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  #1  
Old 08-08-2017, 09:27 AM
happymom happymom is offline
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Default Is Biting Related To Teething?

So my child (22 months) has recently started attempting to bite. He has actually bit another child once, but I think he is testing the waters.

One of his teachers said it's because he is teething. To me, it seems more behavioral, and we are working on it. Teething? Yes, he is, honestly his teeth don't seem to bother him much though.

I am a bit concerned as he will be moving into the 2s class soon (Oct) and I know there are plenty of biters in there and ratios are 8:1 instead of 4:1. I'm not really sure what I can do to prevent him from becoming a biter/getting bit.

He understands mostly everything we say to him, and speaks about 100 words but isn't really stringing many words together quite yet.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:33 AM
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Yes. It is. Staff should be able to block bites. I'd be surprised to know that there are plenty of biters. Yikes!
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:53 AM
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I've been told it's a problem in the 2s class my a staff member. There's only so much I can do as a parent, but if there is biting in that class, I will request from the director to staff it differently. Just because they are ALLOWED lower ratios, doesn't mean they should in a class full of biters. I am a little worried about my child moving to that class.

1) I don't want him to become a biter
2) I don't want him to get bit (bitten? sorry I like to use proper grammar but I'm not sure what is correct here)
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:56 AM
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I keep pushing the book "No Biting" by Gretchen Kinnell. It's designed for care providers and program directors, but parents should also find it very helpful. It goes into the MANY reasons that children bite, how to appropriately respond with a long-term cooperative plan, and how NOT to respond. While your program director of course will be setting policies and implementing them at the day care, I think parents should be informed so they can support the behavioral plan at home.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by happymom View Post
Just because they are ALLOWED lower ratios, doesn't mean they should in a class full of biters.
Do you have a backup plan for if they terminate you?

The owners base their rates on each classrooms child/teacher ratios. There is little to no chance they will adjust that for you. That is simply the norm in group care.

From now on your child ratios will only go up to 30+/1 in public school. Deep breaths.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:23 AM
happymom happymom is offline
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Is it not their job to find a way to stop the biting and keep the kids safe?

If they can't stop 16 kids from biting with 2 adults in the room, shouldn't it be common sense that they either need a different plan or more adults?

I'll grab that book though and have a look. I hardly want my child to become part of the problem, but I'm fearful he will.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pestle View Post
I keep pushing the book "No Biting" by Gretchen Kinnell. It's designed for care providers and program directors, but parents should also find it very helpful. It goes into the MANY reasons that children bite, how to appropriately respond with a long-term cooperative plan, and how NOT to respond. While your program director of course will be setting policies and implementing them at the day care, I think parents should be informed so they can support the behavioral plan at home.
My library does not carry this book, BUT, I recognize the cover and I think they have pages printed out and hanging in the 1s and 2s classroom.

I have read through the bulletins posted on biting, but either the teachers are not using the methods or the methods are not working on these kids OR the staff member is just over-reacting and there's not actually a huge biting problem in that class.

My child has been bitten twice, and he has bitten once. I was once there when another mom was dropping off her child and asking why her child gets bit EVERY DAY (her words) and asking if it's only her child that gets bit or if all the children get bit.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by happymom View Post
Is it not their job to find a way to stop the biting and keep the kids safe?

If they can't stop 16 kids from biting with 2 adults in the room, shouldn't it be common sense that they either need a different plan or more adults?
Typically, the method most commonly used is termination of the biter or the parent making the most noise. Don't shoot the messenger. Reread their biting and behavior policy, remind them of it if it does become a problem.

They can only do a couple of things legally: shadow and distract. Both require 1/1 ratio. They can only do that so long until every other kid is basically ignored or the biters are gone. That is why biting is the most common thread topic here. Biting is a losing game for all of us, nobody wins.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2017, 10:36 AM
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Omg. You know, you KNOW this staff doesn't do what they should. You have known this for like a year!? I honestly don't understand why you stay.
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2017, 11:19 AM
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I honestly don't think the occasional bite is worth getting into a tizzy over. Persistent biting is a problem. . . like any other aggressive behavioral issue.

After reading the book, I put together a "bitey box" for a DCB and sent him to pick a toy from the box whenever he started to get champy. There was a wooden object, a plastic one, a fabric one, and a silicone one. He liked the silicone one best. Right now, I have a kid who teethes constantly and also bites when other kids get up in his space, so I bought him one of those therapeutic bite sticks. He digs it. (The good news is, it's easy to tell when the bite is coming, so before I installed a second gate to keep him separated from the others, he only managed to make contact twice, and only hard enough to leave an impression once. Some kids give a lot of warning before they bite; others don't. The one he left a mark on is such a tough cookie that she didn't make a sound during the bite, so I didn't realize it was happening at first; that was the first time we'd had an issue with him.)

Anyway, there are tons of environmental factors and developmental stages that can lead to biting, so work with your care provider to identify and respond to any and all applicable issues. For instance, my kid with the worst biting? At first he was on the cusp of developing language and would bite when frustrated--and he was frustrated all the time, because he wasn't getting enough sleep at home, so I pestered the parents and also modified my schedule to move meals and nap earlier in the day. Once we got past that, he started biting again and it turned out he was watching The Walking Dead with his dad. Some things can't be fixed by the care provider.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:32 AM
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Pestle, can you please show me what is inside the bitey box? I'd like to make my son one or two to possibly help him.

I'm definitely not "in a tizzy" nor am I looking to remove my children from the program. Just hoping to be proactive before he moves to the class known for biting.

I'm expecting his speech to improve in the next couple of months, so maybe it won't be a problem at all. He's a pretty good kid and generally stays out of the way of other kids.
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2017, 12:36 PM
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Sorry; I didn't mean to imply that YOU were in a tizzy. I should have made it clear that I was talking about one-strike policies and about parents who demand to know who the biting kid is and to have the kid kicked out.

Let's see. . . we had a Beanie Baby-type stuffed animal, a piece of hardwood, a training toothbrush (that was his favorite, but I had to check it regularly and replace it when it started to crack, plus the item is discontinued), and a toy dinosaur. I put them into a shoe box in an accessible cubby. When he started to gnaw on my toys or looked like he was ready to pull a Jaws on his sister, I'd say "Go get your bitey box!" and he'd trot away, select an object, and spend the next 10-20 minutes playing happily with the object clenched in his jaw. Usually it was the toothbrush sticking out like a cigar, but sometimes it was the puppy dangling by an ear. Basically, objects ranging from very hard to very squishy.

It goes without saying that close supervision is necessary while the child is chewing on a toy!
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:52 PM
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Awesome, thank you!

Yeah I feel bad for the mom who's child is getting bit every day. Not to imply that some kids deserve to get bit, but if a child is doing something to provoke a biter, that child should be supervised enough to be removed from the situation before the bit occurs.

I am fully aware that it is easier said than done though.

I know my child's main teacher in the 1s class is SUPER on top of the biting issue in that class and that's what keeps it at bay. She can tell when a child is going to bite and takes the steps to stop it in time, I know for certain she has stopped my child from biting a few times. She's amazing though.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happymom View Post
So my child (22 months) has recently started attempting to bite. He has actually bit another child once, but I think he is testing the waters.

One of his teachers said it's because he is teething. To me, it seems more behavioral, and we are working on it. Teething? Yes, he is, honestly his teeth don't seem to bother him much though.

I am a bit concerned as he will be moving into the 2s class soon (Oct) and I know there are plenty of biters in there and ratios are 8:1 instead of 4:1. I'm not really sure what I can do to prevent him from becoming a biter/getting bit.

He understands mostly everything we say to him, and speaks about 100 words but isn't really stringing many words together quite yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by happymom View Post
Is it not their job to find a way to stop the biting and keep the kids safe?

If they can't stop 16 kids from biting with 2 adults in the room, shouldn't it be common sense that they either need a different plan or more adults?

I'll grab that book though and have a look. I hardly want my child to become part of the problem, but I'm fearful he will.
Why does he bite? Watch him to find out. There are many reasons kids bite: teething is one of them, sensory exploration, frustration and lacking the ability to verbalize it, affection (for real!), attention...these are only some of the reasons. If you can recognize the reason for the biting, you have the best chance of preventing it by offering alternatives.

Is it not their job to stop biting? I almost laughed out loud! I am fairly certain that nearly ALL caregivers would do anything to stop biters from chomping on the other kids! There's only so much the childcare can do other than total separation until the phase passes or providing one on one care for the biter. Their job is to keep kids safe, for certain, but their job is not to correct someone else's child's behavior problem. I obsess over biting as much as I do over SIDS! The easiest way to deal with a problem biter is terming, unfortunately. Neither a home based nor center based childcare usually has the time to devote to following a biter around to prevent damage.

Sometimes, it IS a supervision issue, but sometimes, it's just a matter of a kid who bites being in a group that is too large to meet his or her current needs (which would be to have an adult have eyes on him or her 100% of the time). I had a kid who bit while she was contained in a Pack and Play! The other kid would intentionally offer his arm for her to bite. They both got something out of it. I started putting her in a PNP every time I couldn't have my eyes directly on her (like when making lunch or using the restroom). It still happened. The only thing that worked was her leaving. It's been a year, and she is STILL biting (at someone else's childcare now, though).
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Old 08-08-2017, 01:12 PM
happymom happymom is offline
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It seems like the daycare staff place the blame on the victim more often than anything.

"He was getting in his space"

I didn't mean to come off that it was the daycares job to prevent the biting completely, but if there actually is a huge problem -- what are they doing to fix it? From what I gather, it's a known problem that the 2s class is the biting class. Maybe everything will be ok, and my kid will continue to keep away from the biters, and not become a biter and I'm just being the crazy mom I am.

I am excited for him to move into the 2s, there's a lot of cool stuff he'll get to do now AND tuition decreases as well.
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
I had a kid who bit while she was contained in a Pack and Play! The other kid would intentionally offer his arm for her to bite.
You've just summed up children.

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Old 08-08-2017, 05:17 PM
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You've just summed up children.

The "victim's" father was extremely upset about the biting. I only see dad once or twice a week. I was telling him about how it was happening (that his son initiated the bite at least 3/4 of the time), and I could see that Dad was NOT buying my story at all. At the very moment that we were discussing it, his son walked over to Jaws (in her pack and play) and put his arm out and told her "bite?". Dad flipped out! "DON'T DO THAT! WHYYYYY WOULD YOU ASK HER TO BITE YOU! BITING HURTS! NOOOOOO!".

Dad was much more understanding after that. I gave it a few more weeks, but I just couldn't stop the biting-they were BOTH so sneaky about it. She did have issues with aggressive biting, as well, and she was having serious temper issues (all the kids in her family have a diagnosis of "emotional disturbance") and nothing could calm her from a tantrum but time.

The weirdest thing was that these 2 kids were in love with each other. They spent all their daycare time with one another, and though they were both 2, they told their parents that they were each others' boyfriend/girlfriend. I guess their love was a volatile one!
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:29 AM
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Ok

My son bit someone again yesterday. I am trying very hard not to get defensive/blame. I learned that the child who was bit had come from behind my son and reached over his shoulder to try to take the toy he was playing with.

Reason for biting: Toys/Personal Space

It was not only biting yesterday. Yesterday and today he has been "on one" and in a bad mood, being defiant and a real turd. I felt pretty guilty dropping him at daycare this morning. He had already hit one of his friends when I was stocking his cubby.

Teething is in full force, his upper molars are coming in.
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