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2 year old biting at nursery :(

(16 Posts)
kkllww Thu 17-Jul-14 19:34:35

Was told by nursery today that 23mth old ds had bitten 2 kids unprovoked (one on the arm and one on the chin). Felt terrible, esp about the chin one, and the nursery said they would monitor the situation and implement a programme if this became a habit. She really went on about it and made me feel like ds is a bad child. I can't help feeling that they reacted this way due to the fact that one of the parent's (of the arm bite child) complained and took pics. This is the 3rd incident of him biting another child, but the other 2 occasions were after he'd received bites from others.
He also suffered a bite on the cheek last week - the nursery didn't see what happened and typically we haven't made a fuss as thought to some extent these things will happen at nursery.
While I feel bad about what he did today, I don't know what to do about it as he doesn't exhibit the behaviour at home. I also think maybe we should make more of a fuss when he's bitten and then they'd take his bites more seriously. Does anyone have any exp of this - I'm fretting that he's going to be thrown out of nursery now, although dh says i'm overreacting!

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jul-14 19:39:52

Your child isn't bad,but the behaviour was inappropriate.they're right to start a programme
You slightly sound as if you're minimising this,do be supportive of nursery
The aim is to reduce biting,support your child,and guide toward appropriate behaviour

kkllww Thu 17-Jul-14 20:03:09

I didn't mean to sound like i was minimising - I was horrified as it's always mortifying to be told your child has hurt another one. Maybe my husband and I have been too relaxed about it, thinking that at this age it's just something that will occasionally happen. We'll support the nursery but difficult as he doesn't bite at home so we can't clamp down here. I also think the nursery is a bit insipid in their telling off of kids as they don't say 'naughty' or tell them the behaviour is bad; just that it 'isn't nice' which seems a little weak.

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jul-14 20:06:57

Important,is to minimise the behaviour.its upsetting for everyone
Reinforce tge nursery approach,and in all likelihood itll stop being a thing
And no he'll not be asked to leave over few incidents

NellyTheElephant Thu 17-Jul-14 20:49:47

It is very common behaviour, but that doesn't mean you can be relaxed about it. My DD1 was a biter and it was awful. Biting was her first response to most stressful situations. We found that it was no use at all talking to her (too young to get it really), but if she bit we would be very firm, remove her from the situation with a strong stern NO and put her somewhere boring and fairly sensory deprived (on her bed if at home) for a short time. I would think the nursery would implement a similar program, basically children have to realise that biting has consequences.

Wonderful DD1 is now 9 and the most caring, kind, loving brilliant child imaginable! But I still remember so well when I went to pick her up from nursery and was drawn aside and told in a VERY serious voice that 'there had been a bit of a biting incident', my heart sank, I was so upset, until i was told that another child had bitten my DD - Oh the joy.... I almost cried with relief (whilst DD1 nursed her poor bitten and bleeding finger), I think the teachers thought I was mad!

Heyho111 Mon 21-Jul-14 07:21:06

There could be a few reasons why he does it. Cause and effect. I bite I get the toy or a great reaction. Or I'm bored ! I am not stimulated enough. I need to be in the next room or the staff aren't playing with us just giving us toys to play with.
His behaviour is a reaction. It's not planned he can't do that at that age.
The nursery need to do an iceberg on his behaviour. What you see is the behaviour. What happens under the water is the cause. Not stimulated, not played with , wrong room. Cause and effect. Copying behaviour etc etc.
their plan yes needs to model good behaviour and have consequences for the behaviour. But they need to change what they do to prevent it from happening. Eg more structured play. Turn taking games. Different activities. Move him to older room.

jenna12345 Mon 21-Jul-14 21:45:02

Having worked in a nursery I can assure you many children go through this and it is a phase that will pass.. that said id also be horrified if told by child had done this or had this done to him! It usually stays for a few months but you can only reinforce how bad it is and explain how the other person must feel etc. Maybe a bedtime 'chat' when not in the situation if your child understands?

kkllww Tue 22-Jul-14 16:02:19

Thanks for the replies. He's only just moved up to the toddler room from the baby room so might be trying to exert his 'authority' in the new environment; he's settled in very well in all other respects. There have been a few incidents here (none in the other room) so I think there are several kids exhibiting the same behaviour - one gets bitten, bites another etc, a vicious circle of chomping on each other!
Jenna - he's not quite 2 so unless i catch him in the act he won't understand me talking about it later.
I'm just on tenterhooks when I collect him now; praying they're not going to tell me he's done it again.

Boysclothes Tue 22-Jul-14 16:52:05

I've got a biter. You have my full sympathies. It's awful. He's now 2.5 and although the behaviour can disappear for weeks it does return. Things that have made a difference....

Avoiding situations. Softplay and stay and play were big triggers for us. You need it to stop being a habit so minimise the times he does it.

Talking a lot about not biting, being kind etc. DS is really verbal so this does work for us. We model behaviour using toys and talk about what is ok and what not. Also pep talks before going out.


Really telling him off and leaving immediately if he bites. He still remembers being dragged out of baby gym about five months ago!

Teething. If we get a bite after a period without then guaranteed there will be a new tooth poking up. Only two to go now!

I'd say if he's biting a bit at nursery then you will almost certainly get the behaviour soon at home. Good luck and hope this phase passes quickly!!

toomuchtooold Tue 22-Jul-14 20:24:06

I have 27m twins and at 23m they were still biting a little, and though I tried various ways of discouraging the behaviour all I ever managed was to make them sad without ever really getting the feeling that they'd connected the action of biting and the resulting punishment. The only thing that worked was staying vigilant and figuring out their triggers. So I'd be very interested to hear what this nursery's "programme" is to make it stop...

Andylou2 Wed 23-Jul-14 16:05:18

I don't think you should really be complaining about the other parent's reaction as a parent who has been recently told that there child has been bit again by the same child it is also very upsetting.

Of course people are going to want to prevent it and expect you to reinforce it.

kkllww Wed 23-Jul-14 16:35:23

Not sure what you mean andylou as I wasn't complaining about the parents of the bitten child? Maybe you misread what I wrote.

Andylou2 Wed 23-Jul-14 16:42:58

the fact you stated nursery only reacted this was because the other chil'd parent's complained and took photo's.

would you not expect them to complain ?

kkllww Wed 23-Jul-14 16:53:30

As I said before, you should reread what I wrote as you have misunderstood. I was after help & advice which I got from the other posters - so feel equipped to deal with the situation now.

jollygoose Wed 23-Jul-14 16:54:37

My biter No 1 has grown out of it with consistent strategies at nursery and home reinforcement with time out. We now have biter No 2 at nursery but more often he is the one that gets bitten! always a relief when not the bitee.
You gave my sympathy but it will work out with the right approach.

kkllww Wed 23-Jul-14 17:13:37

Thanks jollygoose. I half hope he does do it at home because then we could react very sternly with timeouts (which work well on occasions when he hits), which the nursery can't do.

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