Thursday, June 21, 2007

Frustration

I always pick up Audrey first when I go to get the girls. I walk into her room yesterday and see the dreaded note I have seen a few times attached to her clipboard. I think, "damn, she bit another kid, oohh, or maybe she got bit...". I know, I really shouldn't hope for my child being bit, but which is worse?? So yes, she bit another child and now we have to have a meeting with Director of the school to come up with a "plan".

I just wanted to cry. I am stressed and worried. I just want to sit in there all day and hug her when she feels like she needs to bite someone. Her teacher says she never does it unprovoked, meaning she doesn't just walk up to a kid and bite them. There is always a reason, mostly someone grabs something out of her hands. And she gets pissed.

I don't know what the solution is. She isn't doing it at home. We have stopped playing pretend biting her toes games and such. We read her books about no biting. We give her lots of love and attention. And we know she gets lots of love and attention from her teachers at school.

And I am sorry to those parents whose kids she has bitten. I don't know what to say. And the teachers tell me they are working on those kids who grab stuff out of her hand. But who is the issue? The kid who grabs or the kid who bits or both?

The meeting is planned for next week. I don't want them to tell me this has to be fixed now or she's out. I just don't know what I would do.

23 comments:

ktjrdn said...

oh, Amy, I'm so sorry. I almost emailed you yesterday asking how the situation was gonig. I really don't have any advice for you, but let me know if you need to talk. I'm here

Kellie said...

That sucks....I'm sorry. I'm sure you all will come up with a plan that will work. She's such a sweet little girl--it's the punk kids provoking her that's making her do it!!

Happy Working Mom said...

Oh Amy, I really feel for you. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things.

How are they "punishing" her? Do they need to come up with an alternate punishment? I'm not sure what with such a young age, but it sounds like maybe that would help.

Does Ashley ever take things from her? If so, is she not biting (I know you said she's not going it at home). Could you replicate the situation and handle it a little differently than the school teachers do? I know I'm grasping at straws here...I can just tell how upset you are by this.

CPA Mom said...

Amy, you know we went through this exact.same.thing with Tigger and are starting it with Eeyore. Tigger was expelled from two schools before he was 2 1/2. I'm glad your director wants to try and come up with something. I know at his third school, where they broke him of the habit, he spent some time alone in the office with the director and that helped a lot. Anytime he hit his triggers (too loud, too much noise, other kids taking his toys) they just removed him from the situation until he could calm down. The other kids are just as much to blame. They have to learn not to grab just as Audrey has to learn not to bite. It's an age thing and any director or teacher who know their profession know this. Recommend they make her spend some time alone maybe. We can talk by phone more too. It is VERY hard being the mom on either side of this situation, I KNOW.

Melissa said...

Don't worry yourself too much because I honestly believe that it is a developmental nuance and it too will pass. It sounds like you are doing everything that you can. Does she receive some type of time out at school? My daughter is 2 and time out really seems to work for her when it comes to being mean (mostly with her brother!!). Maybe if there is some type of consequence where she is put by herself (make sure the minutes match the age) she will begin to realize that when she bites people do not want her around them because it hurts them. Just a suggestion! Hang in there because I promise that she won't be graduating high school biting people!!!
Mel

Mrs. CPA said...

As a parent of the one who is always getting bitten, all I can say is that kids bite. They do, and once they decide it is fun or gets the appropiate response form the bitee, they are going to keep doing it until they outgrow it. You can try redirecting the biting when the teachers see a situation that looks like it might end in biting. I know it's tough. I've heard of a football type helmet that kids can wear, so they can't get things up to their mouth's to bite.

Hang in there! She's not still going to be biting kids in 5th grade.

The very nice man said...

This is a "Bloke's" perspective:
"Maybe she was just hungry or the other kid was so annoying, someone HAD to bite it?!" :-(

EC said...

(((HUGS)))) It sounds as if you need a few hugs :( I have no advice because my son wasn't a biter, but I can just say, hang in there, he will not be a 21 man biting the girl in his college class :)

Edie C said...

Oh no, not again! :( I'm sorry.
Ok, first of all, this is not totally Audrey's fault. So, don't take all the blame solely on your shoulders. I think when you speak with the director, you should work on an appropriate plan of punishment for Audrey when this occurs. Whether it be time alone, letting the other kid get his way, or just disappointing her in some way. That way, she won't feel there is a reward for biting. However, you should also discuss with the director what can be done in the classroom to prevent these situations. Children this age should try to play independently b/c of things like this. If the teachers had stopped that other child from provoking Audrey, I know she would not bite. It's a two way street. Everyone needs to look at it from both sides. I hope you can find a solution soon. She will outgrow it though. As much as she is talking now, soon, she'll be able to use her words to convey her messages and not her teeth. Good Luck!

Lost A Sock said...

Aww, Amy I'm so sorry for you. What a tough spot to be in. We've never dealt with this one, otherwise I'd share anything I could. She will grow out of it in just a matter of time. Big hugs.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh no! Well, Amy, you know we're having exactly the same problem with our 18 month old right now. I can tell you that it's not just her fault. The kids who are grabbing are just as much to blame. Luckily, our sitter agrees with us here.

The only thing that really works to keep Holden from biting, aside from consistent discipline (time outs) and that goes without saying, is constant supervision. We can tell when it's going to happen and we move him before he bites. Our sitter does the same thing. Of course, sometimes no one gets to him in time and he does bite.

Luckily, we don't have parents clamoring for Holden's head on a platter. All the other parents are very understanding. A lot of their kids have done similar things *and* Holden is the youngest at daycare, so the parents hold their kids just as responsible.

My point is, try not to beat yourself up about this. (I know, I know, I feel guilty too. It's a mom thing. We can't help it!) You're doing everything right. You know you are. It's a developmental stage and there are no quick fixes. As long as your daycare providers understand that too, it will all be fine. (((HUGS)))

ChrisB said...

Amy it really is a developmental phase that a lot of children go through (I know this doesn't really help). As others have said it is a two way thing as Audrey is only retaliating when other kids grab something, learning to share is a difficult concept at this age. She does need to learn it's not accepatable to bite same as other kids must learn not to grab, time out often helps. Sometimes it helps to have an adult just position themselves nearby so that they can interveve if another child goes to grab something but I appreciate this might be difficult in a nursery situation. Hope you manage to find an answer.

ChrisB said...

Amy it really is a developmental phase that a lot of children go through (I know this doesn't really help). As others have said it is a two way thing as Audrey is only retaliating when other kids grab something, learning to share is a difficult concept at this age. She does need to learn it's not accepatable to bite same as other kids must learn not to grab, time out often helps. Sometimes it helps to have an adult just position themselves nearby so that they can interveve if another child goes to grab something but I appreciate this might be difficult in a nursery situation. Hope you manage to find an answer.

Rachel said...

Have you talked to her pediatrician about it? Maybe they can give you some advice too.

I was serious when I said that I had heard about people trying hot sauce on the tongue and it works.

Wendy said...

This is a horrible dev. phase that toddlers go through! I really doubt that they are going to ask her to leave the program if they are professional and have a strong knowledge of child dev. I am sure the director just wants to make sure that everyone is on the same page with how to handle the situation!

Sabrina said...

If it's any consolation, one of my best friends when I was growing up was a biter. Today he's a very successful business person that makes craploads of money. Maybe we should do a study to see if biters turn out to be successful business people...

When I was much younger, I was a "butt pincher". Don't ask me why, if it was there, I'd pinch it. Well, I finally outgrew that and i'm a semi "normal" individual.

This too will pass. You haven't done anything wrong. Ashley's defending her turf the only way she knows how.

Have you tried a 30 second praise followed by 30 seconds of "you suck"? It's some psychology thing that someone taught me a while ago, praise them for excellent behavior, then tell them "well Ashley, you really need to work on biting because if you keep biting your friends, you won't have any left" or something else that sounds a lot better than what I just wrote. How about a reward system of every day she doesn't bite, she gets a piece of candy or what-not? My husband thinks that our life has just resorted to flagrant bribery of our kids and he doesn't like it till I remind him that at our age we're still being bribed! ie: Come to work and we'll pay you money....

Good luck!


PS: the word verification bar sucks today. I can't even read what word i'm supposed to type...

Christine said...

Amy I am so sorry. I couldn't agree more with CPA Mom, taking them away from the situation helps until they calm down, and it's also very true that the other children are just as much to blame.
She's a sweetie, and it sounds like the teachers know it's not just her. It takes two!
HUGS Amy, Everything will be fine.

frannie said...

oh, good luck sweetie... I wish I knew what to do or tell you.

this totally sucks. I know you are working so hard on it-- that's what makes it so frustrating!!!

That Chick Over There said...

Oh I'm so sorry. I know one time my son had a potty accident at school and somehow managed to accident get a tiny bit of poo on another child and I nearly DIED with shame. I know just what you are going through.

Those parents don't think bad of you, though. I'm sure of it.

SJ said...

Eventually Audrey will stop the biting behavior, unfortunately until then anyone caring for her just needs to keep a watchful eye on her and when she's provoked, redirect her. Both Keven Jr. and Isaac were bitten at school, and Isaac has bitten Keven Jr. a few times at home, mostly when he's being picked on. I feel that was because he couldn't verbalize his feelings, he bit to make it known he was madder then hell. If her teacher can identify what sets her off, and put a stop to that, then the biting might stop. I know how you are feeling about this as I've been in your shoes, but as Mrs. CPA said, kids bite. It'll pass in time, just hang in there.

my4kids said...

Oh Amy that has to be hard! I wouldn't know what to do either. It sounds like you are doing what you can.

Beccy said...

My friend went through something similar, the nursery and my friend worked together to solve the problem with the same punishment (exclusion) being used both at home and nursery. I hope it all works out for you.

Julie said...

I'm a little late to the game here so I don't have anything new to add. I do think if she is biting when provoked, part of the plan has to be involving working on the kids that are provoking her. If it's the same kid or kids, maybe the director needs to pull in their parents as well - and get everyone working together? Also, make sure the teachers are giving the attention to the bitee and not Audrey when it happens. If they give mroe attention to her, she may be doing it partially for attention.