4 Year Old Son Acting Out and Not Sure Why

Updated on June 22, 2011
P.G. asks from Fort Worth, TX
3 answers

This week at daycare my son, who turned 4 in April, bit 2 children (1 on one day, 1 on a different day). Didn't break the skin either time. At least one of the times, the child had taken something from him. I am NOT happy with this and want to nip it in the bud. I ALSO want to try to figure out why this is happening. He has been going to this daycare for over a year and has NEVER done this before. He's never been a biter before so we're all mystified at where this is coming from.

He's gone full time or part time to this daycare for a while - for the last 2 months it's been full time. He's gone full time before without any issue. The only thing that's changed very recently is now that the end of school has come, there are some younger children in the room - don't know if any of them were biting and he decided it was ok? There was also an older boy who was pinching others and my son picked that up from him but stopped.

I've noticed he's started chewing on his shirt every once in a while. I asked him why and he said because he likes to. Don't know if that means anything other than he likes to chew on his shirt. Nothing is different at home.

I've talked to him about what the right reaction to a hurtful kid is (tell kid to stop, go to teacher, get away from kid), and the wrong reaction (hitting, biting, pinching). He can repeat it to me and answer questions about what to do, but of course, the proof is in the pudding. The daycare isn't going to kick him out. They're actually surprised that he's doing it.

Any ideas on where this could be coming from and how to stop it?

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So What Happened?

Some more teacher feedback - the one time, the child took something from him and he got upset. Don't think the 1st time was clear on what happened. Teacher said my guy was chasing another kid with his mouth open, but didn't say if it was playful or upset (I do know this other boy is a bit of a hellion cause I've seen him play rough). The weird thing is that the BITING is a NEW reaction. SIGH. Keep the thoughts and answers coming! Thanks!

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

for an immediate solution, the teacher needs to watch the kids closer. She will then be able to determine better the cause. Until then, you're working blind.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Someone probably bit him but he didn't report it. I could be way off but most older biters start because someone bit them and got by with something. Because that kid either got by with it or the new biter didn't know they got punished it appears to be a socially acceptable way to get what you want.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Kids often bite out of frustration when they cannot communicate their feelings. And often it is a reaction to hostility, but there might be something deeper going on here. I recommend you maybe sit down and talk to his teacher and find out if there have been any changes in the classroom or at the daycare. Maybe someone left, who he grew attached to and is acting out because he misses her? It could be as simple as a Menu change.. Kids can be very sensitive.

Has anything at home changed?

Keep doing what you are doing. Tell him, nice touches and tell the teacher to do the same.

Good luck mommy! (I too had a biter)

1 mom found this helpful

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