Biter - 2 years old in Day Care

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Star*, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Looking for advice and suggestions for a friends 2 1/2 year old little girl who has recently developed a nasty habit of biting others in her day care class. Time out is not working. Goes in time out - comes right out - goes back to biting. She is NOT a difficult child....just a biter. (at this point)

    When Dude was her age and bit me? My pediatritian suggested strongly I bite him back. That was the last time we saw that pediatritian. I asked a girlfriend and she said she would give three swats on the hiney. I'm just thinking there has to be better solutions than spanking and biting.

    Any help will be copied and sent via email.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Anyone? ;)
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    We tried ignoring it. Only because giving it attention especially in the beginning for K was acknowledging that it was OK.
    We also would watch, which was one of the hardest parts, what was triggering these biting episodes?
    Was it not getting something she wanted? (obviously for K it went far beyond just a tantrum)
    But in the beginning we were looking for something simple, like was she mad about something, frustrated, hungry, tired, cranky.
    If she did start to have an episode and started to bite, we would get up and walk away, but as we did we would look her in the eye while holding her arms and say in a very firm voice, "You do not bite, you will not hurt me or anyone else!"
    Walk away. But still be able to see her, if she came back after us we would repeat the same things. We would also tell her that we would not talk to her until she could calm down and stop hitting or biting.
    As she calmed down we would ask her what she needed, talk about why she did this, what she could have done to avoid this, what WE could have done better?
    We also NEVER punished her, especially in the beginning. Because we were trying to figure it out and gain trust.
    As time went on, if she started getting upset we would ask her if she needed to take a calming break? Or if she needed to talk about what is getting her upset?
    We still do this with her, obviously things have changed, but it is still in there and it works a lot.

    Just an idea. :)
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Thanks Toto - I'll pass that along to her for home. She says the problem is - she's biting other children in day care and leaving bite marks. Other parents are picking up their children with teeth marks in their arms and are upset and want something done by the staff. The staff keep putting her in time out, but she comes right out of time out and her Mother says it's ineffective.

    I'll give her the heads up about watching for triggers and anxiety. It's a good start.
  5. jal

    jal Member


    I don't really have an answer as to how to stop it, but I can really empathize because this is what my difficult child started with-in daycare. My difficult child was around the same age as the child you write about. difficult child started biting one kid in particular and of course that child's parents were up in arms. So ensued meetings with the daycare director and teachers on how to curb this. Time out did nothing (difficult child never bought into time out-still to this day they can cause a tantrum and he's now 7). I consulted the pediatrician, who offered up time outs as the solution. Never quite figured out what triggered this, but it paved the way for a lot more to behaviors to come (tantrums, destroying the classroom, becoming a flight risk etc.-all at this young age of 3). The biggest downfall of the whole daycare experience for us was that pretty much as soon as things started to happen, they would call for us to come get him and that's what he wanted! The first time he was sent home, he went in the next day and kicked the director and said "go home now?" Ugh...difficult child's been through 4 daycares over the years. For the past year he no longer goes.

    I must say though, that the biting started as our difficult child was transitioned into a new group in the daycare. He was moving into a 3's group. He was verbal from a very early age. Also, another thing that happened around the time was that 2 daycare "teachers" that he really was attached to had left (one due to pregnancy and one went into the service). I don't know if these were the actual reasons as difficult child is verbal, but has a very hard time with his emotions and of course was too young to really tell us why.

    Has something changed in this childs environment? New teachers, routine or kids?

    Best of luck to the parents. I know how mortified they must be and what a toll something like this takes on you especially if you have to work and need the daycare.
  6. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Another thing might be to take the child out of the class for a bit, but not in a bad way. Just for a short time. For example- incident occurs- let's take a walk and see what is going on, let's go outside for a few minutes and talk about how you are feeling.
    That is how K's School tries to handles these situations in the beginning, before getting into the whole suspension or punishment thing.
    Without scaring the child, they try to work out an answer, "how about punching this pillow, this is your special pillow."
    "Do you like it when someone hurts you? Well this is what you are doing to Johnny."
    "I can see that you are frustrated, but we need to fix this before you hurt your friends or you wont have friends."

    They can take him and role play,- act out when he is getting mad, pretend that he is going to bite, have him do some thing else and see how it can work.
    Have a place for him to go, the office a corner the hall, to let it out.
    A signal to the teacher, so he can just go with out making a big scene.

    I hope something works... We had and still have frustration issues, no more violence. But elevation.
    Poor little guy
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I don't have any answers but can say that my difficult child 1 never bought into time out either. And then what? She had our number pretty early. What do you do when a small child does not buy into your authority? I still wish I knew but she is now 21 and it doesn't matter anymore....
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    THanks everyone -

    My suggestion for a muzzle went over like a lead balloon. Apparently they have no humor left.

    I'll print these out for her and let her see she's not alone at least that's some comfort. I'm also going to suggest clothespins on her shirt. Gets three in the morning - each time she attempts to bite - they take one and have a re-direct. At the end of the day - she can trade clothespins or stickers in for prizes. Short term goal/reward system.

    Thanks again!! You guys are great!