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Old 11-04-2013, 09:48 AM
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Default My First Biting Incident, Looking For Advice

Today I had my first biting incident. The biter is the child I asked for advice about last week...3yo (almost 4), highly competitive, me first and I'm in charge of all the games and play kind of kid. He's a generally pleasant child. All of the problems we've had have come up when he wanted to be first or best at something.

So far today he has pushed another dcg because he wanted to get to something before her. I have talked with his mom about the pushing and shoving and knocking down and she is backing me up and addressing it with him at home. He is the youngest in a family of just boys, and this is his first time in group care, so I think he's just used to a very rough and tumble kind of life.

Anyway, today he bit one of my own kids. So, I'm not worried about losing another family, and I really don't want to lose this dcb, as I'm newly opened and enrollment is slow.

I can't figure out why on earth he bit. I was right there, playing with the children (dc and my own) outside. We were making dirt cakes and singing happy birthday and blowing out candles. Four children were gathered around the little picnic table. Dcb just reaches out, grabs my son's hand, and shoves my son's fingers into his mouth and bites them.

I was right there and couldn't grab his hand soon enough. I checked on the victim (not a very hard bite), and asked the biter why he bit my son. I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to give a time out if it was in play, like, they'd been pretending hands were cake or something, I don't know. I really knew that wasn't case, since I'd been there playing with them, but wanted to give him a chance. But I can't get any kind of answer from dcb. I suspect my son had a tool (they were using pots and pans and spoons) that dcb wanted so he just fought for it.

Proceeded to time out, dcb is now shadowing me until lunch and naptime.

So my question is, do I talk to mom about this biting incident, or just keep an eye on things? I hate to go to her everyday with, well, this is what he did today. After the first time I talked to her about his aggressive behavior, I've been documenting further incidents, only bringing them up if they were serious or if she asks how things are going.

But this is the first bite. And he's almost four, so he definitely knows this is not acceptable behavior. If it were you, would you tell mom that he's now begun biting, or wait to see if the problem continues?
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:53 AM
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I would ABSOLUTELY tell Mom. At almost 4 he most certainly knew better and made a bad decision.

I have a VERY challenging little guy around the same age, and it IS tough to give a not-so-great report day in/day out but I AM being honest. I don't want Mom to think he is doing awesome here and be in shell shock when the kindergarten teacher calls her. I do try to give something positive about his day as well and am usually able to do so. For my guy hitting, pushing, running, screaming, jumping on/off furniture, taking toys is every 5 minutes. So when he asks for something nicely, or walks somewhere, I praise the heck out of it, both to him at that time, and to his Mom/Dad at pu.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
I don't want Mom to think he is doing awesome here and be in shell shock when the kindergarten teacher calls her.
ITA!

Mom doesn't pick up, an extended family member does, and mom and I both prefer that communication go directly to her, not passed through others who may or may not remember to tell her, or remember the details correctly. So every time I have to talk with mom about behavior problems, I have to call or email. Makes it a little more time-consuming, but better than waiting until the next morning at drop-off.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:59 AM
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I am pretty tolerant of biting in kids under 30 months-I'm willing to see it as a normal thing that needs to be dealt with. At almost 4 years old, I would call a parent to pick up immediately-a kid that age has enough self-control not to bite. At this age, I consider it aggression, not developmental exploration.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcornMama View Post
ITA!

Mom doesn't pick up, an extended family member does, and mom and I both prefer that communication go directly to her, not passed through others who may or may not remember to tell her, or remember the details correctly. So every time I have to talk with mom about behavior problems, I have to call or email. Makes it a little more time-consuming, but better than waiting until the next morning at drop-off.


Biting Policy
Here at _________biting is strictly prohibited. However, in the event a child has bitten another child a 4 strike rule is then implemented. Every occurrence is documented and signed by the parent or guardian.

Below is my 4 strike rule-
Strike 1- This is when the first bite occurs. Both the biter and bittee will then be monitored to limit this reoccurring.
Strike 2- This is when the second bite occurs. At this point the biter will be shadowed and their areas limited when other children are present.
Strike 3-This is when the third bite occurs. A parent will be called immediately to pick up their child. Care will then be suspended for 48 hours.
Strike 4-This is when the fourth bite occurs. Care will be immediately terminated.

This policy is necessary to prevent any child from being harmed. It is my goal to keep every child in care safe.



I have been debating on whether to make this three strikes....

Last edited by LaLa1923; 11-04-2013 at 10:08 AM. Reason: fix
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
I am pretty tolerant of biting in kids under 30 months-I'm willing to see it as a normal thing that needs to be dealt with. At almost 4 years old, I would call a parent to pick up immediately-a kid that age has enough self-control not to bite. At this age, I consider it aggression, not developmental exploration.
At this point, I don't think immediate pick-up is going to be necessary. For being so aggressive, he handles the consequences well. He's shadowing me, sitting near me while I fix lunch, etc., with no complaints.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLa1923 View Post
Biting Policy
Here at _________biting is strictly prohibited. However, in the event a child has bitten another child a 4 strike rule is then implemented. Every occurrence is documented and signed by the parent or guardian.

Below is my 4 strike rule-
Strike 1- This is when the first bite occurs. Both the biter and bittee will then be monitored to limit this reoccurring.
Strike 2- This is when the second bite occurs. At this point the biter will be shadowed and their areas limited when other children are present.
Strike 3-This is when the third bite occurs. A parent will be called immediately to pick up their child. Care will then be suspended for 48 hours.
Strike 4-This is when the fourth bite occurs. Care will be immediately terminated.

This policy is necessary to prevent any child from being harmed. It is my goal to keep every child in care safe.



I have been debating on whether to make this three strikes....
I've basically implemented what you have listed for strikes one and two, so you probably could combine those two if you wanted it down to three strikes.

But then, I'm the newbie at this asking for advice, so my suggestion may not be worth anything.

And thanks, LaLa, for taking time to help me out. I've been thinking of you.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:34 AM
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Definitely tell mom and document in his file. If you don't want to term than just explain that to mom. But at almost 4 he is plenty old enough to use words and know not to bite. My DS is only 23mos and he's gotten much much better since it started about 6 mos ago. I obviously cannot term my child so I have to do everything in my power to prevent it and communicate it. He went from biting multiple times a day to just once a week or even less. I'm thankful for understanding parents who know its a stage ( and often provoked! )
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:56 AM
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I would absolutely talk to her about it. If you email make sure you save a copy of the one you send and any responses. I wouldn't wear her out with a report on every push and shove but a bite is serious. Esp, at almost 4. They should have pretty good language skills. In my experience kids bit to avoid or obtain something. (for the most part). Even in play biting is serious.
Don't be to hard on your self, I have had biting occur literally right next to me! It happens in the blink of an eye! I always keep a very close eye on the one that bit after an incident. I would reassure the mom that you are keeping a very close eye on the child in order to assure it wont happen again.
Deb
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
But at almost 4 he is plenty old enough to use words and know not to bite.
Yup!

I appreciate the feedback. My first thought was to tell parents, but I'm new enough to doubt my instincts.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renodeb View Post
I would absolutely talk to her about it. If you email make sure you save a copy of the one you send and any responses. I wouldn't wear her out with a report on every push and shove but a bite is serious. Esp, at almost 4. They should have pretty good language skills. In my experience kids bit to avoid or obtain something. (for the most part). Even in play biting is serious.
Don't be to hard on your self, I have had biting occur literally right next to me! It happens in the blink of an eye! I always keep a very close eye on the one that bit after an incident. I would reassure the mom that you are keeping a very close eye on the child in order to assure it wont happen again.
Deb
I just remembered that Dad is picking up today, so I can address it with a parent without it looking like I've typed up a formal complaint. I am keeping my own written records, though.

And yeah, I don't want to get into a daily, here's the next little thing you boy did today, but if it were my kid, I'd so want to know.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:52 PM
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Well, this varies by provider but I think pushing, shoving, hitting, etc is different than biting. I wouldn't tell parents of every little infraction, but biting I would. Especially if it's a NEW and escalating behavior. But the fact that he's responding well to your consequence is great! I would let parents know that part as well! I don't have a 3 strikes rule and really feel it's a normal stage in some children's development. It's a teachable moment at 4! At less than 18mos it's hard to really "teach" them no, it's more feasible to separate them at that age. Once they're 18mos I would start time out and consequences. Obviously this is ALL dependent on their maturity level. I have a 2yr old who is developmentally not 2, so time outs don't really phase him. But my DS has had time outs for months now and understand that he shouldn't do x,y,z or he'll get a time out. He cries and covers his face so I know he understands where as the 2yr old kinda smiles and gets up, he just doesn't really get it. Anyway, at 4 he's too old to be biting. There's also a few books about biting, hitting, etc. Teeth Are Not For Biting, Hands Are Not For Hitting!
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:28 PM
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When I worked with a little girl who was pushing and sometimes kicking her friends, I would have her sit in a chair away from the others as a " break" - she really liked her break. I guess she was over stimulated and needed it. Sometimes the little ones do naughty things for attention. Try to give him extra attention when he is behaving.
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