When the toddler bites

There are two groups of children in the child care- those who bite and those who get bitten. You can almost guess where I’m going with this one…

For the 5th time, Sophie has been complained of biting her classmates in the child care. This one is by far the worst when the teachers reported of “punctured teeth marks which caused bruising” on the poor kid. The scenario is no different from the previous incidents… her friend wants a toy/flashcard/ slide, she wants the same item, they pull, she pulls and when she doesn’t get it, she sinks her teeth into them.

Now I don’t know who’s the most distressed in such situation?

  • the kid who got bitten;
  • the parents of the poor child that got bitten;
  • the teacher that had to tell the parent of the child who got bitten or
  • me, the mother of the child who’s beginning to get a reputation of being a notorious a biter in school!

I’m thankful that the school center manager has been understanding and not threaten to kick my daughter out from school for her behavior. (see note of warning below) And even more grateful that she’s been doing a great job of calming the nerves of the kids’ parents whom my daughter has bitten. Else, who knows what disguise I have to put on to pick my daughter from school.

The strategy for now is for both teachers and I to partner together to teach this little terror that it’s not acceptable to bite, hit or shout at her friends. While she has not beaten anyone to pulp, we’re going for a preemptive measure to ensure she doesn’t get there. At least it’s encouraging to know that it’s a phase that will pass once her vocabulary increases as she’ll be able to express herself better.

As for now, mummy’s teaching her to say “Stop” or “No” as well as the importance of sharing so that she doesn’t get a “Strike and You’re Out” card from the school.

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Comments: 16

  1. San Gabe Alex June 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm Reply

    When Baby G bit one of his classmates, I wrote a little “I am sorry” note to the classmate & parents & Baby G signed off on it. He was told to pass it to the classmate & I asked the teacher to ensure that he did.

  2. Susan Koh June 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm Reply

    That’s a good idea… But I hope I don’t have to do that.

  3. Fish Ball June 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm Reply

    Terrible 2……

  4. Victor Chan June 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm Reply

    Vera got bitten and daddy is distressed

  5. Wendy Pang June 12, 2011 at 10:46 pm Reply

    My boy likes to bite me too & i’m so worry that he will do that to his peers at the centre. Hope I’ll not receive call on that neither call to inform me he kana bitten sigh…..

  6. Susan Koh June 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm Reply

    FB: I think so too
    Victor: now I can empathize with the parents of the kids who bites, I swear I always teach her to play nice!
    Wendy: yes it’s really distressing right. But Sophie was a victim when she got pushed by an older kid too.

  7. Wendy Pang June 12, 2011 at 11:21 pm Reply

    Oh no, poor Sophie. She must be very fearful whenever she sees the ‘biter’

  8. Be Be Choo June 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm Reply

    Susan, my girl bit the 12th times. I tried all methods to stop her. Talk to her n encourage to say more words. “I don’t want”, “I want”. Try to do role play at home. I name all her soft toys schoolmates names she had bitten. Every morning encourage her to tell them no bite bite and tell them that she won’t bite as well. Encourage her to talk to teachers. My girl seems to stop biting now. Good luck to you.

  9. Wendy Pang June 13, 2011 at 7:55 am Reply

    Hi Be Be, thanks sharing with us your experience & would like to compliment you on your various trials & errors. Finally something works & hope it works for many parents too. Great job!

  10. Susan Koh June 13, 2011 at 8:26 am Reply

    BeBe: will try out your methods. She’s very good at saying I don’t want abs said it when she was “caught” by the teachers after she bit her friend. So the teacher suspects she doesn’t want scolding.
    Wendy: yah with kids we got to try everything.

  11. Be Be Choo June 13, 2011 at 9:19 am Reply

    Hi Wendy, the family has to work this out together. I asked my hb to disturb me, pull my hair then I raised my hand up n said, “teacher Lindy, daddy pulls my hair.” many of such role play n she now can talk to teacher n even tell the teacher which kid disturb or bully her.

    Susan, I used “bite her back” method n “time out” method won’t work. I read up books about “bullying” but no similar model that matches my girl. So I have to think of my own method. Yesterday she was in the Sunday class n the boy sat next to her supposed to share color pencils with my girl. The boys took all the pencils n usually my girl will perform her “biting” ritual again but she didn’t. She stood up n told the boy, “share one. I want purple color.” The boy looked blur n my girl took the purple color pencil n said, “I want this one pleaseeeeee”. Finally my girl knows there r better ways than biting. My girl used to plan her biting n she hardly missed. She can remember today n execute her plan tomorrow.

  12. Wendy Pang June 13, 2011 at 11:31 pm Reply

    Interesting! Be Be, how old is your girl? Do you have any tips on how to tackle a clingy child, a boy especially, OMG 🙁

  13. Wendy Pang June 13, 2011 at 11:31 pm Reply

    Interesting! Be Be, how old is your girl? Do you have any tips on how to tackle a clingy child, a boy especially, OMG 🙁

  14. Be Be Choo June 14, 2011 at 7:50 am Reply

    Hi Wendy, my girl is 22 mth old. Going to 2 yr old in 2 months time. I notice that most boys r more clingy than girls to their mommies. N I also notice that the mommies they enjoy their boys preferring them. My girl used to be clingy too. But each time she cried for me, I did not respond to her immediately. I will tell her it is alright daddy will carry u, daddy will take you down, n I encourage the daddy (who definitely feel sad for being rejected by his own baby) to pacify her n play with her more often. Same to my mil, I will give her my girl’s fav cookie n asked her to give it to my girl when I pick her up from school. So cookies she will look for ah ma. Milk n juice look for helper. She knows mommy authorize everything so she will still cling to me (feel secure) but not to the extreme. Uncle visit on Sat, I will be in my room, she can open up with other adults when I m not around. Guess you just hv to learn to let go first. They r more books in the library on managing boys too. Good luck.

  15. Susan Koh June 14, 2011 at 7:55 am Reply

    BeBe: wow Lindy sounds like a big girl! I’m going to encourage Sophie to express herself more with words from now. Very encouraged that you’re seeing results from what you’ve taught her.
    Wendy: heh good to see that mummies are connecting and networking thru FB 🙂

  16. Wendy Pang June 14, 2011 at 8:11 am Reply

    Thanks Be Be for sharing openly with your heart & I appreciate. Ya should start reading again, think I need to go one step at a time, hope to share good news with you very soon.

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