Thursday, July 28, 2011

Help This Woman: This Bites

You know the phone call. We've ALL gotten it..."Ummm, hello Mrs. BadMommy [Editor's Note: OK, so they don't actually call us Mrs. BadMommy, but they don't have to say it. Their voices just drip with it. Right? Kate] "You're going to need to come pick up your little one from school. Right now. He decided that he wanted to hit/bite/punch/kick/spit/Chuck Norris another child today. Oh, and he can't come back. Ever."

And somewhere between the pit in your stomach and rage and wondering whuck just happened, you meet the evil twins of motherhood: The Shame and The Guilt.

MB wrote us yesterday. She had THAT DAY. She needs the awesome power of MommyLand to help her throat punch The Shame and The Guilt. So grab your capes and tiaras ladies. There's a Mom who needs your help. [Editor's Note: Kate, please leave your whip and stilettos -- OK that is just wrong. Go change. This is a rescue mission; not a...a...whatever it is where you wear that. Gah. -Lydia]


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Dearest Ladies,

I am so mired in The Shame and The Guilt today I think I will never get out.  I thought maybe if I wrote it all out I would feel better.  So, ignore this email, or answer it, or put it in the pile of crazy letters.  I don't care.  The catharsis is in the writing.

My not-quite-15-month-old Devil Cupcake just got kicked out of daycare for biting.  He just started this new daycare 2 weeks ago because the new place has more flexible hours and is both less expensive and less snooty than the old place.  He was the youngest in his class by a month or so.  And, it seems he was dealing with his frustration by biting.


Yesterday was the fourth time he's bitten in two weeks.  And they apparently have a 3-bite limit.  Which I did not know about, BTW, until this morning.

Intellectually, I know that biting is a very common, normal thing for Devil Cupcakes to do.  But, besides that very small, rational part of my brain, every other internal message is telling me that I've done something awful to raise an aggressive, mean kid.  Why couldn't I help him control his impulses?  Or, that I've damaged him in some way by switching daycares (out of my selfish need for just a little more kid-free time everyday).  What kind of mother lets her kid go to a place that makes him so stressed that he bites other kids?

I'm not terribly impressed with how the daycare dealt with the issue (for example, his teacher told my husband that DC was sort of a crybaby!!).  He's an active kid who seems to need a lot of structure - and that didn't seem to be happening in the new school.  But, somehow, even the rational explanation that this was not a good fit for him does not override the horrible Shame and Guilt.  I feel like I should wear a big red B on my shirt - or maybe MB for Mother-of-Biter.

Our friends and work colleagues go to this daycare.  How am I going to explain why we're gone after only 2 weeks?

Plus, there's the whole how-the-heck-are-we-supposed-to-find-a-new-daycare-on really-short-notice problem.  Or, maybe I just go back to the old place, where he seemed happy. I was miserable with the schedule, but what the heck.

Thank you for listening,
xo, MB  (Mother of Biter)

p.s.  I also feel completely awful about my kid hurting another kid. Like truly sick about it.


And one more, p.p.s  I'm a little afraid all of this might be because I re-watched all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I was home with the DC last summer.


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So, MommyLand...send MB your best ideas, your creative solutions, and your big puffy hearts of support and girl-we-totally-been-there-too's. We all know the suck suck suckitty part of this is when we think we're the only ones in the whole history of ever that feel like this. If you remember, Kate's charming little man, Happy, also loves to nosh on other children, and Lydia's boy Hawk came thisclose to getting booted from school. So we've definitely been there before.

And it bites.

xoxo Kate and Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

110 comments:

  1. Our daughter has been the master of all kinds of delinquent behavior in her 2.5 small years (hitting her baby sister, throwing toys people, pushing kids to the ground, etc). The ONLY thing that has ever worked with her is extreme amounts of positive reinforcement for the desired action. For example, during a particularly bad hitting phase we switched ALL her fun books to book like this: No Hitting! by Karen Katz. We told stories about being gentle. We watched movies about being gentle. We started a brainwashing campaign like you have never seen. And it worked. Mostly. She only occasionally attacks other children now, but it is usually when she is overtired :) Best of luck with DC!

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  2. Take that shame and guilt and throw them out the window. You're a mama and you don't have time for that crap. The only thing that should be feeling any shame and guilt is that daycare for not handling the situation in a more positive manner. You will find the best environment for your son cause that's what good mothers do and I can tell by your concern that you are a good mother. Good luck!

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  3. That really stinks. Biting is a normal behavior for a 15 month old in a period of adjustment, and while safety has to be ensured for all involved, 2 weeks seems pretty quick to jump to conclusions about this little guy and boot him out. I can see if he was repeatedly biting 4 times a day, but common, he's new, everyone else already knows the routine and the staff, and he's in a period of adjustment. Geez, give the little guy a chance! And I'm coming from the side of having a 2.5 year old little girl who's never bitten anyone, and is as gentle as can be with other kids. She's been the recipient of bites, and even I want to give this little boy another chance!
    Can you imagine if after 2 weeks at a brand new job, where no one spoke your language, and was failing to let you know the who/what/why/when of the place, you were informed that you were fired for making 4 job related/normal mistakes? Without even knowing you were on your last chance? If we were voting, I'd be voting in MB and LB's (little biter's) favor.

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  4. As a mother first and a teacher of younglings second. Please do not let shame or guilt live in your house or even enter your mind. This child has gone through a traumatic (to a child) change in moving to a new care center. He is frustrated and probably bored and does not yet have the emotional maturity or words to tell them "exuse me, I feel a bit like I might want to bite something". So instead he does it probably right out in the open in the middle of a little toddler argument that no teachers are paying attention to. So now they have decided that since they are unable to accurately provide an environment that is safe for all and engaging for him...they will just drop him like he is hot and good riddance to the family. Personally, I would take him back to the place he was happy and discuss with them your concerns over the schedule. What can be changed, etc. If agreements cannot be made that are suitable to you, then you can continue to look for a place that you will all be happy with. Bottom line...it's not his fault and it's not your fault! Keep your chin up mummy!

    ~Lea

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  5. Hang in there, kiddo! The best bet as far as the "Why are we out of this daycare after only two short weeks" is the truth - your DC and the daycare didn't mesh. You don't really have to go into it any further than that. You recognized that it just wasn't working out for your DC, so rather than try to make him conform to what you liked about the new place, you're conforming to a schedule you don't really care for because it's the best place for him. If they keep pressing you, just bite them - that should shut their pie-holes. :) Much love!!

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  6. Dear MB,

    We've all been where you are.

    My kids liked to suckerpunch instead of noshing on other children, but I think some of the things we tried with them might help you here.

    We basically did the same thing as Gossberry. We bought the book Hands are Not for Hitting (this series includes Teeth are Not for Biting FYI) which shows all the great things you can do with your hands.

    We also taught them alternatives to relieve their stress. My son was still struggling at times with hitting after redirection and positive reinforcement so we bought him an inflatable Spiderman punching bag that he could use if he got too frustrated. I'm not saying go to PetSmart and get him a chew toy, but if there's something like even a blanket or stuffed animal that he could bite down on, that might help while he learns to deal with stress in a more productive way.

    We also put favorite toys or movies in time out if they hit. That seemed to work a lot better for my kiddos than actually putting them in time out.

    Not as for the shame and guilt, let it go sister! DC is 2.5, he's learning. That's all. He's not a bad kid and you are not a bad mom. He's the rule, not the exception. None of the kids he's bitten are NOT going to have to go to therapy or anything because they were traumatized (although there are some parents out there that would make you think that).

    Hang in there and don't worry what other people think. I'm sure that once you explain what happened most of them will have stories of their own children's antics to share.

    Just so you know, my kids still hit, just each other now. I'm giving myself a good mommy point for teaching my children to limit the violence to inside our home :P

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  7. Hang in there, MB! It's unfortunate that he chose to take out his stress this way, but it's totally normal for a toddler. I, too, am disappointed that they called him a crybaby! Maybe if they had sat him down for lots of cuddles every day to get him acclimated he might have coped better (which is not to say they were a bad place, I'm just saying, give a toddler a break!).

    HANG IN THERE! As the psychiatrist I work for often says to me in one form or another, he won't go to college biting (or, fill in the blank with whatever is stressing you at the time: Taking a bottle, wearing diapers, hitting other kids...)

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  8. MB,

    Holy Maude, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT! (I may start repeating that Good-Will-Hunting style until you believe it's true and breakdown in a puddle in the arms of Robin Williams.)I have a M.A. in Child Development, I have been a day care teacher, and I have two kids so I am repeating this with a certain amount of authority: this is not your fault. Little kids are overwhelmed with emotion and do not possess the regulatory or communication skills to calmly explain, "Hey, I'm tied." or "Oh, I wanted a turn with that truck." So they bite, hit, kick, tantrum, etc. Not to mention that a 15 month-old doesn't actually understand what biting means to the other person.

    Anyway, I think this whole occurrence is actually a blessing. If this Center a) kicked him out without first notifying you of the policy and b) called him a crybaby then they truly SUCK. In the words of the great Berry Brazelton, "Any good, objective nursery school-teacher rushes in to comfort the aggressor as well as the victim." It's likely that your son was feeling pretty upset/threatened/stressed if he started biting and it's the caregiver's job to notice that and make a plan with you about how to approach and solve the problem. Flip that day care center the double birds. Your kid is better off!

    xo
    GL

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  9. The "what do we tell the friends/ colleagues" part is rather easy, as, MB, you've said it yourself. "We feel that this new school wasn't a good fit for DC, as he needs more structure than the school can give him." It's true, it doesn't mention the biting, and it doesn't invoke The Shame and The Guilt.

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  10. 3 bite limit? Whuck? I could see if this was a 5 year old, but a 15 month old? Its not like he knew what he was doing. The place sounds assinine and I would just be glad that they did the break up for you.

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  11. I always try to remember that everything is temporary! Biting is a phase, as was my daughters peeing in the bathtub instead of the toilet (she's 4, what the ????).

    I would tell your friends and co-workers that a specialist explained to you the lack of mental stimulation in the daycare was causing your child to act out and bite. You are currently looking for MENSA approved childcare for your little Devil Cupcake.

    Be nice to yourself, and love the Cupcake.

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  12. I hope it helps to know you're not alone. My Devil Cupcake never bit another kid in daycare BUT he was stressed out enough by the daycare (same problem you had -- the schedule was great for me because I just needed that extra time to myself) when he was around 2 that he started biting me, my husband, our friends, and all 3 of his Early Intervention therapists. Regularly. He also threw screaming, no-holds-barred tantrums for 45 uncontrollable minutes the minute I got him home from said daycare.

    I'm in deep sympathy with the shame and guilt, but I'm in even deeper sympathy for the crappy choice you're stuck with and the need for more kid-free time. I had to cut down the daycare hours, so now neither of us is completely happy but neither of us is completely miserable. It got better. I mean the biting went away. Now he just does it when he's "being a doggy." Somehow nobody thinks that's funny, either!

    Now he walks into daycare with a surly expression on his face saying [loudly], "for f--'s sake." I just run away.

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  13. Go back to your previous day care, if you can. Just tell people it wasn't a good fit. And last summer, my then-6-year-old daughter bit her 3.5-year-old sister on the face. THE FACE. So, yeah, we've been there.

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  14. First off, it sounds like you've dodged a bullet on that day care. Three bite limit not communicated to you until the fourth bite? Unacceptably poor communication. Not enough structure for your kid? Not the right place, anyway. (Bummer about the schedule, though.)

    My kids haven't been the biters, but they have been the bitten. And, honestly, it doesn't phase me a bit. My little one had a perfectly detailed outline of a little boy's chompers on her arm for a week or so, and I still thought it was *hilarious* when, at drop-off one morning, I heard said boy say, "No biting!" out of the blue, and the teacher responded under her breath, "Yeah, talk is cheap, buddy." Kids bite. Kids dealing with stress act out. It happens. At least Devil Cupcake is expressing his emotions somehow, and not just withdrawing, right?

    And as for your friends & colleagues . . . I'd tell them the whole truth. Your kid was dealing with some stuff, and acting out by biting. And the day care decided that, rather than helping him through it, they'd kick him out without notice. And good riddance!

    Good luck to you on finding the *right* place for your Devil Cupcake, who is, I'm sure, a fantastic little guy.

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  15. Oh my gosh! When my twins were 15 months they bit each other EVERY DAY. If I had a 3 bite limit, they'd have been out the do'! It's just how they communicate frustration at that age - which by the way, they do at home with mama too, so it's not like a daycare is CAUSING the behavior. It's just what some (yours and my) 15 month olds do! Good news is that at 23 months, we haven't had any biting lately at all (HOORAY!). So this is a phase and it will end soon. The fact that they kicked a 15 month old out for 4 bites though? Those people are seriously idiots who apparently don't understand toddlers. Good riddance! Put your kid back where he's happy if you can handle it. Or find a new and even better place if you can. Be happy that those morons can't ruin your little cupcake!

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  16. You are fortunate to be out of there. Their inability to deal with normal child behavior is apparent. My son was bitten quite a few times in day care and it was because he crawled all over this other kid who could not crawl and the kid bit him to get him to stop - um, where were the adults? We pulled him out of that daycare after finding him plugging and unplugging a fan one day. After we left we found other parents who were dissatisfied with the lack of care their child was receiving - he got left on the playground outside when everyone else went in - great! So, consider yourself the recipient of a sign that this daycare is inferior and don't put any guilt or shame on yourself. Sorry about the suckiness of having to find new daycare quickly - but remember good things can come from change though.

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  17. When I was a young mother of a very good baby (God gives us the good ones first so we'll have another and then He tricks us)I was shocked when she was bitten at the gym childcare. "What kind of a horrible parent would allow their child to bite?" I thought. So second time around, God blessed me with a biter.

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  18. I would say first off just breathe. You are not a bad mom. All kids do this kind of crap and anyone that would be so harsh as to judge you without walking a mile in your shoes is just a big fat meanie!

    I think that you should talk to your child and tell them simply, "We DO NOT bite!" If this is a new development it may just be that he is stressed out and is feeling overwhelmed. What kind of environment did the other daycare create to make your child think it was okay to bite. If they have a policy, then obviously this has been a problem in the past and is not just you.

    I would try to communicate with the new daycare facility your concerns, let them know that this is not acceptable behavior to you and tell them what you are going to do about the issue, so that they can help you parent your child in a way that you feel comfortable doing. You are a good mom. All kids do this kind of crap, and gentile yet firm and consistent discipline is usually the easiest and best way to handle the situation. Remember, you are in charge, this is your child, you are good mom and communication is key.

    All the best,
    Sara Wiseman

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  19. Lady allow me to tell you.. That daycar SUCKS! Really? First labeling "crybaby" common he is 15 mo!!! He is a baby he has the right, indeed the responsibility, to cry. Then e is the smallest so that is one of his defense weapons. What was she expecting? A 15 mo expressing himself as an adult? If I may say so son man would do a better job crying to express themselves than say what that think..

    Then the bitting, really 3 limit? Common! Takes more effort than that in a 2 yo can't imagine with a 15 mo old! Probably the never dealt with young kids.

    What to say to your friends? To be careful with that daycare as I really don't think they have patience to really deal and educate the kids and you have a really good case On your hands.

    Guilt? Oh well that comes with the job I guess and Shame? I guess I'm asshame so much time since I had kids I already forgot what it is :)

    My kid is 25 mo and still bites when he is extremely excited.. He just bites me but I know that is because I'm "on hand" so..

    Send them to ------- there. And take a little more time to look for the right place. Sometimes life gives amazing surprises ;)

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  20. When your child bites, let me give you the old school way I dealt with it- I bit him back. Not too hard, but hard enough that he KNEW it hurt. I did it right after he did, and after the second time, he stopped.
    Sometimes old school is the best way to deal with this!

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  21. Tell the Shame and the Guilt this: Proof that you are a Good Mommy is that you are concerned and DO feel the Shame and the Guilt! Bad Mommies have no clue what either of those feel like, I'm certain of it.
    So square up - we're all behind you 100 percent! And tell the Shame and the Guilt they are allowed to visit for 12 hours only, then they take a hike. Because you are a Great Mom who is doing what is best for your Lil' Cupcake!

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  22. When I went back to work with my first daughter I put her in a daycare that turned out to be AWFUL!!!! When I went to pick her up on day three, she was in a bouncy no one paying any attention to her and crying. The cry was the saddest thing I had ever seen. It wasn't the loud cry of a baby, it was a defeated little sob. Like she had been like that for hours. She was sick, too. We made the decision right there to yank her. I had never felt so shameful and guilty for choosing the wrong place for her. We did luck out in finding the best daycare ever after that. I would go back to the daycare where he was happy. Try to work out something that will give you a little more peace.

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  23. A CRY baby? He's a baby!!!!! So, just for some perspective, my daughter's friend was a biter when she was 2 or so - now she's 8. Yesterday my girls were doing a lemonade stand. Their friend (the former biter) came up with the idea to form a "charity club" and donate the proceeds to charity! My oldest is notoriously greedy, but she went along with it. $26 went to the RI Coalition for the Homeless! Good luck - just try to think of the big picture when you can.

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  24. My four year old son is low functioning autistic and can be very aggressive. I used to feel shame and guilt on a daily basis, then I just had enough. Kids have reasons for the things they do, even if it's I want that toy and I can't use my words to ask. My typical child who has no issues went through a biting phase. He grew out of it with age and removal of toys as punishment. Just because your child occasionally misbehaves or is aggressive doesn't mean you're a bad parent..just means you child is human.

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  25. Oh hun. BIG HUGS TO YOU. This makes me cry a little because I HAVE SO BEEN THERE. Except I pulled my kid out of a daycare before he got kicked out. Our old daycare would let the kids bite and hit and push and I couldn't stand it. We luckily found a great daycare instead and it calmed down. Considerably.

    Secondly, three bite limit?! How can they limit something that kids are most certainly going to do sometime in their toddler years? Do they have a diaper-leak limit too? How about throwing your lunch on the floor limit? I don't understand why they are not teaching the kids how to be gentle and respectful and re-directing natural but undesirable behaviors? UGH this makes me want to spit fire right in their eyes for you, which is also perfectly normal behavior for my age.

    I would put Cupcake back in the old daycare and start looking for something that will make both of you happy. You don't deserve to be miserable. Neither of you do. Good luck, sweetie, and you're a fantastic mom!

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  26. I have to agree; any daycare that calls your child a "crybaby" isn't worth their salt. And it was so wrong not to tell you what their policy was after it happened the first time. At our daycare, every incident is followed up with a note, for both the "doer" and the "receiver", so that all parents are aware of what is happening in the classroom. It gives us a chance to talk about it from all sides. For qutie a while, my son was the favorite treat for one of the kids; he was getting bit almost once a week by the same kid (it started when they were around 15 months old as well) for quite a while. I talked w/the director and teachers, got them separated when it came time for small groups and things slowly got better. The incidences came few and far between...because they were growing up and getting better at understanding that biting hurts and it not okay. For the love, he is only 15 months old! He doesn't "get" it yet. Shame on the daycare for not finding a better way to deal with this.
    It all just takes time. I can totally empathize with the Shame and the Guilt...but hang in there. This too shall pass!!

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  27. My niece was a biter. Nothing anyone did made it better or worse. The most humorous part of this was her relationship with my nephew (her cousin - not sibling). They are a week apart in age. Whenever we would get together (at least once a week)she'd sweetly hug the rest of us then chomp her hello to him. They are fully grown now--both truly awesome people. She hasn't bitten him in at least 17 years, and they now have fun giving each other grief over their early days.He has on occassion ducked and said, "Don't bite me!" in public which makes all of us die laughing.
    I know this does nothing to solve your problem, but maybe the humor of it can help you through. I've worked with kids my whole life. Biting IS normal. It sucks to be the parent of the kid who is dishing it out - but it doesn't mean you're Bad Mommy. In fact, while yes, everyone needs to work to change the behavior, look at it this way--you have a kid who is standing up for himself and that is a VERY good thing!

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  28. This daycare was CLEARLY not a good fit for you OR DC. And for no other reason than they don't know SQUAT about kids.

    I am a teacher and a former daycare provider. Our director, (I swear, the best in the business) would never have tossed a 15 month old child out for biting. It is developmentally appropriate for a child to react this way... to new surroundings, to a lack of structure, to a lack of ability to communicate his needs to the adults/children around him.

    Did they make note of what the circumstances were surrounding the bite? A child taking his toy, right before or after nap/meal times, right after Mommy leaves? Is he getting new teeth in? Does he have plenty of crunchy/chewy things in his diet? Are the providers morons for thinking that three bites and the problem will magically resolve itself? What were they doing to avoid the situation?

    Your son is NOT bad. You have done NOTHING wrong. Your son was filling a basic need by biting and you can't fault him for that. What you CAN do is teach him alternative ways to get his needs met. I would also transition to another facility that more appropriately suits both of your needs. For now, bring him back to the old site... but be warned, he could possibly take this biting thing with him... because he's learned it fills his needs. I pray his old facility is loving and understanding enough to provide his basic needs before he has to resort to biting. I would talk to potential day cares about their biting policy and ways they help children to "grow out of it." It's better to know up front if it's going to be a good fit.

    Great big cyber hug, fellow Mommy. Biting happens. Wash a bite with soap and water and shake it off. Children are WAY more cool with it than parents tend to be. Give your little DC some extra cuddles and get back on the horse. 80)

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  29. My oldest son still bears a scar where his brother bit him. Awesome, no?
    I also had to remove my then 4 yo from a pre-K program because on day 3 of school the teacher "Couldn't handle him" and sent him to sit in the guidance office ALL AFTERNOON. Some people are less able/willing to deal with NORMAL kid behavior. It takes time and energy, when sending them away takes none. Your DC will (most likely) be perfectly fine.
    And I totally get the guilt and shame- my kid was not ready for pre-k???? But I found a different program at a local gymnastics center, with a schedule that ended up working better for me, and he loved. every. second. of school there. Because they ran and jumped and climbed and ran and climbed and jumped....and wore him out. And that, my friends, is what *I* am looking for in a preschool. Hang in there :)

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  30. Smack him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper! Works for my dog!

    SERIOUSLY, shame & guilt have no place here. You did nothing wrong. And your sweet little man is just a completely typical 15 month old (like everyone else is saying)! It's just their way of learning about their world, expressing themselves and trying new things, watching reactions... They simply don't have the mental capacity at this age to know what they're doing could cause pain/stress/whatever.

    The daycare people sound like a$$holes - your precious dumpling needed comforting & redirecting, not a "that's it, you're outta here" reaction. And come ON, who can blame you for wanting a little more baby-free time? I do, too, and my babies are 13, 11, & 9 (it never ends. Holy hell, it never, ever ends). I know you'll find a solution to fit your family - That's the easy part. You gotta kick that guilt/shame bs to the curb. I say you're better off.

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  31. Oh boy... Been there done that! My little cupcake was actually kicked out of daycare as well. Though, if there wasa 4 bite rule, it would have been much much sooner! I never thought it would end! We read teeth are not for biting (which also helps with hands are not for hitting). I never thought it would end... seriously months of dealing with this. As well, the thought that your child hurt someone or made them bleed is also heart wrenching. I get it... but when my little man was kicked out, it turned out to be a blessing. I found a daycare with more structure and we went from worst in the class to class leader. Look at this as a new beginning for your child.

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  32. The Shame and The Guilt suck. I'd tell you to ignore them, but then you'd just feel more shame and guilt for the negligence. (They need attention, too.) My middle son was a biter around age 2-3 and now he's the 5yo hitter. Thankfully, he now only hits his brother and sister, so it's a more private shame. I have nothing useful except to send you some "Man, I'm sorry you have to scramble for a new daycare this late" support. We'll always be embarrassed, shamed, guilted as parents, but to suffer such a logistical nightmare makes this so much worse! Hang in there, MB. This too shall pass. And it'll pass even faster if you introduce your friends Shame and Guilt to Drink. ;)

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  33. I worked in Infant care for years and I have several problems here...
    1. Biting is totally normal in non-verbal children....especially boys!
    2. How can a 15 month old be a "crybaby"? Especially one who is adjusting to a new center and can't talk?
    3. You are not a bad mom in any way, shape, or form!! He will outgrow this as he becomes more verbal...they all do....

    Good Luck and keep your head up, you have nothing to feel guilty or shameful about!!!

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  34. Your son is definitely not bad! When my oldest was about the same age, she bit the little girl that I was babysitting. I felt TERRIBLE. And the mother's reaction made it even worse. There I was, 19, my first child, knowing that biting was normal but feeling like I'd failed because I didn't stop it from happening.

    But, like everyone else said, it is totally normal. And that daycare sucks. Kids go through phases. Sometimes those phases are awesome, and sometimes they suck, and then they grow out of them. One of my twins was speech delayed, and before she learned to communicate her frustrations, she started becoming physical. She shoved her twin out the door of my SUV one day when we were unloading to go into a store. While in the store, she slapped her then 5 month old brother (this was only a few months ago). But as her speech has become clearer, she's become the sweetest little girl who sits there and lets her brother crawl all over her and giggles when he pulls her hair. He will outgrow the biting! Unless Buffy is to blame, and he sprouts fangs and starts refusing to come out during the day. Then you might want to worry ;).

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  35. I had 2 biters and another one that kicked from daycare for "crying" too much. my oldest has autism and wasn't very verbal and would spend most of the time in daycare in timeout at 3. i kept him there for a month only before moving to to the Child Development Centre where they worked with me to cure this habit (he had a teether that he chewed on until kindergarden--didn't bite though). My middle guy was 10 months old when i went back to school and had never been away from mommy...after 2 days the daycare said she couldn't take him. i ended up finding a REALLY good family daycare for him after that through a friend of a friend. And my little guy is a biter as well and his daycare lady's daughter is a week younger but lots more verbal. We actually cured him of biting by getting chewy tubes (google it) that he could chew on instead as it was a sensory issue. My daycare lady was wonderful and worked through it with us. I don't think that he has bit in 3 months :)

    So it may seem like a bump in the road, but your a wonderful mom and things have a way of working out for the best.

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  36. I know nothing I say will rid you of the mom-guilt. My sons go to the school where I teach and my first grader has been in the principals office so much its embarrassing (nothing like being the special needs teacher who can't control her own child).
    Several things to remember - not every day care is a good fit for each child. Much like brands of clothes....that is all you need to say. Chances are the story has traveled the daycare anyway and there is nothing you can do. If they are that judgey then you don't want to associate with them anyway. Two, your child is not an extension of you. I have met many amazing parents who have kids who bite, kick, hit, have tantrums.....they are unique individuals. And three....there is something to be said for a little mommy juice box support :)

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  37. Dear This Bites...
    This coming from a Mommy of 3....I feel humiliated with you, wearing the banished red B, as you go on the walk of shame. I am so sorry!!! I am sure I am not alone, when I say, been there, & thrown my kid in the car & Vroomed way from other Mommy's in fear of their Tattling & Gossiping, for their minds did not work like the wee sized brains of their kids...or is it vise versa....Anywho...after a big glass of wine, you should be able to at least snicker, before the next glug! Kids bite...sometimes I wish that Adults could bite too!!! I know that I am not speaking legaleese at all, but that would be a great indicator to back off when we were about to get a chunk outta our bodies, or we were overstepping bounds. Ha Ha Ha, can you imagine a staff board meeting where the CEO got to bite & his or her sheep just had to take it! LOL!!! Or just think...how did McGruff get the famous phrase, "Take a Bite Out of Crime!" To have bit or be bitten, shapes & forms their little personalities...just provide veggies, snacky cakes or other things your Devil Cupcake eats, & say, "Next time...No Humans!" Hold your head up high! And if, this becomes an issue of gossip, what with the 2 wks that you have been at the daycare, then go to your friends & work collegues & tell them that biting runs in the family...so if they do not want to be bitten, back off!!! Good Luck from a tastes like chicken kind a person!!!

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  38. Mommy Shorts has a great piece on how to help your child stop biting....http://www.mommyshorts.com/2010/12/how-can-i-stop-my-child-from-biting.html

    Also, from the bazillion responses here acknowledging the same problems, I think you can let the guilt and shame go....It's not just you!!

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  39. Have to be honest. I think a three bite limit is crazy. I think MOST children would violate that, which can't be so great for their enrollment. You're definitely NOT a bad mom. Good luck with making new child care arrangements!

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  40. Oh My. Last year I would enter daycare and avoid eye contact with the teachers because I knew I would have to sign, "The Form." (You know, Your DC bit a kid and we need to document that we told you about it.) Shame and Guilt were coming with me to pick up daily. However, I would say that this new daycare you were at has a bad policy. Because biting is developmental. (Not socially acceptable, but developmental.) They need to have a policy in place where they will work with the family to stop the situation, or at least to work together to curb it if you can't get it stopped. I say you raise a stink-o about documentation and developmentally appropriate policies. If you want to stay there...

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  41. I'm worried about the same thing happening to my little bear this year! He is 2 years old and starting a MDO program. He hits, he bites he pushes, he licks and he throws things! I know this is normal, but I am always mortified when he commits these acts on people not in our immediate family (we're prepared for it!) Leave shame and guilt at the old day care and hope his next one has more patient teachers/care providers. (PS...It's a load of crap to call a not quite 15 month old a crybaby!)

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  42. Wow. Really? Kids bite. Like all kids. My twins are five and occassionally I still have to threaten to replace their teeth with styrofoam dentures (don't judge me. They are all gappy from losing teeth anyway and it's way cheaper then braces). Save the shame and guilt for the 45,000 other things like laughing "on the inside" and a tiny swell of pride when they say a bad word..... IN THE PROPER CONTEXT....in Sunday school.

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  43. I think we all have had daycare "situations" that we felt guilty about. My 8 year old outgrew his sitter at age five. He was VERY unhappy there the last year, and we knew it, so at the end of school, we started considering a non-home based daycare with a lot of activity and structure. The place we chose is amazing. I never would have thought babies would do so well in such an "institutional" environment, but they are amazing. The school age kids are constantly challenged. I think it's very sad the new daycare didn't say anything about the "3 bite" rule, not that I'm betting you could have stopped it. After the first and second bites, the daycare workers should have been watching him/her with a HAWK EYE when s/he was interacting with the other kids!! As for the biting itself, I hate to say it, but maybe the little one WAS missing time with you. Maybe if you go back to the other daycare, when you need some "me" time, you can get some help from a friend or family member? Or have playdates, if you know anyone with children his/her age- it's a nice way to have some face time with a friend while taking care of kiddo's needs, too. I don't know what the "difference n schedule" is and what your version of "me time" is. It may just mean you have to put that off a little longer.

    The Hub and I, for my son's first five years, used an at-home daycare. He worked an 8-5 shift. I worked a lot of nights and weekends, so kiddo was always with us when he didn't have to be at daycare. He was never in daycare more than 30 hours a week. We dealt with it even though it was incredibly challenging, because we knew WE wanted to be the ones raising our son.

    I can't help with the biting. I'm wondering how severe it actually was. Did it leave marks? Is he allowed to have a "binky" or something that wasn't given to him? What it comes down to, is that he is NOT ready for this daycare center, nor is the daycare center ready for him. All you can do is your very best. People have these kinds of issues- (Hence the Family Medical Leave Act- if you have to invoke it until you find the right situation, do it up, sister.) Although I'm sure you feel as mortified as I do when my son (at eight years) still remembers that last unhappy year, when the two kids his age had moved into other care situations and it was him and two energetic toddlers there. I keep reminding him the first four years, this daycare provider made sure he was safe, secure, and had fun. If there was an issue at the house, either among the boys or with my own, she DEALT with it. If he had sniffles, he could come. The same care center he was at originally said if he poops more than twice, he had to go home- my son was still pooping with EVERY FEED! So in an eight hour day, we would be called to get him early every day until his digestive system matured! Thank goodness you figured this out where it sounds like you still have a backup and you only invested two weeks...

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  44. Walk in, pick up your kid, say "Bite me." and walk out.

    Julie
    ilikebeerandbabies.blogspot.com

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  45. He doesn't realize that biting hurts. Seriously. He knows that it gets a reaction, sure. But that it hurts? Not unless you bite him back. It worked for my mom with all of us and it worked for anyone else I know who has tried it. (My SIL would never do something like that...Her kids are rotten as heck!) Immediately after he bites, bite him back.
    It's the same with hair-pulling. My niece (on the other side) used to grab her older boy cousin by the hair and walk him, wailing like a firetruck, around the room. If I was 2 I would have thought that noise was awesome too. She didn't realize it was hurting him, she liked the noise. My hubby's stepmother tried everything. I kept telling her that she didn't realize she was hurting him and to pull her hair to show her it hurt. FOR.A.MURTHER.FREAKIN.YEAR. Finally she did. (Just to shut me up)...Low and behold it worked. She wasn't trying to hurt him she just liked the way he wailed. After she saw that it hurt him, she quit. It's the same with biting. They like the reaction. When you show them they are hurting someone they stop. (I am not saying bite to leave marks, just enough to show that it hurts.

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  46. Wow, you have a normal kid. Congrats because clearly, you have done something right. The fault here lies with the DAYCARE!!! They are not creating an appropriate environment for your child. You need to trust that he is comfortable when you are not with him and now you know that he wasn't. Send him back to the old daycare and get a Mother's helper so you have a little time for your self at home.

    Calling your child a "crybaby"? How is that professional? Name calling, even (or especially) by adults is WRONG!!! you may even want to share that with your colleagues who also have kids who attend. Oh, I am getting more angry just writing this. It is bringing back memories of my children's very brief stint in daycare when I was trying to get my house ready for habitation. I guess my (then 14 month) baby just cried for 4 hours straight until he fell asleep in sheer exhaustion. Thanks for calling me you obviously inept daycare workers. So not only was my precious being emotionally damaged, but all of the other kids (including my 3 YO) were forced to listen to his misery. UGH!!!

    Good luck, Dear Lady, remember, you did NOTHING wrong!

    ~Cat

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  47. A good daycare works through the issues with you and your child. How do we make things better for him? Not 3 strikes and you're out. Kids can take months to adjust to new surroundings and schedules. They handled it poorly, not you! My daughter was a "late" walker (14 months) compared to her friends. When she saw other kids her age walking, she'd butt scoot over into their path and kick their feet out from under them and giggle when they fell...talk about the shame!!! You are not alone and shame on that daycare for making you feel that way!!

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  48. First, I seriously hope this is NOT the first time you are hearing about the biting. Second, was there a plan in place between you and the daycare about how you were going to work through the issue? Third, a "4 bite rule" ?? Really? Fuck that.

    Jessica was not a biter. She'd rather just throat punch the other children. I think the daycare handled it terribly.

    Don't feel guilty. It sucks that you now have to find new daycare, but that place was obviously not a good fit for your son. And that's exactly what you tell any nosy person that asks.

    Hang in there. I bet you find a great place soon!

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  49. My son went through a period where he was aggressive with other children for no apparent reason. He was much smaller than other children his age for a long time (you wouldn't know it now that he's a 3 year old who looks like he's about to turn 5) and would get ignored or overrun. I guess the biting and hitting was his non-verbal way of saying, "Nuh-uh. Leave me alone or I'm gonna mess you up." I stayed consistent with correcting his behavior, but the Shame and Guilt were constant companions of mine as well. Between gaining the verbal skills to TELL people to back off and me watching him for signs of frustration, he has stopped the biting.

    I don't really have anything that will be of immediate help, but it IS normal even if it's not desirable. Focus on finding a daycare that works for you both, and don't beat yourself up for your son exhibiting developmentally normal behavior.

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  50. I know this has already been said several times, but I wanted to say it again: This daycare is not right for you! A crybaby? Whuck??? No way. Biting is developmentally appropriate behavior. Period. If they don't understand that, they don't deserve the priviledge of caring for your child. I guarantee you will find another childcare situation that will make both you and your kid happy. Hang in there. You will get through this.

    BTW - At my kid's last school, he got bit a lot...by the daughter of the center's director! :)

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  51. I see a lot of sympathy here for the mother of the biter, which I totally understand, but on the other hand, my child was the recipient of multiple bites and it got to the point where she would scream in panic every time I left her. My daycare also had a 3-bite policy, so the offending child was asked to leave, but it still took a month before my daughter would stop freaking out every morning. It's a tough situation, but you might want to ask if your son keeps biting the same child, or if it's different children. It's a tough situation.

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  52. While my kids didn't bite (as far as I know), my oldest did come home at about 18 mos with a big ol' blue and red 20-tooth imprint on her leg. I was livid - not at the kid, but at the daycare for not even telling me, and for being so irresponsible that they either didn't notice or didn't think it important to call me! The little gnawer and his mommmy? Did not cross my mind once, I tell you - that's life in daycare. It's like colds and weird rashes. So don't feel that bad about it.
    And your son? The way I see it, he took control of the situation the only way he knew how and efficiently removed himself from a situation he did not like. (And that is how you will tell this story, with laughter, in 10 years.) It does suck for you, logistically, but your kid will be fine - he will eventually learn more socially acceptable ways of directing his fate, but he is going to look out for himself in life. No shame in that. You are allowed a bit of guilt for being mad about the fact that what was working out great for you was not working out for DC - been there. But not for the biting.

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  53. I agree with others about don't let the shame and guilt get you down. I will say from the bitee's perspective, the other mother will likely get over it soon and her child has already forgotten it. We had a boy in my son's class that would bite my son at least once a week so hard it would leave bruises and scars and usually on the arm, but sometimes on the back or chest. I actually went in and asked what my son might be doing to provoke the little boy. The answer turned out to be that the boy needed a different environment than this daycare could provide, but not once did I think that the boy or his mother were bad people (said boy was three, btw), just that there were obviously issues that needed to get resolved. Not every environment is right for every kid and that sucks especially when you found something that worked well for you. I wish you best of luck on finding something that will work well for both you and your son.

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  54. There's been so many great comments I don't really have anything to add to MB except that I hope you take all these yup-we've-totally-been-there messages to heart and kick The Shame & The Guilt to the curb.

    And to Kate & Lydia... thanks for posting her letter. I think you two are super awesome for spreading the we're-not-alone-in-this-crazy-land-of-mommy feeling around!

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  55. Hey. Good thing you got your kid out of there. Those people obviously do not know what their job description is.

    Like other commenters have said, your kid is NORMAL. Unlike what some of the other commenters have said, I don't think you are doing anything wrong. Those snooty batches have never been in this situation if they say that.

    My kid started a new daycare about a month ago, and guess what, she is 26 months old and sometimes bites other kids. Sometimes it is twice in one day. Sometimes it is four days in a row. But you know what her teacher did? She spoke with me everyday. She spoke with my daughter. She started implementing the timeouts and using the same speech I use with my daughter. Unsurprisingly, Penny is learning not to bite. She has caregivers who care about her and are willing to put in the effort to teach her.

    It is a preschool/daycare, and they have more training and more ongoing training. This is perhaps a key. It is hard to find a preschool that will take such a young one, but believe me, it is possible. And what she is learning now, as she should be learning at any daycare, is primarily social interaction. Sure, they do songs, crafts, colors, numbers, etc, but most of the time they learn eachother's names. Work on sharing. Learn how to sit at a table and eat with other kids.

    Even after being there only a month I know that her full-time teacher just loves her. She would never call her a crybaby, or any other child that, for that matter, because she loves children. This person that called your child that is obviously jaded and desensitized, if you are not able to empathize with tiny people's big emotions, you should not be spending time with them, ever.

    Bottom line: you did nothing wrong. You could have not known that this daycare was so bad. Remember, hindsight is always 20/20. Your life moves in one direction, forward. Move on, take a week off and visit the 20 closest daycares to your house/workplace. With your child. Make a checklist and stick to it. If they don't meet your requirements, say thank you and goodbye. Look how the other children are. When we were looking for a new preschool/daycare for Pen we would just drop in in the middle of the day, no announcement, and ask for a tour. We only got turned down once, and they asked us to please schedule a tour (la petit academy). Out of the 15 or so we visited, about three were contenders to put our Penny in. Although the teachers seemed nice, the facilities, schedules, and lesson plans met our requirements, hours, meals, etc, what tipped the scale was the wonderful, fully shaded playground for 2-3 year olds. That is large. With a rubber floor and age appropriate play structures and toys.

    Bottom line: I'm sure your dream daycare exists. I'm sure your kid will do great there. I am sure that he will eventually quit biting. I'm sure you did nothing wrong. Keep your chin up and don't listen to anyone who says otherwise!!

    -Sabrina

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  56. I feel your pain to the depths of my soul. Last year my son got kicked out of the nursery at church for biting...on Easter Sunday. Not only did he bite but I later found out he bit the associate pastors kid...he was bleeding...a lot. I felt so sick to my stomach that I did not go back to church for 6 months. I became that mom who's kid bit the pastors kid. I dealt with the shame and guilt for 6 months before I felt okay enough to attempt church. During my time away I realized hey, he is a kid and guess what, sometimes the bite!
    Your DC is going through the same thing that millions of kids go through. It is called childhood. The facet that the daycare called him a "crybaby" is obnoxious and makes me ill. Excuse us for not being perfect parents with robot children who obey every command, behave like angels all the time and never do any wrong. If you can't handle working around kids who act like kids get a new job!

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  57. Oh my dear MB! I am so sorry that you feel bad! Please don't. You don't need to. It isn't your fault. It isn't even your DC's fault! As the mommy of a kiddo who has been brutally bitten by another toddler, it is not your fault! I personally think your child having only bitten 4 times in two weeks is really good! Your little evil sweetie (and I do truely mean sweetie)is possibly getting thoes pesky molars. Also, did the center pay attention to time of day your child was biting? Did they tell you what happened to your child before he got so stressed that he bit? Did the pay attention to things like was your child tired/hungry/bored? Did they explain exactly how they tried to redirect? Did they tell you that they knew for sure that your child was not the victim of some other toddler crime that they could have intervened before your cupcake thought he had to defend himself? Or did they instead call you to tell you they thought you were horrid and your child was a criminal? If the last is true, then the center is not a child or mommy friendly place. So when your co-workers ask (If your co-workers ask, maybe they have their own shame filled stories they are keeping quite!) you flip your hair and say firmly it was not a daycare you felt comfortable with. And again as the mommy of a child who was bitten, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!

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  58. Also, Pen recieves a few bites too. That is one reason she is biting. The other kids? they are being delt with fairly as well, with redirection, communication, and empathy. Just as I would want. Pen is not scared of those kids. They are not scared of her.

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  59. Ok, so I've never posted, then the site ate my comment, so I'll do a short version. My kid was the bitee at school. At least once a week he'd come home with a huge mark on his arm, back or chest. I actually went in and asked if he was doing something to provoke this (I totally wouldn't put it past him). As it turned out, the kid did need a different environment (now thriving in another daycare). But, I didn't think poorly of the kid or the mom. Mostly, thank god my kid's not the biter. Good luck with finding more successful care.

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  60. This is one of those times where I have to ask - why can't we be more like men? If it was a man whose son was biting and got kicked out of day care, he would say, "Okay, I'll find another place." No agonizing over something that's a developmental stage, no stressing over what he would tell his co-workers, no fretting over whether he did something wrong or not. If it were my husband he would say, "The kid probably had it coming" and he would move on to the next issue - finding a daycare that meets his needs and yours too.

    So, that's my advice - man up and move on. :)

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  61. Just wanted to re-assure you that lots of kids do it - and they aren't the 'bad' kids. We had a very sweet little girl in our church who took some serious chunks out of her little friends. She grew out of it and continues to be sweet. Switching things up to help with scheduling is not bad - and kids need to learn to be able to adjust to new things. Good look finding a new daycare and ignore those nasty twins!

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  62. My sister bit another child in the church nursery and my mother felt so guilty about it, she took my sister with her to apologize to the other child's mother. While she was apologizing, my sister and her victim started playing. The children were two years old then and have been best friends for the past 27 years. Moms are bffs too. Maybe you would feel better about that part if you apologized to the parent. I'm sure they would understand.

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  63. I would be more concerned with the lack of consideration and concern that the daycare seemed to show. Why weren't you told about the 4 bite rule and more importantly why did this NEW place stress your child out SO much that he resorted to biting.

    EVERYONE knows that sometimes kids bite, we all hate it and hope that it will never be one of ours. You are not a bad mom. Take him back to where he was happy or look for another alternative. You should be able to find something that fits the schedule you need AND makes your child happy.

    I got exceptionally lucky when I took my youngest to daycare. He screamed like I was beating him senseless when I attempted to leave him. The teachers there knew how to help intervene, calm him and love on him til he was ok. They never seemed fazed even when I would call every time within a half hour of leaving to make sure he was ok, which he was. Eventually he got to the point that he ran into daycare to see his friends and his teachers. That was the day that I cried. As I said I got lucky that his teachers loved him like their own.

    It exists, keep looking for it. In the meantime hang in there!

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  64. I also wanted, if I'm allowed, to respond to another comment from another anonymous mommy whom I will adoringly refer to as "The Also Bitten". You're right there is alot of sympathy for the mother of the biter, but you make such an important point. When my son got bitten by this other toddler, it was so horrid! The Shame and The Guilt that I felt for having to continue to put my child in that center. It isn't your fault either and every single mommy wants their babies to be safe and happy. I have the deepest sympathy for you and your little that has been bitten. It is not a good thing for either side! I think the daycare center should have a policy on biting but I think it should include proactive steps taken by the center that protect both the victim and the biter. NO ONE is at fault for their child behaving like a child but it doesn't lessen the horror for the poor bitten. I have so much repect for you "The Also Bitten" as well as "MB" you both should be held in high mommy esteem. Keep your heads up mommies! We will prevail!

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  65. After the comments I have read (couldn't read them all, since I have to go deal with my own little terror), I have to say I'm in absolute agreement with what I've seen the other ladies say. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!! Kids bite, it happens. The reason is - as mentioned - frustration, inability to communicate effectively, and being overtired (I'm sure we could find a few others, but anger and aggression are not the soul or even main reasons behind this behavior). We call my little guy Piranha Baby sometimes. He bites *after* he's grabbed you and dug his claws into you, oh and he loves pulling hair, too. This seems to happen when he's overtired and things simply aren't going his way (or he's overtired and wants someone's full, undivided attention and isn't getting it for even a moment).
    I do NOT like that they called your son a crybaby! My son is only a few months older than yours and I'd want to knock someone out if they called him that. They're babies, they also cry when they don't get their way. So in essence, this poor boy was wrong if he cried and then also wrong if he bit? How else was he supposed to get these people to know he wasn't happy? Sit down in his mini smoking-jacket and say "Pardon me, but I need MORE structure, would like a turn with the firetruck, and by the way, I think I could go for a nice snifter of juice...." Seriously?? Don't worry what others from work and such think, in your best snitch voice tell them the daycare was not a good fit for your son, and leave it at that. If someone is going to judge you for having a TODDLER, then they have no idea what it is to be a parent anyway, clearly they aren't one or they were "lucky" and missed the toddler years (I suspect too many T-Boxes in this instance).
    Give little DC a hug, talk to the old daycare, find a way to work out the schedule - either with them or through some other means outside of daycare, and let him be where he was happy. I'd bet he'll be happy to see his friends again, too!

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  66. Holy over reaction Batman! The kid is 15 months old! So drop the M and grab an A for awesome, then go get a mani pedi.

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  67. It is a family joke that I must taste good. My cousin bit me on a regular basis...usually out of frustration when I wasn't doing what he wanted. I have a scar in the middle of my back where he bit a chunk & actually SPIT it out because I was watching Duck Tales instead of playing with him. He is now an adult & one of the kindest men I know.
    My daughter was also a biter. I had bruises on my shoulders & collar bones for a good six months -she bit me when she was excited or giving me hugs & kisses. She was written up at daycare for biting more than once & I got the notice that she had been bitten as well. We got the Teeth Are Not For Biting book (I would offer to loan it but I am pretty sure the pages were chewed) & it worked. Along with making her aware that it hurts to be bit (I was actually glad when she was the bitee that first time because she finally understood).
    Is any of it fun? not really. Normal? oh. oh yes.
    Good luck finding the place that works for both of you. One day you will look at him when he is old enough to actually express himself verbally & have a hard time remembering that he at one time couldn't.

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  68. The first day I took my 3 month old to play group he was kicked in the head by a 3 year old! I was shocked but liked the Mother and the 3y/o so much ( they were so nice to me when we came in) that I just kept saying to her mother " he's okay ". I realized a few play dates later that the child was having a very hard time adjusting to her new brother ( also 3 months old ). so she couldn't hit the brother so she did the next best thing!! I felt terrible for her AND her Mother.
    I learned 3 years later that EVERY child will go through a period of time where they do things that are just so contradictory to your morals and everything that you have taught them. I went to pick up my 3y/o at his Montessori school only to be greeted with the " pull over we need to talk to you " face. evidently my.till then well behaved child ,had bitten/hit/kicked 5 other kids in the coat closet!! YIKES . BUT these people were professionals and said " this is how we are going to handle it. If that doesn't work then we will try something else". every day for 1 month he was not allowed to get out of the car until he stated the rules of the school ( not hitting, no biting, no kicking ect..). His teacher payed special attention to find " triggers". Passed them on to me. we meet once a week with my son to discuss his positive progress and I never after that had a problem. SO this is what I say to you - your child was in the WRONG PLACE. THANK GOD they kicked him out!!!! Do what great Moms do and find a GREAT place for him and when they inform you that he was bitten by some other child reach out to the mother and let her know that you get it and there is HOPE!!!

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  69. Your son is a BABY. Yes, he walks, but he's still a baby. He's upset that he can't communicate, so he does the natural thing. Chomp. It could easily be screaming, tantrums, kicking, or any number of typical baby/toddler behaviors.

    A suggestion my son's preschool gave us: make a sign language sign for ANGRY. And then teach him to use it when he's really mad. React to it! Go, "OHHHH! WOW! You're UPSET!" So he gets a big reaction from it. He might use THAT instead of chomping.

    Babies learn. He will learn. But the daycare needs to know what to teach him and how.
    --kate in MI

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  70. This is probably going to sound bad but I was watching a friends kids to save her some $$ since I was cheaper than daycare. Her youngest and my daughter are only 6 weeks apart and got into fights. One day he bit her not long after his mom came home. At first I thought she was crazy for what she did but she walked over to him took his hand and bit him, not hard didn't even leave a mark but it was hard enough he realized what he did. After that we never had another biting incident again and its been 2 years. Granted there has been fighting still but it hasn't gotten physical since. All he needed was to know that biting someone hurts that person. When he got frustrated after that day he would take it out on toys instead until he was old enough to use his words to tell me what happened to make him upset.

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  71. It looks like you have gotten a ton of good advice here and I will 2nd, 3rd, 104th the sentiment that this is NOT your fault! Your DC is still so little, and if they only gave him 2 weeks to "transition" they are crazy. That is definitely not a place that will be nurturing for you or your child. My boys have been in daycare since they were weeks old, and I have had a biter and there have been many biters in both of their classes. The teachers should know how to handle these situations if they have been in the childcare setting for any length of time. This place was obviously stressing your child out so while it totally sucks, know that it was a blessing that you found this out so quickly. Hopefully you can find someplace else that is a little more nurturing an understanding quickly. Hang in there and good luck!

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  72. Everybody has had a kid kicked out of day care. big deal. At least you go it out of the way. Maybe next place you can just tell them upfront that he has a tendency to bite when he's upset. That way they can keep an eye on the situation and hopefully be able to stop it before it stops. I also love Kate in MI's comment. give him an alternative . best of luck to you and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. shame and guilt are like a bad hangover.... the get progressively better with time.

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  73. You are not alone. I literally just (this morning) enrolled my DC (who is 3) into a new daycare because the other daycare couldn't handle her temper tantrums. I told them in my breakup speech that her behavior might have been because of the turnover rate they are currently experiencing. I received a call from them one day. "You need to come pick her up. She is throwing a tantrum and we only have two teachers here and all of these kids and we can't handle this right now." Are you furking serious? What EXACTLY do I pay you for? So I found a daycare that does more one on one interaction and there "newest employee" has been there five years. My mother in law said something funny when we got home that day. "What they only take care of well behaved perfect little children? I wish us mothers had a choice like that." Daycares need to take on the bad with the good. If you can't count on them when your little one misbehaves, then they ARE NOT WORTH IT. Stay strong, MB. We are cheering for you! From: MOTT (mother of tantrum thower)

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  74. Wow! So sorry Mama! My third was a biter. He wasn't stressed, angry or unable to communicate. He just loved to bite. Maybe because he had teeth at two months (not a joke), maybe because he was hungry all the time (still is at 8), or maybe because biting. always. gets. a. reaction!!!!! ALWAYS! He didn't care if you laughed, screamed, yelled or cried. My first child bit me, I bit him back (gently), he never bit again. Second child never bit. Third, bit, I bit him, he bit me back laughing hysterically. Not being the quickest parent I bit him again, a little harder and he, still laughing tried to bite me back. At that point I got it and we just kept a REALLY close eye on him (you could see it coming) and tried to not over react by saying, "No Bite!" and pressing a finger to his lips. So maybe your little guy is stressed, or trying to communicate or MAYBE HE'S A BABY and HE LIKES IT! You aren't a bad Mom! I promise you, he will grow out of this. My biter now reserves his biting for when he and his sister are fighting over the remote (-:

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  75. Easier said than done, but you've got to let the shame and guilt go. Biting is totally normal, especially for children who aren't yet able to express themselves verbally. I think the bigger problem is, once staff realized he was having a minor adjustment issue, why didn't they do more to nurture him? Better to find out this was a lousy place after just two weeks then to allow him to waste more precious time there. My daycare was a little snooty and very expensive but the trade off was they were extremely well trained in child development, loved their jobs, and were very nurturing. It was worth every penny!! Go back to where you are happy and he is well taken care of! BIG PICTURE: if he feels loved by you, very little else will matter!

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  76. I totally feel what you are going through - yesterday at a playdate, my 14-month-old shoved three different kids, all of whom he's known for several months and used to play with happily. But yesterday, he was all shovey and toy-grabby, and I felt horrible and was so embarrassed because I thought for sure my friends would all think that I am raising him to be a mean, aggressive, wild kid (which I'm not, I don't think). But instead, one friend said, "Don't worry about my daughter. She can take care of herself," and another said, "My son has been head-butting everything lately," and several other moms had similar stories, and several other babies were equally crazy and aggressive. So don't worry, because anyone who HAS A CHILD probably understands how you are feeling and how stressful it is when your sweet little darling suddenly becomes a Devil Cupcake who is shoving and biting and generally acting like they're being raised by wolves. They know you're doing the best you can, but toddlers are basically dogs with opposable thumbs, so they don't always act very appropriately. And when people don't get it, you can do what I do: I tell myself that it's because their kids are too lazy and dumb to have a personality, and someday that Devil Cupcake it going to be someone you will be super proud of.

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  77. I was surprised to see this call for help only two days after I nearly cried in front of my 4yo son's coach because of The Shame and The Guilt. We've been having problems like this with my son almost since he was born. It doesn't help that his older sister is borderline Aspergers. I had to pull him from preschool in December because they were worried he would hurt other kids. He's not a bad kid, he just has a problem with impulse control. It didn't help that he was labeled "The Bad Kid" by the other kids. I mean point at him while walk by at pick up and say to their parents "There goes the bad kid". He would cry every day when I picked him up because we had to have "The Talk" with the teacher. In fact, we both cried on the way home every day. I decided to pull him out before we suffered the humiliation of being thrown out. I home schooled to make sure he wouldn't forget everything he learned but I also had no break from him. I had hoped a week in sports camp in summer would be a nice break for me and his sister. Well, it didn't and he's the bad kid again. I spent another drive home in tears.

    All I can say is hang in there. It seems like there's not much room for kids to be kids these days. They can't be frustrated or angry or just have a tough time "assimilating". Turning to people for support was the best thing. It's amazing how many people go through the same thing everyday yet we still feel like the isolated "bad mommy" when this happens. How is it that so many parents concur that this is normal behavior but daycare, schools and other child oriented programs have zero tolerance for it. I always like to think that things happen for a reason. There has to be a better place for your DC that understands that a kid his age can't always handle their emotions or even control what they are doing. I'd like to think that all the strong willed children of everyone on this post are going to grow up to be great leaders someday. Because remember, it's always the quiet ones that you have to worry about.

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  78. P.S. I tried to teach my little man how to say "Big Truck," only it came out "Big FU*K." He screamed it exclusively at day care for the following month every time he saw a truck out the window.

    Moral of the story: Kids will be kids. Good daycares understand.

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  79. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!!

    DO NOT FEEL GUILTY.

    My "baby" is 15 months tomorrow and we've been dealing with this for a while now (along with hitting, punching and tantrums)She can't talk, she points, grunts and when she wants/needs something and can't get it because we have NO clue what she does want, a fit ensues (or if we say no, OR her siblings dont want to share their DS)...If you're close by, watch the hell out...I don't agree with it (we too try positive reinforcement or most recently I just try to be pyshic and an anticipate her every need, LOL right???) but its normal!!

    I can see a daycare having a policy about noshing on others - if you're TEN. But one??? Come on!
    RI DONK U LOUS. Give the little dude a break (AND MOMMY)

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  80. This just raises a lot of questions for me. Why were you not notified when the first incident occurred, etc. But having your child removed from a daycare is NOT the end of the world. It just means that your child is too good for them. And they know it. You need to look for a more stimulating environment for your cutest DC. My oldest used to nosh on my youngest sons leg like it was open season at KFC. I thought he needed a little more stimulation so I put them both in Montessori (I love them, but am NOT driving to two different daycares) and it pretty much stopped. And at this age you can teach about aggression and how to handle anger and all of that. If he started doing this when he was older, it would be much harder to do.

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  81. I have to agree with all of you ladies. It is completely normal. And I am the mother of the bitee. I was not happy about it but understood that it happens. But I also understand that the daycare has to be proactive about protecting others as well. I would not be happy if a daycare just set back and allowed it to keep happening.

    On another note. My son was almost 3yrs old when I put him in daycare. So any of his bitting before that was directed towards me. And I absolutely handled it the old fashioned way (if its not broke, don't fix it). I bit him back. Not hard enough to leave a mark, but hard enough to get his attention. And I got exactly the result I wanted. He quit immediately.

    Sharron in FL

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  82. Be glad you got kicked out; that was a bad daycare environment. Back when I was working in daycare centers you could tell which teachers were good for the kids and which weren't by the kids' behavior. There are "biters" in every 2-3 year old room. The sweetest kid can turn "bitey" overnight, and then most of them quit after awhile of positive reinforcement, active engagement, and distraction. What it boils down to is SUPERVISION of the kids. When I had a "biter", I always had an eye on that kid, and the other eye on the other kids. Usually you can see the bite coming, IF YOU ARE WATCHING CLOSELY ENOUGH. Then you can intervene before it happens. If the daycare couldn't handle your kid, you are so much better off. Find somewhere that can properly supervise and use appropriate behavior management. When you find it, keep it, and treat it like gold.

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  83. He was probably bored as heck in that daycare. I have 2 VERY busy kiddos myself, and they always act out when they're not being stimulated enough. As long as you're dealing with the biting issue with consistent discipline, I wouldn't worry about the daycare kicking him out. And I'd look into Montessori. Good luck! :-)

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  84. Guilt?!? Shame?!? He's fifteen months old so, assuming he doesn't have the Ebola virus or Meningitis, this sounds like it should have been treated more as an eye-roller than a gut-wrencher. Wish that horrid place hadn't made you feel so awful. How on earth did you find the composure and grace not to stare at the preschool teacher in mock horror and respond: "Biting? Oh my goodness, I thought it was something serious and not developmentally normal! He's been grabbing other boys' scrota and twisting lately, so when you called I was really quite worried. Has he tried to set anything on fire yet? What about torturing small animals?"
    Good luck and, I promise, this incident does not mean you're going to be bringing cookies to him in the county jail in twenty years.

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  85. I'm sure I'm just repeating what others of said but I have some thoughts.
    1) Sounds like they did you a solid. It doesn't sound like a place that understands small children. Children bite at that age because they know what they want but they don't know how to say it or communicate it. Plus, if he's younger, then he naturally needed to step up his game. Sounds like your guy is just a survivor. He'll also grow out of it. I'm sure he won't biting his college professors.

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  86. Plus... props to Kate and Lydia for fostering such a nonjudgemental environment! I don't think I've ever read a judgemental comment on here!

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  87. Why M.B. is Better than B.M....

    Ah, yes. The Shame. The Guilt. The Devil Cupcake. It's like a cruel joke from Mother Nature. All DC's are dirty rotten scoundrels at some point. And all mom's are plagued by the big S and the big G. So it's inevitable that at some point every mom is going to have to do the Walk of Shame to pick up their little schmidt monster from daycare/school/a friend's/the neighbor's/the police station, etc. after some appalling display of delinquent behavior.

    Let me assure you that you are a GREAT MOM. You have NOT FAILED your son in any way. In spite of a parent's BEST EFFORTS, kids are going to be who they were born to be. And my oldest, was born to be a major Butt Nugget.

    My beautiful baby girl was kicked out of her first daycare at the age of 9 months. I cried into my Cabernet that night feeling like a failure. How could my child be SO unhappy and unlikable????

    At age 18 months Butt Nugget and a few other comrades tormented their daycare provider to the point that she completely quit doing daycare and went back to school.

    At age 4, Butt Nugget was enrolled in a prestigious Montessori pre-school and daycare center. I was averaging about 3 calls a week from the teacher informing me that BN: emptied the pencil sharpener shavings into the fish tank; ran around the room kicking over everyone's tower of blocks or puzzles they'd been working diligently on; stole various random items from the cubbies and lied about it; hit; kicked; punched; did not understand what an indoor voice was; and the biggest dagger in the throat came when the teacher told me that she feared for the well-being of my unborn child because BN was destructive and aggressive and unpredictable.

    I didn't really get my panties in a wad about those phone calls. I mean, what could I do? We had consequences, rules, expectations and follow through on all of it at home, and it didn't do a lick of good. It was just a phase she was going to(hopefully)outgrow.

    Then one day my husband called me. He typically picked up BN from daycare. He was humiliated, ashamed, and in shock about that particular day's antics. Apparently, our precious little Butt Nugget thought it would be hilarious to drop trou and POOP. ON THE PLAYGROUND. So she did. And I never showed my face there again.

    We ended up finding a small in-home daycare that was not a fancy schmancy Montessori (ie Mind Controlling Robot Droid Zombie-Child Factory). And you know what? She did great! She made friends. She learned manners. She learned how to socialize with kids and not terrorize them. Our sitter was strict by loving, understanding but firm, super structured but fun, and most importantly, never gave up on BN. Her hours were not as flexible or accommodating, but that was a sacrifice we were willing to make since it was obviously a good fit for my little Butt Nugget's particularly challenging personality.

    You will find a good fit, you will make the right decision, and you will make it work. Because that's what mom's do.
    Good luck!
    dinnertimeninja.blogspot.com

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  88. So I won't win Mommy of the year for this, but, my biter, started biting at 14/15 months and kept biting till she was almost 2.....we read the stories, we talked, I scolded, I begged, I pleaded, I cajoled, M&M's for biteless days....you name it we did it to stop the biting. A freind of mine who had twins...one a biter the other not....said that she bit her son back and he never bit again. I was apalled..... and then my precious child bit me one day (wasn't the first time) she broke my skin I swear to GOD she almost brought me to my knees it hurt so badly and I bit her back ....nary another bite from my child toward anyone. It seems barbaric I know, but, really they are little barbarians at that age. And don't hang your head because this is just something kids do.....unfortunately.

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  89. Oh honey, you MUST do what my friend wishes she had done: keep a copy of the incident reports. Now that her former 3 (plus) strike biter is a lovely, non-fangbearing first grader, she wishes she had asked the daycare for copies to insert into her preschool photo albums. Just find the most angelic picture of DC at this age and glue the document right beside it. Or, keep it tucked away for wedding reception ammunition!
    Because one day, as all the mommies out here can promise you, you will indeed laugh about this.

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  90. Hello!

    Please please know you are so not alone. My son also used another kid as a chew-toy (Did I mention it was the caretakers son?) and I felt horrible. The place he was at was an in-home day care and get this ... the caretaker was a friend of mine GAH! However after quite a few times of my lovely little boy sinking his teeth into this poor child like he was lunch she told me she could not keep him anymore.

    So we switched centers obviously. Come to find out..it is pretty common and a lot of times just removing the child from that environment helps a lot. He has never bitten again. Maybe it was something there that triggered it. Either way don't beat yourself up over it. There is nothing you did/or didn't do and it isn't your fault at all!

    I am happy to say that I am still friends with said caretaker and our sons are great friends to this day 5 years later.

    http://flipflopsandfroggies.blogspot.com/

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  91. My son was kicked out of daycare for biting a child who would stick his hand in Wyatt's mouth. (I don't know why that child didn't learn!)We moved him to a different, smaller daycare, and he never bit again.
    PS-Do not dress your child in a dracula costume for Halloween if he's known as "the biter". Other parents might not find it funny....

    Melanie from Maine

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  92. My second was the chew toy for another child. I must have signed a half dozen forms stating that the preschool informed me that my child was bit by another child. And I lost count at how many times when I would pick up my child he'd scream at me that J bit him again. I would just smile and tell him he'd live. Kids bite. It happens. And, this was at 3/4 years old. Besides, the next year, my third was using others as a chew toy. Mostly the teachers. lol

    If this daycare can't manage 2 weeks with your child, it's not a good place to be. If anyone asks, just say it wasn't working out; your kid wasn't adjusting. Honest, but not too telling.

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  93. My kid was/is the biter at her sitter's house, too. Thankfully, she doesn't have a limit, because a)we live in the middle of nowhere and the next option for daycare is....I haven't found it yet, b)I've lost count of the number of times I've gotten a bite report, and c)we can't afford for either of us to quit our jobs. The worst part was, she was biting the little sister of one of my students!

    I'm hoping that after a summer of being home with Mommy and Daddy, she'll be magically healed and forget all about the biting when she head back next month....but I'm not counting on it. The best we can do is we have taught her to apologize after she bites, and to give kisses where it hurts. Sometimes we can get her to give a kiss INSTEAD of a bite. Also, for some reason it really helps her be less inclined to bite (people, books, toys, etc) if we let her have something chewy to snack on frequently, such as cut-up GummiSavers (we're potty training, so it actually works out well as a reward). I don't know why, but it works. Hang in there, from another MB!!

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  94. I have 3 kids who have been noshers, hitters, throwers, screamers and tattlers. Any place that makes you feel shameful and guilty about normal childhood behavior is NOT the place for your little vampire. ;)

    And just to make you feel a smidge better, my older two came thisclose to getting kicked out of a church group this year for fighting with each other AND for (oh, the shame is burning as I write this) farting repeatedly during group prayer.

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  95. *hugs*
    What I'm hearing from you is a lot of pain that the daycare centre has not met your son's individual needs in the best possible way. I've been there. There's nothing like the pain that comes from realising that the teachers and carers that look after your child don't really see him for who he is and what he needs.
    Hang in there! This is just a bump in the road. And you don't have to tell anyone anything about why you're changing daycare if you don't want to. "It didn't turn out to be the right place for him" would be a nice vague thing to say if you really must.
    *hugs*

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  96. They called a 15 month old a crybaby? FOR REALZ??? What kind of idiots are they? 15 month olds don't generally have, you know, WORDS and THE GENERAL ABILITY TO EXPRESS THEIR COMPLEX FEELINGS. So they cry. And bite.

    Screw them.

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  97. Tell Shame & Guilt to go suck on a bag of balls. And as for what your friends will think? Tell them you left the daycare because you heard the owners were swingers. It's not like they're gonna go check.

    By the way, today my moderately autistic Fragile X Syndrome 5 year old bit me twice, slapped my face, and spit on me 3 times.

    It's all good sister.

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  98. I'm so impressed with all the positive comments on here. Great advice and support! My kids have more often been the bitten than the biter. I was always more worried about the biter side because of the 3-bite policy, but I found out that was created because of one situation and in reality our daycare did everything possible for it not to get to the point of kicking someone out. SUPERVISION is key. When a kid was a frequent biter, they assigned a teacher to pretty much keep her eyes on that kid at all times, because you can almost always stop it before it happens if you are watching and paying attention to triggers. They also did a good job of educating both sides that it was completely NORMAL behavior. When my kids were bitten, I usually ended up feeling just as sorry for the biter's parent as I was for my kid. Despite the inconvenience of finding childcare with short notice, I agree with others that it's for the best. That center was not a good match. Keep your chin up. This is definitely not your fault!

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  99. Let me tell you a quick story to make you feel better and realize your child is not evil. I worked at a daycare for 3 years, and I agree that most kids will bite out of frustration and it's normal. You just have to keep saying "no bite" and offer something better to do to let off steam (we had a pillow they could punch) Anyway, I have a scar on my arm (four years later) from being bitten by a 2 y/o. She was a repeat biter whom I did try to have removed from the daycare b/c she attacked the kids over and over for months. I didn't know it at the time (not one did) but she was later diagnosed as autistic. This last time she bit a kid's ear and I was the teacher assigned to deal with taking her to the office. On the way down the hall, devil kid grabbed my arm and literally bit a chunk out. Blood everywhere, me screaming and her just grinning with blood on her mouth. I had to go to the hospital for shots and stitches. IT was AWFUL. But the worse part was that the parent refused to pick up her child (said she'd be there asap and didn't show until closing) and when she did arrive, she complained to the co-workers that "that bitch better not have nothin'" in reference to her child ingesting my blood. THAT was a bite. Four stitches,baby.

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  100. Having worked in Day Care, I found that it is all in the way that the Day Care Staff handle the problem that is the make/break for the child. From what I read, they really didn't have enough communication with you on how to handle the biting problem as a team (them and your family) with you all doing/saying the same things to reinforce good behavior. It also appears that you have the absolute best you can in this circumstance to promote good behavior. One big question I would be asking, is "what has the center been doing to correct this bad behavior and why was he continually put into situations where he felt he needed to react and bite?" I have worked with biters, and know that it is a matter of supervision, distraction when children begin to get stroppy, and diversion (time out) when they become frustrated/overtired/hungry/upset and react in an inappropriate manner. It might be worth asking yourself if the standards of the Day Care Center were really up to scratch, or if they are poorly staffed and those two weeks might have been a valuable lesson in asking more probing questions when finding a new center. Look for places where you don't have to make an appointment to just show up and check it out, can sometimes mean that they make the place run smoothly for the hour or so that you are there. Just turn up for a look around at witching hour (just before nap time or an hour or two before close time) and see how the staff handle change/problems/etc. Finally, go easy on yourself. I'm not a super-mum either. I threw a tantrum today in front of my two. I'm just waiting for that one to come back and bite me on the bum! The thing is we do our best with what we have on hand at the time. You're doing fine mummy! Tuck them in early tonight and pour yourself a *insert favorite beverage*. Hugs, Mell.

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  101. Yesterday I got The Call from my dauther's primary care teacher at daycare about my 12 month old biting another baby.

    I was very concerned. I called my cousin, who taught in the 2yo class in a very prominent daycare in DC and got some advice. I explained that Clara has been visiting the toddler class and is transitioning. She assured me that biting is developmental, not behavioral at this age, and when a 12 month old without any words feels threatened or stressed from a transition, they will often bite.

    She said if it continues, I need to talk to the teachers about when it is happening, because a lot of times toddlers bite at transition times during the day, and an easy fix is to have a teacher hold her hand during the transitions until things settle down a bit.

    SO, I went to the daycare, armed with all of this info and, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS.

    SHE BIT ANOTHER KID AFTER HE STUCK HIS FINGER IN HER MOUTH REPEATEDLY ALL DAY LONG. On about the 20th time, she bit him. Now I'm not saying that biting is OK, but people PLEASE. Her primary teacher was gone for the day, so the co-teacher filled me in. The Co-Teacher explained that she didn't think that they should have called me or filled out a report because it was "clearly provoked." The Primary Teacher answered that by saying that they have been trained not to place blame.

    I leave you with this video. I am pretty sure this is about what happened with my kid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM

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  102. I want to say in support that if there had been a 3-bite limit our younger son would've been kicked out of TWO day cares. We happened to switch from one branch of a widely known day-care company to another a couple years ago while second son was a toddler because first son was approaching kindergarten and needed to be at a center in our school district so his bus could pick him up there. Before we left center #1 second son hit his biting stage and probably bit other toddlers about 4-5 times. Once he got to center #2 he worked on "establishing his dominance" as the director half-jokingly put it, and he got a biting incident report 2-3 times/week for the first few weeks and then some randomly timed ones in the months thereafter.

    Here's my view on how day cares handle biting: Yes, they need to keep the other kids safe from a biter. Trust me, I know. First son was the one always being bitten, and that sucked, too. But the ones that are willing to do any actual work with a kid who bites just take it in stride. Both our centers focused on what was triggering the biting (in second son's case it was always when another kid took or threatened to take one of his toys) and guess what? They paid close attention to situations where he might be triggered to bite and then got him or the other kid the hell outta there before he could. Just took a little effort on their part, see?

    So I think it stinks that your day care cut your son (and you) loose, but I think you're better off being at a center that will spend more time working with your child's natural stages of development than just shuttling them off as someone else's problem. I do commiserate on the old center's hours not working well for you, though. But maybe they can take you back at least for awhile as you seek center #3 that I hope will be a perfect fit.

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  103. What kind of daycare doesn't help an obviously stressed child overcome his issue? This is definitely a blessing in disguise.

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  104. Oh for pity's sake. My daughter's program evidently had a one bite limit, after which the teacher & mother of the bitten waylaid me and the mother of the bitten *confronted* me while the teacher sat silently behind her. I pulled my daughter out, because I could.

    Unfortunately, I don't have advice, just hope & encouragement. My daughter is now a charming 22 year old college student, and hasn't bitten anyone in 20 years, at least no one who didn't deserve it.

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  105. I am a preschool teacher, and my latest stint was with one and two year olds. Man, I WISH we had a three bite limit. I had kids who would bite that much in an hour. My kids bit, hit, smacked, threw down....it was like WWF smackdown. With work, it improved. Some. But I was working against parents who thought that kind of stuff was 'cute.' WHUCK?

    Anyway, part of a teacher's job is to recognize things that lead to biting, hitting, etc and intervene before the strike happens! I knew that if J did not get his way with other kids, he was going to bite. (I also knew that M bit or hit J preemptively because she does not take crap from anyone!) I shadowed him as best as I could (only adult with SEVEN toddlers!)and would step in when I saw a conflict.

    I also kept little hands busy and engaged. Keeping them busy meant less time for conflict=less time to strike.

    I would discuss with the teacher what her observations were. What lead to him biting, what did she do to prevent biting and what she did when he bit. That is her job, after all. Mommy can't tell a toddler not to bite and be done with it! The teacher is there, she has to do her part!

    Just know that you are doing better than my parents did. They could not be bothered to even try. You want to try to correct this problem, but it is a team effort with ALL of his caregivers.

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  106. Might I also add that calling him a crybaby is just wrong! He is a BABY for Christ's sake!

    I had several kids who had never been away from mommy, and I did everything I could to comfort and calm them. I did not mind holding a crying little one, even if it was all day and we got noting done. I also said 'screw it' to the 'no personal items from home' rule. If a small stuffy or blanket made a wee one feel more comfortable and centered, then I welcomed it. Never had one need it for long, anyway! Soon, the item is tossed to the floor and the kid is happily playing across the room.

    I have rarely had kids who had a prolonged adjustment time, because I held them, I loved on them and I let them know they were safe and secure.

    This teacher should have hugged, kissed, and otherwise love bombed this new baby in her class. It is always stressful for all involved when there is a new one who has a hard time, but if you invest the time and care up front, it pays off big time in the end.

    ...and when the little one who just days ago screamed and kicked when they were drug in runs up to you and jumps in your arms? That is part of the joy I found in teaching!

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  107. MB & other mommas going through this,
    I work in a daycare center and actually your little boy is only 3 months older than the other children in my room. Biting at this age is perfectly NORMAL and any self-respecting daycare center would know that.
    Yes, the stress of a new environment would be enough for ANY child to take their aggressions out with their teeth, BUT (big but here) he’s 15 months! He’s also teething!
    What they should’ve done instead of being lazy about the whole thing is to give him something that *was* acceptable for him to bite on to help relieve the stress/discomfort. Unless he is targeting a specific child and actually drawing blood these should be seen as teaching opportunities for empathy and compassion.
    He’s only 15 months he’s yet to understand that his actions affect other people.
    Aaaaand any self respecting daycare should know that it takes a child AT LEAST 2 weeks for them to acclimate to a new environment. They need to get used to the structure and rhythm of the place, have a weekend where they go home, and then another week to experience that structure and routine once more.
    It is really a shame that because the center was too lazy to do their job properly you ended up feeling like you somehow failed.
    Be your own advocate and don’t –I repeat **DON’T**- be of afraid of being *that* mom. Stand up for your baby, make a fuss, do what you have to do to make sure your baby is being treated fairly.

    PS: How unprofessional to think it is EVER acceptable to call a child a "crybaby"!!!!!

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  108. 1) Yeah, biting IS pretty normal at that age! I worked in a MDO when mine were little and while some kids bite more than others (we DID have one who was privately referred to as "Hannibal the Cannibal") most of them do it on occasion.

    2) My second-youngest child, for some reason, was a capital-B Biter. She turned out to be a sweet, non-violent, thoughtful young adult, even though at age 1-2 we always had to tell people that hadn't been around her much, "Careful, she BITES," as if she were a snapping turtle or something.

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  109. My son went through a horrible biting phase. I was sooo scared his school (which I LOVE) was going to kick him out. Fortunately, they remained awesome and worked with him through the whole thing. We ended up giving him a "biter" which was a teething toy attached to his shirt by a pacifier clip. When he bit that instead of human flesh, all the babies in his room were trained to cheer like their little fingers depended on it (which, of course they did). Worked like a charm. Poor kid looked a little odd for a few months with that thing hanging off his shirt, but those glares were better than the your kid just chomped my kid glares. I am happy to say he is now biter free.

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  110. Huh, I always thought biting was what little kids did. My son went through a biting phase around 18 months. But as far as I know, he never bit the other kids at daycare. He was bitten a few times, which was duly noted/treated and reported to me when I came in to collect him. No major damage, no big deal. (If anything, I was GLAD he was bitten, as I am sure this helped nip HIS biting habit in the bud...I'm in the "bite them back" set of mommies).

    However, by age 2 he was significantly heavier and stronger than the other kids in his young-toddler class, and he simply WOULD not comprehend that he couldn't just clamber all over his friends without squooshing them flat. Now THAT made me feel bad... my kid, the sumo wrestler, squashing his little friends. I figured they would be kicking him out, but the director of the center had a bright idea and simply moved him to the preschool class. This got me a couple of catty remarks from some other moms who felt that he "wasn't old enough"... but it worked wonders. As the youngest in that class, he learned INSTANT respect. I think the more structured routine in the preschool class was more in line with his needs. too. After a brief adjustment, he was practically begging to go to "school" in the mornings, and he was amazingly well-behaved.

    The point being, a good daycare center will work with your kid and you to address a problem, instead of booting you unceremoniously out the door. And it should be a red flag if they're calling the poor kid a crybaby. Crap, he's 15 months old. What the heck do they expect?

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