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Old 04-30-2012, 10:10 AM
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Here's the situation... I have a toddler that has been having some biting issues. Not too bad at daycare but at home has been biting baby sibling and the parents. Parents said dr has said to bite child back to break the biting. I know this is true because my dr told me the ssame thing. I didn't do it but she did say to do that.

Anyway, they have left a bruise on her. This is the 2nd time! I'm in such a bind but am a mandated reporter. I know the parents are good people. They are neighbors. They are new parents and they have two kiddos and their ages are very close together. WOuld you talk to parents about it first before calling CPS? WOuld you call CPS anonymously? Or would you just talk to the parents and call CPS if they did it again?

I am so torn and know that I will probably lose both kids from this but will probably lose sleep if I don't do something. Not to mention I don't want to get into any trouble.
Anyone experienced this? How did it turn out and what advice do you have for me?
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:17 AM
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do you have a contact with licensing or anyone else you can consult? let them know that you know for sure where this bruise is coming from and the reason why (doctor instructed!) and what is the protocol for this type of issue as far as reporting.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
do you have a contact with licensing or anyone else you can consult? let them know that you know for sure where this bruise is coming from and the reason why (doctor instructed!) and what is the protocol for this type of issue as far as reporting.
I agree with this. Try and get advice before going to CPS.

Personally I would let them know that although they have been instructed to bite their child it's not developmentally appropriate advice and that leaving a bruise is likely not what the DR meant. I think I would sternly tell the parents that you don't want to see bruising anymore.

The thing about this situation is that they're doing what they were told my a medical professional so it's not like they're abusing their kid maliciously. This is why people need to stop going to their DR's for behavior management advice. They get ZERO training whatsoever in it....
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:26 AM
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Personally, I think being a mandated reporter means "suspected abuse" and since you know that they aren't necessarily abusing their child I would speak directly with them and explain your situation. I might even go so far as asking them to provide some sort of written explanation for the bruise so that you can file it in the child's file "just in case" you need it later (and to protect yourself).

I would also speak with them about the issue and let them know that your doctor also suggested the same "unacceptable" practice and although it came from the doctor, it really isn't an ideal method for curbing the child's biting issues.

I would think that if they are receptive to listening to someone who knows about early childhood issues (you) then they will be more than willing to have you help them overcome this situation.

I would offer them resources, ideas and support so that they approach this in a more appropriate manner than to simpy bite the child back.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:26 AM
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Even though I think it's silly to bite a child back and I would never personally do it - MANY parents do it and it seems to work.

Since the parents have told you what they're doing AND their pediatrician recommended it, I think it would be wrong to turn them in
- knowing they are awesome parents who are desperately trying to get their child to stop biting. You will create a huge problem for
the family, lose them as clients, AND all of your neighbors will think poorly of you for causing the family harm.

Now... If they were punishing their child and hitting him/her with a belt or leaving bruises from a spanking, I would turn them in.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:45 AM
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ummmm...if it worked, they'd only have had to do it once!

That method sometimes works with older children who are verbal enough to understand the explanation that goes with it. Better yet, make the child bite their own arm, to demonstrate how it feels (but they won't bite hard enough to leave a bruise).

A much better idea is to give the kid something he CAN bite...like a teething toy (I like them on a paci strap), and catching them before they bite...saying 'NO...bite THIS instead". It gives them a chance to work out their oral stuff without hurting others.

Sorry, that didn't answer your CPS question, but the other's covered that one!
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:28 PM
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Licensing is not your friend. Do not call them for advice because the only advice you'll get is to call CPS. Then you will be required to do so. And if you don't, licensing will get you for not reporting.

As a mandated reporter, you are required to report if you suspect abuse. This doesn't sound like abuse to me.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:37 PM
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Mandated Reporter means if you suspect abuse. You know what is going on and that they are not abusing the child, they are doing what the doctor told them to do to try to get their child to stop doing an unacceptable act. So, I would not report them and I would not mention it to licensing. However, I would talk to the parents and mention that they are leaving bruises on the child which won't look good to the general public that doesn't know their situation - (maybe that will make the parents realize that someone not knowing that the doctor told them to bite the child might suspect abuse and report them) and I would ask how the child reacts when they bite him/her and if by them biting the child back is it making the child bite less often or not. It might take a couple of times of the parent 'disciplining' - biting the child before the child learns that if they bite, they will get bitten. But if it's not making the child bite less often and making the child think twice before biting, then maybe biting the child isn't working.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:23 PM
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One of the most strict Child Protection worker I know was instructed to bite her child when her child was biting hard all the time. She did it. She left a bruise. He doesn't bite anymore.

I wouldn't do it. But that alone leads me to believe that it might be considered okay. I'm no expert though.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:16 PM
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In Ct if a dr told you or not to do it its still abuse and has to be reported expecally if it leaves a mark. im glad im not in your shoes because if you report it then parents get upset because they where told if you dont and someone finds out your risking your JOB and possible other repercausion
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