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Biting at nurseries

(8 Posts)
Grannieannie100 Fri 28-Sep-12 23:49:39

From my nickname you will see I'm a grandmother who has never had children at nurseries - only with family childminders. I was stumped by a question from my youngest daughter who asked me what she should do regarding a child who has bitten her child again, her son is now 15 months and has been in nursery since he was 6 months. The first time was two months ago and the second time today, the first time is was a little bite which left a mark (noticed on collection at and the nursery told her about it) but today it was two bites both of which left marks and again she was told he had been bitten by the same child. In answer to her question, she was advised they couldn't tell her whom, nor would they tell her what action they had taken if any. It wasn't until she got home and seen she the bite marks quite clearly that was concerned it was more than a "little nip". She felt that the nursery worker, having advised her of incident, indicated that that was the end of it. What action should she take now?? help please

DialMforMummy Sat 29-Sep-12 08:21:40

ahem... it could have been my child....
I ma sorry to say that DS1 was (is but just to me and DH now) a biter. I know he bit other children at nursery several times, mostly the children he is the closest to. It is nursery policy not to tell the "bitee's parents" who the biter is.
Equally, they do not have to tell you how they disciplined the biter. As a parent, I was terribly sorry that my DS bit other children and made it lear to the nursery staff to be very firm with DS re-biting. My DS got a taste of his own medicine a couple of times as well.
Children bite and talking from painful experience they are very quick at it.
In any case, it does not indicate that the child is not supervised properly.
There is not a great deal that can be done about it and also I'd say that it definitely could happen again.

biddyofsuburbia Sat 29-Sep-12 08:33:11

There was a biter at a nursery DS went to. Not told who at the time, think it's the policy. However your DD should have a meeting with the manager to find out what they intend to do about it. It may be quite normal at this age for some children to bite, but it's quite distressing to the parents of the bitee. In our case DS was left with a huge bite mark where the skin was broken (on his shoulder?!) which lasted several months. The biter ended up being shadowed by a member of staff at most times and they involved the SENCO as it was a persistent problem (he bit staff and other children) - perhaps there were other problems too, or maybe the nursery were just covering their backs. Also the child was a bit older - closer to 2yrs. 15 months is still very little.

I then put my son in a different nursery as it acted as a catalyst really - we had moved house and I sent him to a montessori which was closer to our new house, much better and shorter hours. I think all day nursery can be quite a stressful experience for some young children and I decided to move him as I was not working all day so it was a viable option. It is tricky if DD is working and this is the best childcare option available to her, but I think she has every right to make a bit of a fuss so that they do try their best to teach the biter that it is unacceptable behaviour.

insancerre Sat 29-Sep-12 17:06:15

"so that they do try their best to teach the biter that it is unacceptable behaviour. "
Because they won't have thought of that themselves, will they hmm
It happens all the time when you get children cared for in a group situation.
What your dd does is really down to her but I get a bit annoyed when parents think they have the right to tell childcare professioanls how to do their job.

biddyofsuburbia Sat 29-Sep-12 20:27:05

"I get a bit annoyed when parents think they have the right to tell childcare professionanls how to do their job" hmm I think you mean professionals. smile

If you are paying for childcare you have a right to know what is going on. You have a right to know that your child is safe. If another child is a problem I also think you have a right to know that there is a plan (which the ingenious professionals have come up with all by themselves) and the right to ask what the plan is. You also have a right to an opinion on whether you think it is being dealt with effectively.

They may not tell you the plan. They may tell you some but not all of the story. The nursery my DS went to had some quite lovely professionals who dealt with my 'PFB has been bitten' horror rather nicely and communicated a lot more to me than the OP's DD's nursery seem to have done. I still moved him to a different setting. My child, my choice.

insancerre Sun 30-Sep-12 09:48:52

We don't know what was said at the nursery as none of us where there- not even the OP.

I do wonder why every typo has to picked up on and used as a stick to bat the poster with. As if making a typing error invalidates the whole post.
It's very petty and patronising, but then again so was your whole post.
Do you tell the doctor how to do their job, or the cashier at the bank or the teacher?

biddyofsuburbia Sun 30-Sep-12 14:58:21

insancerre I was trying to help the OP. I have experienced biting as the parent of a child who was bitten, not as the parent of a child who bites. It was just my opinion.

I don't tell anyone how to do their job, not even people in the same line of work as myself! If I'm not happy with some aspect of a product or service, especially if it is one I am paying for, then I feel that I have every right to ask questions or even complain shock.

Do you think that questioning someone about their job and what they are doing or telling you is the same thing as telling them how to do their job then? I don't. I think it is the only way you have as a consumer or customer or parent or patient to find out what you need to know to make an informed decision about what you want to do next.

Expecting the nursery manager to talk to the mother and explain their policies and procedures if needs be, is not unreasonable. From the OP we do know that the DD came away saying the nursery would not tell her what action had been taken if any. I was suggesting she could ask them what the plan is to try and stop this happening. That's it. That's not unreasonable. If there isn't a plan and the nursery think biting is normal and to be expected they just need to communicate that to the DD.

Oh, fuck it, I'm sorry for being a bit petty. Yes, I admit it, it was petty to point out your typo, but I was peeved because you were rather patronising yourself!

BackforGood Sun 30-Sep-12 15:14:30

The Nursery are quite correct IMO.
They should not identify the biter to other parents, and they will, of course be doing everything they possibly can to stop it happening again. That is however, easier said than done. I've worked in situations where the child who is doing the biting has even been given ful time 1:1 support (not usually possible, for financial reasons) and they still couldn't eradicate it totally.
Of course it's horrible when it happens to your child, but it's a lot worse if it's your child doing the biting.
If your dd trusts the Nursery, then she should carry on doing so. If she doesn't, then she should move her dc, but of course it's perfectly feasible that there will be another child that bites in the new setting - it's quite a common thing.

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