DC5 bitten today in school, hard enough to draw blood(6 Posts)
I got an email from the head or year today, saying that my DC aged 5 had been involved in a playground incident reported as follows:
* a child in the same year (let's call them X) had tried to join a group-game and my child (Y) & the other children playing hadn't wanted this X to join
* X started fighting Y
* X ran, and Y & another child chased them
* Y (my child) kicked at X's legs in the pursuit
* all 3 wrestled in a corner of the playspace
* the other child smacked X's bum
* X shouted 'that's it!' and bit Y on the leg hard, drawing blood
The scab on my child's leg is approx 5mm across, with bruising around.
It has been reported as a 50/50 blame event, and all miss their playtime tomorrow. Fair enough. I have reinforced this evening that kicking is never acceptable, no matter what took place beforehand and supported the punishment.
However, the child X has a very bad rap with other parents. Whenever their name comes up in conversation with other patrons, it is negative. Of the several classes in the year group, many parents have now asked not to have this X in the same class as their child, enough that my child's class comprises pretty much only the non-complainers (about a third of the year). Several parents won't take their children to parties where this X is known to be coming. We do invite X to our parties, and I have always dismissed the other gossip and said that X has always seemed fine to us (although I have noticed that whenever we watch at school events - sports day etc - poor X seems to spend the whole time being taken to one side and told-off).
I asked my child this evening if X was generally their friend, and they said yes. Which is good.
I am due for a brief chat with the Head of Year tomorrow about this incident.
I've always thought that child X was rather meanly demonised by the other parents and that all children mature at their own pace, and possibly some sensory issues/ADHD might be diagnosed in the next 18 months. Or that there might be something going on at home. I had planned to encourage my child to stay friends, and ask teachers to intervene if they felt X was being rough and spoiling games. I'd even wondered about texting X's mum and and sayin sorry that X & Y were both in the same rough play, today & that Y was OK, and I hoped X was too.
But reading past mumsnet threads about biters/biting in Yr1 classes, am I underreacting and not standing up for my child? What would you do?
For the avoidance of doubt, I don't want the incident taken further, or any extra punishment of x, or for our children to be told to avoid each other. X is only 5 too, poor sausage. Just wondered how other mums would react?
I don't think you are under reacting at all. It sounds like a bit of a joint enterprise and I'm afraid biting at age 5 is not as unusual as you might think. Not to say all 5 year old kids sunk their gnashers into each other, obv!
I would not contact the other parents though. Let school handle it.
I would seek reassurance that there is a plan in place for X though, it sounds like there is an ongoing issue and you don't want there to be too much disruption to your child's education if he is having behavioural problems. Obviously school may not be able to tell you what plans there are though.
X ran away and your child plus another chased him in order to carry on the fight, after they wouldn't let him play with them? I would be having strong words with my child about kindness and how to deal with situations. If they really didn't want him to join in then they should have found a playtime supervisor if he persisted. I would be explaining to dc that while it is not nice to bite, how would he feel if someone who is 'generally their friend ' wouldn't let them join their game?
I think it's just one of those things that will happen between children occasionally, but there is fault on both sides so use it as a learning experience and move on.
Biting is not nice
Kicking is not nice
Chasing is not nice
Fighting is not nice
Not letting X play is not nice
I think there is disproportionate hysteria about biting on MN. To me it's no different from other violent acts - none of which are nice but all unfortunately happen from time to time as kids learn how to deal with arguments.
I also don't think you should be influenced by other parents' views of X - go by what you have witnessed/what has happened with your own child.
If attacks by X happen day in day out, or are completely unprovoked, then ok you might need to do something to protect your child. But not after one (very much two sided) incident.
Aside from everything else, I think that the general advice is that anyone who has a human bite bad enough to draw blood needs to be seen by a doctor.
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