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toddler bit another child at nursery

(9 Posts)
junglegyms Thu 03-Sep-15 23:39:07

Mortified. DS is 22 months and usually generally good natured, but he bit another child on the arm today at nursery and left a mark. He's been told it's not acceptable behaviour and seems to know he's crossed a line. He's bitten us in the past too, usually when being very playful and it escalates and he thinks it's funny to get a reaction ( which we tell him firmly that it's not). He has also been bitten himself 3 times by other children at this particular nursery in the past. Is this excessive does anyone think?
I have a strong urge to spend the day with him tomorrow and not go to work. Bless him.. hope this doesn't continue, has anyone else experienced this?

Becauseicannes Fri 04-Sep-15 02:00:48

from the other side, my child has been bitten by her friend a few times. We are still friends with their family. I think it's a phase that some of them go through. We certainly knew that the biter's parents would not have encouraged it, they have impeccable manners. As long as you reinforce its not acceptable hopefully it will soon become boring to them.

junglegyms Fri 04-Sep-15 11:59:30

This morning when I dropped him off he said 'no bite' a few times just as we approached the door. Really hoping that means it has sunk in... Thinking about it I felt that the nursery were quite unhelpful - when I asked the nursery worker she disn't have any suggestions as to why he did it, or what the best way of handling it for the future. It was just 'don't know'. Also he had been bitten 3 times himself. Do you think it's worth me organising a meeting with the nursery or is that a bit excessive?

Becauseicannes Fri 04-Sep-15 13:14:19

I don't think it's rude to ask - there shouldn't be so much biting in general. I would just ask them what their strategy is to handle this and reduce this. I would also mention that you would like to emulate the practice at home so there is a consistent response. They also should be controlling behaviour that has got out of hand.

HJBeans Fri 04-Sep-15 14:03:47

I'd speak to nursery if I were you.

We noticed in the bath last night that DS (2) had been bitten at nursery. He had been once before when much younger (12 months?) and had promptly bitten a nursery staff member a few days later blush, so I knew the nursery had a policy of reporting incidents and giving advice to both biter and bitee and was surprised to see marks this time with no incident report. I called today to let them know and they said a child in the room had just started biting, and apologises for missing this incident - they guessed it had happened without DS making any noise, which I could believe. DS named the aggressor but wasn't all that fussed. Anyway, they thanked me for calling and said they'd keep an even closer eye. They clearly know what's going on and have plans in place to tackle it and that's reassuring to me and, I'd assume, also to the biter's parents.

I'd expect the same sort of awareness and response from your nursery - it does sound like a lot of biting is going on and if your son has been victim many times maybe it's not that surprising he's taken up the habit.

junglegyms Fri 04-Sep-15 16:19:43

Thank you both for your advice smile yeah, going to speak to the nursery. I know he bit which is wrong but something doesn't seem quite right, and I need to make sure the nursery are doing their job and that we are communicating. Often feel that I am being a nuisance or over the top but to be quite frank I don't care now. Rather that than not address it properly x

Loraline Fri 04-Sep-15 16:31:26

How are his language skills?

My DS (now 26 months) has always been a biter at home but not at nursery. Recently the boy he plays with the most (and therefore scraps with a bit) bit him twice in two weeks. It's like it gave DS permission to do it - and as far as we know it was the same boy that he bit twice in 2 days!

Anyway, we've always reinfoced 'no biting' at home but for nursery we spent time telling him that if he was frustrated or angry or someone annoyed him he was to call the nursery workers 'help X! or help Y!' and we had this conversation every day before nursery for about 2 weeks. Apparently it's worked and he's been doing it and the nursery gave him stickers to reward him for doing it and being really good.

That said, his language skills are particularly good and obviously he's a little bit older.

It is a phase though. A recent babycentre email I got described how nurseries can suffer 'biting epidemics'. One does it, so they all copy which is kind of what happened in our case.

I'm sure the nursery are on it but at that age I think it's to be expected a bit.

Branleuse Fri 04-Sep-15 18:00:46

its just one of those things that toddlers often do.
I think youre doing all you can, but theres no need to be mortified.

WorzelsCornyBrows Fri 04-Sep-15 18:18:51

It's something some toddlers do, mine has bitten and been bitten in the past. Nursery did a great deal to combat it and we obviously reinforced the message at home and eventually it stopped.

The problem with toddlers is they can sometimes do things like this with no warning and for no obvious reason and so nursery staff can't always spot the signs quickly enough to intervene before it happens.

They will know now that he's a risk in this regard, and I would hope that they'll be keeping a more watchful eye out for him and treat it seriously, as it is something that needs to be stopped. However, it is likely to be just a phase (if he is has no other behavioural or developmental issues), treat it seriously when it happens but don't lose sleep over it.

Fwiw, my eldest went through a phase of this and she's now the kindest, most gentle and caring child you could imagine.

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