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Nursery advice re biting child

(33 Posts)
anotherBadAvatar Sat 19-Dec-15 21:15:19

So I'll admit it: my 14m DD bit a child at nursery. She's also been bitten, but that's another story.

I asked one of the nursery workers, a nice lady in her 40s, what I should do about it, eg ignore, tell-off or whatever, and she told me I should bite back. Err... WTF?

She said one bite back and they won't do it again. I really, really hope she was joking, but I don't think she was.

Again, Wtf?! Aibu to be a bit concerned?

Disclaimer: nursery is lovely in every other way and DD very happy there.

KatyN Sat 19-Dec-15 22:00:44

Ask another member of staff!!! I can see this woman's point of view and it is an option but not one that I would employ on my child and I'm guessing not what you want to do to yours either!

They won't have a magic answer because there isn't one but other staff may suggest different approaches and may also explain what they do in nursery as it's clearly not to bite the children.


Coldlightofday Sat 19-Dec-15 22:09:48

Obvs it is awful advice for lots of reasons.

I'd catch her next time you're there and tell her you felt funny about her saying it.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sat 19-Dec-15 22:11:35

It's very common advice but from a professional childcarer I would be concerned.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 19-Dec-15 22:14:25

I have grave concerns here. A child care practitioner told you to bite your child to teach her that biting is wrong. Twist it around the other way. You bite your child because she bites you at home. The staff see marks on her and find out You've bitten her. Who would be their first port of call. SS.

thefourgp Sat 19-Dec-15 22:17:39

My son went through a biting phase (was obsessed with dinosaurs) and bit another child at nursery a couple of years ago. Time outs. They work. Do not bite your child back. An idiot gave me the same stupid advice. Hurting your child does not teach them not to hurt others. I apologised to the other parents and took away his beloved dinosaurs for two days as well. He never bit another kid at nursery again. Good luck. X

VoldysGoneMouldy Sat 19-Dec-15 22:18:14

I'd speak to the manager.

Whilst this is common shitty advice, coming from a childcare professional, it's pretty awful. If you had gone in saying, "oh those bite marks are from me" they'd be raising concerns.

FWIW, a lot of kids bite. Not saying it's okay, but pretty normal.

Mmmmcake123 Sat 19-Dec-15 23:27:38

The nursery I used had a biting policy that was one of many policies we had to read and sign before dc started. It outlined how they deal with it and included
No big fuss toward either child (to stop it becoming a battle)
Parents informed but not of who the other child involved is
Clear and short explanation/demonstration to the perp of why it is wrong
Clear and short comfort and/or explanation to bitten child to ensure they are OK

Think that was the main gist but was a page and a half long!!!

OwlinaTree Sat 19-Dec-15 23:30:25

You can't really tell her off after the event she won't understand. If she bites remove and say 'no' firmly. Give the bitten child lots of attention.

Puffpastry1 Sat 19-Dec-15 23:36:43

Professionally.... The biter gets "shadowed" and a plan is put in place with the mother to work with her on what the consequences are for biting or hurting another child.

In private, my son bit another child and I bit him to show what he had done and he never did it again.

mommy2ash Sat 19-Dec-15 23:38:16

I will admit my dd bit me once I bet her back and she never bit anyone again. Obviously not hard enough to leave a bite mark but it was more the shock of it. Not advocating it as I didn't think it through at the time but it never happened again. Same when she got into a habit of licking people when she was about four. I tried everything and she persisted one day I licked her face back, she cried said it felt horrible and never licked anyone again

MammaTJ Sat 19-Dec-15 23:38:29

Well, I am 48 so similar age to the nursery worker. I have had and actually taken that kind of advice I
In the past. It worked.

I cannot be sure that it worked faster than 'tell them it is wrong' that I did with my younger ones though!

Candlelight30 Sun 20-Dec-15 00:33:56


How could you bite your own child? I mean, how??

I look at my wee 11 month old with her squidgy wee arms and hands and would literally lay my life on the line to protect her from pain and cruelty. I simply couldn't inflict it in her myself?!!


WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 20-Dec-15 00:52:52

I'm with you candle.

Although at nearly 3, she does get her fingers slapped out the way when she reaches for things unsuitable for her.

A hand knocked away from a hot oven is one thing, but a bite?

Puffpastry1 Sun 20-Dec-15 01:02:50

A biting, scratching, pushing child in a nursery does this constantly when they dont get what they want. What about the children that have this done to them?

Its about boundaries that the parent needs to check and be firm with.

SpendSpendSpend Sun 20-Dec-15 01:10:00

A relative of mine bit her daughter whos 7 years old last year.

It was an instant reaction of the mother because the 7 year old had bit their younger sibling.

Afew days later a relative saw the bite mark on the 7 year old and ss were called. Child was ordered to stay with a relative by ss and has not been returned to the mother 10 months later. There has been various meetings with ss about returning the 7 year old to her but she has not been returned yet.

Mother was charged with GBH last month because of the incident

Fatmomma99 Sun 20-Dec-15 01:13:00

It is against the law to bite or physically chastise your child, and anyone in any kind of 'professional' capacity encouraging you to do it should be reported.

That person should not be responsible for other people's children.

I say that as a mother of a child who was bitten in nursery so hard you could see every tooth in the mark on arm.
He's in her secondary school now, and is severely autistic. He still bites, and he's 14 now. It's not his fault.

But it needs to be managed appropriately, and biting him is not the answer.

7Coffees Sun 20-Dec-15 01:18:54

"Spend" biting can't be an instant reaction! You have to think about it!

LucyBabs Sun 20-Dec-15 01:27:13

I personally wouldn't have bitten my 11 month old squidgy arm confused

However my ds was a hitter, biter, used to slap dd etc up until he was 2, we always said very firmly "No ds we don't hit, hands are for helping"

Once he understood and could grasp that when you hit or bit someone it hurts I would (after he hit or bit me) slap his hand and ask "do you like it when someone hits and hurts you?"

He wouldn't be hysterical and there was never a mark left on him. There are certain situations that can be shown with words but for us as a family empathy can only be taught through actions.

I can't imagine my dc being adults and being assaulted in the street and just taking it and not defending themselves because for me there are consequences for all our actions even when we are toddlers.
Imagine being assaulted in the street and trying to reason with the attacker by telling them that what they are doing is wrong?!

Fatmomma99 Sun 20-Dec-15 01:30:13

don't agree, Lucy - when you give violence, you should expect violence back, and one day he'll be bigger and stronger than you.

Being the aggressor is never the answer. even if it worked for you in the short term.

BrianCoxReborn Sun 20-Dec-15 01:33:34

My DS (2.5) bit another child just this week

Totally out of character as he is actually, as far as toddlers go, quite placid and definitely not aggressive.

Nursery worker sat him down and had a conversation with him along the lines of "it make us sad when someone hurts us, doesn't it?" And went on from there to make him understand that it isn't nice to bite. He was ever so apologetic and the 2 of them (biter and bitee) went off playing together shortly after. (Thank god, I was mortified!!)

He's never done anything like it at home, Never lashed out or anything. However...he does like to play 'dogs' or 'dinosaurs' and both involve him picking things up with his mouth hmm so I'm wondering if that's what he was doing?

At no point was he given a retaliatory bite though,.that's terrible advice!

BrianCoxReborn Sun 20-Dec-15 01:35:27

Oh and DS hasn't bitten again. He isn't given retaliatory bites or slaps under any circumstances. He's a child,not a punch bag.

LucyBabs Sun 20-Dec-15 01:36:11

My ds doesn't hit out anymore. We have taught him that you can't and don't hit others to get your own way. I accept a young child like my ds was frustrated and didn't have the words when he was two. It would have been wrong to hit him back when he didn't even understand why he was doing it.
However by four he knew what was doing.

BrianCoxReborn Sun 20-Dec-15 01:36:57

I also have a 12 yo DD, she never bit or slapped (pure luck I know)

She's making up for it now. By God she's hard work.

LucyBabs Sun 20-Dec-15 01:41:53

That's great Briancox but a toddler as your ds is, isn't aggressive. They can become frustrated but a toddler biting another is not an aggressive act. It's usually because they can't communicate their feelings.

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