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Old 09-19-2011, 11:49 AM
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Holladee Holladee is offline
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Default Biting! AUGH!

(This got super long - kudos if you get through it!)

I opened my very small in-home daycare on August 22nd. (I have done in-home before in a different city with up to 8 kids).

This time I have teacher's kids only and right now only have two children. I am able to have up to five, but I am due with my second child (first is in Kindy) in October so two is a great number for this school year.

I have two kids, H and E. One turned two in July and one turned two last week.

The kids have been really great and things are going well. However, last week on Tuesday H bit E....hard. He broke the skin. Up until this point there had been no aggression whatsoever. I was hoping for a fluke bite, but on Thursday, he bit again. I was sitting two feet away and he still managed to bite her hard enough to almost break the skin.

After the first bite, dad picked up E. He obviously wasn't pleased, but did okay with the info.

Two days later when he bit her again, I emailed both mom and dad to give them a heads up, to let them know I was taking the biting seriously, and to let them know what my plans were to try and prevent future bites. Dad was pissed, but mom picked up and was very understanding. On Friday, I was basically on top of H all day to make sure to intercept any bite attempts. I figured out a safe way to gate off part of the play area so that when I prepped lunch I was able to separate the two. Friday was bite free.

Today I was doing the same. Shadowing H and making sure to keep a close eye. When we were outside they were both at the top of the slide (little play area on top). I was standing there and E tried to go in front of H on the slide. In a split second he leaned down to bite. I intercepted, but he did get her. No teeth marks, but a red ring. AUGH.

I feel like E's parents are going to think I'm not supervising closely enough and that's just not the case. I was RIGHT there and it still happens.

I've dealt with biters before. In my last home daycare I ended up terming a biter, but this was after months of issues. I've also dealt with biters as a daycare center director and really have come to the conclusion that there isn't a cure-all for biting. Most of the time it seems to run its course and then stop.

I have been reprimading H for biting and he sits in time out. He only turned two a week ago so I have no idea if he's "getting it" or not.

I'm dreading pick up again. I just don't know how long E's parents are going to tolerate this before getting upset and leaving or wanting me to term H. The biggest issue with all of this is that both E and H's moms are teachers- in fact they teach the same grade and their classrooms are right next door to eachother. Add to that that my daughter is in Kindyy and may have one of them for a teacher next year. I really don't want to burn any bridges very badly!

If you got through this, thank you! I rambled. Any tips for the biter, or tips for talking to both parents? I'm at a loss of what to do at this point.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:26 PM
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littlemommy littlemommy is offline
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The only thing that has stopped my biting issues is an extra wide gate to separate the 2 play rooms and very close shadowing. I know, it sometimes happens when you are right there but it's so quick it can't be stopped. I've had that happen several times. I have been separating the biter from the favorite victim and have had no more problems. I alternate kids between rooms so no one gets bored and they all get interaction with the other kids.

Are there any triggers that seem to set the biter off? Here it was the one year old hanging on the other kids and trying to touch the toys they were playing with. Does the biter attack when he is hungry or tired? If there is only one victim, watch him to see if he does anything to set the other child off.

Biting is so frustrating!!
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:29 PM
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There is only one victim because I only have one other child. If I had more kids at least the biting could be spread around a bit!

The first bite was completely random - they were sitting nice together looking at books. Second bite - she was apparently just in his space. Today's bite she tried to edge in front of him on the slide.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:55 PM
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I don't really have any advice for you (I think you are doing a great job!) Biting is HARD and very uncomfertable to talk to parents about.

I had a biter once that NEVER bit out of anger.....he would walk by a friend and bite, he would give a hug and bite, he was the sweetest kid ever. I never could get a pattern to his biting and just after I gave him a 2 week notice it stopped and never happend again. Thankfully bc I really did LOVE him.

I also went through about three other biters in the last three years.....worst part about them was not the biters but WHO they were biting. EVERY TIME THE SAME KID. There was only ever one kid who got bit. When it would happen (much like your problem...even when you are on top if them the STILL somehow sneek one by!!!) I would nearly cry thinking about having to tell that DCM that her son was bit AGAIN!!!

Best of luck.....keep your eys open and seperate if you need too!!! It also helped for me to print off some articales for the parents that biting is semi normal and WILL stop, also ways you are trying to prevent biting and that you are very serious about keeping all children safe.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:28 PM
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Christian Mother Christian Mother is offline
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I have a little guy who turns 2 tomorrow. He was my little biter for a while. He bit for a few months before he stopped completely. It's the age...when he started he was 1 1/2...it's was mostly out of frustration and teething. He talks quiet a bit better now then he did then so he can very much communicate. The child he would bit liked to get into his personal space also so he did provoke this child but we teach "NO BITING" for any reason. As all daycares do. When there was a bit he wasn't just put in time out. Even though I was always very close to the children it never really mattered bc when there close to each other and facing each other sometimes you just can't see what is exactly going on and it's lightening fast!! I will show the child that bit the owie and then show the child that this child he/she bit is crying bc there hurt...OWIE!! So they get that there in pain. Then that child will be put in a play pen for time out bc there was no escaping the play pen or being able to flip around or play. The children would try and sneak toys or sit beside them out of sympathy. So this was a form of punishment that works for me as they don't like to be insulated from the others. They get that they did something they shouldn't. It happened one other time and left a red ring and this time I ashually was like you and grabbed the little the little one around the waste quickly but it didn't prevent him from not latching. The red ring disappeared at the end of the day but I did talk to both parents. Thank goodness that both parents where good about it and on top of it and helping me at home. The mom who's son was bit those 2 times was also a teacher. They are very layed back though and understood about what happened. That def. helps when you have parents that are understanding and don't blow up over every little things. What I would do is call the parent who's child bit and let her know that her son bit again. Let her know exactly what happened and what you have been doing there to try preventing it and then call the other parent to let them know also. There are some great treads on here on biters that can help you also. My son when he was 3 was a biter. He bit at daycare a couple of times and the last time he bit the daycare called me and had me come and pick him up bc he drew blood when he bit. It was bad and I was very upset...at my son but I felt completely awful for this little girl that was bit. My son was suspended from school for 2 days for biting. He was young but old enough to know that that was a no no. At 3 they def. get it...when daddy got home daddy bit him on the arm hard enough for him to feel the pressure and told him NO BITING...and he cried bc he know understood....it hurts!! Def. not hard enough to leave a mark on him but enough that his eyes popped out of his head and yelled OWIE!! Guess what...no biting...that was the end of it..lol!!
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:37 PM
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I think you are doing great communicating to the parents and there is only so much you can do besides that. You're just going to have to keep the kids physically a part from one another. No sitting by each other, no being on the slide together......you just have to shadow even more for now (assuming you don't want to term). also look into triggers like another poster mentioned.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:08 PM
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Holladee Holladee is offline
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Thanks for all of the advice.

Thankfully pick-up went fine. Mom picked up which helped - she seems to be a lot more understanding. I'm sure it helped that there was no evidence of the bite. The mark was completely gone by the end of the day.

I am just going to have to stay even more on top of him. If that's even possible!

I really hope we can make it through the rest of the week with no more bites.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:11 PM
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I just took on a child with a history of biting. She's been "asked to leave" two previous daycare center situations becuase of the biting.
I've had her for almost a month so far, and she's bit twice. She's 2 1/2.

I just document everything, when it happened I gave a written notice to both families, biter and bitee, and had them sign it. I also gave them each an article on biting, and why kids do it. They seemed to appreciate the info and knowing that it's developmentally common for kids to bite, and it will get better. I wanted to make sure they knew that the child wasnt "bad' or "mean" and that it was a common thing for kids that age.

I also outlined what I planned to do when it happened, ie" giving the attention to the child who was bit, and putting the biter in "time out" to think about her actions. I firmly told her we do NOT bite people, and made sure I did something fun with the other kids while she was in time out so she felt like she was missing out. I took the other kids and sat them on my lap and read one of their favorite books. She saw we were having fun, and she didnt get to participate, so she was not happy. Then when I took her out of time out (2 minutes total). I told her if she bit people then she wouldnt be able to have fun and play with her friends.
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