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to take DS (2) out of playgroup because he has been bitten

(81 Posts)
Silvannah Wed 19-Sep-07 10:33:06

by another child TWICE. All the children in my DS's playgroup are all aged 2. This one particular boy has bitten 2 other kids and bitten my DS on the arm you can see the bloody teeth marks.

Anyway I told the nursery manager that she should have a word with the mother about it -whether she has or not I don't know. She is one of these that doesn't want to upset anyone especially now the numbers of children in nursery have dropped, she only has 2 yo's as the schools have taken all the 3 years olds. She used to have 30 odd kids now she only has about 15 - anyway I know this is irrelevent to this post but I personally don't think she will do anything about it because she doesn't want to loose anymore kids IUKWIM.

It's a good playgroup and the staff are all nice and caring & DD went there so I don't really want to take him out but If it happens again I will have to AIBU?

bozza Wed 19-Sep-07 10:34:22


oliveoil Wed 19-Sep-07 10:35:15

if every nursery banned children who were biters, they would all be empty

a lot of children go through a biting phase and the nursery should know how to deal with it

Wisteria Wed 19-Sep-07 10:35:24

If the nursery won't talk to the mother then talk to her yourself.

It is not fair for your child to go through that (although more common than you would imagine) but I think removing your child from the nursery is OTT, IMHO.

LilyLoo Wed 19-Sep-07 10:35:34

i think it sounds more like you have lost confidence in the manager to deal with it tbh.
My ds was bitten very badly at nursery which bruised and drew blood. But tbh i just accepted that wherever he went he may get bitten. Children do bite and even if you took him somewhere else it could happen.
TBH if he is happy to go i would leave him but speak to the nursery manager and ask her what the mum said?

Silvannah Wed 19-Sep-07 10:36:12

So if your kids got bitten you wouldn't mind?

MerlinsBeard Wed 19-Sep-07 10:36:56

I can see where youa re coming from but such a lrage number of toddlers bite that its one of the pahses many of them go thru.

have a word with the person in charge again.

At the playgriup ds1 went to they had incident forms they gave to the parents of the biter as well as to the bitee (iyswim)

if you know who it is then a quiet word in the mothers ear (POLITELY!) may be the way to go..something like did you get told that so and so bit my ds yday

oliveoil Wed 19-Sep-07 10:37:35

I would mind, absolutely, but when I had calmed down would realise that next week it could be MY child that was the biter

speak to the nursery and see what they are doing, ie distraction, keeping the children apart etc

KaySamuels Wed 19-Sep-07 10:38:03

My ds was being physically bullied by a little girl at mother and toddler group last year, DS would be sobbing every week and the little girls mother was very half hearted in dealing with her dd, so I stopped going for 3 months. We go again now and the phase seems to have passed.

If this were going on at playgroup I think I would look for an alternative, as I found it really upsetting to see ds be hit/kicked/slapped/rammed into on a regular basis with no outcome for the biter, plus M+Ts was only once a week so I persevered for a while - does your ds go every day?

Emprexia Wed 19-Sep-07 10:38:37

You're not being unreasonable to want to, but i don't think you should.

There is only a certain amount that the nursery staff can do to stop a biter, and unfortunatly, by the time you've realised he/she is about to strike, its too late, and all you can do is deal with the aftermath.

One of the nurseries i worked at had a biter, and even with only 10 children and three staff in the room, he usually managed to bite at least one child a day, even if we stopped him another 6 or 7 times.

If you know which child it is.. which the nursery should NOT have told you (DPA/confidentiality and all that)then perhaps you can try and tackle her about it yourself.

Saturn74 Wed 19-Sep-07 10:40:13

Silvannah, it is a stage lots of children go through.
I'm not sure what would be achieved by speaking to the mother - she probably feels dreadful about it already.
I understand how upsetting it is for you when your child gets hurt.
The nursery need to keep a closer eye on the child that is going through the biting phase.
The mother cannot be held responsible for the actions of her child when he is in someone else's care.

And your child may go through one of the less desirable phases at some stage, and may not appreciate being contacted by other parents with regard to it.

Really, speak to the nursery manager and get her to assure you that they will keep a closer eye on this little chap for a while - although often there is nothing that can be done as it all happens so quickly.

But they do need to have a consistent plan for dealing with it when it does, so he learns to stop it.


WigWamBam Wed 19-Sep-07 10:40:52

It's not a case of not minding. It's a case of understanding that it's a rare toddler who doesn't go through a stage of biting, pinching, pushing, hitting ... and of realising that, with the best will in the world, there is very little that can be done to stop them.

Having a word with the mother won't help; she isn't there when it happens, and at 2 he is too young to expect him to stop just because his mother tells him to.

The nursery will know how to deal with it - have you asked them how they address these issues? They will be the ones dealing with it, not the other child's mother.

KaySamuels Wed 19-Sep-07 10:40:55

It is true that there are biters everywhere so I would focus on what the manager and staff are doing with biters, and if you are satisfied with their response persevere, if you are not move him elsewhere. Children are awfully resilient, ds would still want to go M+Ts, seemed to just accept the hitter.

Nemo2007 Wed 19-Sep-07 10:41:53

To be honest it is a bit OTT so YABU.
Lots of children going through biting stages and I can understand why you feel a bit miffed but its what happens. Would you take your little one out of school if they got into a fight with same child twice even if everything else was great?

bozza Wed 19-Sep-07 10:42:48

Twice is not that many times. I think the nursery manager will probably be keeping her dealings with the other mother confidential.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 19-Sep-07 10:42:53

Thing is, if the child is biting at nursery, it's actually down to the nursery to deal with it. They should have an action plan in place (work out what makes this child bite, watch out for those warning signs, and take steps to make the child understand that biting is wrong). Obviously they should be discussing this action plan with the mother in question, too.

The nursery absolutely should NOT be telling you about who is biting, too.

I wouldn't withdraw my child from playgroup because of biting. But then, I work shifts at our playgroup (all the parents do!) so I really understand.

wulfricsmummy Wed 19-Sep-07 10:42:59

Message withdrawn

TinyGang Wed 19-Sep-07 10:43:22

I would mind a lot if my child was being bitten.

I appreciate that some children go through phases of this though and I would expect the nursery to be keeping a special close eye on children who are going through that phase.

If they were not doing that then I would not feel they were doing their job properly or didn't have enough staff and I would leave if it kept happening.

minouminou Wed 19-Sep-07 10:45:29

DS was bitten at nursery by one of his favourite chums yesterday - they were hugging and his little mate got a bit over-excited. He has four tiny bruise marks on his back which fit the offender's dental profile!
It happens, it's normal. DP picked him up yesterday and signed the incident forms, told me when they got home, we looked at the marks, and you know what, apart from the fact that it made him cry, it's really not that much of a big deal - this biting thing is usually a sign of affection. It seems odd to us,and no it's not pleasant, but they grow out of it.
He'll be back at nursery with "Jaws" today- no way would i remove him - i can understand your wanting to avoid anymore pain, but to do that, you'll have to put your dc alone in a sealed, padded room!

pyjamagirl Wed 19-Sep-07 10:46:13

I know what you mean to of my DD's got bitten at playgroups (on diffrent occasions)
and I tended to smile and say oh it's ok then sit inwardly seething.

IMO you should ring up the teacher and make her understand how much it upset you and that you will be very wary of fetching your DS in case it happens again maybe this will get through to her a bit more
I dont think you should have a word with the mother but the teacher definatley should .

HonoriaGlossop Wed 19-Sep-07 10:47:54

I think you just have to weigh up what's more important to you. If you don't want to risk the biting, then yes take him out of playgroup. Playgroup is a big load of kids who are pre-social-skills and the best nursery in the world will have biting happen sometimes, because of the fact that it IS a big load of kids who are pre-social!

He's two, it's not compulsory. Maybe you'd be more comfortable starting him at 3 when it's POSSIBLE that many biters/pushers might have gone through the worst of the phase; obviously there are no guarantees though.

But socialising in this way isn't compulsory for them.

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 19-Sep-07 10:49:21


She probably is working closely with the parents to sort this out, and undoubtedly the parents of the child are mortified.

My DD was bitten a few times (by the same child who bit others). It happens - if not in nursery, elsewhere. Some children bite. It's a phase. They'll grow out of it.

Silvannah Wed 19-Sep-07 10:52:13

The Nursery Manager didn't tell which child done the biting so I obviously can't talk to the mum as I don't know who she is.

The manager did say they put the boy to sit in the time out chair for 5 minutes but he just got up and ran off after 30 seconds she explained he is too young to understand etc which I appreciate but I don't want my DS coming home from playgroup crying and upset because of this boy. Neither of my 2 kids have ever bitten anyone before so I find it hard when a child does this.

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 19-Sep-07 10:54:34

Silvannah - it is remarkably common in young children. You have been luck I think.

The manager is right not to tell you which child - I'm sure she is capable of dealing with it. I do understand your anger and upset though.

oliveoil Wed 19-Sep-07 10:54:51

I don't think they can tell you who the biter is (data protection or some guff)

I remember when I had to sign a form as dd2 had been hit and they said we can't tell you who did it (like I cared), cue dd1 coming out saying "X hit dd2 in the face with the telephone"

hahahah, protocol well and truly broken

It is horrible but it is so so common, honest, dd1 used to bite dd2 with frustration but never bit anyone else (that I am aware of)

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