the part of the child-minding staff.

Re: the bite-him/her-back approach:
At my church, when I was  kid, there was a kid who pinched people. Hard. He was NOT a toddler; he was about 6 or 7. And he did it because he liked he feeling of getting a rise out of people. He'd pinch grownups just as easily as he'd pinch kids. His parents would admonish him, and punish him, but that was never enough to make him stop--it was a price he was willing to pay for the reaction he got. So after about 4 weeks of this, my mother grabbed him by the arm and said, "Joe, if you ever pinch me or one of my kids, I am going to pinch you back. So that you know how much it hurts. You are warned."
   And the next Sunday he pinched her. She grabbed him and pinched him really *hard*--no half measures whatsoever. Really, really hard. (He'd already shown that he'd put up with a lot to keep doing this, and she was determined that this would be the END of it.) He ran to his parents who vaguely patted him in sympathy and said, "sorry it hurts, now you know."
   He stopped. For good. And after a little bit, he became somewhat pleasant to know. But it took a LONG time before all the other people at church stopped disliking him.

Knitterly

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 12:40:35 PM »
I would not talk to someone else's child - I don't know what issues that child has, frankly, my business is not with the child, it's with the gym. Either they figure out a way not to have this happen, or they lose my business, and I would make it known why they lost my business, and why I will not be referring anyone to them.

Kids bite, and lord knows my kids have been bitten (although they were not biters themselves). Sure, fine, I accepted apologies from parents and caregivers. But what I really wanted to know was how was it going to be prevented in the future.

I agree with this.

I've seen the suggestion to confront the child several times, and it really truly baffles me that such is encouraged on an etiquette forum.  That falls under disciplining someone else's child, which is almost never right, especially when the children are small and you don't know them or what issues they have.

There is an adage that safety trumps etiquette, and this is true, but in the case of small children, I believe there are very few cases where this applies to the child instead of the parent.

Talk to the parent.  Talk to the center.  Threaten to escalate however high you need to with both.  But it surprises me that an etiquette forum would promote confronting and or disciplining a small child not your own.

And as for this...
Re: the bite-him/her-back approach:
At my church, when I was  kid, there was a kid who pinched people. Hard. He was NOT a toddler; he was about 6 or 7. And he did it because he liked he feeling of getting a rise out of people. He'd pinch grownups just as easily as he'd pinch kids. His parents would admonish him, and punish him, but that was never enough to make him stop--it was a price he was willing to pay for the reaction he got. So after about 4 weeks of this, my mother grabbed him by the arm and said, "Joe, if you ever pinch me or one of my kids, I am going to pinch you back. So that you know how much it hurts. You are warned."
   And the next Sunday he pinched her. She grabbed him and pinched him really *hard*--no half measures whatsoever. Really, really hard. (He'd already shown that he'd put up with a lot to keep doing this, and she was determined that this would be the END of it.) He ran to his parents who vaguely patted him in sympathy and said, "sorry it hurts, now you know."
   He stopped. For good. And after a little bit, he became somewhat pleasant to know. But it took a LONG time before all the other people at church stopped disliking him.
:o

 :o :o :o

NO!

Maybe it worked.  Maybe the kid was a terror.  But your mother physically abused a child who was not her own.

just... NO!!

Just because something works doesn't make it right.  Just because the parents didn't freak out about it doesn't make it right.

By all standards, that is just a wrong thing to do.

Yelling and screaming at my husband and child make them do what I want them to do.  Doesn't make it right.

My mother physically abused me to bruises and the result was an extremely compliant and super polite daughter who would bend over backwards to make her parents happy.  But though their methods worked, they were not *right*.  They are very wrong methods to instill good behaviour.  This is definitely one - even though it worked.

The correct thing to do is to make sure that both the center and the mother of the biter know in absolutely no uncertain terms that this behaviour is absolutely and entirely unacceptable and will under no means be tolerated.  Make sure that you do all the followup necessary and complain to all appropriate authorities if the biter is continued to be allowed in the center.  But this should be done with the parents and with those who run the center - not with the child.

The child doesn't know you and you have no relationship with them. 

Although it's sad, for the most part, we no longer live in an "it takes a village to raise a child" sort of society, and you are opening yourself up to all sorts of problems if you try to confront the child.

djinnidjream

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 12:57:06 PM »
I don't think anyone is advising the OP to bite the child back- they were just sharing stories from their childhood- you know, different time and place when such things were not frowned upon.

My impression is that this is a child care in a gym- so it is not held to the same standards as a daycare- so I don't know if there would be any authorities to report to in this situation.
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lisztchick

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 01:32:19 PM »
Update!

DH went yesterday by himself to speak to the gym manager. The biter has been expelled.

The manager admitted that "they'd probably lose the mother's membership"....but oh, well. Talking with the mother didn't help, and suspending the child once didn't help, either. DD's bruise on her arm has faded from purple to blue....but what if it's her face next time and she's scarred? I'd prefer to not take chances!

Regarding the somewhat unprofessional conduct on the part of the workers: yes, I was very surprised that they not only outed the "biter" so quickly, but that they were so quick to relate his history (suspension) to me! It was almost as if they were looking to have him gone. When this occurred at DD's school, they were very cautious about protecting the biter's identity....but of course you could figure it out. (At that age, I could tell by the teethmarks! CSI-Momma!)

And no....I'm not going to be gnawing on anyone's child any time soon! I asked my DD what she did when it happened, and she told me she ran away. DH in his initial fit of anger announced that he was going to teach DD how to "punch" the kid, or shove him at the very least, but I told him that wasn't appropriate because the biter was obviously younger than DD. I asked DD who bit her, and her words were: "Dat little boy baby bit my arm." So....I don't know how old he is (two, maybe?), but in DD's eyes, he's a "baby", and I don't want her going around shoving or punching babies. I can say with complete authority that he has all his teeth!  >:(

(TootsNYC - fantastic suggestions for how to speak to the mother of the attacking child! Thank you!)

SlitherHiss

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2013, 01:36:15 PM »
What a great outcome, OP!

darkprincess

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 04:46:36 PM »
My child was both a biter and a bitee. When she was a biter we worked immediatly with the daycare with her, discovered that she was more verbal than the other kids and when she told them "no", stop hitting, taking, whatever they would continue and she would get frustrated and then bite. The daycare added another adult to that room so they could see when the kids were not playing well. They also moved my daughter up to a older group, she was only 3 months away, because she was at their level of communication.
The second time she bit, she bit a teacher. We later discovered that she was in pain due to a birth defect and it was her way of reacting. However the daycare did not tell me for three days because they wanted to work on coping mechanism with her. Once we found out we recognized it for what it was and took her into her doctor. If they had only told us we could have helped her earlier.
She had been bit at the same daycare and we figured out that the teachers would allow the kids alot a freedom to interact and were sometimes slow to interject themselves into problem situations. So skirmishs would escalate.
We decided that we needed to change daycares. The one we are in now is great at noticing disagreement before they escalate and then work with the kids so that they can determine a good solution and a way to deal with disagreements in the future.
I discovered that this daycare takes a lot of kids who have had problems with other daycares. They also have lots of fosterkids that go there. The teachers are very clear to the kids about expected behaviors, the know to watch for problems before they happen and then they try to work with the kids to find out why they do it and then work with them on alternative behaviors. The result...no biting, and no getting bit ;D

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 05:25:06 PM »
My daughter was the target of a biter for a while. He's 11 now and is a nice kid. He didn't bite forever but it was rough when he did, and they were serious bites too, like in the OP.

I think it's reasonable to tell the day care there that you don't think he should be left in the day care until he gets past his biting issue. He will get past it but it isn't fair to the other kids.

Bluenomi

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Re: Biting etiquette - what does one say?
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2013, 07:26:04 PM »
Update!

DH went yesterday by himself to speak to the gym manager. The biter has been expelled.

The manager admitted that "they'd probably lose the mother's membership"....but oh, well. Talking with the mother didn't help, and suspending the child once didn't help, either. DD's bruise on her arm has faded from purple to blue....but what if it's her face next time and she's scarred? I'd prefer to not take chances!

Regarding the somewhat unprofessional conduct on the part of the workers: yes, I was very surprised that they not only outed the "biter" so quickly, but that they were so quick to relate his history (suspension) to me! It was almost as if they were looking to have him gone. When this occurred at DD's school, they were very cautious about protecting the biter's identity....but of course you could figure it out. (At that age, I could tell by the teethmarks! CSI-Momma!)


They would loose more people's memberships if they let the biter stay and bite more kids I suspect!

Our daycare never tell you who bit your child but well spoken DD would happily tell me exactly who it was from about 18 months so they knew I'd find out. Plus when you are present when he bites someone it kind of gives it away  ;)