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Old 09-19-2008, 07:55 PM
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DCMom DCMom is offline
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Biting is such a difficult thing for all concerned~the biter, the bitee and the provider.

This conversation came up with my in-home childcare provider. Another parent at the dc has a 4 yo at my daycare and an 18 mo old at a different daycare because our daycare doesn't currently have an opening for under 2. At any rate, she was not happy with the way the other provider was handling her other daughter getting bitten. She felt like her child was being punished for being bit. It prompted her to ask how our common provider handles biting. She said she has not had a biter in several years but the way she would handle it is as such (which I found interesting). She said she has a zero tolerance for biting. Since biting generally happens in the toddler years, she 'contains' them the first time they bite. She immediately separates the biter, whether in a exersaucer or a porta crib whatever is handy with a 'NO BITING' (effectively a time out for toddlers) The bitee gets all sorts of attention, the biter is shown the mark that they made. After the bitee is comforted, she releases the biter and shadows him/her. If the biting happens again, the parent is called and the biter is isolated, within the room, but isolated for a longer period of time. Any issues for the biter are addressed with the parent (HALTS was mentioned in an earlier post). It is a whole process that could take pages, but the gist of it is the biter is made aware that biting is bad and the bitees are given the attention. As many times and to the degree necessary. She said she had one child many years ago that had a corner in the daycare room that was hers alone to play in (had fence type thing she used to make a giant playpen). The biter was allowed out for short periods, but as soon as she tried to bite someone (again shadowing) she went right back into her spot (all sanctioned by the parents). Eventually she figured out she could be with the other kids if she didn't bite them. I personally think that would be exhausting for a provider~this woman has the patience of a saint.

Something I wonder about is in her 16 years as a provider 'she can count on one hand the # of biters she has had'. She said it has always been resolved in a very short amount of time and she has never had to expel anyone because of it. Is it supervision, is it the overall atmosphere of the daycare (ie: zero tolerance), is it mixed ages together rather than a roomful of toddlers, the number of kids or just dumb luck? I don't know that there is any 'right' answer for every child. I hope I never have to deal with it...
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