Biting - Tucson,AZ

Updated on November 15, 2006
T.F. asks from Tucson, AZ
9 answers

My 2 1/2 is a biter. He has been good for months so I thought the problem was solved. Today however I got a call from his daycare to come get him because he bit a child very hard in the mouth, enough to draw blood. I of course was mortified and feel for the other child and his mother.
Here is the deliema, my son has to leave daycare when he bites. If he bites again I will immediately get a call. I just started a new job as a teacher. I can not just get up and leave a classroom full of children that other parents have entrusted to me to go get my child. My husband works as well and has been traveling close to once a week lately.
I am at my wits end, I have tried every bitting remedy out there. I have brought him to the pediatrician about this. His doctor doesn't think he has behavoir problems, he feels the day care should be more willing to deal with this as it is a normal problem for some children. I understand all points of view, that doesn't give me a solution however. I just went back to work full time two weeks ago, he has been more aggressive since then. I love my new job I do not want to give it up or lose it.
I want my son to stop biting. As I said I have done research on biting and tried many diversion methods nothing has worked. please if you have suggestions let me know

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. My son bit again on friday at the day care and was sent home. I was treated with such disdane by his teacher that I found a new daycare that is willing to work with the biting and has a smaller classroom size. He will be in a class with six children instead of 15. The new center also make him take care of the injury and nurture the student he bit rather than sepereate him and send him home. I truely believe sending him home only rienforced the behavior. I am praying for the best with this new situation. Again, thank you all.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.B.

answers from Denver on

Well, you said you have tried everything you could find, so I will just let you know the methods that I have found to work, and hope there is one that you haven't tried yet!

Of course there is the biting them back! Also, put something biter or hot, or just nasty tasting on their tongue everytime they bite! Also, that way I broke my daughter, was to scream to the top of my lungs, it scared her so bad, but she doesn't bite!

These may be hard with your job, but I sure hope you find something that helps! Everyone says it's so normal for most children to bite, but I see it as dangerous, and would hate it if my child started biting! My daughter is only 15 months old, but I broke her of biting when I was still breastfeeding her! I sure hope you find something that works for you and your son!

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.

answers from Santa Fe on

My friend's daycare recommends that you give your son something to bite like a chew toy that he can wear around his neck. He also is a biter, and has bitten my son many times in the past. Your daycare will have to work with you on this so that he learns to bite his toy instead of people when he has the impulse. It seems to work, though. As an aside, I agree with your doctor your daycare really needs to work with you on this instead of calling you out of work. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.L.

answers from Tucson on

I'm so glad you have found a new daycare that is willing to work with you. As a working mom, you really need that. I, too, believe that you coming to get him reinforced his behavior. He's probably angry because you've gone back to work. Biting gets you home again.

I have 2-year-old twin boys. One is biting the daylights out of the other. Separating them keeps him from biting again, but he seems to enjoy the alone time, so it's not a punishment for the biting. We make him tell his brother that he's sorry and nurture his brother, which he will do. We also do time-outs. I've bitten him back, just yesterday in fact, and no biting has happened since then, but it's only been 24 hours. We'll see.

But having the support of others is the most important thing, especially if you are relying on others for daycare and other help. Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear T.,

I know exactly how you feel - we went through the very same problem with our son (he will be 3 in December). We also had him in daycare, and would get calls when he (1) bit more than 3 times or (2) drew blood from one of the kids. It is the most frustrating thing out there to deal with. I did extensive research on the internet to try to find some sort of solution, but honestly, there was really nothing out there that worked. I went through this shortly after my son turned 1 and dealt with it on a regular basis until he was just over 2. Since then, we have had a couple of incidents, but I think those were more in frustration than anything else. We switched him over to a private daycare, as I was tired of getting the phone calls every week. They were brand new and had just opened, so the enrollment was still low. I am not sure if the extra attention that he got (due to the low teacher/child ratio) was what helped, or over time, he just outgrew it. I had numerous talks with my previous daycare provider about dealing with this problem, but nothing seemed to work. You might want to talk to the director of your daycare to see if together you can come up with some sort of plan to implement with your son. I believe the problem with my son was that the environment around him was too crowded, and he was too shy to really open up and talk in class. He used biting to get attention from the teacher or when he was frustrated with the other kids. I know you've probably heard this so many times, but eventually, your son will outgrow the biting. Perhaps looking into another daycare option may work for you as well.

Good luck!
T.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Tucson on

I just may get rail roaded for this but my son is almost 3 and he too is a biter but geting SOOOO much better. What we did was as soon as he bites tell him NO! WE DONT BITE! if he continues or gets mad and bites again he gets bit. not hard of coarse but enough to let him know then i sit with him on the couch and tell him its not nice to bite. He'll say Ooweee and i say that hurts huh he'll say yea or shake his head and ill tell him thats why we dont bite. I know its not best to react to his violence with violence. but it sure worked. he now goes to bite and looks at me. I'll say do u want an oweee and he stops in his tracks.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.

answers from Colorado Springs on

You know I agree with the other post. I had to do the same thing with one of my daughters who was a biter. I had tried everything I could think of to stop her. Finally when I bit her back (only hard enough to demonstrate)it finally clicked for her. She understood that biting can hurt and it's not fun. Then I would explain it's not nice to bite and nobody likes to be bitten. It is worth a shot if nothing else is helping you. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Denver on

I was a biter as a child and what finally worked for me at about age 3 was that when I bit a friend that was over playing at my house, my parents made me bite on a bar of ivory soap. I never bit again and I can still remember how awful it was to bite on soap.

Also, our daughter bit up until about a year or so ago and it worked for her to right away get down on her level or pick her up and look her in the eyes and say (in a very stern voice but not yelling) "we DON'T bite" and then to explain that biting hurts our friends and we don't want to hurt our friends. And then we would put her in a timeout. They also did this method with her at her daycare and it works there too. The daycare should definitely work with you, your son shouldn't have t leave for that. It is also their duty to help toddlers with their socialization skills and this is one of the things that kids this age do. They should understand that and work with you. By default, all the kids are getting the message on biting when your son gets the lesson.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Phoenix on

I am a home daycare provider, that has run into to this a few times, My son being the first biter in the group only bit one child all the time as a retaliation for the other child taking his food from his mouth and hitting my son, No not a good reason to bite but he was only 1yr at the time. I tried biting, tapping him on the mouth, stern talking, yelling, spanking hmmmm what else anyways I finally had to ask the other child to leave for his own well being I obviously couldn't kick my child out. I gave him a wash rag to bite when he got upset and demonstrated this to him with a mad face and bite down on the rag. He never bit again after the other boy left. And I couldn't stand being mean to him for something the other child ALWAYS started his actions just werent as serious as biting.

I have had other biters I always let the parents know, I wait till they come at the end of the day. The problem is usually solved within a week or 2. I give the children time to understand their behavior is not allowed. And I pretty much stand over the biter all day to prevent another child from being hurt I also give them (the biter) a wash rag as I did with my son and when they are mad And reaching to bite I put the rag in their mouth and say "we don't bite our friends it hurts". It takes alot of patience and effort but it has to be delt with, sending your son home is teaching him if he bites my mommy will run and get me. he might put it together soon and do it just for that reason. If they are not willing to deal with him biting I would look into other care. I guess if a child bit continuously for days and days several times I would have to warn the family and possible send them away but you have to put in some effort to fix the problem first, some poeple just don't want to work unless its easy. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My mom told me that when I was little I bit her on the shoulder and broke the skin. She bit me back and I never bit her again. So when my daughter bit me for the first time I bit her back and she never bit again. Then don't know how it feels and when you bite them they realize that hey this hurts. It may sound mean and of course you don't bite so hard you break skin, but you bite hard enough so that they know it hurts. Everyone I know who did the biting back remedy said it worked. Hope this helps.

L.

Next question: Advice for Parent of 13 Month Old "Biter"