4-year old excluded of Reception class for biting 3 weeks after starting school... Anyone experienced the same???

(329 Posts)
brette Sat 07-Feb-09 19:19:22


My son is 4 and started reception 3 weeks ago after 12 months in nursery. In nursery, he had trouble settling in but after a while and a lot of patience and encouragement from the dedicated staff, settled in very nicely... with the occasional to frequent bitings. Never in a "malicious" offensive way, more as a "defence"/compulsive/impulsive way when his space is being invaded. Very hard and stressdul for everyone involved (the bitten, the biter, all parents...) But they got it under control after a lot of praising and generally speaking a gentle and psychological approach. He still has to be assessed to see if there's anything related to sensorial issues. He's the youngest of the class, loves school and is extremely bright.
An Early Intervention team got involved, he was observed, the conclusion was there wasn't anything "wrong" with him, many reports were written and before he went to Reception, we had a meeting with the new school child therapist, the Early Year Intervention team therapist, the nursery staff, etc... so that the transition to school would be smooth.

First day at school, the headteacher tells me: "I understand your son has special needs" ...
Second day at school, the teacher tells me: "He bit a child today, is it something he's done before?" I told her nicely to read the report we had taken so much time to make specially for her...
Two weeks later, he bit a child and the child bled. shock Very shocking and inacceptable. The head called me and asked me to collect him to "punish" him and as he was a danger to other kids. On collecting him, I saw the child therapist of the school who admitted they hadn't been any communication of reports between the nursery and the school. That she had just spoken to the nursery therapist and that she had a better picture of the situation. I said I was surprised they didn't get any of the reports since their whole point was to avoid this very confusion...
And now all the head is telling me is "This behaviour has to stop..." Err, we all agree on that, if we knew how to, we would...

Anyone has experienced something similar?

Sorry very long post, but I feel let down and angry by the whole situation.

macdoodle Sat 07-Feb-09 19:22:40

the school need to sort out their communication problem - you seem to be trying your very best to sort this out - they seem determined to ignore this fact - if I was you I would be going in all guns blaring but then I am not known for my calmness !

I agree - it seems crazy that you have been aware of this situation for 12 months have been doing yours and the nursery's best to evaluate and deal with this but to have no communication is just shocking!

Who have you been able to speak to ?
The Head needs to get his/her fact before summoning you really.

ChippingIn Sat 07-Feb-09 19:42:33

Ditto macdoodle's post...

Grrrrrrrrrrangry on your and your DS's behalf...

Sorry, I haven't experienced it myself and don't have any solutions for you, but feel very sorry for you and your DS. It sounds like you would have tried anything I might have suggested already.

One thought though, if he is the youngest in the class would it be worth keeping him in nursery until the next intake of reception children? I don't want to offend you and I am not suggesting in the slightest that he is 'behind' the other children or anything like that, just that he might feel more secure and able to cope with boundaries/personal space/big school after a bit longer in nursery where he can be a 'big kid'... just a thought.

Leo9 Sat 07-Feb-09 19:43:15

Arrange a meeting with the Head and the Class Teacher; take along any report copies you have and read them out if you have to!

A meeting is definitely required; they should be sharing this sort of information but clearly they're not; your son will never have a better or more passionate or informed advocate than you smile

I think (IME) it seems quite common for schools to completely ignore info from nurseries; <whispers; could it be that they don't respect the opinions of staff who work in nurseries and aren't 'proper' teachers??!!>

charmargot Sat 07-Feb-09 19:48:32

How do you start a new thread??
Asking here as this conversation most recent - have spd problem

sarah573 Sat 07-Feb-09 19:51:07

Hi Brette, what a horrible situation for you. I have a 10 year old who was a biter (hitter/pusher/shover....), it transpired later, but not until he was 8, that he has Aspergers Syndrome (not that Im suggesting this is the case for your DS). By this time he had been subject to numerous exclusions.

It sounds like the school have handled the whole transition very badly. There is no way they should be excluding a 4 year old 3 weeks into school, not without taking the appopriate steps to support him. Is he on school action/action+?

You could re-post on the special educational needs forum. Alot of us have been there, and you'll get some great advice and support.

Tclanger Sat 07-Feb-09 20:17:01

Goodness me exluding a four year old that's shocking! My son has a severe language disorder and sensory issues, he is often agressive. I'd want to know what the school can do to make your poor DS less anxious, as it sems to me that he is lashing out because he's distressed. Several of the little boys in nursery class did this in M's year its usually a passing thing. You could ask for a meeting with the school senco and special needs governor id they have one.

We have the help of the behaviour support team but this is a long way down the line and Ds has complex issues. I have found the educational pyschologist helpful along the way too, but we couldn't get access to see one until Ds was five.

Please come and find me in special needs if I can help any more, but I do think this is an over reaction x

nkf Sat 07-Feb-09 20:20:32

Biting at that age is unusual. I don't know what to suggest but I think the report saying that there was nothing "wrong" was probably premature. An educational psychologist maybe.

nkf Sat 07-Feb-09 20:20:51

I hope you get it sorted out.

charmargot, go to 'topics' choose the most suitable topic adn go to bottom of list of curent threads in topic you choose.

Select 'start new thread' and follow instructions.

op: definitely ask for a meeting with class teacher and senco/head.

Question what reports they have read adn give them further copies if necessary.

Ask fro plan of how they will support your ds to settle in to school.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 20:32:02

Thanks a lot for your support. It helps a lot. I will go on the special need thread.

To answer a few questions,
he was on school action + and then put back on school action. The child psychotherapist who was fooling him at nursery wanted him referred to a sensory therapist, but she thinks it will not require more than one session. Of course, we can't assume anything before actually seeing this therapist.

And we thought about leaving him longer in nursery. But then he might have been bored as he needs a lot of intellectual "feeding" (he can already read both in Engligh and French, write phonetically on a computer, counts up to whatever... all self-taught -well thanks to the buses actually - we don't push him at all)
so we opted for school and he's very enthuastic about it.

I have to be fair, the head has offered that someone monitors him for a week, just observing him in class. But he's not sure who this person is. It all seems so disconnected. A lot of people involved but no cohesion whatsoever. A waste of ressources.

Also, I would like to point out that the teacher and the headteacher started both working a the school in January.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 20:36:56

Of course, I mean "following" him... What would Freud say about this one, I wonder.

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 20:51:39

There does seem to be a communication problem here and it does need to be sorted out. However, i would'nt want a child that bites (more than once in a blue moon) in my DC's class - sorry.

ChippingIn Sat 07-Feb-09 20:55:44

Wow - a really clever little lad [Does he fancy a spot of tutoring?? I mean him tutoring me!! My french reading level is less than desirable these days!! blush.

I can really see why you didn't want to keep him at nursery any longer.

I can see how with both the teacher and head being new, the reports might have not made it to them etc but when on the second day you made the teacher aware of them they should have made sure they had all the info to hand.

I would be in there next week making sure they are both up to date and there is a plan of action so that your DS (and the other children) don't suffer anymore than is completely necessary... get mad and get action!!

Good Luck!

ChippingIn Sat 07-Feb-09 21:01:06

Also - try not to stress too much, enjoy tomorrow and don't spend the whole day worrying about it. Maybe it's just one of those things that will take a little time for him to 'grow out of' (with a lot of help and encouragement from everyone to speed it up!!), he has developed much faster in other areas than most children, maybe he's just a bit slower growing out of this phase (which loads of kids go through).

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 21:07:41

Thanks, ChippingIn. He could also take you around London as he remembers every bus and tube route he's ever taken

queenofbeas, of course no one wants their child to be bitten at school, but what would you advise I should do?

toddlerama Sat 07-Feb-09 21:19:30

I was a biter. I'm 27 now and have given up. wink
However, my parents tried everything and I wouldn't stop. I eventually 'grew out of it' at about 5, BUT when I was 12ish, an older boy at school got in my space and in my terror, I bit him hard on the arm! I think in my case it definitely stemmed from anxiety. Perhaps he is feeling overwhelmed and needs to work in smaller groups or something?

Poppycake Sat 07-Feb-09 21:19:36

I don't know what to suggest but just wanted to add my support as you're obviously both having a tough time. He sounds an amazing little boy - can't help wondering (in my totally intrained way, I might add) if the biting is because of some sort of mismatch between how far he is developed intellectually with how far he is emotionally, and with a little time for one to catch up with the other he'll be fine. Whatever it is, he doesn't need stressing out about it.

Of course it's not ideal, but there are going to be kids that hit, kids that bully, kids that are in all sorts of ways "not ideal" but we all (kids included) have to learn to deal with the fact that life isn't ideal. Personally, I'd be chuffed that my dd1 would be sharing her class with someone so clearly bright and interesting.

seeker Sat 07-Feb-09 21:26:08

Is this a state or a private school? Not trying to make a point, but in my experience, stare schools often have much better strategies in place for challenging children 9because they have more of them!) than private schools.

MilaMae Sat 07-Feb-09 21:35:37

Errr sorry I wouldn't be that chuffed bright or not,totally unacceptable for the other children involved.

Rec is a scary year as it is for many children so I think the head is doing the right thing excluding. Biting is unusual at this age so this previous report would probably be of little use anyhow.

That obviously doesn't help your child. Do you follow up these instances at home with sanctions etc? If it was me I'd push for more help on where to go from here and focus less on the previous report.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 21:44:57

toddlerama, how very reassuring to read your post Re "Perhaps he is feeling overwhelmed and needs to work in smaller groups or something?" You're absolutely right: at nursery they would try to make him work in small groups as he is easily overwhelmed when surrounding by many kids in a small place.

Poppycake, thank you for a very kind post. I personnally think there's a discrepancy between his "academic" skills and his social skills. I tend to think you cannot learn everything at the same time IFYWIM and some areas will suffer.

seeker It is a state school. They seem to have a lot of ressources but they don't seem to be used in a coordinated way as far as I can tell. Let's hope it will get better. I made my point quite clear to the head yesterday (strongly fighting back tears... silly me).
It feels like my child is the biggest danger the school ever saw... Or I might be oversensitive. But when you hear "your child is a danger to others", it feels a bit... shock hmm angry all at once.

Dropdeadfred Sat 07-Feb-09 21:45:40

biting til someone bleeds is quite severe though isn't it...I mean he must have applied alot of pressure which couldn't happen in a quick nip....what did your son say about the incident? he sounds amazingly bright so can he vocalise what he thinks/feels when he bites?

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 21:56:06

He said he was playing with a truck and some rectangles and triangles. A boy came and tried to take the rectangles (it all gets very technical here ), Ds didn't want the boy to take the rectangles, and offered him the triangles instead. The boy still tried to take the rectangles. Bam! (if I tell him that I won't tell him off, he explains every single incident very clearly and it's always more or less the same scenario)

He is extremely logical and I can see that he doesn't understand that the whole "use your words" thing is not working when he's using it properly (which he seems to be doing most of the time). So the next step was to explain to him that sometimes words don't work immediatly but that it is not a reason to bite and hurt and that he should go and speak to an adult immediatly.

Poppycake Sat 07-Feb-09 22:11:38

In that scenario dd1 would have burst into extravagant tears - obviously not painful for anyone else, but not the appropriate response either. Her teacher did semi complain to me that she's "very emotional" which is true, but (and this is where I think it's relevant) it's a long haul trying to get her to understand that she can't make the world the way she wants it. I'm not sure that she's as bright as your little boy sounds, but she's certainly no slouch and is capable of explaining very clearly how she feels and has a good range of vocabulary. Of course, that works well on us, but not necessarily on children of her own age.

So, to try and help her I do try and arrange as many playdates as poss. It's also helping that her little sister is now learning to talk, and she's realising dd2's limitations and, IMO, learning how to deal with them quite well. There is a lot of helping dd2 with clothes and toys etc so I think she is learning some patience. Of course helps that they adore each other! Despite dd2 being really quite annoying sometimes smile

But I am firmly of the opinion that exlusion would only make things worse. He needs to learn how to deal with other children's shortcoming behaviour

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 22:23:41

The thing with biting is that it is perceived as a very very violent act, much worse than pushing, poking, scratching, etc and the reactions surrounding this issue can get very unrational. I am by no means trying to diminish the impact and violence of it but everyone tends to focus on these dreadful two seconds that it takes to bite and forget about the rest of the day, when everything is/ might be fine... And I said to the head that I would need to know what things he's doing right/enjoys doing so that we can all focus on something else than the negative, because at the moment it's all they talk about. I haven't heard them say one thing positive about him so far.sad

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:27:22

OP - TBH as a parent of the bitten child I would'nt be interested in what you should do, I would want my DC protected. I think the school have done the right thing.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:31:14

No they can be but repeat biting is a serious thing, at 4 really it is not on. My DD did bite until she was 3 but there were consquencences and she stopped.

Dropdeadfred Sat 07-Feb-09 22:32:49

I don't want to make Brette feel any worse, because I can tell she is mortified about how her son has been treated and percieved...BUT my dd3 is starting school this september and I honestly never though that at chool age children in a mainstream school would be biting!
I also have two older dcs who have never been bitten in all their school years...

I too would want my child protected from being bitten (particularly drawing blood). But I do think that the school has been remiss in not communicating with nursery and vice versa.

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:33:54

Agree with DDF.

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:34:34

The schools top priority should be to protect ALL children from harm.

Leo9 Sat 07-Feb-09 22:36:56

I would have thought like you DDF, but in DS' reception class there was a biter. It was swiftly and firmly dealt with but it obviously can still occur at this age; they are so young. At 4, IMVHO, they should all be at nursery rather than school anyway! (if anywhere other than home!)

seeker Sat 07-Feb-09 22:37:03

I have to say, my dd was a biter - and it was very difficult to deal with - but she never drew blood. Massive bruises, yes, but never blood!

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 22:37:43

queenofbeas, I assume you think you will never be in the difficult position of having a "problem" child. I hope you're right, but life can be long and full of surprises. A bit of empathy and humility never hurts.

MilaMae Sat 07-Feb-09 22:39:17

Biting in rec is NOT common and it IS far worse than pushing/poking. I am an ex primary teacher with several rec years of experience.

My son was bitten once in pre-school,the mother was mortified read the riot act to her son,he delivered a sorry card,it never happened again. I was perfectly happy with how it was dealt with.

My sons are now in rec and I as a parent wouldn't tolerate a persistent biter who drew blood. Rec is a big year for kids and I want them to be happy and secure. I don't think the head has any choice but to protect the other kids.

Yes it isn't ideal for the op's son but the needs of the other 29 children need to come first.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 22:40:30

Well seeker, until last week I would have said the same...

"The schools top priority should be to protect ALL children from harm." It is a very simplistic view on which we can only agree. Unfortunately life is a bit more complex than that...

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:41:57

brette. I do wonder if you are actually helping your son or just letting him get away with it? Do the other Dc deserve to be protected from violence or not?hmm

TotalChaos Sat 07-Feb-09 22:42:29

actually - both myself and DH remember there being odd biting incidents at our old schools at primary age - I think it is unusual, but something that happens (and we both went to good state primaries FWIW).

anyway - a shame that the school seems to have made so little effort regarding transition and your son starting - hopefully you can have a more productive meeting with head and class teacher and try and sort out better support for your son. if necessary would have thought school could call on external professionals - LEA behaviour advisers or an ed psych to help with this sort of issue. I don't see what exclusion achieves - other than to make the problem out of sight out of mind. Surely better supervision of the biter would be more constructive.

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:43:32

I had empathy until i have read some of your threads, ME and MINE is what you seem to be saying, never mind the children that are being bitten and prehaps frightened by your child.

wishingchair Sat 07-Feb-09 22:47:33

The head does have a choice ... she can choose to work through a solution in a sensible, thorough, sensitive way that meets the needs to the OP, her son and the other 29 children.

Personally, I would have found an incident of biting far more bearable to deal with than having to console my 5 year old when her supposed best friend had called her a loser and told her that no one likes her. There are far worse things than an impulsive act of violence.

queenofbeas - am a bit shock at your somewhat judgmental stance

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 22:48:10

queenofbeas, I am extremely concerned about my son's behaviour, it makes me very sad/angry and I am by no means lenient about it. Since this terrible incident, he has lost access to his computer, and he will get it back when he gets five good stars (one star for each day without biting) and we talk about it and he understands the gravity of it. And children are tricky: at nursery, when they realised he was like that, they would provoke him until he bit. So in this case, who's the bad guy?

abouteve Sat 07-Feb-09 22:49:41

How are you dealing with it at home Brette? He is old enough to be made to understand how wrong biting is.

I had a biter too, my DD, she was younger 18 mths to 2 years old. She bit the same child twice at her pre school, second time made it bleed. I can remember being beside myself, it stopped but I told her off at that age. I observed her biting a friend. Always on the face. It wasn't a violent act on her part just a hug, kiss that went too far.

Not sure what to advise. The school should be able to deal with it. DD's nursery did.

abouteve Sat 07-Feb-09 22:50:35

X post, Brette, sorry can see how you are trying to deal with it at home.

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:50:53

"And children are tricky: at nursery, when they realised he was like that, they would provoke him until he bit. So in this case, who's the bad guy?"

Are you for real? Honestly do you think that is true.

wishingchair Sat 07-Feb-09 22:53:05

Queenofbeas what is your issue here???? The OP has a process at home, had established a transition process to school that has fallen down, she's now trying to get it back on track.

Are you seriously suggesting the only solution is to exclude and demonise a 4 year old child?

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 22:54:33

Totalchaos: I don't see what exclusion achieves - other than to make the problem out of sight out of mind. I totally agree...
Thanks wishingchair.
And queenofbeas, and I am concerned about the bitten children, and I have talked with them and their mothers when I could. And I dread the day I will meet a mother like you.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 22:57:25

"Are you for real? Honestly do you think that is true." YES! It is called taunting and it is a thing children sometimes do. God...

Sibble Sat 07-Feb-09 22:58:03

both my ds's have been biters to my horror and both have drawn blood. ds2 is 4 and on very rare occasions will still bite, when he is frustrated etc..... I would be horrified if he started school and was excluded. The school needs to address the situation properly excluding a 4 year old imo is not the solution to the problem.

QOB I have to agree with wishingchair I don't understand where you are coming from.....

MilaMae Sat 07-Feb-09 22:58:33

Brette have you tried approaching the child to say/show that your son is sorry. The computer thing is good but that alone is a bit removed from the consequences of the act.

Also I wouldn't show your anger at the school to him,he'll just think poor me and that you aren't acting with the school as a united front.

You do need to remember how the other mothers will be feeling,as a mother of a bitten child I can tell you it's quite upsetting. They will probably be feeling angry and let down by the whole situation too if it's happening repeatedly.

queenofbeas Sat 07-Feb-09 22:58:41

not 3 and 4 year olds to the extent that you are suggesting and if they did do they deserve to be bitten?

broody4baby Sat 07-Feb-09 22:59:10

Brette by "child therapist of the school" do you mean SENCO?

I am totally angry for you and DS! What a terrible start for you all! I would make an appointment with the head and SENCO as well as class teacher and ask THEM what they will be offering you DS in terms of support and care.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 22:59:43

Sibble, do you have any strategie to prevent the biting?

Poppycake Sat 07-Feb-09 23:01:31

I am totally shock at some of the posters' reactions here. Surely we have to care for all our children? Who are going to become the adults of the future? We can't just slide them under a carpet?

And totally agree with wishingchair - violence can be much easier to deal with than mental manipulation.

The only thing I can add, Brette, is that the equivalent of these posters are probably parents at your ds's school. So you should have your answers ready (and "coach" the teachers' involved - preferably so that they think that it's their idea in the first place. The best form of negotiation I find!). Best of luck with it.

SixSpot Sat 07-Feb-09 23:01:41

brette I really feel for you, my DS1 (who is 9 now) was a notorious biter at nursery and iirc there were a few incidents in Reception too.

obviously it is quite right for school to take this seriously but I agree that exclusion is NOT the way to go

the school needs to work with your DS, giving him one-to-one support if at all possible, so there is an adult near enough to get in there and stop him if he goes to bite, but also to work with him so htat he can learn to integrate with other children

good luck to you, I know how hard it is, DS1 bit DS2 most of all so I know how it feels to be the mother of the biter and the mother of the bitten!

chegirl Sat 07-Feb-09 23:02:23

The biting does sound excessive and of course the school need to take action but exclusion?

Surely there has to be something better than that for a 4 year old?

Non of my kids have ever been violent at school but my DS1 was very hyper and boisterous and did collide with quite a few kids in his time. My DS2 has special needs and is fairly vunerable and has no clue how or why he should avoid biters, bullies or pokers. He just gets bitten, bullied and poked over and over! So I kind of see things from both side here.

Not a particularly insightful or helpful post blush but its late hey?

Hope you get this sorted. I strongly feel that exclusion has to be the very last resort when parent refuse to acknowledge behaviour and do not cooperate.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:02:46

Thank God the world is not in Black and white for everyone.

broody4baby, I guess, I'm not too sure. I've realised I need to gather all information possible about what they offer, etc. And also, I will call the woman from the Early Int team who's assessed him and observed him to see what I should do.

broody4baby Sat 07-Feb-09 23:07:49

Firstly as a teacher I would just like to say that if I had had this report in the summer term I would have had a meeting with you brette (perhaps you should have arranged this?). I would then have ensured that your DS was being watched very closely and any situations which may led to bitting avoided. I think also the nursery must have been concerned enough to envolve Early Int team and very much let your DS down here.
How are his social communication skills generally?

broody4baby Sat 07-Feb-09 23:09:10

sorry "may have led to"

Sibble Sat 07-Feb-09 23:09:15

It's easier at home in that I am there. I know the signs of when both ds's were getting over excited, over tired etc and would remove them from the situation. This did mean leaving play dates earlier on occasions.

Both attended/attend day care 3 days/week. Like yourself I have worked with the day care, they were aware of the signs and would remove the ds's, this usually worked, we agreed on a strategy that was followed at home and day care. Both are very sociable children and their punishment was immediate exclusion, so sitting on their own for time out. Personally I found it all very stressful, distressing and was reduced to tears on many occasions. ds1 was also bitten by several children and had blood drawn so I'm also aware of how it feels to have your child bitten.

I think you are doing the right thing working with the school, pushing that. Hopefully you can come up with a strategy that works for all, smaller groups, sitting on own if it does happen. But I really don't think sending a small child home is going to help. Have any of their day care friends moved to school with them - can they be part of their smaller group. Am sure this is not much help but each child responds differently in my experience plus
Imho they just grow out of it.

Dropdeadfred Sat 07-Feb-09 23:14:18

Brette - I, for what it's worth, do not think your child should be excluded. but I think he definitely needs telling that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable...which is something I'm sure you have repeated to him. I hope your meeting at the school is productive.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:16:12

broody4baby, we had a meeting in Dec with the head teacher, the school therapist (SENCO?), the Early Intervention team therapist, his nursery key worker, my DH and myself. At that time, they didn't have a Reception teacher yet. I naively thought this was good and promising.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:18:07

But of course we tell him and repeat to him (the whole family does) that it is unacceptable. Of course.

broody4baby Sat 07-Feb-09 23:21:02

So why on earth has the head behaved like this!

Brette....things will get better i promise! i have an 11 yr old who's nursery class were scared of blush

but i'm happy to say that that phase passed quickly though it didn't seem so at the time.

I now have people telling me how helpfull,polite my son is grin

just try and be very firm with your son how bad biting is, tell him other ways of showing his frustration such as shouting "no" which really did work for my son until he developed beter social skills.

broody4baby Sat 07-Feb-09 23:21:40

What did they say they would put in place when he started school?

lisalisa Sat 07-Feb-09 23:22:17

brette - i feel for you too. My kids have been bitten many times before - my dd1 was a biter for a short while but I hve never taken in it particularly seriuosly. I do IMVHO think that biting is what some kids do and whilst it is distressing and not pleasant its not the end of the world. As someone else said i would be very much more concerned , both as a poster here and as a parent, if a sustained bullying campaign were being waged and the OP was asking how it shoudl be dealt with. In such a case I would be "siding " with the head in exclusion as such behaviour can have a very negative impact but, for heaven's sake, biting insnt in that category. Hurts and bleeds for a moment and tehn forgotten surely?

DandyLioness Sat 07-Feb-09 23:24:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bobbysmum07 Sat 07-Feb-09 23:24:40

Parents (especially middle-class parents) get very funny about biting. It's terrible having to face them when a kid's been bitten because they start ranting and raving and blaming the nursery/school. They're so highly strung and high maintenance that they just can't get that kids sometimes (often) do bite for no particular reason, and that you'd have to have super powers to be quick enough to stop them. I can understand the school's point of view on this because it's awful to be on the receiving end of that level of grief.

On the other hand, most kids have outgrown biting by the age of four or so. It sounds like biting has brought your boy quite a bit of attention however. If I were you, I'd try ignoring his behaviour and the advice from all these early years 'experts' for a bit (and by the way, what exactly is a 'sensory therapist'?) and see if that works. Yes, biting is bad, but it's hardly the end of the world, is it?

ThingOne Sat 07-Feb-09 23:28:51

Brette - I think the crucial thing is never to rely on written reports. You need to take things into your own hands and arrange face to face meetings.

I think by - however politely - telling the teacher to go away and read the report after that first incident you missed a chance to explain to her what was going on. Especially when you know she had just started at the school.

Don't rely on any process or system working. Take it into your own hands and lead what is going on. It's not just them failing to communicate things - you have a role too.

I'm sorry its gone so far so soon. I hope you can start again soon.

Dropdeadfred Sat 07-Feb-09 23:32:38

Does say here that it is important to reassure both the bitten child's parents and those of the biter.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:32:53

broody4baby, I mean the nursery head, not the headteacher was at the meeting.

Re : I know this must be distressing for you, but I can't help feeling that there might have been more to this than you know or are letting on. Like what?

bobbysmum07: we've tried ignoring him, (knowing children seek any attention, even bad ones), we've tried time out (not efficient at all, he didn't care at all), positive reinforcement (ie praising the good stuff, when he uses his words, etc), confiscating priviledges, toys.

MilaMae Sat 07-Feb-09 23:34:09

I depends on the child,my son didn't just forget it and to him it was the end of the world at the time even though it was just a one off. If it happens repeatedly I think it's quite a serious issue.

I resent it being implied those of us that don't like our children being bitten rant,rave and are highly strung. I personally was very kind/understanding to the parent and child. The pre-school were far more flustered than I was. As far as I was concerned at pre-school the odd biting incident can happen. Persistent biting in rec however is a whole different matter.

naughtalessnickerless Sat 07-Feb-09 23:42:57

Bobby, I am working class all the way. I have 2 children, one of whom has special needs. If one of them was bitten, and blood was drawn, well I would be fuming, and I would tell the teacher so. And the childs parent, if I found out who they were.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:44:11

ThingOne You're absolutely right, I will ask for a meeting with the teacher and the head teacher asap.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:45:55

naughtalessnickerless And then what? What would you tell me that I don't know? That my child's behaviour is unacceptable? I know it, he knows it. That I should get a grip as a mother and do something about it? I think I am. That I should seek professional help for my child? I am too.

DandyLioness Sat 07-Feb-09 23:47:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:48:17

And of course it is difficult for the school to have to tell and deal with the bitten's parents. The headteacher told me that I had to think about his staff having to tell the parents of the poor child and how distressing it was for them...

charmargot Sat 07-Feb-09 23:51:48

Ha ha! Just read his explanation of what happened, very logical! My little girl bites, she's 20 months and does it when other children have what she wants. Luckily I'm a childminder so I can catch it before or as it happens and can get "cross" when she does and separate her and give reassurance to the other child. I teach her how to get what she wants by asking and giving the child something else as your son did, but I also tell her that if the child doesn't want to hand it over she'll just have to wait her turn.
In fairness to your son it sounds as if he was in the right as the other child was taking without asking. His method of putting things right was wrong though.
These situations will continue to crop up so the best solution is to ensure biting never gets a result and is punished on the spot (by removing from the toys for the time it takes to reassure the victim and then trying to figure out what happened - this is for the teacher to do) - in my opinion if it's not dealt with immediately it's a bit pointless. Obviously you can back it up at home by making sure there are no treats that day and being a bit sad and disappointed.
The teacher needs to credit your son with the intelligence to ask what happened and the other child should also be punished (by not getting to play with the rectangles?). That way your son is reassured that his sense of fairness is correct, but it is not for him to administer punishment.
How come he was able to bite long enough to draw blood? Did nobody have their eye/ears on him/the other children?
I would try to teach your son other ways of getting over the behaviour of others. If he'd have yelled out when the boy wouldn't hand the rectangles back would the teacher have heard? Do they have rules about snatching?
Exclusion?!!!! Pointless!
(I can now post a thread, thanks!)

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:52:04

He was expelled for the rest of the day.
It was his 9th day at school. There had been a few incidents prior to that so yes, they thought they had to be firm. Fair enough. But then to tell me they haven't seen the reports where some strategies were laid out that had been used in an efficient way before... I think it is their job to do so. Or I thought it was. Actually the therapist of the school (she's the one having to tell the parents that their kids was hurt) apologised to me about it so clearly they know they messed up somewhere...

naughtalessnickerless Sat 07-Feb-09 23:56:45

I feel for you Brette, I would ask for an Educational Psychologist to see him asap, ask the Senco to arrange it.

MilaMae Sat 07-Feb-09 23:57:37

Brett the parents of the bitten children and the school have a right to be angry and concerned.

You have a right to some support when your ds returns but they all have a right to be angry and concerned. I think you need to except that.

DandyLioness Sat 07-Feb-09 23:58:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brette Sat 07-Feb-09 23:59:11

charmargot you've got a point. They don't seem to be interested in what happens. Again, I am NOT justifying his biting contrary to what some people might imply. But I guess to understand it you have to know the circumstances. And when I said earlier that I tell him I won't tell him off if he explains what happened, it doesn't mean that I'm all nicey and "oh, my poor child, you've been treated unfairly, you had to defend yourself", and that he gets away with it, just that I want him to be comfortable enough and not scared of my reaction to speak to me about it so that we can work on it.

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 00:00:39

There is a gap between my first and second post, as I had to go turn my child over in bed.

Brett, if you child had bitten a child in the primary school my dd went to .. well from me, you might of got the sharp end of my tongue, from some of the other mothers, you would probably have got bitten in retaliation (or worse!)

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 00:02:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 00:08:06

And what good would that do I wonder. Before getting the sharp end of your tongue, I would like to have the possibility to explain what we're doing to address the problem. That would be much more productive. But that's just me. And by the way, my child has been at the receiving end of agression (unprovoked) and it never crossed my mind to go and see the parents. But that's just me.

DandyLioness, I was wrong in assuming they would do what I was told they would. You're absolutely right. How naive of me! angry But I've learned my lesson.

charmargot Sun 08-Feb-09 00:08:51

Did the teacher ask your son what had happened?
As the person who has to tell parents when their child has been bitten - it has only happened a handful of times, I make blimmin sure the child doesn't get badly hurt by stepping in immediately and situations are prevented when possible.
Of course as his Mum you have a responsibility, but it MUST be dealt with then and there by the teacher.
Your child is clearly intelligent so I'm sure he can understand that biting isn't on, but if his teachers can't be around to ensure fair play of toys I don't blame him for taking the law into his own hands.
You don't need therapy to work that out!
What are the class rules on snatching? I have zero tolerance so we'll get fewer of these problems as time goes on as snatching is the root of most little people tiffs.

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 00:14:32

Brette, so I am wrong to say I would be angry and give you the sharp end of my tongue if your child bit mine and drew blood ... but, by just pointing out that I would be angry and would tell you so. YOU are giving me the sharp end of your tongue ... tutt tutt, you are not very consistent are you hmm

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 00:15:27

What are the class rules on snatching? I'll have to check.
After being expelled, there was one more incident where he again bit a child. When they were supposed to tidy up, Ds was still playing with a toy. Another child, wanting to tidy up, tried to take it from Ds who then bit him.
So the headteacher told my son when we were in his office (Ds was mortified, and I was quite pleased about it): "X was tidying up, being helpful when you were not, tyding up when you should have been too and on top of it, you bit him..." And Ds was saying in a tiny voice, head down. "It was an accident, it was an accident..." He clearly knows he shouldn't be doing it.

charmargot Sun 08-Feb-09 00:17:17

I agree Dandylioness snatching is common and since it was the cause of Brette's son's violence there's all the more reason for his teacher to make it a general theme. What's the point of dealing with the problem without looking at the cause?
Oh, of course I have zero tolerance on biting/hitting/pushing etc. If I see a child hit/bite/push they are separated as punishment and then say sorry/hug or kiss, but I do not allow the snatcher to keep their bootee!

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 00:19:14

naughtalessnickerless, English is not my first language and I assumed "sharp end of my tongue" was quite agressive. If it just implies discussing in calm fashion, I'm all for it. All I want to say is that there are many parents who just don't care what their children are up to and who will always back them up regardless. I am not one of these so I don't want people to make me feel like I deserve to be told off for my child's behaviour.

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 00:29:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrappyMammy Sun 08-Feb-09 00:29:43

Brette, I really feel for you and understand your situation as I am going through something similar with nearly 7 year old DS (although not with biting). Before he started school (started late as we came back from living abroad), I specifically made an appointment to see the Head of KS1 to explain about my son's behavioural problems (highly strung, prone to tantrums, very energetic and rambuctious etc) so they were well aware and were able to keep an eye on him. Anyway within the first month, he broke a branch off a tree while swinging from it (not usual behaviour for a 5 year old) and the school dealt with it by marching him round all the KS1 classes with the evidence telling them what a naughty boy he was to hurt a tree hmmso he started off badly with a rep as a naughty boy and seems to feel that he has to live up to it and I have had kids come up to me and say he's a naughty boy sad.

Anyway, these smug mums who would give you the sharp end of their tongues should really think themselves bloody lucky that they don't have these problems to deal with and it is not to do with your parenting skills (as my other 2 testify), just having a child that is different. It's easy to say you should be telling him not to do it and punishing him but you can do that all you like (as I have) and not get very far. Of course, no one likes their child to be hurt but a bit of consideration would'nt hurt either.

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 00:34:54

Brette, first of I don't think this is an AIBU topic. Because, if you are asking AIBU to be angry that the school Excluded (they don't use the word expelled, unless they are asking the child to NEVER come back) your son for biting and drawing blood. Then the answer imo is yes you are unreasonable, he was violent, the school are giving your son time out, schools do that, violence is never exceptable, and drawingb blood or even marking skin is violence.
But, if you are asking if the school and nursery are wrong not to have liased better .. then yanbu.
Next, yes, I am afraid you did understand the saying 'sharp end of my tongue' correctly, I am hot headed I would of been angry, and I am afraid to say I would of probably told you so. blush but, then so would most people I know, if their 4 year old had been bitten.
Finally, I would really push for the Educational Psycholgist, as (and I am reading between the lines here) your lad sounds TO ME, as if he might have underlying special needs that haven't been diagnosed yet.

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 00:50:08

Heh, crappymummy, when you have to turn your child 4+ times a night, and tube feed them, physio etc, etc. Then you can dish the shit up to me and not before.
I am not coming back on this thread .. you and brette make me want to bang my head against a wall

snowybun Sun 08-Feb-09 00:50:45

I am the mother of a biter. My Ds is almost 4 and a half the biting incidents are reducing greatly although mainly occur at preschool. We do find when he has increases in his meds and when he has seizures the biting resurfaces. He has a one to one worker as he does have special needs. He has delays in social interaction as well as speech so isn't always able to communicate how he feels so bites. Myself, portage and preschool have been working very hard to stop this behaviour. I am mortified when he bites the preschool deals immediately with it and I will reinforce that biting is not acceptable. He currently has a reward system which seems to be working.
I do have to agree with Brette some children do know which buttons to press and watch said child go into meltdown myself and our portage worker and ds one to one worker have all witnessed this in one particular child.
Things have improved a lot already and I hope this continues.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 00:51:02

If he has special needs then I will make him a big Tshirt that says Special needs and I'll wear one that says Mother of a special needs child and then maybe he and I will not be the target of yours and other self-righteous mothers of perfect children's sharp tongue. Deal? I'm sorry but I'm a bit fed up of this kind of sterile comments. Some people have interesting and constructive comments I am very grateful for, some are just pointless because fuelled by a short-sightedeness that just make matter more stressful. And when I posted I didn't realise it was on this AIBU topic, I thought it was under "behaviour". I am not a Mumsnet regular, I just come here when I am desperate for constructive advice. Not quickly passed judgements. I too can be hot headed, as you can see.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 00:52:40

I am not coming back on this thread .. Well that's wonderful.

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 01:00:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 01:12:22

Because clearly some cannot understand that a violent behaviour is something to address in a responsible way, not by replicating between adults the type of agression we condemn in children. And they don't put themselves in other people's shoes for one second. So yes, this type of behaviour makes me angry and frustrated.
Again, my child has been at the receiving end of violent (and again unprovoked) behaviour and I never dreamt of going and have a nasty word with the parents. Maybe talk about it and see what they have to say, yes. But give them the "sharp end of my tongue"? No.

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 01:13:55

So has mine, dd has been beaten up because her brother is a spaz. Ds meanwhile has only been spat at.

bobbysmum07 Sun 08-Feb-09 01:14:06

See what I mean? Nearly all the comments on here are typically histrionic and over the top. As was the reaction of the 'experts' brought in by your son's nursery (and believe me, no one I've ever come across in the 'Early Years' department of any local authority knows the first thing about kids) and the school's decision to exclude him.

It's mad, and the bottom line is this: your son will stop biting when someone bites him back. Thirty years ago you may well have been advised to do it yourself.

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 01:14:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 01:21:42

There I have gone and lost my temper now. I hate myself for having told you that dd was beaten up and taunted because her brother has Cerebral Palsy.
But, it was the mocking tone you used when you were saying that you would put both of you in a 'ds has special needs' t-shirt; along with your assumption that I did not understand, especially when I had said in all but two of my posts, that my ds has special needs.
I am going to go and change my name now, as this name feels tainted and I feel dirty for using the S word.
Truly, I wouldn't be suprised if your son has some form of Autism, I hope I am wrong, but thats my gut feeling.
So bitch all you like about me, I have better things to worry about ... and so do you.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 01:21:46

But he's been bitten back!!! And I thought at the time "That will show him" It didn't though...hmm

Shells Sun 08-Feb-09 01:22:16

Hang in there Brette. You're doing all the right things. Fixating on what other parents think is really no help to you at all when you get these kind of attitudes. Good luck.

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 01:23:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 01:24:53

He's a danger, he's dangerous, acts of extreme violence, abusive... FFS we are talking about a little boy of 4 biting, not 14 with a knife... get a grip.

Plenty of kids still 'act out' at this age - pushing, shoving, scratching, teasing etc and no one is saying they should be excluded?!

MilaMae How can you say the school have the right to be angry - angry about what? A little boy has issues that they have been made aware of and yet they have not put strategies in place to prevent it happening/deal with it when it does... they are a large part of why this has escalated to this level, if they had been doing their jobs this could have been avoided.

*Brett, if you child had bitten a child in the primary school my dd went to .. well from me, you might of got the sharp end of my tongue, from some of the other mothers, you would probably have got bitten in retaliation (or worse!) * naugalessnickerless - Nice ... glad I don't live in your area - sounds delightful. Having a SN childs is hard work and no-one (in their right mind) will deny that, however, it does not give you any special deals on taking/giving out crap.

*The headteacher told me that I had to think about his staff * Brette - you don't. Of course you feel bad for the child and understand the parents being angry their child has been hurt, but you do not have to take responsibility for the feelings of the schools staff!! Especially despite reports and meetings they have failed in their care of both the 'hurt' child and your DS.

*Actually the therapist of the school (she's the one having to tell the parents that their kids was hurt) apologised to me about it so clearly they know they messed up somewhere...* At least someone there isn't angry that your little boy isn't getting the help he needs!!

Brette - just ignore the posts from the santimonious posters, you are doing your best to sort it out and no-one can ask anymore of you. I hope none of them live in glass houses!

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 01:26:14

No, I'm sorry, when I wrote my post I didn't know your child has CP. It was not directed at you at all. I can't put my finger on it but I too think my child might have something. So it's a possibility I am not excluding, but all I wanted to clumsily say was in this case, maybe the way people perceive him would be different, they would be maybe more tolerant, even though he would still be the same child.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 01:28:40

ChippingIn, Shells, thank you, thank you, thank you.
bobbysmum07, you shattered the little faith I had in the system ;)

Shells Sun 08-Feb-09 01:31:32

And I just read NNs post about autism. Sorry, but thats a huge assumption to make on the basis of a post about biting.
Probably best not to jump to such conclusions without a bit more information.
Hope you are ok Brette.

bobbysmum07 Sun 08-Feb-09 01:31:52

The you'll have to wait for him to bitten harder. Or to outgrow it.

Either way, if I were you, I'd move him to another school in another area. The one you're in sounds like a loony bin.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 01:36:37

Well Shells I am now thanks to yours and ChippingIn's back to reality interventions.

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 01:37:18

Bobbysmum - those were the days! LOL. It did work on my little brother and my big cousin.... However, as Brette has said, he was bitten back it didn't work (maybe he wasn't bitten hard enough!?), however, I think with Brettes little one being 4 and it having been a long term problem, it's past the stage where that would be effective.

naughtalessnickerless - he bites, that's pretty much all you know about this boy and you are prepared to say that you think he has autism?! Mighty long jump you have made to that conclusion...

naughtalessnickerless Sun 08-Feb-09 01:37:54

[And we thought about leaving him longer in nursery. But then he might have been bored as he needs a lot of intellectual "feeding" (he can already read both in Engligh and French, write phonetically on a computer, counts up to whatever... all self-taught -well thanks to the buses actually - we don't push him at all)
so we opted for school and he's very enthuastic about it. ]
Brette posted the above at Sat 07-Feb-09 20:32:02 It was his intellect as well as his social difficulties that made me think of Autism

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 01:39:13

bobbysmum07 grin I am betting on the outgrowing it. It is already so much better than it used to be. Apart from the bloody bloody incident of course.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 01:44:09

Children with autism have a problem pretending. They are very poor at imaginary play. It is not the case of my Ds. Quite the opposite.

mymama Sun 08-Feb-09 01:59:59

He is a 4yo that gets frustrated and angry. He does not have the emotional or social maturity to handle himself in certain situations. However, it does seem that it may be something more serious if the nursery got involved.

My ds2 wan't a biter but he would hit. Luckily (or unluckily) it was contained to his big brother and his good little friend around the corner. It always happened when "provoked" by someone snatching his toy or teasing him. It was never out of malice or intention to hurt. We persisted with closer supervision when playing, explaining why it was wrong and punishment if it occurred. I am thankful to say he is now 5 and has grown out of it.

This comment made by naughtalessnickerless is especially telling

"Next, yes, I am afraid you did understand the saying 'sharp end of my tongue' correctly, I am hot headed I would of been angry, and I am afraid to say I would of probably told you so. but, then so would most people I know, if their 4 year old had been bitten."

You are an adult, yet you state that you would not be able to control your temper in a situation you do not like. But you expect that a 4 yo without the social and emotional maturity of an adult to control himself hmm.

Good luck brette.

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 02:03:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bobbysmum07 Sun 08-Feb-09 02:14:21

So, because this kids bites, he may be autistic?

At the risk of repeating myself, steer well clear of self-proclaimed 'experts' in the field of child development. The only person qualified to diagnose autism (or even offer an opinion on the matter) in a 4 year old child is a developmental peadiatrician. Anyone else should keep their opinions to themselves.

(This, by the way, especially applies to nursery teachers and early years 'experts', who see autism everywhere. Oh, and the poster above, with the special needs child, of course)

charmargot Sun 08-Feb-09 08:56:54

Good morning Brette,
I've been thinking about your little boy - I only came on the thread originally to ask how to start a new thread on SPD! Please don't think you need specialists to solve a pretty simple problem.
When you have a toy in your hand and someone else is pulling on it, the easiest way to get them to let go is to bite their hand! If he is biting elsewhere that's odd. There will be other children in his class who hit or push in the same situation and others who simply let go.
You just need to teach him that letting go is the only thing to do. Lots of problems with this as he then loses the toy he was playing with so he'll feel short changed. Can he learn to have the moral highground?! Will his teacher intervene if he tells them what happened? He is biting without thinking so you need to reprogramme this behaviour so he does something else instead. You can only do this by catching him in the act and being very firm when you do! Can you set up some activities with other kids on the weekend so you are the one to witness and intervene? Obviously before it gets to biting point!!!
Your teacher will be in a better position and will see more instances so she/he needs to plan for it (his biting, others hitting/pushing) too, this is why being very firm on snatching is crucial! Also if asking children to tidy up they are only responsible for toys they're playing with and things that are not being played with by others. If your child is still playing with a toy when it should be tidied up it is for the teacher to get him to put it away, not another child's job to take it from him. Your teacher can also teach the children how to react when others take their things.
Good luck!!

amidaiwish Sun 08-Feb-09 09:18:35

ok i have read the whole thread - phew, and really feel for you Brette.

However, i have a daughter who has just started in reception and the thought of her getting bitten by another child would horrify me.
also you say he was "excluded" but in reality he was sent home for the rest of the day, hardly "excluded" for a week or whatever.

My daughter was bitten in nursery and was terrified to re-enter the room when the child was there. i spent mornings coaxing her in and it was really tough so i do feel for the parents. Also to the comments (not by Brette) that "a quick bite what's the big deal makes me wonder if you have ever been bitten? I have by a friend's child - it didn't draw blood but did bruise and i tell you it was agony and painful for days, worse than a bee sting.

So what should you do? I don't know - i am not a child expert but it does sound like you need to sit with the head and teacher, go through the report and get the support/therapist whatever that is required.

Good luck!!

Tclanger Sun 08-Feb-09 09:20:12

Queenbea et al, I take exception to your posts. There were a number of children in my son's nursery class who went through a biting stage, most of them were neuro typical kids. My son has a disability and I can assure you we had no problem with agression until the bullying and goading started at school.Kids actaully enjoy pushing every button for children who are vulnerable.

Those of you who have children who have never bitten or shown agression, are extemely lucky (or bending the truth) We don't know if this child has been provoked since we weren't there and yet you jump in and judge both child and Mother.

Have a think about parents who are dealing with disabilities and/or behavioural issues.I am personally fed up with inclusion and having to deal with hostility from parents who have a sensitivity chip missing.

troutpout Sun 08-Feb-09 09:51:29

My son is on the autistic spectrum Brette and is good with imaginative play and stories.
It is a spectrum...there is a lot of variation.....i always think of it like a graphic equaliser.


I hope you get your problems with your son sorted out btw...it sounds like apalling communication within the school.

duchesse Sun 08-Feb-09 09:56:03

4 is quite late to still be biting, but if it wasn't adequately dealt with sooner, not beyond the bounds of usual I wouldn't imagine. 4 is very young to be in a formal learning setting for many children- they are still toddlers rather than children at that age. Also, the environment of school is very alien to little children. While the oldest in the class may well be urbane little girls with a sophisticated understanding of social behaviour (including how to wind other kids up without being noticed), there will be others who are barely out of nappies, still using dummies etc, whose understanding of what is going on is very limited.

As for son, it sounds like teething troubles at school to me (excuse the pun), but if he seems very immature in other ways, I would frankly consider leaving him in nursery until he is nearer 5.

cory Sun 08-Feb-09 10:21:16

I am not at all surprised at the lack of communication. Months after I had been in to tell the school (i.e. headteacher and deputy) about dd's joint problems, leavingt handouts about the condition, I found that her teachers had still not been told. Now I know that with anything out of the ordinary you have to be prepared to tell absolutely everyone yourself.

duchesse Sun 08-Feb-09 10:22:01

I do think that the drubbing that brette is getting from some posters is utterly uncalled for She is clearly worried about her son's behaviour or she would not be here asking questions. None of us has perfect children. I am wiling to bet that those of you who think you do probably have children who lie a lot. They almost ALL get involved in spats at school, and almost all behave badly at some point or another. brette has the misfortune of having a child with a very public and frowned-on problem (albeit not a very pleasant problem for the other children concerned). I am quite certain brette and her little boy will sort it out- is there really any need to vilify her and her kid? I think, brette, that I would make a personal apology to the bitten child, explain that he did not mean to hurt him, and maybe pick up a little toy to give to him as a present. I have seen perfectly lovely mothers with children who turned out perfectly lovely after the initial year at school utterly ostracised by the "cool" gang of mothers at the school gate. It is bullying, pure and simple.

How many of the "perfect" children spend their time making and breaking friendships, manipulating others, deliberately excluding others from games, making kids feeling bad about themselves, or deliberately winding up the most irascible kid in the class for fun? Has anybody seen "Boys and Girls alone" recently? I thought the lack of awareness by the parents of how the two little "top dog" madams of how their kids behaved when out of their sight absolutely breathtaking.

AccidentalMum Sun 08-Feb-09 10:45:06

My DD1s (3.4) best friend (they adore each other) did bite, now snatches and pushes and has really hurt her in the past, but she still taunts and provokes him and has done since she was just 3 or younger. It is still very transparent but I imagine would be considerably more sophisticated by 4. She obviously thinks the ensuing comotion and attention is worth the incident. I was just the same BTW blush.

bobbysmum07 Sun 08-Feb-09 10:45:30

Imagine being 'horrified' by a little kid who bites.

Get a grip, for God's sake.

AccidentalMum Sun 08-Feb-09 10:46:16

Absolutely Duchesse.

Nighbynight Sun 08-Feb-09 10:46:18

what duchesse said.

Brette, I definitely agree that your ds needs to learn some alternative strategies to deal with social situations.

I think inviting a couple of (or even one)other children over to play could give you a more structured situation where you can help him practise what to say or do when 'sharing goes wrong', iyswim.

But, even before that, maybe do some onene role play with him. As he has a good imagination, this should help him do this. The aim should be for him to practise what to say or do when in a situation that he has found himself in. Perhaps use the scenarios he has found himself in at school. You could also use figures for this.

I would almost drill him in what to say i.e. give him the sentence to use. Many children need to actually be taught expicitly what to do in social situations rather than learn from their peers as others do.

I used to teach my 2 dcs things like ''please can I have a turn?'', ''I'll give you a turn in a minute'', it's your turn now'', ''when you have finished, can I have a turn?'' and most importantly, get help from an adult rather than argue/bite/hit (my ds used to hit). You may need to check with the classteacher what startegies they use in class to ensure you are all re-inforcing the same things.

It also sounds as though the school senco would be a good person to liaise with as she has shown some sensitivity to the situation. BTW, she will be a teacher at teh school who has special rsponsibility for special needs within the school as opposed to a therapist.

Hopefully, as your ds has been excluded, it might mean that he is a higher priority for any other lea agency involvement e.g. ed psych, behaviour team.

Sorry bit of a long post but was trying to think of something useful that had not been said already!smile

ooh, I don't know where that stray grin came from. Should have read one to one.

Ps is sensory therapist an Occupational therapist? They would be the main people to assess sensory integration. Biting is one of the signs of sensory dysfunction.

Google 'sensory integration' and 'sensory processing disorder'. There is lots of info, lots of it american but still interesting.

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 10:59:51

Brette, maybe you need to tell him off and punish him?
I would be horrified if my child was bitten so hard that he was bleeding.
I wouldn't have sympathy for the parents or the biter to be honest.
And I find your excuses about other children snatching or winding him up a bit hmm

queenofbeas Sun 08-Feb-09 11:01:08

Agree Mrs R.

bobbysmum07 Sun 08-Feb-09 11:07:02

Look, small kids do not bite with malice. They do it because they are scared/frustrated/confused/looking for attention/whatever, but there is certainly no intent to cause harm.

Horrified? Take a pill. This a little kid who bites, not a teenager looking to stab someone. Save your 'horror' for that.

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 11:09:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 11:10:02

mrsruffallo Brette, maybe you need to tell him off and punish him? He's been told off, he's been punished, he's ben blakckmailed, he's been assessed, will be assessed more. Of course, of course, and of course.

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 11:10:19

But they do cause harm.
They hurt other children, in this case drawing blood. There's a fierce bite and imo intending to stop the other child doing something.
What is wrong with being told that it is wrong to hurt other children in this way? Why not tell him off?

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 11:12:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 11:12:03

Brette, I am really not having a go at you personally. I am coming from the point of view of the bitee.

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 11:14:38

Brett, I haven't read the thread thoroughly but I did read that you tell him you won't tell him off and he explains what happens then.
I just think consistency and firm boundaries are needed here.
Do you tell him it is absolutely unacceptable?

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 11:15:03

If the problem was so easy to get rid of don't you think we would have by now?

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 11:15:24

If the problem was so easy to get rid of don't you think we would have by now?

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 11:19:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 11:21:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 11:21:20

Mrsruffallo - are are having a go at Brette - how many more times does she need to tell you (and Dandy etc) that he HAS been told off, she has tried many things FFS would you read her posts instead of bleating on about how 'horrifying' it is.... FGS as some of us have said already - save that 'horror' for truely horiffic things.

You have made your point (hmm though it is), if you haven't anything constructive to say (repeating your hmm POV is not consructive) why not just leave this thread.

Brette has already said she didn't intend to post it in AIBU but in behaviour - she did not come here for a roasting, nor to be told his behaviour is unacceptable (she bloody well knows that), she came here for help and if you can't - why not bugger off.

Coldtits Sun 08-Feb-09 11:21:28


Has your son ever grazed his knee badly? Would he remember it?

Try explaining to him that biting someone hard hurts as much as a very grazed knee, and we mustn't do it to other people.

Other than that - the school did the right thing in having a big reaction to this. They did NOT do the right thing in not reading the reports you put together.

Don't concern yourself with the drubbing you are getting here, remember a parent with a perfect child is a parent whose child hasn't done anything awful YET. It's very easy to assume "My child would never..." when your child hasn't to date.

I'm sorry to say that if your child is having behavioral problems, ignorant rants and remnarks from other parents is par of the course. It's just a lack of emotional maturity and empathy on their part - they genuinely cannot imagine how it feels to have to deal with a child who is less than predictable no matter what you do. nod, smile, tell them you're sure he will grow out of it (and he probably will), deal with the actual biting very strongly and clearly, and wait it out.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 11:22:40

mrsruffallo He just started school, when these incidents happened, the school didn't know what had happened (didn't ask maybe?) and BECAUSE I am by no means lenient with violence, he knows he would be told off and so wouldn't tell me what happened. Hence the "tell me what happened, I won't tell you off" thing. So I spoke very calmly to him, I explained things thoroughly, we've repeated together the words he has to use in these types of situations... etc I've told him off million times, it doesn't work on this subject. So I am trying to open a dialogue to understand better. Does it make sense?

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 11:24:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

troutpout Sun 08-Feb-09 11:25:48

Maybe you can share what worked for you and your dd

Brette...there are people here trying to help.I understand your frustration ... (and it's a tough thread !)...but don't miss the opportunity


sorry i may have missed it...but have you made an appointment to go through the reports with his new teacher and senco?...and is your ds definitely going to be assessed?

i aggree in that in things coming to head as they have it should mean that things should start moving with getting the right help for your boy now.

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 11:27:19

Chipping in- This is a thread in AIBU. Read the advice that you may get views that you don't agree with.
Lovely of you to get so angry on Brette's behalf but I think you are coming across as quite rude

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 11:27:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MmeLindt Sun 08-Feb-09 11:32:30

I think that both Brette and her son are being unfairly treated on MN.

She has mentioned that English is not her first language, presumably that is why she used the word "excluded" in her OP when she meant that he was sent home from school for a day.

She has stated several times that she has made it clear to her son that biting is not acceptable.

She has conferred with the nursery many times and tried to relay the information to the school. The school have been remiss in not working well with the nursery and SENCO etc to help resolve the biting issue.

There have been some good tips on this thread. Take them and try them out, perhaps there is something there that will help your son.

FWIW, if the school system in the UK persists in starting formal schooling at such a young age then problems such as this are goign to occur. My DD went to kindergarten in Germany at 3yo and there was a boy in her class who was a biter. We worked together with the kindergarten to resolve the problems that the boy had. Even though DD was bitten several times, once hard enough to draw blood, I NEVER blamed the boy and certainly not his parents. It was obvious that they were trying their hardest to resolve the issues. What good would it have done for me to go in guns blazing.

I think sending a 4 year old home for a bite is OTT. I think a school can come up with a better way to deal with it, both for the bitter and for the bittee.
4 yrs old are still very young and they can be intellectually advanced, but often not emotionally ready for school (and often the opposite!).
At this age they are still learning to control their emotions (and yes, it is our job to try to teach our dc how to deal with them), and I wouldn't class biting as a non normal thing to do for a 4 yr old.

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 11:33:29

By the way and again, thanks for all of you showing support and understanding. CHpipingIn I like your style ;)

Tomorrow we'll go and speak to the bitten's parents together with my DH. To show we do care. Cos we do. And before it all turns out very ugly... And adults and children end up biting each other to blood at the school gates wink with (And don't accuse me of taking matters lightly because I make a little joke. Please don't.)

Totally agree with Mme Lindt last paragraph.

Ds was bitten in reception by another little boy when we were still living in the UK, but these thing happen among very young children.

charmargot Sun 08-Feb-09 11:39:50

I must say, the bitten must've been pretty determined not to let go to be bitten so hard blood was drawn! You know your son is wrong, but in my opinion the bitten isn't entirely blameless.
If my kid got bitten the first thing I'd ask is "what did you do first?" then I'd get them a tetanus shot!!!!

Coldtits Sun 08-Feb-09 11:40:15

No, I won't, I don't "name and shame" on threads, or anywhere else. It's rude and pointless.

ANd I'm with the poster who said that if they will insist on starting children who may only be 6 months out of nappies into formal education, of COURSE they are going to get immature behavior. There can be huge variances in maturity amongst 4 year olds, some are little preteens, some are large clever toddlers.

DandyLioness Sun 08-Feb-09 11:40:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 11:47:11

Ruffallo - are you actually reading any of the posts??????? hmm

By ChippingIn on Sun 08-Feb-09 11:21:20
Brette has already said she didn't intend to post it in AIBU but in behaviour - she did not come here for a roasting, nor to be told his behaviour is unacceptable (she bloody well knows that), she came here for help...

Brette - I hope it goes well for you tomorrow, let us know x

MmeLindt Sun 08-Feb-09 11:48:45

You wrote

And to be fair, her OP was misleading. She says that her child has been excluded but he was simply sent home early one afternoon. He was then clearly allowed back into the school - so the 'exclusion' incident is in the past. And I don't think it's ricidulous at all for a child who's just started reception to be sent home early on a day when he's hurt another child and is obviously having difficulties settling in.

I have been living abroad for a long time and have never had a child in school in UK so perhaps it is me who misunderstood. I understood that the child had been suspended for several days and thought that you were referring to that in your above post.

That was why I thought that the OP might have said exclusion when her DS got sent home for the afternoon.

Fwiw, I still do not see that it was the appropriate response from the school.

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 11:49:24

Chipping in- what's worse I wonder, not having time to read all the posts or telling other posters to fuck off?
I wouldn't try to take the moral high ground here if I were you

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 11:51:55

DandyLioness PLease do not think on my behalf. Thanks for praising my command of English, but in French we say "exclu", hence the confusion. It was a wrong choice of words, the whole UK school system is pretty new for me and I am a bit confused with the different terms used to qualify everything. Pardon my French...

southeastastra Sun 08-Feb-09 11:55:30

i agree with franca and having been through the exact same situation as you brette (though no exclusion) i can understand how rotten it makes you feel.

my son is now 7 and he has grown out of that behaviour (though he is still a little aggressive). it is frustration, of course not all four year olds are the same and the assumption that it's rare is not very helpful to parents who experience it with their own child.

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 11:57:51

Ruffallo - There isn't anything wrong with not having the time to read all the posts, it only becomes wrong when you make judgements based on half the information.

If you only have the time to give everyone the benefit of your opinion without actually caring what has already been said/explained.... as I said I think your time could be better spent elsewhere.

cory Sun 08-Feb-09 11:59:38

Fair enough, mrsRuffalo, but as someone who hasn't told you to fuck off, can I just point out that it really doesn't help either the OP or the discussion in general if you come in repeatedly criticising the OP for not doing something that if you had bothered to read the posts you would know that she had in fact done? It is just muddying the waters.

She has told her son that it is wrong to bite. Repeatedly. She now needs some more on-the-spot backing-up from the school.

My own experience of school situations would suggest that the following is needed:

the OP to speak to each of the involved adults (teacher, SENCO, head) herself (and make sure the dinner ladies are informed too), to make sure that everyone is aware that her ds needs an extra eye; don't ever expect things to trickle down- they don't, or else they get misunderstood in the retelling (Chinese whispers)

the teacher to have a chat with the other children to make sure they do not wind the ds up

an agreed system of intervention
(in our school this would be loss of playtime or suspension)

this intervention is to aim at two things: to make the offender feel his offense and to make any victim feel safe

the OP to support this system

the school to inform the OP when there is a problem

a system of encouraging and praising the ds when he gets things right

a system for the ds to make up for biting, maybe with a handwritten letter/drawing apologising to the victim

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 12:00:15

Thanks for your opinion.
And the time you spent telling me to fuck off this thread?
Very constructive obviously
As all of your posts have been

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 12:04:30

So you all read every post on every thread you post on ?
I am in awe of your speedy reading skills-and all the time you have
Lots of people just answer the OP- happens a lot

But then I guess if I had agreed with you all and still not read all the posts I guess that would have been okay

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 12:07:35

Thanks Cory for some very useful ideas.

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 12:15:03

Ruffallo Yes I do actually read all the posts on a thread - I think it's rude to post without having done so - if you haven't it's polite to make that disclaimer (if you did, I don't remember and do apologise).

I don't care whether you agree with me or not.

However, I do care when people come on here and ask for help, bother to answer rude questions politely, answer all the posts and still have to defend themselves against people like you who can't be bothered to get themselves informed before storming in to tell them how terrible their child is and how useless they are....

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 12:17:59

I said neither of those things ChppingIn, but if you have deicided to have it in for me then that's fine
I explained I hadn't read the whole thread and have been told to f off for that reason, so you are confusing me now

ScummyMummy Sun 08-Feb-09 12:18:50

Very sorry to hear this, brette. I feel there are very few situations where it's appropriate to exclude a 4 year old. For one thing, I just don't think most 4 year olds would really connect the exclusion with their behaviour so it's just not an effective way of solving the problem. It's possible that they are trying to appease the other parent, imo. I think it's well out of order that they hadn't read the reports from nursery too. Really hope they'll put some proper support in place for your son asap.

Everyone overreacts to biting, imo. Thinks it indicates that kids are savages and are very worried about what the bitten child's parents will make of the bite mark because it looks shocking. My pint sized 9 year old son recently solved a playground fighting culture problem (which is an unfortunate reality in his school due to poor supervision in the playground) by biting the strangling arm of another boy in order to get him to desist his strangling. I thought this was a fantastic riposte. The other kid (who'd started it by jumping on my son and strangling him, egged on by other children) ran away yelping, son- who is knee high to a grasshopper and would have had no chance if he'd gone the traditional route of hitting, kicking etc (pulverisation) or running to the teacher (ridicule)- was victorious having had one of the shortest fights in history. Incident over, honour satisfied all round.

Then some interfering eejit of an adult noticed bite mark on other boy's arm and instituted inquiries and my son was blamed completely for the incident even though no one disputed that the bitten strangling child was the instigator of the fight and that in fact neither boy was particularly aggressive or known for fighting and the whole incident had happened because strangling boy had reluctantly responded to peer pressure. The teacher concerned seemed genuinely shocked and horrified at my boy for biting (couldn't he have pushed or hit instead? she asked) and at me for supporting him (I don't know as I didn't see the incident and, incidently, neither did you or any of your staff, I replied). They insisted on punishing him and not the other boy on no good grounds that I could see, so I concluded it was because they were worried about the other parent's possible reaction to the bite mark. Teacher who dealt with the incident still won't smile properly at me. I notice!

bobbysmum07 Sun 08-Feb-09 12:20:04

See how histrionic parents get about biting? Now imagine being the school or nursery head having to deal with that.

Truth be told, I don't anyone could really be 'horrified' by a little kid biting. They just think they should be because it's the required response. It's ridiculous and completely disproportionate. And the 'early years experts' don't help by sticking their oars in (they're so over the top about everything, that their 'advice' needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt).

Has no one got any common sense anymore?

brette Sun 08-Feb-09 12:20:52

So after all your helpful and less helpful advice, (but thanks for all of them, very educating anyway), we will:
Go and see the bitten's parents.
Ask tomorrow for a meeting with the head, the teacher and SENCO asap.
I will phone the EYIT to get advice.
He will be assessed in March for possible sensory issues
We will continue to work on "words" with our son.
The nursery has reduced dramatically the problem, now it is back to square one, and that's very painful to see. Also I don't think expecting a 4 year-old coming straight from nursey to fall into a very structured school routine within 2 weeks. I agree with MmeLindt about formal education. Serioulsy considering alternative schooling...

ChippingIn Sun 08-Feb-09 12:26:21

Ruffallo - You did not say in your first post 'Sorry I haven't read all the posts, but....' It wasn't until after you had it pointed out to you (by other people as well, not just me) that certain things had already been answered, that you said you hadn't read the whole thread - not the same thing.

Anyway, I think you and I should stop now as we are detracting from the original post.

Monkeytrousers Sun 08-Feb-09 12:30:10

Mothers getting angry and giving each other the 'sharp end of their tongue' in front of their kids is the wrost thing they can do. We are all protective ouf our children, but weighing in and letting rip with our anger before we know the facts of the matter is not going to help anyone.

Brette, sounds to me the school has a communication problem. I am suprised they asked you to 'punish' a four year old to be honest too.

Monkeytrousers Sun 08-Feb-09 12:33:16

I agree re common sense too.

MmeLindt Sun 08-Feb-09 12:39:27

Tbh, I don't know how formal the formal schooling is in UK. We are now in Switzerland and DS has started school here at 4yo. As far as I can see there is a fair bit of play but also some teaching of letters etc. He can already write his name and Mama (earlier than DD could, she went to a German Kindergarten until 6yo).

I can see the benefits of school for your son, especially as he seems to be a bright wee boy. Keeping him in a nursery environment might actually make the biting worse as he would certainly be bored.

I do think that the school should allow at least 3 or 4 months "settling in" time before taking drastic measures such as sending him home. It is a big adjustment for such young children.

You are dealing with the problem very well, imo. I hope that some of the help that you have received here can assist you in solving the problem.

mrsruffallo Sun 08-Feb-09 12:45:58

Well, Chipping, you have very stringent ideas about the way I should word things.
I think you should have apologised for telling me to f off
Different opinions see?
But you're right lets leave it now, I won't press you on it

Katiestar Sun 08-Feb-09 18:09:01

I don't think really you are back to square one Brette.Your Ds is in a new , strange and stressful environment.I think a few lapses are almost inevitable.
The school are totally barmy for excluding a 4 yr old for what ,even. at 4 is still not at uncommon. If he was in the Reception Yr1 class where I work he would have missed some playtime and a word to his parents.
I am glad you are going to have a meeting with the school and hope that you can get a better co-ordinated approach.

desertgirl Sun 08-Feb-09 18:39:55

Brette, I hope the school is more cooperative when you go to meet them. You've obviously had a rough time.

Am a bit stunned by some of this thread. My kids are still nursery age (DS has come home with bite marks a few times, been the biter twice) - they always tell me he was bitten; have never asked who, or what they've done about it, etc; I'm quite sure it's dealt with, and if I were not sure, I'd ask. At nursery.

Do mothers at school really have a go at each other because of the actions of a 4 year old during the school day??? what is it supposed to achieve? Does it ever achieve anything (positive, I mean)?

Am really not looking forward to the school gate if this is how it works (not that I expect my kids to be other than wonderfully behaved, but....)

Katiestar Sun 08-Feb-09 19:44:37

To the posters who have expressed concern about the need to protect the bitten child
I would like to remind you that this was a PROVOKED bite, the solution is therefore in the hands of the bitten child./Don't steal anotrher child's toys !! !

To the poster who daid she had taught primary for many years and thought biting at 4 was very uncommon.hmm

and to the mother whose daughter was so traumatised by a bite that she wouldn't go back in the classroom again - i wonder how much of this was as a result of the mother's horror.I mean presumably she has skinned her knee on a playground before.Is she now terrified of playgrounds ?

MilaMae Sun 08-Feb-09 20:08:21

That Katiestar was me,in 15 years of teaching I've only encountered one biting incident in a rec class not a persistent biter I might add. I've taught in several different settings too. It is deemed as unusual in rec,in pre-school it happens occasionally by rec it generally doesn't.

We don't know the ins and outs of the toy incident. In rec children have to learn to share,hoarding of toys can be frustrating for children. A bite that is so strong it draws blood is not on in retaliation to a toy being removed. Children at this age are often still snatching and learning to be patient.

Biting is horrible plain and simple. The biter bares it's teeth and it bloody hurts,the child being bitten can't escape. A child who has just started rec has every right to find it frightening and it's parent has every right to be unhappy with it.

My rec boys constantly have bumps and bruises from the playground, they are completely different to the injuries inflicted by somebody sinking their teeth into you. A scrape doesn't hurt in the same way mentally or physically.

I've never ever complained about an injury my dc have come home with and being a mum of twin boys there have been a few so I am in no way a fussy parent. However if my dc came home from rec having had a blood drawing bite I would be mighty hacked off as I suspect most parents would. Just because you'd gloss over it doesn't mean we all should.

Katiestar Sun 08-Feb-09 20:31:20

MilaMae I am truly,truly astonished that you have only come across one instance of biting in 15 years !
There is alot of crossover in terms of age between preschool and reception though isn't there.I mean you can have children aged between 4.0 and 4.11 in either.So to say it happens in pre-school but not in reception is rather odd.
I work as a TA in a mixed Rec and YR1 class and certainly in the few years i have been there there has always been one or 2 prone to biting.My children went/go to a different school and I think they have all been bitten at some stage in their school career.My poor nephew even had a bite that went septic ! And it is a very nice area we live in .

Katiestar Sun 08-Feb-09 20:35:59

Oh and don't get me wrong I feel almost faint at the sight of a bite on my DCs lovely soft skin ,but life is full of trials and tribulations .

MilaMae Sun 08-Feb-09 21:09:27

I'm surprised at your experience Katie as it isn't that common in pre-school so by school in my experience it is definately not a regular occurance. I can't speak for your experience only my own and that of my teaching acquaintances.

I don't generally feel faint at marks on my dc's skin if I did I'd feel permanently ill as they are normal lively 4 and 5 year olds but where bite marks are concerned and the distress that generally accompanies them I certainly would feel a certain amount of concern.

Either way it's very unpleasant for all involved,I think the op excepts that now.

cory Sun 08-Feb-09 21:18:53

My experience has been that my children have been very little worried by ordinary bumps on the playground. Ds got quite worried when someone kept knocking him down in the playground. But when he was bitten at the childminders he was very distressed, even before we knew about it (so unlikely to be guided by our reaction); I can only assume that it hurt more and for longer, particularly as he kept getting upset about it and bringing it up while we were anxious to downplay it. I hasten to add that I had every sympathy with the biter's Mum.

So I would bear this in mind. It is likely that the other children are showing more upset than from an ordinary punch or fall. Of course this makes it even more difficult for the parent whose dc does not have the maturity to understand this.

brette Mon 09-Feb-09 00:07:44

Either way it's very unpleasant for all involved,I think the op excepts that NOW...

The op has ALWAYS accepted that.

duchesse Mon 09-Feb-09 08:55:07

Thank you, brette for correcting that spelling (accept)! And English is not even your first language.wink It always distresses me to see how many primary school teachers are incapable of spelling the simplest of words.

brette Mon 09-Feb-09 10:49:31

AS soon as we got to school this morning, we spoke to the mum of the child he bit after the "bloody" incident. She was completely fine about it, said she understood, no big deal. Phew!

Then the SENCO saw us and immediatly came to us and asked that we could have a chat. She had takent the time to read all the reports about Ds over the we, had many ideas about how to deal with it, the school's educational therapist will be able to observe him.
And also, she wants the teacher to explain to all the kids that when he's engrosses in an activity, they have to leave him alone.
And she wants to work on reinforcing friendships.
We've agreed that there might be a sensory issue.

Regarding the half-day exclusion/suspension/go-home-now-thing, she said that given the gravity of the incident, they needed time "to regroup" and see what options/ressources were available. Quite not the explanation I got from the head but anyway. The most important thing is that she is determined to ge things going for Ds.

We are extremely relieved...

troutpout Mon 09-Feb-09 10:51:35

All sounds good Brette

Tclanger Mon 09-Feb-09 10:57:52

Fantastic Brette I'm glad that they are putting things in place to help DS

wishingchair Mon 09-Feb-09 11:04:32

Excellent Brette ... sounds like a really good plan.

brette Mon 09-Feb-09 11:11:20

"taken" "engrosses" "get"... ;)

brette Mon 09-Feb-09 11:12:17

"taken" "engrossed" "get"... blush

ThingOne Mon 09-Feb-09 11:33:43

That sounds positive. Just make sure you keep moving things on yourself, too. However great the senco sounds I'm sure she has a lot on her plate and you probably want to make sure your DH stays near the top of her pile. Nicely, like wink.

keepingitRia Mon 09-Feb-09 11:35:20

I am relieved for you that they have found a strategy to work to. Hope it wotls out for you and DS.

FWIW our school uses the term "exclusion" for any absence from school due to behaviour, even being sent home early.

scummymummy, your teachers response to your DS biting made me chuckle. So they wouldn't have told him off if he'd hit back then? My DS has been in situations like that too, and he usually gets into trouble for it (he is no fighter, he is trying to get away, not stand his ground and fight back). Today he is in isolation because he kicked and swore at another boy who was holding him by the neck so a bigger child could beat him upsad. This is at secondary school, and the kids who were at primary with him know how to push his buttonssad

GooseyLoosey Mon 09-Feb-09 11:43:06

Brette - I have been reading this with interest as your son sounds similar to mine. Ds is now 5 and in Yr 1. He never bit but had a highly developed sense of "justice" and if another child infringed it, he would react in an inappropriately aggressive way.

We have no magic solution and it sounds like the school is doing everything it can so I would just make 2 points:

1. We found that we had to teach ds social skills which I think most children would just pick-up. As others say, this in part involves giving him an appropriate way to react when another child invades his space - we told ds to shout "no".

2. Ds is large, articulate and aggressive. As a result of his actions in the first few months of school, we found that his class teacher had a tendancy to demonise him. He would be punished for something which other children would get away with or where there was a dispute between ds and another child, it would always be assumed that ds was at fault. When we realised that this was happening, I took to asking ds's teacher at least once a week what his behaviour had been like and what her take on various instances had been. I think that this helped both of us - she saw that there was another perspective to what had happened and I got a chance to reinforce the class discipline that she tried to impose.

Don't have much else to say except to sympathise how traumatic the transition to school can be for parents when everything does not work out quite how it is supposed to.

SixSpot Mon 09-Feb-09 11:53:47

brette I am very glad for you and DS

Good luck and I am sorry that you have had to deal with some horrible posts on here sad.

bigeyes Mon 09-Feb-09 12:09:35

Oh dear I am sorry you are having to step in and coorindate the jobs/info that others are paid to do. Please make sure you follow through and stick up for your son.

(((big hugs)))

I think this sanction was extreme, they need to put some concetrated effort in situ to guide your son, schools have Classroom Assistants now that they coud use.

As for the poster that said it is late for this type of behaviour, unfortunately we have a school system that everyone has to go into at the same age and not all children are at the same stage.

My DS3 has both bitten and been bitten he has passed this phase this little boy just needs more guidance to unlearn this habit.

If the report was a transition report as the OP said so then of course it would be of use, most school welcome as much data/info when accepting new children. Its disgusting this report got lost, all they needed to do was contiue with the strategies that the nursery had foudn to have worked in moving him forward.

OP I would write a letter of complaint to the board fo governors and the LEA - this school needs to sit up and take notice

MilaMae Mon 09-Feb-09 12:42:11

Glad it's all sorted Brette sounds very positive and a good way forward,apologies for spelling,head bug and knackered after a day with 3 dc and 2 bday parties-we teachers are human smile

auntyitaly Mon 09-Feb-09 13:53:58

Where is your DS's school? My cousin, a teacher in South London, says in some areas biting is taken exceptionally seriously. The staff try not to reveal why to the biter's parents, and stick to explaining simple rules about acceptable/not acceptable behaviour.

The real reason? Several children in the school - including in their most recent 'little nipper's' class - are HIV positive. HIV can be easily caught from giving human bites. The school have no intention - or permission - of telling the 'nippers' this - neither should they - but, upsetting as it is, there are reasons why it can be a good idea when someone tries to deal with your child's anti-social behaviour....

ChippingIn Mon 09-Feb-09 14:20:40

Brette - that's a great start!! Keep posting updates on here to let us know how it's going

amidaiwish Mon 09-Feb-09 14:22:41

auntyitaly shock and sad

good luck Brette.

desertgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 16:35:13

auntyitaly, isn't it a good idea for schools to deal with antisocial behaviour even without that risk? can't imagine anyone not wanting their child to be firmly discouraged from biting!

and really, 'easily caught'? would have to break the skin for a start, which most bites don't.

really glad the school had stepped up to the mark brette, good luck.

auntyitaly Mon 09-Feb-09 16:43:22

Well, yes, it is awful and of course I don't want to give you the creeps - my cousin's school is probably not typical of schools UK-wide in these terms. But it might explain the 'histrionics' 'overreaction' some people complain of.

Psychiatrists deal with persistent biters and their parents by asking the parents: "Could you control a child who was putting his hand on a lit gas ring?". The parents are then asked to use their reaction and subsequent behaviour on the child when he bites. Technique often works for stubborn nippers.

bobbysmum07 Mon 09-Feb-09 17:38:03

auntyitaly - this is absolue crap and you should really educate yourself before posting rubbish like it on an internet forum where people are histrionic enough to begin with.

I own three nurseries and have worked in several schools - some of them in London - and have never come across anyone who takes biting 'exceptionally seriously' because of the risk of HIV. I suppose there is a theoretical risk, but I've never heard of any child catching HIV through being bitten by another child. I'd be very interested to know if there's a documented case of this happening anywhere.

As for 'several' children being infected in one school in South London, I sincerely doubt this. I've never encountered one infected child. Of course, they can remain anonymous, so it's possible I've come across one or two in the past ten years - but several? You must be joking.

MillyR Mon 09-Feb-09 18:25:32

I have just looked this up on NHS direct. It says that you can catch HIV, hepatitis B etc from a bite. It also says that if you are bitten by a human and the bite breaks the skin you should seek immediate medical attention in order to get a course of antibiotics to prevent infections.

So a bite that leads to bleeding is not, it would seem, similar to a push or a scraped knee. You do not routinely go to see a doctor because of a scraped knee.

In the US, if your child bites someone and it breaks the skin then you are advised to vaccinate the child that bites against hepatitis B, as they can catch it from the blood in their mouth.

Sibble Mon 09-Feb-09 18:33:07

brette - I've been following your thread but stopped posting when it started getting out of hand with unconstructive posts. I'm glad your meeting with the parent and school went well and hope you can work together your dc. As I said imho they will grow out of it, ds1 did and ds2 now very rarely bites....

Good luck

DandyLioness Mon 09-Feb-09 18:41:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mymama Tue 10-Feb-09 00:58:42

Have no idea aboutthe number of children with HIV. But there must be some risk associated with contamination when bitten. My brother is a police officer and gets bitten by offenders on a very regular basis. He has to have a HIV test every time it happens.

auntyitaly Tue 10-Feb-09 09:42:12

Bobbysmum - sorry if it caused meltdown, but sadly the facts are correct.

I suspect your area of South London is not where I'm talking about. I'm certainly not going to cause more hysteria by naming mine - leafy Clapham it ain't.

As desertgirl points out, by far the more important point is that biting has to be reinforced as socially unacceptable, which Brette is all too aware of, and specialist help given when it becomes a problem to the child, and to other children, who need to be protected.

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 10:45:02

Whilst I think that the OP is handling the situation well and I wish her lots of luck and hope she gets the support she needs, I would like to address the myth that seems to have evolved through this thread that a child 'only' bites when provoked. My eldest daughter was bitten repeatedly at nursery by the same child (she was one of a few victims and they were only toddlers at the time) It was widely acknowledged and recognised that this child was biting with no provocation at all - if she wanted something, she bit. If a child was in her way, she bit. If she had atantrum, she bit. The child is now 6 years old and 'still' bites although less frequently. Just wanted to point that out as it's often given as a justification for biting that the child was provoked and it's really not always the case. And also to reinforce the idea that a bite in which the skin is broken/blood is drawn DOES need medical attention and assessment.

Casserole Tue 10-Feb-09 10:53:13

Hi Brette. Couple of things. First I think its clear you've tried hard to work with the nursery to resolve the issues and i think you should be commended for that. I think the communication between nursery and school could and should have been better. I also think you should have made am appointment to talk with his new class teacher right at the start. I say that now although its too late as its prob worth bearing it in mind for future. Don't rely on the school to do it all as, with the best will in the world, things do get missed and noone is ever going to know your son as well as you. I don't think a short fixed term exclusion such as you describe was unreasonable. They needed to send a message to the whole class, inc your son AND the injured boy that class is safe and biting is unacceptable. Lastly i do think the asd and sensory avenues need to be explored. I've sat on asd assessment panels for some years. He's clearly a v bright little boy and he needs to be fully understood so he can shine :-) good luck

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 11:32:08

Re "the myth that seems to have evolved through this thread that a child 'only' bites when provoked."
I don't remember anyone having said that children will "only" bite when provoked and I certainly haven't used the word "provoke" once when trying to explain and understand what can trigger a biting. Trigger is the exact right word I want to use. To identify and reduce these types of incidents, one has to identify the patterns. And in the case of my DS, there are clear patterns. He doesn't run after kids biting them.

You cannot draw conclusions about all behavious related to biting from one example only.
And also, may I point out that studies on this problem show that the biter often feels extremely overwhelmed AND guilty about the whole situation. They don't need to be demonised. They're 4.
Also, having spoken to many primary teachers with a lot of experience, it is far from uncommon to have a biter or two in Reception.
To have a poker or two. A pusher or two. A crier or two, etc...
Re the whole HIV thing... I'm shocked by some things I've just read. A quick search about facts on serious websites might be useful. 20 years ago, politicians advised not to shake hands with HIV-infected people. Thank God things have evolved, but there is still a lot of ignorance about it. Sadly.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 11:57:10

RE: "Don't rely on the school to do it all"
As I met with everyone involved before starting school, I think it was kind of normal to expect that they would do their job, since everyone involved told me they had everything in hand. I must even say that we were very optimistic and happy about the level of attention given to the whole situation. How could we have guessed all theses reports, meetings with school representatives were going to be ignored by the very people (ie the school) who said they were aware of it all?

The head started in January.
The deputy head who was present at the meeting organised in December left in January.
The SENCO couldn't attend the meeting and the educational therapist attended instead.
The teacher started in January.

A tumultuous transition for the school.
Too bad we were caught in it.
Of course in retrospect it is easy to see how we could have done things differently. In retrospect.
Live and learn.

DandyLioness Tue 10-Feb-09 11:59:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyR Tue 10-Feb-09 12:10:14

From NHS direct website:

Human bites

If you receive a human bite, there is a risk of you catching a blood-born virus, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. You should seek immediate medical attention so the risk can be urgently assessed.
If you are bitten by someone, and you are unable to see your GP immediately, you should go straight to your local emergency and accident (A&E) department, or speak to the duty doctor responsible for the out-of-hours service, stressing that you require urgent medical assistance.
Ideally, the medical status of the person who bit you should be assessed, although in many cases, this is not always possible. If it is felt that there is a risk, you will be tested for the above conditions and, if necessary, referred to a specialist for further treatment.

When to seek medical attention

You should seek immediate medical attention for all but minor dog or cat bites. However, even some minor looking cat bites can penetrate deeply and become infected.
Human bites have a much higher chance of causing infection, so you should always seek immediate medical attention before waiting for any symptoms of infection to appear.
You should always seek immediate medical attention if you, or your child, receives a bite to the following areas:
the hands,
the feet,
a joint, tendon, or ligament,
the scalp, or face, and
the ears, or nose.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 12:11:50

DandyLioness, when I read this, "HIV can be EASILY caught from giving human bites."
I'm not the one who needs to be educated on this matter.

DandyLioness Tue 10-Feb-09 12:18:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 12:34:37

Brette no they don't need to be 'demonised' but they need to learn that it is wrong and that it is not acceptable in the same way as repeatedly hitting, pushing and shoving other children is not acceptable. Some children will need more intervention to ensure that they get the message that any form of physical aggression against another human being is not acceptable. It's up to the parents and care givers of a child who bites to examine that childs motivations rather than blaming the children who allegedly 'provoke'. This is obviously a very sensitive issue for you and I acknowledged in my first post that you will need extra support from preofessionals in dealing with this. But it is 'not' normal behaviour in a 4 year old and I can't help but feel that if it was your child who had received such a severe bite then your approach would be very different.

southeastastra Tue 10-Feb-09 12:36:58

fgs it's pretty normal i really feel for you brette, one thread i posted on this subject got about 10 replies. (mostly helpful)

muppetgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 12:46:43

I haven't read all the thread just the 1st couple of pages so sorry if I'm repeating anything that has been said/suggested

My son was bitten by the 'biter' in the class. We are talking full on clamped down on arm bite that left a full circle of teeth marks and lasted for about a week. It went through all the colours of the bruise rainbow and ds was very distressed everytime he saw it.

The mother of the bter was very apologetic and I know he would have been disciplined at school (not allowed to go out to play with the other childre) and at home.

The boy was getting himself a bit of a reputation as the 'naughty' one of the class so I chatted with the mum and we decided that it would be great for my ds to come over and play at his. My ds was a bit heistant but was much happier when I said I would there all the time and would step in if it looked like things were going wrong.

The playdate went really well with both boys bombing around in their back garden, playing in the sandpit doing 'boys' things. Ds said he was surprised that T could be so fun.

We went to the local large house with grounds with ds, around six school friends and the other little boy, again they all got on wonderfully playing with large balls, small balls etc. Yes there were arguments but then there always is with children!

Ds is never going to be best friends with the biter (sorry to keep calling him that!) but he has a little understanding that T himself is actullay a fun boy to play with but it's the biting we/he doesn't like. He even sat next to him at T's party (he moved away from him at a previous party and when I asked him why he said as T wasn't very nice and he was naughty)

Ds plays with T at school now and knows what to do if T looks like he's going to bite -say I don't like what you're doing T so I'm going to play with someone else. This gives my Ds some power over his situation that it is okay not to want to play with someone if you feel threatened by them but you can let them know in a kind way (not -you're naughty I don't want to play with you!!!)
but also sends a clear signal to T that my Ds won't put up with his behaviour.

Could you approach the mum?

What are the strategies that school are going to impliment to help your Ds cope in the classroom (T seems to only bite i the classroom situation but is fine when out in the 'real' world iyswim)

muppetgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 12:58:11

Sorry the point I was making was that it would have been very easy to demonise T and keep my Ds away from him (and join in the opinions of the other mums hmm) but as Ds has years ahead of being in the same class as this boy I didn't want him to be frightened of him and I wanted him to feel empowered should anything like this happen again. (It hasn't btw) T isn't a nasty boy at all and some of the other mums were being incredibly rude about him and, I think, perpetuating how their children felt about him.

My Ds is going to meet many children and adults trhoughout his life and I feel it's a really good lesson to learn as early as possible ito learn how to get on with people you like but also those you don't...

totalmisfit Tue 10-Feb-09 13:15:41

you have my sympathies on this one. DD (nearly 3) bit from about 15 months onwards. She still does occasionally, not in a malicious way, i think sometimes its her way of saying 'things are getting too much' even though, like your little boy her communication skills are actually better than average. Sometimes emotional articulation is the last thing to arrive...

Have to disagree with posters who are saying 'this is not normal' at 4 years old. I think 'normality' is a very flexible thing, not set in stone and although it's a good idea to get him a SN assessment don't allow people to pigeonhole him at such a young age. Maturity and self control are things we all gradually accumulate.

My cousin (now 28) was a biter way past 4 years old. I can remember her taking chunks out of my arm when we were both about 10 and being completely baffled that this socially adept, eloquent, popular girl could just turn on me. Charming as she was (and remains) she always laughed it off and we'd just carry on playing after i'd got over the shock. She's now married with two kids, has a great career, tons of friends, is the life and soul of any event, yada yada and is as 'normal' as it's possible to be (whatever that means!)

So that's just one example, i bet there are thousands more under the radar, after all when we were kids i think the desire to put children who didn't exactly conform in neat little boxes wasn't quite so strong as it is now.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 13:57:37

muppetgirl, total respect And not just because I'm the mother of a biter. I just think your reaction to the problem is very generous, caring and eventually efficient.

totalmisfit, thank you for your post. I must admit that a part of me wants to have professionals involved to curb the behavior and another part of me thinks that we burden the kinds with labels, psychological assessments, etc which might stress them, certainly the parents, etc... when at the end of the day, all kids express strange and antisocial tendencies at some points. I'm sure the "experts" would have found something terribly "abnormal" with your cousin 28 years ago... Certainly, the older generation of primary teachers I've spoken to seem much more relaxed about it all.

muppetgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 14:22:19

Thanks for that, I was a early years teacher and think that it's really important to help children get on with each other...

I can't stand this 'mob' mentality that some mums have, yes I want nothing more than for ds to be wrapped in cotton wool and never get hurt by anyone but I think in the long term that's totally unrealistic.

Your child's not awful, he just needs a little understanding and a little help in expressing his emotions, the school should really help in this and not just exclude him. I think they are just putting off the problem for another day...

And for those who think this is unusual, it's not. Children of this age can bite, I found more and more children were becoming more agressive towards each other and much more work was needed in classrooms in how to get along with children you like and don't like.

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 14:34:23

Muppetgirl - interesting point that you make about more and more children becoming aggressive. How much of that is because aggressive behaviour is seen as the norm and as acceptable by some parents ? And those feel that anyone who suggests otherwise is somehow wrong ? It's a little like the thread when someone was complaing that there child was being labelled as a bully when he was clearly bothering and upsetting another child ? Do you find that parents are becoming more and more inclined to 'accept' aggressive behaviour in their own children than they were years ago ? Is it a reflection of society as a whole, with the increasing move towards lack of personal responsibility ? The 'It's not my fault that I'm on the dole, overwight, a smoker, my child hurts others....' mentality ?

MilaMae Tue 10-Feb-09 14:34:28

We had our biter round to play too.He and his mother were lovely however I don't think not liking your child being bitten is "mob mentality", just understandable.

southeastastra Tue 10-Feb-09 14:43:03

because there are other reasons sassy. it's too easy to blame the parents. there can be many factors while a child bites.

why is that so hard to understand?

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 15:43:35

You are missing my point Southeastraaa - show we where I wrote 'It's a parents fault when a child bites. End of. Blame the parents. End of.'

But it's a parents job to take responsibility for whatever issues their child has and deal with them, using whatever means or support are available. Now whether they recognise those issues themselves, or they have to be pointed out to them, a parent ultimately has responsibility for leading, helping, moulding their child to learn what behaviour is acceptable etc ?

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 16:35:12

"How much of that is because aggressive behaviour is seen as the norm and as acceptable by some parents ? And those feel that anyone who suggests otherwise is somehow wrong ?"
May I ask if you are referring to myself? I'm curious.

MillyR Tue 10-Feb-09 16:43:47

Brette, how do you think the school should punish your son?

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 17:07:23

For instance, by excluding him from taking part in the activities he was involved with at that time (plus making him apologise, explaining himl what he should have done, etc.) But removing him from the school earlier didn't teach him anything. He was quite oblivious to the fact that we had to leave school earlier.
I might even add that if my child didn't like school (he loves it), he would probably think it is a good way to be out of school. "I bite, I'm out, great."
It is not addressing the problem at all. I think it is aimed at the bitten child's parents, to show they're doing something, anything.

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 17:22:55

Brette - if you think that aggressive behaviour is normal and that it is someone elses responsibility to deal with your childs behaviour, then yes, you would fall into the category of parents I was referring to. And if your son was excluded from school for the day because of his aggressive behaviour, but had no idea that the behaviour was the reason for his exclusion, then perhaps it should fall to you, as his parent, to reinforce and explain what had happened as a result of his actions ? What did you do when you got him home ? Some constructive play, drawing/role play to help him understand that what he did was wrong? Or tell him how unreasonable the teacher was ?

MillyR Tue 10-Feb-09 17:23:33

Brette, I think your son is going to grow out of this and it probably will all be over and done with quite quickly. But while it is happening it will feel like there is no end in sight.

He'll probably have started biting again because of the move to a new school, and it will stop again once he feels more secure there.

Having had a quick google, it does look like its fairly common for primary schools to have exclusion for biting written into their behaviour policies. When you have a meeting with them, you should ask if they have intentions of excluding him again if his behaviour continues.

I know it is early days, but if they don't seem to manage the issue as well as the nursery did, then maybe he would feel happier and more secure at another school. My ds had all manner of things that were considered 'not normal' when he was in KS1; we moved him to another school and all the problems disappeared.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 17:25:37

How long has he been biting? Did it just start when he began nursery?

MilaMae Tue 10-Feb-09 17:29:51

Brette maybe they did the other things you suggest all the other times he bit. To be honest sending home home for the afternoon would be a fair extension of the previous punishments.

I am NOT attacking you by the way just politely suggesting.

I thought you were now happy with the school and their reasons. If you can't move away from the anger directed at the school who ARE trying to help you aren't going to get anywhere.

They explained their actions and you were happy. If he continues to bite they will have to do something stronger than the punishments you've just mentioned. I notice in your other threads he's been biting since a baby,the class just living with biting on a regular basis is never going to be an option. Apologising is great but if it isn't working they WILL have to bring in other measures however unpleasant that is for you and your son.

If you accept that and work WITH the school and the way THEY want to handle it I think the whole situation could be sorted out sooner. What have you got to loose? Your ways of dealing with it over the years aren't working their ideas might.

Apologies for any spelling mistakes(there must be plenty) and again I'm not attacking just politely suggesting.

MillyR Tue 10-Feb-09 17:35:36

MilaMae's advice is very sensible and balanced.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 17:38:06

MillyR, I feel that after a bad start, I am confident we will get somewhere. I was very reassured by our quick meeting with the SENCO yesterday. REgarding your son, it is interesting to see how an environment can change everything.

Cake, at the childminder he was with before nursery, he never bit another child.
He started to do it to other children at nursery but they gradually managed to reduce the incidents.
He's always bitten us (his dad and me). We've always been very firm about it (and distressed). I remember saying "At least he doesn't do it to other kids, because that would be terrible" Well...sad
It seems absolutely compulsive.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 17:40:13

Does he still bite you?

Littlefish Tue 10-Feb-09 17:49:51

Just to back Brette up a little.

At the school where I teach, if we ask a parent to pick a child up early from school because of a behaviour issue, it is classed as a half day, fixed term exclusion.

Her ds, therefore, was excluded from school.

A school cannot simply send a child home from school without following the correct procedure.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 17:58:39

Why on Earth would we adopt a new strategy from scratch? The strategy set up at the nursery was efficient. We had a meeting with the school, they were supposed to use it. He was clearly unsettled in a new environment. There was a serious incident. They punished him. It didn't change anything.

What do I have to lose? Basically we already saw what happends when the strategy is not followed: he bites. I think consistency is the key with kids. So what we've started at nursery and which is giving results should be continued. The SENCO wants to follow the strategy of the nursery. And rightly so. And I am grateful for that.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 18:01:37

Cake, it is getting much better. It happens very rarely now.
It is an issue that contrary to what some people assume cannot be resolved with a few firm telling-offs and punishments.

southeastastra Tue 10-Feb-09 18:02:23

he will grow out of it. i don't know what people expect from 4 year olds sometimes.

muppetgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 18:14:42

Sassybeast – I think it’s a bit of everything you mention really. I notice the older children tried to out sarcasm each other all the time, they never actually have proper conversations as such. It’s a ‘oh look he just fell over, how stupid of him….’ Instead of asking if he was all right sort of situation. I hear a lot of ‘oh boys will be boys’ as if that’s an excuse to let boys behave how they want.
Telly is more violent, there is a huge contrast between cbeebies and cbbc, cbeebies being more gentle and cbbc being very sarcastic towards other children and adults that spills over into the classroom. I am not criticising the op, just answering Sassybeast.

MilaMae – I found the way our biter was treated was very much in a mob mentality. Mums talked about him and his mother (oh, she’s not a good mum is she?) behind his back, in front of their own children and actively didn’t invite him to their children’s parties or play dates. He was ostracized by the adults, which the children then picked up on. Once a child is labeled the ‘naught’ child it is very hard for them to shake it off, other children, usually, don’t want to be associated with them and they begin to almost live up (or down if you like) to their label.

MillyR – I think the school should address the behavior in school as this is where it is causing the problem. Cause and effect so to speak. If he were my pupil I would want to try to find the cause of the behaviour so I cold help him change it. I would ask a TA to observe his behaviour in certain situations –the ones that are proving the most volatile- this could be carpet time, independent work or free play or even playtime on the playground. I would observe over a number of different days but only for short periods as this would then give me a chance to build a bigger picture. If there are trigger points that begin to cause him stress then I would watch out for that and try to intervene before anything should happen. I would talk to the class about how we play can make others sad or fearful. I would read a story to illustrate, demonstrate with puppets etc –how does teddy feel when he has been pushed/bitten/left out of a game? If done in a sensitive way this can highlight lots of undesired behaviour and not just single out the op’s ds. All the written observations then form as evidence should the teacher need to seek further help and guidance from the senco or other agencies.
If anything should happen before this is complete then I would take the child away from the situation and talk to him to find out why he does what he does, let him know it’s not acceptable (in children language) accentuating how he makes children feel and he wouldn’t be allowed to join in the activity. This shouldn’t really happen again though as the teacher is aware of the situation.

I would ask for a meeting with the teacher with regard to how the school are going to help your ds not to bite. I would take notes and return a letter to the teacher confirming what she has said and detailing her plan. I would also cc the Head in this just to make sure the school are doing something rather than just sending him home and leaving you to deal with it.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 18:36:19


Your approach was the one favoured by the nursery, and it worked.

The SENCO will contact me this week to organise a meeting with her and the teacher.
Good idea about the letter. Thanks.

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 18:39:55

I'm a mum of a ds who bit another boy at school a few weeks ago. The head called me in and had a serious chat with me and ds - to emphasize how serious this was for the school. However, she also seemed to undertand there was build up to the incident and we did discus how these trigger points could be avioded. And very luckily, the other boy's mum had the sense, generousity and experience to handle the situation without demonising my boy to others.
Therefore....completely agree with muppetgirl re chool management( I'm a teacher too know it can be done)... top mum brette for raising this as a lot of us deal with it and yes there is a mob mentality which is both nasty and unproductive...and in the end, by stopping the activities that our ds enjoyed socially outside school temporarily to teach him biting was not going to be the bet way to behave out there..we're cracking the problem. But your school does need to be as supportive and as pro- active as they now sugget; and it is very difficult for any child to change long term behaviour without the ability to understand what is wrong or how to change...so good work brette and good luck to you and your family. You are obviously a loving, caring mum to cheers to you!

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 18:45:40


With respect, you seem to be in denial. I've read the whole thread and you are quick to quote other posters when you feel (often wrongly) that they are attacking you. But when a poster asks you a question that points out something you wish to avoid, you simply don't answer the question.

It happens very rarely? Come on! You said yourself he's bitten several times since starting school a matter of weeks ago. The problem was clearly severe and ongoing enough for the nursery to write reports for the school and get involved with early intervention teams.

I am not in any way demonsing your son's behaviour - and neither was the last poster who you accused of doing so, sassybeast or whoever. It isn't abnormal for four year olds to bite. But his biting has been going for over three years according to your other posts. That is a very long time. You can argue that "contrary to what some people assume cannot be resolved with a few firm telling-offs and punishments", but that's hardly the case here, is it! You've been telling him of for three years! (unless you've only told him off a few times during those three years? hmm)

It is, IMO, rather unusual for a child to persist biting for so long. I would have been aside myself by now. Did the early intervention team give you techniques on how to deal with it? Have you had advice on what to do from your end?

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 18:46:59

Should be "beside myself by now." Obviously grin

LynetteScavo Tue 10-Feb-09 18:53:59

Cake - I think Brette is beside herself..she is asking for help becuase she knows the biting has to stop, but doewsn't know how to stop it!

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 19:00:17

cake - pull your head in!!!

the point here is that the school did not act on the advice and reports from the nursery and intervention team - though they now plan too.IMO, by acting too quickly without making sure they have all the info, the school have not helped this family. Now, hopefully everyone will and thing will settle as brette's son gets older. Actually, biting is quite common in infant age and almost always is dealt with as the child gets older and is able to understand more - and the environment around the family is not full of the judgemental and couter-productively ignorantly unhelpful opinion of some of these posts. Of course intervention teams - like hv, mw and others involved in parenting give advice that we all listen to as parents. I think you're looking for the easy option blame culture tbh. Come on - being a mum is hard ( and wonderful) enough - at least we can support each other through the grimmer bits, can't we?

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 19:00:49

If I was in denial, do you think I would be here, listening to the same obvious facts ("think about the bitten child", "it is the parents' responsability", "punish him", "punish harder," "you don't punish hard", "what do you do to make him understand, etc", or, no offence, but things like "I would have been beside myself by now" why do you think I'm here on this forum? You don't know how many times I cry in despair at the whole situation. Come on!!! Give. Me. A. Break.
So now yes, I tend to ignore the post repeating the same thing over and over again. It is not helpful. My DH and my mother are amazed that I would even waste so much time answering to some extremely narrow-minded comments. Ha ha ha! I sincerely think I've answered a lot of different types of comments so far. Some very helpful, and some just narrow-minded. But they're all a reflection of the society we live in, aren't they?

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:05:40

Actually Lynette, she wasn't asking for help, she was asking if she was BU for feeling angry and letdown by the school.

She hasn't asked what SHE can do to stop the behaviour, other than managing the school. She says early in the thread that it hardly happens anymore apart from the time he bit so hard until a child bled - ignoring the other times he bit at school both before and after that incident. He's only been at the school for several weeks. She hasn't said whether her son still bites her, out of interest. She seems IMO more focused on criticising the school and perceiving criticism of herself from other parents rather than taking a long hard look at the facts of this situation. Maybe if she was less defensive, and took all the emotion out of this, she'd be able to look at it objectively and find ways in which she can convey to her son how unacceptable his biting is. When a child is as young as four, it isn't just up to the school to manage this, it's also very much up to the parents.

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 19:06:07

Lynette - at the risk of incurring Breetes wrath again, perhaps a firm telling off and some sanctions for bad behaviour or rewards for good behaviour would be a good place to start. Take advice from a health visitor, see a GP and ask for an psychological assessment. Think about parenting classes - there are LOTS of things which can be done but first the OP has to stop wanting someone else to take responsibility. There are hundreds of written resources out there on dealing with challenging behaviour - and at no point that I can see has the OP punished her son or done anything other than hand responsibility over to the nursery/school/Senco.

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 19:06:40

top woman brette for being so understanding of the variety of opinion here as a reflection of our wide culture. Not sure I'd be so forgiving of some of the shocking ignorance I've read on this thread. Good luck..

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 19:09:23

cake , therefore no she was not BU for feeling let down by the school. Is it time for a glass of wine yet?

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 19:10:28

cake - the wine ref was not being sarky honest... I just love a good debate but need alcohol

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:10:46

brette So, does your son still bite you or not?

southeastastra Tue 10-Feb-09 19:11:55

i wish they'd ban this blinkin topic. especially for serious subjects like this one.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:15:07

shrine I agree that the OP was probably not BU for feeling let down by the school. Although personally, given that there was such a change of personnel at the school as Brette described and no one she initially dealt with was still there, I'm really surprised she didn't raise it in person when her son started school.

Brette got my back up by being defensive in response to one of Sassybeast's posts. Sassybeast in now way demonised the behaviour or was even specifically talking about somethint the OP said, just a point of view echoed on this thread, yet the OP took it so very personally.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:16:19

southeastra Yep. Or alternatively, posters could chose to post elsewhere. Particuarly as there is a disclaimer on AIBU.

southeastastra Tue 10-Feb-09 19:17:10

i think op said earlier she'd meant to post in behaviour.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 19:19:36

Cake, if you read all my posts, you must know that I explained this thread ended up in the Moaning one by accident.
And I have asked people WHO UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM what their solution was.
And I didn't wait for you to take a long hard look at the situation: professionals got involved because we, as parents, were all for it.
And I said my son still bites me.
And no, I never said it was only up to the school to manage it. But yes of course, they do play a part in the way our children are raised. I have a strong belief in the school's importance. Of course. How could it be otherwise.

So many commonplaces are killing me...

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:24:01

Then why didn't she post in behaviour? Seems an odd mistake to make. It's quite clear she wanted people to pass judgment on the school and not give her advice on how to deal with her son's behaviour. But maybe she should be open to getting advice from other parents on how they've dealt with their children's biting, would be a constructive thing to do, no? Regardless of what action the school take?

But it seems the only advice she wants to here is 'he'll grow out of it', which is probably true, he will eventually. But parents and schools can speed up the process by how they deal with it, as evidenced by Brette's opinion that the nursery was helping to reduce the frequency of biting.

FWIW, I do have sympathy. Must be shit to have had to live with your child biting you and others for over three years.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:27:51

brette I didn't see where you said that he still bites you, apologies if I missed it, but when I asked you directly you didn't answer me at first.

I do think you have minimised his biting on this thread. You say it's infrequent, but it's still going on at home with you. I do hope you get the help you need to stop your child biting you as that really can't continue. And I have no doubt that the school will do their upmost to prevent the other kids from being bitten by your son - they have a duty of care to do so - but I also hope they help with any issues he may have.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 19:33:38

Cake, my FIRST post to you was:
"Cake, at the childminder he was with before nursery, he never bit another child.
He started to do it to other children at nursery but they gradually managed to reduce the incidents.
He's always bitten us (his dad and me). We've always been very firm about it (and distressed). I remember saying "At least he doesn't do it to other kids, because that would be terrible" Well...sad"

"Cake, it is getting much better. It happens very rarely now.
It is an issue that contrary to what some people assume cannot be resolved with a few firm telling-offs and punishments.
Unfortunately. "

bobbysmum07 Tue 10-Feb-09 19:40:20

Christ Almighty, what a load of fuss about nothing. Talk about over the top ...

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:41:11


Re your FIRST post

Sorry, it wasn't clear to me if "he's always bitten us" meant that he was still doing it.

As for your SECOND post
I thought you meant the biting in general, not just to you, happens very rarely. Which is clearly not true because of what's happened recently at school. If he bites you rarely now, then that's great it's improved.

And out of curiosity, do you class tellings-off over a three year period as "as a few"? Or do you not think it's an issue that it's been going on? I'm not being provocative (well, much grin), I'm just interested in whether you are philosophical about it. Because after three years of being bitten by my child, I would at my wit's end. My eldest bit me about five times or so, and that was more than enough!

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 19:42:07

Sorry, should be "going on for over three years."

Peachy Tue 10-Feb-09 19:43:36


just saying <<hugs>. from another mum with an agressive child

come see us in SN and we'll see if we can help smile

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 19:50:43

Ah - the mistake that I've made is commenting without being 100% supportive of your anger at the school for daring to act firmly and decisively on a problem which has been ongoing for a number of years (You said yourself in your OP that even at nursery WITH their interventions, his biting was still 'occasional to frequent') so it obviously didn't resolve the issue.

You feel (as others do) that this is 'not' unnaceptable abnormal behaviour in a 4 year old. At what point will it become unnaceptable to you (i.e so unnaceptable that you will be prepared to take decisive action When the next set of parents aren't quite so understanding ? When your child is ostracised by all of the others because they are scared of him ? When he turns 5 ? When he turns 6?

You feel 'got at' because people have not supported your point of view. That is an unfortunate side line of internet forums.

And frankly I'm bored with the subject now. If it was me, on the next occasion, I would fully support the school in excluding him, bring him home and make sure that he understands what he has done wrong. Remove a treat or a toy - teach him that actions have consequences. Buy him a stress toy that he can squeeze (or even bite) if he is under pressure. But stop making excuses.Good luck with it.

southeastastra Tue 10-Feb-09 19:52:24

how black and white some issues are to some people.

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 19:54:23

Brette - keep going and just remember that you are doing a brilliant job. You do not have to keep justifying yourself. I'm sure Cake is also doing a brilliant job and dealing with issues she will have with her children. Your extra issue, as you realise is that your son's behaviour has a serious impact in the outside world. But I'll repeat the same point - you all as a family deserve and need support as it must be very difficult to deal with time and time again BUT THANK GOD YOU ARE DEALING WITH IT. I come eough parents at school ( work - sec age) who still seem to think there is nothing wrong with their little darling's behaviour or rudeness. And they can be lovely middle class kids of supposedly aware, loving parents. You are dealing with it and it may well be a long haul but your DS will know that he is worth all your time, effort and worry. Then, when he's 18, he can take you out for a slap up thank you meal and you can re-tell all this

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 20:03:44

Thank you so much for your insight.

"Remove a treat or a toy - teach him that actions have consequences." Woa, we hadn't thought about that one! Great thinking...

desertgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 20:04:57

sassybeast, you might want to reread the OP. She said the bitings were 'occasional to frequent' to start off with at nursery, but that they had got it under control, using the approaches the school is now discussing.

She has had professional advice on how to deal with it (which is what the school until now has been ignoring) - why do so many people who haven't met the child think they know so much better?

brette, good luck, again

(PS, my tiny 15 month old DD has a big bruise on her arm from some biter at nursery. Should I be calling the police??)

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 20:06:41

shrinetothomastank, thank you. And you are right, I've been wasting so much energy justifying myself to people I don't even know. Forums are a bit mad that way, aren't they?
Anyway, deep down I know he'll be alright because he's a very endearing boy and this side of him doesn't sum it up at all. I'll come back on this thread in 18 years time for the follow-up!

Bye for now.

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 20:07:36

desertgirl, thank you.

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 20:13:24

Last post from me - but to assybeast; most people who work with children believe that 7 is the av. age for being able to reason and fully think through situations - and this can be later for boys who can still be impulsive....there is a reason the crinimal awareness age is 12! So, I would be more sympathetic to your point of view if Brette's son was older or you were not so dismissive and smug. Until her son is older, support is needed and understanding from other parents would be good. Epecially as really clever children can often act impulsively when they are young and not fully understanding of their world. The school can handle the situatuion in a very different way from the way they did, hopefully to recognise stress points and avoid them. I'd be upset if my son was hurt at school but the duty of care covers all children. End of from me, good luck Brette

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 20:13:27

Last post from me - but to assybeast; most people who work with children believe that 7 is the av. age for being able to reason and fully think through situations - and this can be later for boys who can still be impulsive....there is a reason the crinimal awareness age is 12! So, I would be more sympathetic to your point of view if Brette's son was older or you were not so dismissive and smug. Until her son is older, support is needed and understanding from other parents would be good. Epecially as really clever children can often act impulsively when they are young and not fully understanding of their world. The school can handle the situatuion in a very different way from the way they did, hopefully to recognise stress points and avoid them. I'd be upset if my son was hurt at school but the duty of care covers all children. End of from me, good luck Brette

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 20:15:18

Brette at no point in this thread have you mentioned anything about any form of sanctions or punishment. You asked for suggestions and advice. What you REALLY want is lots of pats on the head - well you've got those so lets see how long it is until another child is bleeding eh ? Have you ever stopped to think that some of the advice you've had is from people who have been there, got the T shirt and moved on ? That incudes the head teacher at the school ?

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 20:16:44

desertgirl And she also said, in answer to another poster, that the biting had more or less stopped, apart from the 'bloody bloody' incident when she'd also said he'd bitten both before and after that.

I'm sure the nursery did help reduce the biting a lot, but it sounds like it probably went on at nursery for a long time. As it's normal for preschool kids to bite, do you really think the nursery would have got specialist teams involved if they didn't think this was a particularly persistent and difficult problem? Don't you think the nursery are used to kids who bite and who grow out of it naturally? They certainly don't write reports or liaise with schools for all kids who bite. They clearly thought it was a special case.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 20:21:47

Shrinetothomastank Er, actually, the the criminal awareness age (or age of criminal responsibility, to give it it's proper name) isn't 12. It's 10. Just so you know smile

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 20:22:59

good to know, thanks...so it's not 4 then?...

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 20:26:56

Don't appreciate being corrected, eh?
You are a teacher in a secondary school, right? Thought you would have known that ...

desertgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 20:32:39

cake - she said it had more or less stopped in response to a direct question as to whether he was still biting his parents. I can't see what the school incidents have to do with that.

She has said several times that she knows it is a problem, that nursery knew it was a problem, that they have tried all sorts of things and got a specialist team involved - why are you apparently thinking that all it would take is for her to take his toys away or whatever?

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 20:33:14

Sassybeast, you don't read properly and it gets really annoying. And don't tell me I can't take criticism, it is tiring.

Cake, this child is indeed a special case, but not all is regarding the violence.
Special teams are involved for many many things, and most of the times, it ends up being nothing. But they want to make sure. In the case of my son, once he was observed, they concluded there was nothing to be panicky about, just to follow a strategy.

The nursery has understood that the biting will eclipse all the rest (given the one-dimensional views here, they were very right) and they wanted to make sure it wouldn't happen.

And they will be very sorry to see it has.

MmeLindt Tue 10-Feb-09 20:36:03

I hope you come back to MN though, and don't feel put off by some of the narrowminded responses on this thread.

(and I am not just saying that because I need all the French speaking MNetters to stay here and help me with translations occasionally)

Seems to me that you and the school are now working well together to help your DS. Good luck.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 20:38:32

desertgirl I really don't think that all it would take is for her to take his toys away - where on earth did I say or even imply that? Nor do I, like several of the posters on here, think that all it would take is for him to be bit back.

desertgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 20:40:40

Really Brette's question, as I read it, is ís it unreasonable for me to expect school to follow the strategies that nursery and home have been given by the relevant special team in order to deal with this unacceptable behaviour'. And I think the answer, overall, has been 'no that is not unreasonable but with hindsight you should perhaps have gone and talked to new head and new teacher and gone over the papers with them in person'

but the 'nearly as popular' answer has been 'you are responsible, you should take his toys away/hang him upside down in a cupboard every time he does it/if he bit my child I would be round your door with a whip' - which is really quite odd, in the circumstances.

Ah well.

shrinetothomastank Tue 10-Feb-09 20:40:45

No, correction not a problem (Always eager to learn!) I must admit, I did think 10...12?..but can we agree not 4??!!! However...Truce... I have to cuddle teething babe...Can we agree that op was right in the first place at being annoyed with school as they had not read all the info and that she is now dealing with a difficult, on- going situation. I would argue that in dealing with it she is being top mother who does not need a lot of the agressive judgement I've read on this thread....and that a 4 yr old boy is not a threat to humanity. Night Night xx

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 20:41:20

And desertgirl When I said brette misleading said it had more or less stopped, I was referring to a comment she made pages ago to someone else, not in reference to biting her but in direct reference to biting other children.

desertgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 20:43:37

cake, he has been. didn't work.

Are you generally in favour of violence or only in this specific case?

and admittedly the toys comment wasn't yours.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 20:46:18

desertgirl HUH? What on earth do you mean am I in favour of violence? Where did I suggest that? One or two other posters said all that was needed was for him to be bitten back, even suggesting that in the past brette would have been advised to bite him herself. I find that horrifying, actually. Don't think at all that biting him back is the solution.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 20:47:12

Sorry, I wasn't very clear in my earlier post, am typing too quickly. I meant to say "UNLIKE some of the posters here."

desertgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 20:52:36

Sorry Cake, misread your post as you saying that was all it would take. My only excuse is it is nearly 1am here and I should be in bed. I do now see what you said.

You do seem to be being very hard on her over something which she said 'had' more or less stopped at nursery, and at home, and had started up again at school since the start of this term.

anyway, good night, will read more carefully next time; ironic after thinking other people weren't doing blush

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 21:01:30

Brette - you have contradicted yourself so many times that it's now quite funny. I'll give you some direct quotes in response to your criticisms of my interpretation of your situation :

'At nursery, when they realised that he was like that, they would PROVOKE him until he hit. So in this case, who's the bad guy '

'So the next step was to explain to him that sometimes words don't work immediately but that it is not a reason to bite and hurt and that he should go and speak to an adult immediately'

'But of course we tell him and repeat to him that it is unnaceptable'

'Tell me what happened - I won't tell you off so i spoke very calmly to him. I explained myself thouroughly. I've told him off a million times'

No mention of sanctions or punishments (apart from his computer) Rather a lot of talking and it doesn't seem to be working. What exactly DID you say to him when he had been sent home from school ?

brette Tue 10-Feb-09 21:15:28

I don't see your point.
But anyway... as I said many times but necessarily in the extracts you took and which make you laugh so hard. It is soooo funny. Condescendance is ugly.
So back to the point: he's been told off many many times (we all lost our temper because of his biting many times). He's been punished with treats cancelled, activities suspended...etc Confiscating things doesn't work apart from the computer because to him any toy is easily replaceable. He keeps himself busy with anything. Right now, we're working on the computer being taken away and given back when he will have not bitten for X times.
Generally speaking, he is very well behaved, helpful and a pleasure to be around as everyone who meets him assures me. So clearly, we must do something right.

Now, let me tell you something, you clearly don't want to understand anything, and you don't seem to willing to let go. And you come back and come back and come back.
You actually remind me of a toddler. So tell me, if an adult like you is not capable of using her brains on a situation like this, what chances is there that a 4-old would easily eradicate a behaviour so compulsive so easily?

Goodnight and adios!

Milliways Tue 10-Feb-09 21:18:00

A recepton aged child was Permanently excluded from DD's Primary (Years ago, she was 5 is now 17) but I stiull shudder at the memories.

He was 5, should have been in reception but put in Yr1 with a more experienced teacher. After he started DD stopped wanting to go to school. He kept hitting her (and others) and even tried to throttle the girl sat in front of him in assembly. SHe would only go in to school after I promised to speak to the Teacher and make her keep this boy away from her. She was 5.

I REALLY felt for this boy, he was soo young, BUT he was ruining my child's school experience. I complained and the Head was great and tried all sorts of coping strategies, (he had a 1-2-1 support, came in late & home early to avoid cloakroom crushes etc, allowed time out to run around playground every hour or so) but the violence continued and he ended up at a special school.

I know your child is not THIS bad (and DD was a nursey biter herself) BUT I think the Head is right to exclude and impose rules for the sake of the other kids.

Peachy Tue 10-Feb-09 21:19:21

FWIW ds1 often is provoked into hitting; it dosn't on any planet make it OK but he can't manage the pressures due yto hid ASD.

brette he's been observed I know and I dont like typing this esp as second time in one day but really there are flags for sn here- esp his specific asreas of brightness. I am not an expertand hope to God I am way off but it wouldn't hurt to familiarise yourself with the triad of impairments: mildest end Aspergers is often not diagnosed until several years older than your son.

If that is the case then no amount of take a toy away will work; it just doesn't.

Regardless of whether he ahs any unerlying sn, I would suggest a look at the book dont shoot the dog which looks like a dog training book but as you can see from the amazon preview is not. Its about using techniques to get rid of problem behhaviours, child rearing experts recommend it.

Tclanger Tue 10-Feb-09 21:21:01

Brette I hope you come and find us on special needs, to let us know how DS is doing. There are some pretty pointless, tactless and frankly hurtful comments being bandied about on here, by people who have no idea. You have done everything humanly possible to sort this out and you sound like a fantastic Mother!

Sassybeast Tue 10-Feb-09 21:26:18

My point is that you denied having ever used the word provoked. When you clearly did.

My other point is that you repeatedly talked about how you 'talk' to him - nothing about sanctions or punishments. Yet when it's suggested that such sanctions or punishments may be useful tactic 'Voila - you've tried all of those....'

Happy to clarify anything else ? But perhaps your time would be better spent searching for some of those resources in dealing with challenging behaviour I mentioned earlier. You are obviously not gaining 'anything' from this discussion and I would suggest drawing up your own action plan to use in conjunction with the school with very clear steps which should be taken when the next incident occurs.

Nighbynight Tue 10-Feb-09 21:28:39

sassy repeat after me: you do not get the whole picture from a few posts on mumsnet...

Peachy Tue 10-Feb-09 21:29:04

<<shakes head at Sassy, nudges Tclanger and says- they just dnt get it do they? shrugs shoulders and slinks off, hoping brett is Ok after the hundredth bitchfest another MN kickoff of the week>>

rusmum Tue 10-Feb-09 21:32:17

sorry but as a reception teacher you cannot have children biting! i understand how you must feel - with a class of 30 it is hard to give the 1;2 guidance some children need to settle in.
It is a tricky one.

sassy Tue 10-Feb-09 21:35:57

SASSYBEAST - don't want to hijack but I have started another thread for you. Can you have a look at it for me please?

Peachy Tue 10-Feb-09 21:44:17

rusmum you are quite right but also as a teacher you surely know that communication and team work between home and school is the key? And also how hard it is not just for the kids (brette a tip- when my DS1 has 'an incident' I always get him to make a sorry card for the child: its a very visible and obvious sign for the parent and child that you are trying to get on top of it and take the situation seriously- that matters)but the aprent of the biter?

There is a thread on Mn where I was reduced to a wreck after being really nastily verbally attacked by a child DS1 was supposed to have hurt (turned out it had been an accident anyway) and there are times when I am too scared to go to school alone, if say I know ds1 has had a particualrly challenging few days. So all those [oeple who say they'd want words with the Mum- if you think Mum isn't very upset and aware already you are having a laugh! I've lived through enough crap: a dh who almost died, tewo of my kids being diagnosed with autism- and the only thing I can't deal with is the aggression and the hopelessness of it all, and I feel only pity for anyone stuck in the same situation.

Can I also ask what you all think should be done? ALl these out of class suggestions- well I get that about ds1 but you know what, Special Needs Units aren't like mainstream education; you can't just put yur name on a waiting list. many kids don't meet the criteria and my ds1 doesn't. If school comes to me and says we're sorryt but he needs this or that lpacement- I will say yes, but until they do I cannot get him in a more 'suitable' school. There seems to be a widespread misinformation that parents choose not to opt for SN Units; my experience is that very often indeed that is not the case.

<<rant over>>

bobbysmum07 Tue 10-Feb-09 22:11:23

The level of hypocrisy on this forum never fails to astonish me. About a year ago, a woman posted a message on here asking whether she thought she should be made to pay for a window that her son had broken at his nursery. He'd had a tantrum and hurled a toy train across the room, smashing the window. He was four.

Nearly every person who responded was outraged - by the nursery's audacity to expect this woman to pay for the broken window! Apparently it was 'developmentally normal' for a child of four (a mere 'toddler') to have tantrums of this nature, and to hurl toys and break windows. I tried to argue that actually, no it wasn't normal, and that in a nursery setting, it was extremely dangerous for a child to behave like this (imagine if the toy had hit another child in the head instead of hitting the window) and I was literally crucified by the holier than thou brigade. As pondscum who knew nothing about child development (I own three nurseries), my comments were written off as 'vile', 'ignorant', 'highly offensive' and (of course) 'deeply hurtful'. One hysterical poster even suggested finding out the locations of my nurseries out of 'concern' for the children there!

Because this kid bites however (which is unlikely to kill anyone, unless of course you're unfortunate enough to live in South London), it's considered fair game to paint the poor little sod as the spawn of Satan. It's unbelieveable!

Take no notice, OP. They're all mad and deeply deeply contradictory.

MillyR Tue 10-Feb-09 22:24:50

I think that a child should be excluded from primary school if:

1. They bite someone hard enough to draw blood.

2. They throw an object hard enough to smash a window.

Having googled some primary school behaviour policies, this does not seem to be a mad or wild opinion; it reflects what many schools consider to be dangerous.

Maybe the people on the thread a year ago were different to the ones on now.

I still have sympathy for the OP, and think the school should have read the documents. But I don't see why them having read the documents would have stopped the exclusion.

comparethePeachydotcom Tue 10-Feb-09 22:30:17

Where should they go milly? every child is entitled to an education (Human Rights Bill) and there are not enough special unit places.

bobbysmum07 Tue 10-Feb-09 22:33:30

Look, a 4 year old who bites does not belong in a special unit.

Is this thread even for real?

TiggyR Tue 10-Feb-09 22:33:49

Brette, I really feel for you. And Duchesse I couldn't agree with you more about the so-called perfect kids and their deluded blinkered parents. All the people who have said they'd be 'horrified' if their child was bitten by another 4 year old. Really? Actually properly horrified? I prefer to reserved those kind of emotions for rapes and murders and genocides. Little kids bite one another all the time. It's unpleasant and upsetting when your child is on the receiving end but hardly horrifying or unusual. The worst thing is when a parent is totally oblivious or in denial, or has an arrogant 'so what?' attitude when their child is being anti-social. Clearly that is not the case here. Brette is painfully aware of her son's issues, and is doing everything she can to understand, and deal with it. She may seem to some of you to be clutching at straws in offering reasons for why he does this but how many of us could honestly say that we wouldn't be looking for reasons, not to excuse or justify, merely to understand our own kids' less than perfect habits?
My DS2 has a boy in his class (he's 13) who has real anger management/emotional issues and the others freely admit to winding him up as they regard the resulting 'wobbly' as some form of entertainment, so I agree that it is in children's nature to goad unusual or vulnerable kids. Having said all that, whilst I would not condone excluding such a young child, it does sound as if everyone needed a bit of space for a day or two.

Brette, I have to be honest, the more you talked about your son the more I was thinking 'Aspergers'. Yes I know some people have pointed out that we are not Educational Psychologists, (and how dare we voice such opinions when we are not qualified?) but then again I'm not offering a formal diagnosis. It doesn't mean we can't tactfully suggest that you investigate it. After all, we'd do the same if we recognised the signs of for asthma, right? Having said that, he's still so young, it may be a just an uncontrollable impulse, as a reaction to stress, frustration and social immaturity.

We had a boy my son's age at Mums and Tots who was an absolute nightmare because of impulsive violent behaviour from the age of about 2. No-one could bear him; I used to tense up when ever he went near my son, and as the mother of three robust noisy boys I'm not generally neurotic about these things! It transpired that he had serious speech and co-ordination problems and he ended up going to a special school for the first two terms of reception to get intensive help with this. He arrived back in mainstream school for the last term of reception, a changed boy. He could talk and express himself, he was a happy little chap and VERY bright. He became my son's best friend and was a pleasure to be with. I hope that gives you hope.

Although your little boy is clever it does sound as though he may not be ready socially for full time school. I wouldn't worry about holding him back academically - if he's as bright as you say then another term is hardly going to make any difference in the great scheme of things, (unless, of course, you are more pushy than you let on wink)and a bit of extra time could be of great social and emotional benefit to him.
You could use that time to really get to the bottom of what's eating him. Good luck.

MillyR Tue 10-Feb-09 22:37:29


I meant for the rest of the school day; I did not mean they should never be allowed back. Sorry, I could have made that clearer in my post.

Even if there were more units I would not suggest that the OP's child would benefit from going to one!

MillyR Tue 10-Feb-09 22:43:52


I agree that once a kid is known to have an issue, other children will wind them up. There was a girl in my dd's class and she did hit other children frequently. But there were also a lot of occasions (according to my dd) where children would say the girl had hit them, and she hadn't done anything. They were believed and the girl was told off. There was no reason for the girl to respond to attempts to improve her behaviour because she was being told off even when she had done nothing.

I think that happens a lot, and it bothers my children a lot more than the girl with SN; the injustice of group behaviour is very scary.

Sorry as this has gone a bit off topic.

Cake Tue 10-Feb-09 22:43:59

I interpreted MillyR's post to mean exclusion as in how the OP's son was excluded - i.e. only for half a day or so. Apologies if I got that wrong.

Peachy, I'm confused as to where your (self-confessed) rant on Special Units came from. I think you were the first person on this thread to talk about them? Brette's son has been assessed and while I agree that may not mean he isn't SN, so far he hasn't been diagnosed as such. So I and probably others were commenting on that basis, because it's not for us to diagnose something like that. And a poster did get villified by others on here for suggesting autism.

Bobbysmum How can you possibly say many of the posters on here are mad and deeply deeply contradictory based on responses from OTHER PEOPLE on a different thread at a different time?

Tclanger Tue 10-Feb-09 23:13:22

I agree Peachy and think that it is mob rule by a bunch of braying donkies here, rather than any any sign of anything remotely intelligent or even Sassy.Over and out from me grin

Tclanger Tue 10-Feb-09 23:15:29

... and that's a lot of anys for emphasis, in case you were wondering LOL!

comparethePeachydotcom Tue 10-Feb-09 23:20:57

Rant implies going off on a tangent over something that gets my goat; thats where the SNU thing comes from. BUT also, you get people saying ah yes boot them out, exclude them, etc- where do they go?

maybe another school and if that happens then to these awful behavioural units- a form of SNU.

Oh and the person who said people got villified for saying autism; unless familiar with DSV5 (or whatever it is) it would be the most mild AS not full asd- and ifanyone on any thread on MN ever says 'maybe they have sn' the poster gets villified. its The Rules. You're not allowed to show thought or strategy, only jump on a bandwagon.

Brette, I am a mum of an ex-bitter. I tried everything, nothing work and at last he grew out of it, thanks God. He also drew blood of a couple of children (older, thankfully they didn´t make a fuss). I had to stop going to playgroups and couldn´t take my eyes of him, etc. At 4, he is now "cured". But according to MIL, DH who was a bitter too, grew out of it only at 5. I send you my best wishes, I cannot see anything wrong in what you are doing.

ChippingIn Wed 11-Feb-09 00:16:35

Brette - what an awful time you have had of it tonight, I didn't realise it was all still kicking off. It's a shame people don't read the whole thread before wading in Mind you, even if they have I doubt they'd be able to follow it, as they don't seem to be able to follow the little bit they have been involved in hmm. Take a little comfort out of the fact that your DS will grow out of biting - they will not grow out of being dim, narrow minded and pathetic!

Hang in there

Shells Wed 11-Feb-09 00:22:11

Quite agree ChippingIn. For your sake Brette, I hope you step away from this thread now. There are some posters who are astounding in their views and I'm sure that can't be helping. You're doing all the right things.
Good luck.

LynetteScavo Wed 11-Feb-09 17:27:54

I'm sad and shock @ this thread.

Sadly, becuase brette chose to post in the AIBU topic she has taken a beating.

I imagine brette is feeling angnry and let down by Mumsnet now. sad

LynetteScavo Wed 11-Feb-09 17:34:16

This thread really has made be bloody angry

Huggs to brette - I know how upsetting and confusing it is when your child is excluded from school- Hang in there; you seem like a fabulous, intlligent mum. smile

TiggyR Wed 11-Feb-09 18:04:08


susie100 Wed 11-Feb-09 18:22:46

Brette - have you had him assessed. I am not an expert and I have not met your son or you but autism is a spectrum, there is no one set of criteria. You son can be very highly functioning and able to get involved in imaginary play etc and still be on the spectrum to some degree.

Good luck

LynetteScavo Wed 11-Feb-09 18:37:26

It does sound more like a sensory thing though; sensory processing disorder is much more reccoginised now.

Good luck with a diagnosis.

pralinegirl Wed 11-Feb-09 22:09:04

The head's approach is totally wrong. Your DS does not need to be 'punished' - his behaviour needs to be understood, seen in context and the triggers explored and an approach to dealing with it agreed. Don't agree to an 'observor' without an agenda for what they will be looking out for and what they will record and how. They should, the school, be trying to figure out what and who tends to trigger it, how your son feels before and after biting, whether he's tired, bored, overwhelmed, lacking in social skills compared to the others, etc.
I speak as the mum of a bright 5 year old whose behaviour on occasion since starting school has been aggressive. I have been shocked by it as there were no problems with nursery and he was there 8-5. But I think he tires easily, gets bored easily, doesn't eat much and gets hungry and doesn't understand things like body space and not touching others or when he's annoying them. I felt awful for the kids he hit/scratched and really angry with him. Yes we did remove treats, as a way of letting him know the behaviour was unacceptable but there were clear targets for getting them returned and his class teacher is trying so hard. I ordered some books on getting on with others, dealing with anger, etc. I can empathise with how you probably feel, I'm a psychologist and the fact that my child was hurting others really worried me. Teacher started talking about Asberger's! Luckily could deal with that due to my job, I know it isn't but that even if it were, there are ways to deal with issues. The school need to see your child as a puzzle with behaviour to be solved and a little boy, not a problem to be excluded.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now