2nd grandson is cutting teeth. In fact, I think he must be getting his whole mouthful all at one time. His shirt and neck stay wet from the drooling that goes on with teething (At least, I hope that’s what his drooling is about. He does seem to flirt a lot with females.). Since his gums and mouth are sore, he has taken to biting on everything, including sometimes Mommy, Daddy, or Grandawn. It’s not all the time, but you can tell that we just might have a problem with this.
It reminds me of when 1st Daughter was a toddler (30+ years ago). She came home from daycare one day with bite marks on her. I talked with the day care manager about it – I mean, I didn’t want my little girl getting bit! The day care manager said there was a boy in her class who had just started biting her. The teachers were trying everything they could think of to get him to stop. He seemed to be focused on 1st D. She was the one he bit the most.
Was 1st daughter antagonizing the boy in some way? Was she biting him? Was she stealing toys or food from him? Was this some type of toddler dating ritual?
Evidently, the answer to all those questions was “No.” There didn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to Biter Boy’s obsession with 1st D.
My husband and I discussed it and tried to figure out what to do. He was ready to go to the daycare and speak politely but firmly to the boy and then to the boy’s parents. Oh, wait! That’s not what he wanted to do.
And the biting went on – for another day and another day. Finally, my husband sat 1st D down and talked with her very seriously about the biting and what she could do to stop it. I thought he was handling it quite well until I heard him say, “And if he tries to bite you again, punch him – hard – right in the nose.”
Oh, my goodness! What?!?!? Don’t tell our little girl to punch some little boy in the schnoz. Are you kidding me?!?!?
His reasoning was that she needed to protect herself because nothing else was working. I was absolutely appalled and disgusted! He asked if I had a better response. I didn’t. So I left it at that – assuming that 1st D would most likely not carry through with her father’s instructions. And, surely, the daycare manager would carry through with her promise to kick Biter Boy out of the daycare if he didn’t stop biting.
I was wrong. The next day, the day care manager caught me when I went to pick up 1st D. She asked if I had noticed that there were no fresh bite marks. I said that I did and I was very pleased that they had been able to handle the problem.
That’s when she told me that my petite, sweet, loving little girl had dealt with the situation herself. The boy had started the morning with his pursuit of 1st D so that he could bite her. As he made his move, she formed the fingers of her little hand into a tiny fist, pulled back her diminutive arm, and punched him – hard – right in the nose.
Biter Boy never bothered her again. And, of course, my husband was ecstatic that he had been vindicated.
Well . . . It was self defense.
If you decide that the above method is not appropriate for dealing with a Biter Boy or Biter Girl, here are a couple of websites with some tips:
http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/bit.hurt.html – National Network for Child Care – Lesia Oesterreich, M.S., Family Life Extension Specialist, Iowa State University
http://babyparenting.about.com/od/discipline/a/stopbiting.htm – Michele Borba, Ed.D.