DD bitten for the ninth time at nursery today!

(24 Posts)
Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:18:47

Hi all, I'm new to this board. I'd like to know some opinions on the above really.

DD is two in a few weeks and has been going to the toddler room in this this nursery since January. We moved areas so she switched from a nursery I wasn't quite sure of. The new one is by and large fantastic, it's such an idyllic setting, we love the staff and DD is very happy.

However she has been bitten nine times now since April. In June, she was bitten three times in two days. When it started happening quite regularly, I asked whether she was doing anything to provoke it, snatching toys or anything, this is when I learned it is the same boy biting her all the time. They were very close and as they played together often, she always seemed to be in the firing line when he decided to bite.

Anyway, a month ago I said it had happened too often, the situation was being brought under control, could they please separate them permanently because if it happened again, we would have to consider taking her somewhere else. Which I REALLY don't want to do.

Today, I got a tearful call from her key worker to say, they had all been outside, they played together for the first time in a month for a couple of minutes and he bit her finger.

The staff feel awful. They say the little boys parents are mortified. DD and the boy's birthdays are a week apart and they were both due to go up to the next room in two weeks. There is now talk of putting him up early and delaying DD by a few weeks to keep them apart.

I feel this isn't going to solve it though. I know he is only a baby. I know everybody feels bad about it but I just can't help but feel a tougher stance needs to be taken.

Maybe we should consider taking her elsewhere? But I just don't want to. I love it in every other way and she is so settled. Things are quite rocky at home and I anticipate some upheaval, I want her to have that as a constant.

What do you think?

Judyandherdreamofhorses Fri 13-Sep-13 20:20:41

What would you want to happen if your little girl was the biter and not the 'bitee'?

PoppyWearer Fri 13-Sep-13 20:21:17

Nine times is one hell of a lot. Too many times.

My two DCs have been in nursery since babyhood (DC1 6mo to 4yo, almost daily) and only bitten once or twice each, just to put it into context.

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 20:30:10

i would be very angry.
i would expect the nursery to be keeping a very close eye on any child who is a biter to ensure that this just doesn't happen.
i accept that sometimes you can't be quick enough, but 9 times in 5 months is appalling, esp when they know she is the regular victim!!

ProphetOfDoom Fri 13-Sep-13 20:32:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:32:42

I know it's difficult judy and people have said to me, it's so much worse when yours is the biter. And I agree with that by and large. I didn't so much agree with it a month ago when he bit her face and she had an awful bruise for a week.

I understand how difficult it is to anticipate and intervene in time though.

Staff are limited to what they can do. They just separate them. Tell the biter no. Make a fuss of the bitee and make the biter say sorry. That's all they can do.

If it was my DD and she had bitten one child so many times, and other children several times too, I would go to nursery for a few days and when she bit people, I would tell her off properly, which they can't do, and probably take her home until she learned. I might even consider taking her out altogether.

I might sound silly or harsh, but I just think being told how mortified everyone is is wearing a bit thin

LittleBearPad Fri 13-Sep-13 20:35:35

What do you mean tell her off properly?

SanityClause Fri 13-Sep-13 20:37:29

Do you think he might have rabies?

ProphetOfDoom Fri 13-Sep-13 20:39:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

topicsactiveimon Fri 13-Sep-13 20:40:17

I think my sympathy for the biter would have worn thin by now, too. They need to keep your DD safe. How has your DD reacted? My DS1 was bitten only a couple of times and reacted really badly - terrified of the biter, nightmares, scared to go to nursery. It took months for him to get over it. DS 2 got was bitten and shrugged it off.

No, I don't think it's worse for the parents of the biter. They may be mortified but their child has not been injured. But I do think there's really not much they can do, other than remove their child from the nursery until he gets past this stage. And that may not be realistic for them.

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:42:02

I don't mean shout in her face or anything ridiculous, I mean be firm. Tell her in no uncertain terms no, and take her home. They freely admit at nursery they can't be too firm.

And no of course I don't think he's got rabies, but I'd just rather he didn't bite her. The last time was a nasty bruise on the face, and I don't want to send her to nursery worrying next time it might break through the skin and scar. Or is that completely unreasonable?

onlysettleforbutterflies Fri 13-Sep-13 20:44:29

My friend's ds was a biter and his nursery put him on 1-2-1 measures for a while, how they do this regarding resources etc I don't know but the problem stopped. I would expect an action plan from the nursery.

Pajimjams Fri 13-Sep-13 20:49:10

This is so difficult. My child has also been bitten a number of times by the same child, and has suffered quite bad injuries on two occasions.

I have always kept a very close eye on them when I've been around, and asked staff specifically to do this too. I have actually intervened a couple of times when I saw this other child move in to bite, and firmly said No! and separated them.

My partner was of the opinion that we needed to "do something" - very protective and demonising of the biter. Was worried she would lose a finger or something awful.
I have always been a bit more philosophical about it. Now the other child is more verbal it has really settled down.

It's just a phase, but sounds like your nursery staff are doing what they can, and are fully aware of the problem.

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:49:23

Thanks topic, bizarrely she is still really fond of him, up until the day I told nursery to keep them apart, they would run up to each other and give each other a hug and a kiss. Infact, the bite on the face was when they were hugging apparently. I felt bad effectively ending the friendship, but it looked really painful and enough was enough.

I do appreciate there's not much that can be done, but I feel so annoyed. It might not be realistic for them, but its not realistic for me either

Bumply Fri 13-Sep-13 20:51:33

It's hard.
I we t through this with ds1 - he was being bitten regularly by another lad who didn't like ds1 being paid attention (he was bright and cheerful personality that got lots if positive attn).
Staff did their best to keep the biter away, but he'd do things like wait for a moment when one child had hurt themselves and staff were rushing to help, and then get to ds1.
I was in conversation with nursery throughout and they were doing everything they could. In the end the others their took her child out of this nursery back to his original one where he'd never had any issue.
Shortly after that ds1 decided to become the biter, so I ended up in the opposite situation. They just kept patiently dealing with it, lots of attention for the bitten child, ds1 quietly told it was acceptable. They even tried moving him to the after school section thinking he'd be intimidated by the taller children, but he just but them too.
Eventually he grew out of it, but I was glad I hadn't made too big a deal of it when he was the victim as I'd have felt far worse when he became the biter.
To the person talking about rabies, ok it's not life threatening, but human bites are painful and risk of infection is high if they break the skin. Not something to take lightly

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:01:31

Thanks bumply, I do worry about her one day becoming the biter. I deliberately tried to be laid back about it but after incident 8, I thought she'd had enough.

Hope very much it won't all come back to bite me! (Excuse my exceptional wit)

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:02:46

I am beginning to cool off a bit now though and think I may have said a bit too much at nursery this evening. Hmmmm

ThoughtsPlease Fri 13-Sep-13 21:11:04

I'm not saying biting is acceptable, but why is he biting her?

In what situation?

You said they were hugging and he bit her face?

I also got the impression from what you said that he is not biting her because she has annoyed him by taking toys etc. So why?

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:18:06

I think it's a mix of reasons. Nursery say this one could be teething. When I said she wasn't taking toys, I meant as a general provocative behaviour pattern, but yes there has been a few incidents where they will fight over a toy or push each other to get to the slide and then he goes for the bite. Normal toddler stuff I think. frustration with words has been another explanation offered and a couple of times staff have said it just came out of nowhere and was completely unprovoked

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:19:41

At first I was worried it might be because she wasn't sharing properly and perhaps it was getting her into trouble, but we really went to town on sharing and she's very good at it now. Nursery have always said that's not the issue

trice Fri 13-Sep-13 21:41:28

Ds was a biter at nursery. He mainly bit his best friend. He was completely unable to say why and never bit anyone while I was there so I found it impossible to intervene. He was suspended for a week and put on an iep.

I don't know if it was a phase he grew out of, or if the nursery were inadequate in their supervision, but when he changed nursery he was like a different child and never bit again.

I was upset about his biting habit and concerned about the adorable little poppet he was hurting but his best friends mother stopped speaking to me as she held me responsible. It's a difficult situation.

Licketysplit123 Fri 13-Sep-13 22:22:50

I can imagine how horrible it is trice and hearing it from the horses mouth, I can see how unreasonable it is for the mother not to speak to you.

Ive never been rude to this boy's mother, I don't see her often really. We drop off and pick up at completely different times. Ive always been of the view that she is in a difficult position, but today - obviously completely unfairly - I feel annoyed with her. I feel annoyed with them all.

I'll stop tomorrow though

SimLondon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:28:29

My dd has been bitten a couple of times and has also bitten a couple of times at nursery. She's been at nursery for 1.5 years so its quite rare for us (crosses fingers) and these things happen with toddlers.

The impression i have is that if a child is regularly biting then the staff are on the look out and ready to intervene to prevent a child being bitten. If they played together for the first time in a couple of months and he bit her within two minutes then the staff clearly weren't close enough / on the look out - that is something you might want to discuss with the staff.

The last time my child bit at nursery i bought a book from Amazon called 'teeth are not for biting' and she enjoyed it.

OP - I would suggest that you buy this book and ask the nursery manager / key worker to read it to all the children a couple of times.
Dont give up on the nursery yet if it's important to you to keep the continuity but outline that you want the staff to be ready to intervene beforehand if at all possible.

Personally if my child had been bitten 9 times in a couple of months i would be questioning just how fantastic the nursery is and be looking at alternatives.

trice Fri 13-Sep-13 22:45:33

You may find that they are supervised better in the next room/class up op. Make sure your dd's keyworker is aware of the issue and is ready to step in and distract. .

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