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to be a bit devastated that ds2 seems to be a biter!

(27 Posts)
Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 18:31:43

Well at nursery anyway. He's bitten twice this week, once a child on the finger when they were scrapping over a toy then again today in an 'apparently unprovoked attack' - in the words of one of the nursery nurses. It seems he didn't break the skin but has 'made a real mess' of this childs face which is quite badly bruised.

I feel awful for the child and his parents. I was devastated when similar happened to ds1.

He's never bitten at home although he rough houses with his brother as much as other siblings do and we intervene and use the naughty spot, explanation and apology when he does pinch, scratch, slap etc.

Nursery are going to do the same but have asked if they can put him in a travel cot as he just laughs when they put him on the naughy cushion. Have agreed to that but have refused the suggestion that they strap him into a push chair shock.

I'm just so upset that my gorgeous, beautiful, funny, loving little man is doing this sad.

Should I write to the other parents?

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 18:32:57

Actually think I should probably post this in behaviour actually...ahh well hopefully someone will be able to slap some sense into me. DH thinks the nursery and me are over-reacting and that its just a phase.

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 18:41:10

How old is he if I may ask?

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 18:41:51

He's 20 months, such a tiny tot

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 18:44:09

Little wonder he laughs. He's practically still a baby. He isn't capable of understanding a timeout.

I wouldn't be at all happy with the nursery. What's required is better supervision on their part,though it is near impossible to prevent all biting.
They're blaming a very young child for this,when they should be looking to see what they are doing wrong. He's really too young to be punished for this.

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 18:45:53

And a real mess suggests more than one bite. That tells me that he wasn't adequately supervised. You need to closely observe such young children. I'd complain to them if I were you.

I've worked in childcare and I don't think their attitude towards your young son, or their supervision of their charges is at all acceptable.

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 18:50:23

Thank you thunderduck, that was my initial reaction tbh. When we timeout with him it is literally 1 minute at most to separate them and calm everyone down then explanation and apology. He understands alot but I agree he's too young to 'get' punishment.

I did try and point out that perhaps the girls should be watching the babies a bit more carefully but apparently he 'just went for' this other little boy. I find it VERY hard to believe my son would do that but accept that he's my son and so I might not be entirely objective. Also I didn't see the child so have no idea what they consider to be 'a real mess'. DS1 came home with some tny pink teeth mark on his arm at that age and that was then described as a 'severe' bite.

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 18:51:32

He's not in again til Monday so I shall ponder on this over the weekend and speak to the manager. I'm actually quite good friends with her, not that that should make any difference.

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 18:52:48

I'd arrange a meeting with them if possible and ask what measures they are taking in order to prevent it.

I could believe a quick bite could happen, like a bite to an extended hand could happen even under close supervision, but only occasionally.
A bite to the face, or perhaps several suggests they are not doing their job properly.

Elk Thu 25-Jun-09 18:53:28

My dd2 was a biter. The only thing that worked was supervision to prevent it happening and a firm 'No biting' if she did it. It is a stage many children go through and they grow out of it. I am astonished (that's the polite version) that the nursery have suggested strapping a 20month old baby into a push chair for this.

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 18:55:36

No it shouldn't make any difference if she is your friend. They are letting your ds down and you.

I'm also astonished that they even suggested strapping him into his pushchair.

A timeout, if used for such young children, should be merely a cooling off period for the child, and not a punishment,which is how they seem to be treating it.

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 19:02:45

Yes, the pushchair thing shocked me too. I made it very clear they weren't to do that as DS2 has reflex anoxic seizures and I think that would (understandably) make him so cross he would probably seize.

I think they are reacting in this way as they have a much older child there who a serial biter and one of the children he bit threatened them with legal action and going to the papers. I'm worried that maybe my ds is bearing the brunt of that episode as well. Surely he can't be the only child who ever bitten?

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 19:04:35

He certainly isn't. It's very common with children of this age, and even older.

I'd have a firm talk with them. Yes she may be your friend but she shouldn't be offended by what you have to say.

There are a number of legitimate concerns here and I'd address them asap.

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 19:05:44

Thanks Thunderduck, you're posts have been really helpful. I'll talk with her on Monday.

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 19:06:11

your erg you wouldn't think I was a writer by trade would you!

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 19:07:12


Please report back to let us know how your talk with the nursery staff went.

purepurple Thu 25-Jun-09 19:09:06

Having a naughty caushion is not on, and would be frowned upon by OFSTED.
Punishment is not the answer, in my experience, 20 years as a nursery nurse, it is closer supervision. That and better tactics, like distraction.
As for strapping him into a pushchair, I am totally shocked they would even suggest this to you.
Biting is a normal phase of development for some children.
This nursery is failing your child. Please don't let them treat your child and you in this manner.

Pheebe Thu 25-Jun-09 20:01:54

Thanks everyone, I feel much more able to fight his corner now I know my first reactions were the right ones. I shall report back on Monday smile

Thunderduck Thu 25-Jun-09 20:03:31

Good luck. I hope all goes well.

Thunderduck Mon 29-Jun-09 17:37:55

How did it go Pheebe?

Pheebe Tue 30-Jun-09 16:51:42


Well ds2 was off yesterday with heat stroke! But went back today and bit twice. The second time 'they managed to intervene' before he actually bit the child.

I've made it very clear that I believe its a stage and a normal one and that its down to them to manage it. I'm happy for them to pop him in the travel cot as long as its not used as a punishment and he's taken to say sorry to the child afterwards. I've also asked them to allow him some time out with his cloth and dummy midmorning to see if that helps. He doesn't usually get his dummy in the day but our reasoning is that perhaps he just needs a bit more security/comfort. I've also pointed out that perhaps they are going to need to supervise him a bit more closely until he grows out of this phase. This was all direct with the girls that look after him as the manager is on leave at the mo.

We'll see how he goes over the next couple of weeks then review I think.

Thunderduck Tue 30-Jun-09 16:52:53

I'm glad it went well.

Please keep us updated.

CMOTdibbler Tue 30-Jun-09 16:58:25

DS was a biter at that age. Nursery managed it very well, and said that it was incredibly common, especially with boys.

They can't always stop biting as they'd have to hover over the child all the time (yes, they can just go for the others in a flash), but they can identify the times when it is more likely and do 1:1 then. For DS it was at lunchtime (tired) and when with one other boy who also bit. They tried to seperate the two of them, and made sure DS was on the end of the table at lunch (not separated, but also not with someone right up against him on each side).

We also used more signing as part of DS's problem was that he couldn't express all that he wanted to

Pheebe Tue 30-Jun-09 17:33:06

I will thunderduck, again thanks for your great advice last week

CMOT, thanks for posting, its good to know its so common. I was starting to think (and the nursery manager was certainly giving the impresssion) that it was highly unusual and that DS2 was some kind of vicious 20 month old thug!

CMOTdibbler Tue 30-Jun-09 19:36:03

Certainly our nursery manager, although looking to control the biting, was not unduly concerned about it. And I'd say that in the toddler room of 20 or so overall, at least 7 of them have had biting phases. Not that the nursery staff would tell you of course, but DS does !

The biting reduced amongst them by 2.6, and in preschool room it is really rare it seems

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