To tell my daughter to bite another child back?

(46 Posts)
applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 14:51:56

Hey, I'm pretty sure that this is a fairly emotive subject: About six months ago I got a new neighbour (a couple with 1 girl and 1 boy). Their daughter is the same age as my one - 6. I've really gone out of my way to be friendly and I've encouraged the two girls to play together. But, the girls' friendship has been a bit 'fraught' - you know, the usual bickering, but a couple of my dd's toys have either disappeared off the face of the earth or have been broken. There have also been a couple of incidents when this other girl has bitten mine. I have had a quiet word with the mother, but I've been met with a "it's six of one and half a dozen of the other" and "my child doesn't bite" attitude. I've always encouraged my dd not to bite, hit or nip. However, these easter school hols have been an absolute hell! Pretty much from the first day of the hols, my neighbours have pretty much sent their 'angel' to my house where she has remained for most of the day - until I sent her home for tea (I fed and watered her during the day). I did eventually get really fed up and started to refuse drinks and snacks and sent the girl home for them instead. Many times not once did they knock on me to see how their angel was doing.

Anyway, yesterday, this other girl bit my dd on the back of her shoulder so hard she broke the skin! Naturally, I was very mad (my frustration has been building for a long time), so once I inspected and cleaned my dd's wound, I promptly took the other girl home and through gritted teeth told the mother that her angel had bitten my daughter AGAIN. A few minutes later, while I was still consoling my dd, there was a loud banging on my door - it was my neighbour and her angel. She very rudely shouted at me that her angel had told her she hadn't bitten my dd and that she'd done it herself!!! Well! I exploded angry ! I told her in no uncertain terms that my dd could not turn her head that much and bite her own bloody shoulder hard enough to break the skin. I gave her a bit of my mind and I was a little unkind. I told this woman that her little sod is no longer welcome in my home and neither is she. I really thought that she was going to give me a thump. But then, guess who knocks on my door this morning? Yip, the angel: "is R coming out to play?" I did say no, but my dd must have a very short memory because she did want to play with her.

I know I've rambled a bit - but because biting is an emotive subject to lots of people I wanted to give you the full story. If I let my daughter continue the friendship, AIBU to say to her - if the little angel bites, nips or hits you - then do it back?

YoniGirlInTheWorld Fri 12-Apr-13 14:54:58

I'd move. if your neighbour thinks your child really is capable of turning her head 180 degrees and having a chomp on her own back then the exorcists are probably already on their way.

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 14:57:21

I'd prefer it if they's move! I've been here for a long time - plus I bought at the height of the market, so financially I'd lose out! sad

TimeIsACurrency Fri 12-Apr-13 14:57:29

I wouldn't tell her to bite back.
But I would never let my DD continue this friendship.

If the neighbour's DD shows up, just send her home and tell her she cannot play at your house anymore.

ElleMcFearsome Fri 12-Apr-13 14:57:29

I don't like the tit for tat mentality much, personally I'd not be having the little angel round or having her playing unsupervised with my DD, and if she gets send round, bloody well send her back - you are not an unpaid babysitter!. Also, some parents can't accept that their DC does anything wrong ever sad. But also what Yoni <snurk> said!

hillyhilly Fri 12-Apr-13 14:58:15

If your dd wants to continue the friendship then let her but if you don't want this child in your home then you are perfectly within your rights to send her home.
Why don't you speak to the child yourself and explain very clearly that she must not bite or hit and that if she does she will be sent home and then send her home regularly for feeding or whenever you feel she's been there too long.
You must not encourage your child to stoop to her level, it doesn't sound as though she's parented well.

Pandemoniaa Fri 12-Apr-13 14:58:58

YWB very U to suggest that biting the other child back is an appropriate remedy. Two wrongs never make a right. But I'd avoid having the biter in your house again.

This is the thing when kids fall out - they forget about 5 minutes after by which time the parents have fallen out.

However, the woman sounds ridiculous, how on earth could your DD bite herself on the shoulder!! If you can just distance your DD from her, it all sounds like a right headache.

specialsubject Fri 12-Apr-13 14:59:36

What TimeisaCurrency said. Tell the little girl 'sorry, but you bit my daughter so she isn't your friend any more. Go home'.

glad your daughter has forgotten - so keep it that way.

Biting absolutely isn't acceptable but it can often be caused by frustration. I would also try and figure out WHY the other child bit because there 'could' be something you could teach your own child to avoid another child from 'wanting' to bite her.

If the above sounds strange it is because my dd was recently bitten again by the same child at school. This child's language isn't as good as my dd's who can run rings around her and who is VERY bosy and persistent. When the teacher told me, she also told me that quite honestly my child was asking for it, though she doesn't condone the behaviour.

AnyFucker Fri 12-Apr-13 15:01:10

Yanbu until your very last sentence

Don't let them play together....you are in charge, remember

And I would never encourage biting even in retaliation

Pixieonthemoor Fri 12-Apr-13 15:02:17

I can see how that would be tempting but I would say no, don't suggest your dd does the same to her. I would tell her to come straight home and, if there is visible physical evidence, I would take a dated, timed photo in case the mother comes knocking again and you can provide proof. Or just stop them playing altogether - doesn't sound like a match made in heaven and you are clearly not going to get any traction with the mother.

On another note, isn't 6 a bit old for biting? I know that it is par for the course that some toddlers will be a bit bitey but I have never heard of it in a 6 year old. Happy to be told I'm wrong though.

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 15:02:53

No, I don't like the tit for tat mentality either. I'd rather that my daughter didn't stoop so low. I hope that I'm bringing her up well but I hate the fact that she doesn't retaliate (as far as I am aware). I have talked to the other girl and explained that biting is not nice, etc, etc - but it falls of deaf ears and she is only 6. I didn't allow the girl to come in - I made a point of going out of the house to an activity centre and I certainly won't encourage a friendship - the problem is they are in the same class at school!

YoniGirlInTheWorld Fri 12-Apr-13 15:02:57

In all seriousness don't encourage your child to be violent. its good that she isn't. Try and smooth things over with your neighbour if you don't want an atmosphere ( I wouldn't be bothered personally). Otherwise keep them apart. if this child attacks your child each time she comes to play then its worth putting a complete stop to her visits. I wouldn't even answer the door.

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 15:06:04

Pixie - that's what I thought that 6 is way too old for the biting stage: but I think it may be the case that this girl isn't getting her own way ... heck, I don't know!

5318008 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:06:20

just don't have the child over again, discourage the friendship. If she comes to the door, say no, not today

so what if they are in the same class, tough

[folds arms]

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 15:10:43

Yoni - I'd rather not smooth things over with the neighbour. Sure, I can be civil - but it was a one side friendship anyway - I gave, she took. I'm too soft for my own good!

And - 5318008 smile

TimeIsACurrency Fri 12-Apr-13 15:11:37

So speak to the teacher and tell her what's been happening and that you want them separated?

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 15:15:06

I could do that Timeisacurrency - I've been led to believe that their teacher is aware of a problem with this girl anyway (from a couple of other parents). Even though this happened out of school, I'll still mention it - just so they're aware there may be a potential problem. Thanks!

edwardsmum11 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:16:15

I wouldn't tell her to bite her back, I'd end the friendship and not let her near your daughter.

Smartieaddict Fri 12-Apr-13 15:18:13

I would not encourage your DD to bite back, I can imagine that going horribly wrong! I would not have the neighbours child in the house and don't let your DD play with her. If they want to be friends at school, then that's fine. It might be worth asking the teacher to keep an eye on things there though.

You know yourself that you should not tell your daughter to retaliate. And you have already done the right thing by telling the neighbour that neither she nor her daughter is welcome in your home. Any time the daughter comes a-knocking, just say firmly "No, you bite." (I think it's important that she knows why you don't want her to play with your DD, then there's a chance she'll learn not to do it - far better for her in the long term, even though it might upset her now.)

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 15:22:29

angry Some people just don't listen! I've just had to go a send the little angel on her merry way back home again! This time, she was in my rear garden playing on the swing set! Tsk! Let's see if mother comes knocking.

ScarlettInSpace Fri 12-Apr-13 15:22:52

To be fair, I think you know the answer isn't for her to bite back - when I get dragged into referring SK's [8 & 4] fighting I seem to say 'just because s/he hit you does not mean you should hit him/her back' more than any other phrase!

Agree with everyone else, at 6 you have complete control over who your daughter plays with outside the school yard so I'd be exercising that fully, and I think you'd be right to make their teacher aware so it can be monitored in school.

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 15:26:49

Yeah, you're all correct. I know telling my child to bite back is not the answer. You know how it is - someone is hurting your child. It makes you spitting mad!

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Apr-13 15:28:32

No, your dd should not be taught to bite back. But you can tell her to push someone away hard if they are being aggressive, and you can teach her to shout 'no! Don't do that' loudly.

I'd try to keep them away from each other at home, but if they are still going to see each other at school, your dd needs to know how to defend herself, and she needs to be clear that she must tell an adult if any child does anything to hurt her.

applecrumblepie Fri 12-Apr-13 15:32:43

I'd like to thank you all very much for your input! It's been very helpful to me that I've been able to talk about my frustration about the situation. thanks to you all.

We're off now to let the dog take us for a walk. x

CalamityKate Fri 12-Apr-13 15:52:37

Allow her in the house on the proviso that she agrees to be muzzled, Hannibal Lecter style.

TimeIsACurrency Fri 12-Apr-13 15:58:18

She let herself into your back garden?! shock
A 6 year old knows that's not ok!

taxi4ballet Fri 12-Apr-13 16:04:05

Not sure if I'm right about this - but I've a feeling that human bites are taken VERY seriously by doctors, particularly if the skin has been broken - how about going to see your GP?

Branleuse Fri 12-Apr-13 16:13:11

Id say to my daughter in private fine if you want to play, but dont come whinging to me if she bites you, and id tell the other little girl that she could come in, but there was to be NO BITING and that youve got your eye on her.

Then forget about it, and dont get involved in 6 year olds squabbles.

yaimee Fri 12-Apr-13 17:19:15

sorry but I would. The little angel wouldn't be biting her again in a hurry!

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 12-Apr-13 17:32:08

The best way for the child to learn that biting is not acceptable, and that it has consequences is for you to calmly ban her from your house and garden, and tell her simply that she bites and it's not acceptable.
Every time she comes round or is in your garden, send her home.
If you stay calm, she won't have the chance to get into a two way screaming confrontation with you.
Do the same with her parents.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 12-Apr-13 17:33:57

If they are friends at school, then she'll have to keep to the rules and if she breaks them, the school will implement the consequences.
It's a reasonably supervised environment.
Your DD is 6, so you get to set the rules out of school.

Oblomov Fri 12-Apr-13 17:47:32

How did she get into your garden?

MissLurkalot Fri 12-Apr-13 17:51:00

She can have the friendship at school, there's not much you can do about that one.
But, end contact at home.
Not only the girl, but the Mum sounds a nightmare.

(I moved away from total evil neighbours where this was happening. Best thing we ever did! Moved daughter out if school too.. !)

Start as you mean to go on.. That was my mistake,
The family are clearly taking the piss and using you for free childcare.
Nip it on the bud, stick to your guns. Do not budge!!!!

Arrange other play dates with other friends... Your dd will get over it.

MissLurkalot Fri 12-Apr-13 17:52:49

It's the mentality of the mother that worries me more OP... All sounds a bit too familiar for me.

Be firm.. It will all blow over.

nannyof3 Fri 12-Apr-13 17:59:24

I wouldnt let her bite back (cause of germs)

But i would tell her to give her a good whack

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 12-Apr-13 18:05:24

And when the other child hits her back, twice as hard?
My son once annoyed another child when he was 7 and the boy was 11, and the boy hit him. DS hit back and knocked him down.
Teaching a child to hit back can have consequences you didn't anticipate, I spent years teaching DS not to hit, and thankfully he no longer does.

helenthemadex Fri 12-Apr-13 19:25:25

I would do as Timeisacurrency and Specialsubject suggested

I would change it slightly to 'sorry, but you bit dd so you cant come here to play any more and keep repeating it

formicaqueen Fri 12-Apr-13 21:12:18

No don't say that as your DD will then be as bad as hers.

Don't let them play together at all for a month or two. Invite other nice children back for play dates to make up for it. Tell the angel when she knocks on the door that you won't let DD play with a biter and lier.

Then after a month or two tell the angel that she can have play dates only if she doesn't bite or lie again.

If she does bite or lie don't let them play together for another month or two.

Repeat this exclusion every time something happens. The child will eventually understand and know to behave.

formicaqueen Fri 12-Apr-13 21:14:26

If you let the play dates continue, you are accepting the angels behavior and not stopping it.

You are the adult, you need to make decisions for your child

formicaqueen Fri 12-Apr-13 21:15:49

tell the teacher the angel is hurting your DD at home and can she watch out for problems at school

maddening Fri 12-Apr-13 22:46:24

I reckon the mother sent the biter dd round again as she is essentially using you for free childcare.

Keep your dd away from the biter - even if she wants to play - dc can react strangely to bully types.

You are best making a clean break now as you need to avoid friction with that woman.

WorraLiberty Fri 12-Apr-13 22:54:41

I have talked to the other girl and explained that biting is not nice, etc, etc - but it falls of deaf ears

Then tell it to her straight.

Explain that biting is nasty and spiteful...it's what animals do and as she's not an animal you won't put up with it.

Tell her if she does it again, she will never be allowed in your house, your garden or to play with your DD.

'Biting is not nice' doesn't really cut it with a child as old as 6 imo.

Don't pussyfoot around with her.

babanouche Sat 13-Apr-13 00:32:24

Ok so no to biting back, of course.

The friend's mum is obviously not communicating effectively with her dd. The fact that these two girls are right next door to each other could make life difficult if you try to ban the friendship. Remember they could be your neighbours for years. I'd sit down with both girls and ask them what they think the problem is. At six they are old enough for this.

Then tell the friend if there's any more biting she's going home. Remember it seems as though she likes your house - she spends so much time there - so this should be effective. And if you have to send her home ban her for a period of time, or until she's sincerely apologised.

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