How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

My Son: The Preschool Cannibal

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I wrote this a few months ago but needed some time to let things play out a bit. We seem to be out of the storm, for now, but it still stands as a snapshot of my experience. I hope other parents read it knowing someone else felt conflicted about discipline, diagnosis and decision-making. We are now on the verge of having a “threenager” ourselves.

The call finally came in. My son is biting kids.

It’s a strange position to be in, knowing that your son is taking out his frustrations on others in ways that were more acceptable during the Neolithic era.

A wolverine, for those who don’t know, is a Tasmanian Devil/rabid dog combo.

My first reaction, after the shock, was the standard, “Who’s going to die?” “Well, what did those kids do to him?” We’ve all heard of the Mother Bear mentality. I guess “Honey Badger” is the new version of that for Moms. But have you met Papa Wolverine? That’s right. Much like the wolverine, fathers can embody the rage of an animal that can literally take out a grizzly bear. We crazy.

But rather than jump down someone’s throat and act like the dad whose kid is perfect, I somehow decided to be rational and asked questions about the circumstances. I wanted to know more. It just didn’t mesh with the composition of who I experienced my son to be. Sure, he threw fits and had rough days. He’s smacked me on occasion and I’ve let him know it’s unacceptable to hit someone who is helping him. I was the Polite Wolverine.

They suggested we hire someone for the next week to be there with him, providing more personal attention and my response to that, again in my head to save everyone the grief, ‘Are you understaffed or something?’ Was it unreasonable of me to think that?

But then they started in with the ‘now, we haven’t seen any indications of Aspbergers or those types of issues’…

Oh, man. I have many friends with kids who have varying forms of autism. I can’t imagine how it would feel to get a diagnosis like that. Some have told me it felt like a weight was lifted off their shoulders, knowing that there is someone who understood and could help their child, like a a door had opened. Others felt a strange imprisonment by the terms and classifications, that their child was now thrust into a categorical system that predicted a future for them and left little room for deviation.

Back when Finn’s vampire teeth came in…

I have found that systems of diagnosis and education to be incredibly difficult where they are most generalized. The one-size fits all approach excises our individuality. Hearing that my son does or does not show signs of behavioral problems put me a little off-kilter realizing that he’d already been thrust into a system of names and numbers and labels. Maybe my protestations also come from my own history of elders deciding what I was to them.

I told Andy about it a bit. He then texted me back, “Just be glad he’s not a numb lamb. I’d rather sire wolves than lambs. Sometimes I hang onto that thought thought like a castaway to a rock on a jagged stormy shore.”

So, we’re going to meet with the school’s teachers and its administrator. I have many questions for them. Is he too young for school? What are the circumstances of his transgressions? What are the possibly underlying causes of these things? I have a laundry list and whether I get them all answered or not, I hope to find enough details that I can at least apply my comprehension of my son as best as I can.

But hey, if they gave me a label or a diagnosis, it’s not the end of the world. If they told me he was a cannibal, I’d just have to find the right people to feed him. ;)

Food for thought.

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52 Comments

52 Responses to “My Son: The Preschool Cannibal”

  1. Erich says:

    My niece is a notorious biter. My own daughter who is about 4 months older has been a victim of this and as a result only brings her kiddo fangs down on food instead of people. I’m just afraid of her slapping lasting until she starts school or day care.

    • charlie says:

      We all have vices and weapons of choice, no?

    • Laura Hamilton says:

      My 3 year old daughter was attacked by a serial biter as she sat on her carpet square for story time at preschool. She was screaming in pain and now awakens at 5 am shouting in terror: “Stop hurting me!” I am furious at the parents of the biter, who refuse to take their bullying child out of the classroom and seek help for their budding sociopath. Yesterday the biter punched another little girl in the face. Three families are removing their children from the school as a result. There is nothing funny about biting. Parents should take the pain and fear their children inflict on others seriously.

  2. There are reasons for everything kids do. Sometimes they are “kids just do that” and other times there’s reason for looking into a diagnosis.
    I went through all the testing for one of my kids, and I’m glad I did. I’d rather face the full information, then be scared of what I’ll learn about my kid.
    You’re a good Wolverine, mister.
    And if he does turn out to be a cannibal, I have a couple names and numbers for you.

  3. Meagan says:

    Is it possible it’s jus a bad school? I’m likely missing a lot here, but my first reaction is WTF. Biting is obviously not something any adult can or should allow, but it’s also SUPER common at this age. The school should be more than capable of handling it on their own (during school) and if some extra issue were suspected, they still ought to be capable of handling the biting. If they suspect aspbergers, the only thing they should be suggesting to you is an evaluation. If my preschool suggested I hire a babysitter, I’d be looking for a different preschool.

    As for those extra issues, the label “aspbergers” shouldn’t even come up unless there’s a whole lot more going on than biting. Not even in a “Probably not aspbergers” context. That’s like going in to the doctor with vomiting and having them tell you it’s “probably not cancer.” It’s just irresponsible.

    • Jessie says:

      Yes, yes, and more yes, Meagan. That type of reaction is an over-reaction, and they shouldn’t be even hinting at this being aspbergers with just a bite (which I’m sure they’re classifying as anti-social behavior). The vomiting/cancer analogy is a good one. Yes, it could be, or it could just be vomit and a bad day. Jeezum. I’d go all Polite Wolverine on their ass.

      Kids bite, they hit, they scream, they throw, usually because they haven’t figured out how to express themselves otherwise (adults do this too, btw). Usually you just have to find a mutually acceptable outlet. My kid hit, so I got him a punching pad and told him that when he felt like hitting he needed to hit that and only that. After a few weeks he got over that phase and doesn’t feel the need to hit anymore (though I kept the pad just in case).

      Good luck, don’t let the system get you down.

    • mikes says:

      (Assuming there is nothing else going on) what a bunch of monkeys!

      These people, who can’t (a) manage a child, or (b) interact with an adult competently… are the ones supposed to be teaching our kids to do so.

      I would really want to know what else was happening, though I doubt you’ll ever find out. The root cause is almost certainly a lack of supervision, perhaps combined with a bit of early-onset bullying from the bitee…

    • ericalee says:

      Preach, Meagan! Why would you have to pay someone else to go to watch your child at a preschool you pay for? They should be more than well equipped to handle this. I’m also not seeing the link between biting = possible autism?

    • Hannah says:

      That’s exactly what I thought, Meagan! As a teacher, I despise it when the education system (and parents) pulls out labels on kids before even considering the child and situation.

  4. Steve says:

    Maybe not apropos, but:
    Two cannibals are eating a clown. One turns to the other and says: “Does this taste funny to you?”

    Biting is supposedly a phase that usually comes and goes (your Dahmer types naturally excepted), as kids are learning about their actions and the consequences of them. In more precise terms, they are waking up to the reality that there actually ARE consequences to their actions, much like the fine folks at JP Morgan Chase need to learn. Add to that the excellent comments above about how kids can or cannot express themselves in terms that others find agreeable and my guess is this, too shall pass.

    The Politically Correct Dictionary defines a serial killer as “Someone with difficult-to-meet needs”. Young kids must fall into a similar category (not killers, but those with difficult-to-meet needs). Anyway, great post as always!

  5. Robin says:

    Criminy (to the school). Toddlers bite. They have bitten since the dawn of time. They like putting things in their mouths, they don’t have other problem-solving skills mastered yet, so it’s a go-to response for many, many children. Naturally no one wants their kid to be on the receiving end of the biting, and it’s frustrating for the caretakers and parents to have to live through teaching them to stop, but the insinuation from day cares that it’s somehow a sign of a larger child development issue or parenting problem is pretty silly.

  6. serena says:

    Okay here I go. As you know I have 4 kids, 3 of which I have raised since birth. My oldest has Aspergers and oddly enough is the only one that did not go through the biting phase but has had his share of other phases so it evens out. I know I am going to get massive amounts of flack for this and I know you will never do it but when I caught Amber Lynn and George biting, I bit them back. Not enough to draw blood but enough to hurt. Once they realized what exactly they were doing it stopped. I only had to do it that once. Toddlers have so much sensory overload and I think biting is a way of releasing some of that anxiety. The world is so big and overwhelming….they don’t even realize what they are doing is hurting others. So once I bit my two back and they realized it actually hurt, it stopped, instantly. No need to contact the authorities….well I live in Ark so go for it they dont care.

    • Priss says:

      I won’t give you any flack, and I can tell you why.

      Children are not naturally born with a sense of empathy. They express anger and frustration by doing something they don’t necessarily realize is hurting someone else. Sometimes it never clicks until someone demonstrates what it is they’re doing.

      THEN they get it. I’ve found that similar acts of demonstration work through all ages (adults are a special group, because you have to talk it out with them, and that can take forever).

      My son went through the brief stage of thinking hitting dudes in the junk was funny. Until I demonstrated how that wasn’t funny.

      He apologized and hugged his dad the next day for all the times he did that. He understood at that point why no one else thought it was funny, and he was genuinely upset that he had hurt someone like that.

  7. Brandy says:

    I am sitting here with my jaw on the floor. Are they serious? Hire someone? Autism? THEY ARE TODDLERS. This happens in EVERY day care. I don’t care how much you pay or what. It is a developmental stage as well as what kids do. They are learning their environment.

    We got the first taste as the victim before we were out of infants. There was an older infant biting L repeatedly. Even to where we could tell it was on purpose. It was hard. we knew the parents and knew it was a phase but it was tough. We did chat with the center and made arrangements to keep those 2 apart for a short while but NEVER was it to the level you talk about…and he was bit like 12 times!

    We also have been on the biting end and the usual problem? Transition time. When L has hit “big kid in the little pond” stage of a class, violence erupts. It isn’t just him. He and his best friend will start beating each other up and just insanity. the minute they move up to the new class, it goes away. This has happened in MANY cases. I think it is developmental thing when more “babies” come in to their class.

    All of that said, we don’t tolerate biting in our house. It is a big offense and gets you sent to timeout or your room IMMEDIATELY. We go through phases at school but it usually lasts maybe a week and we realize something has changed in the environment and make adjustments.

    Hang in there but know this is NORMAL and I would highly question the center if they are throwing you into this situation as a first step. Once again, still blown away.

  8. Danielle says:

    I was a biter, a major biter. It was a phase when I was under 3 and then again around like 6. By that point my mom was exhausted with my sister crying all the time that I had bit her AGAIN. My mom bit me on the arm….I was cured. I am NOT suggesting that until a last resort ha ;) but the bottom line; kids bite things, people etc. All preschools should know that. Aspergers and other disorders are so much more than biting, and as someone going into Psychology to help children I’d love to talk to these “teachers” about overdiagnosing!! Kids are little people so overwhelmed by their feelings and emotions and when they don’t know how to respond in the proper way they behave like well duh kids and react in inappropriate ways..biting and so on. I would definetly be looking for the background story here. ugh so much more venting I could do but I’ll stop for now. Heck next they’ll be calling him ADHD because he is a hyper child oh geez.

  9. Beth Anne says:

    You have to be kidding me.

    Biting is typical.

    Is it nice? No. Should it be tolerated? Absolutely not. Should the first (or second or third) incident be a red flag other than typical shitty toddler ‘tude? Hell no.

  10. cindy says:

    biting at that age is a pretty common problem. i understand the school’s need to take it seriously, because ultimately they have to answer to the parents of kids who got bit by your son, but biting in and of itself isn’t any reason for any diagnosis or a hinting at one.

  11. Rusti says:

    We went through a period (about 9 months!!) during which our daughter was biting… she bit me occasionally, and my niece a few times, but mostly she was biting at daycare, multiple times a day, and not just other children, but also herself – at first we thought it was related to teething, then we suspected it was because she had “graduated” to a new classroom and was just testing the waters, but we finally came to the conclusion that it was A) her way of showing anxiety and upset B) something we had to consciously pay attention to and work on reminding her not to do and C) just a phase we had to let her grow out of. She’s now three and a half and almost never bites anymore. When she does, she’s usually biting her own fingers/hands/arms and only when she’s really upset… but we have still had one or two random bites here and there… good luck to you!! :)

    • Rusti says:

      PS – nice call on the Wolverine’s fierceness (I AM a Michigander after all, but NOT a Michigan Wolverine fan – GO STATE all the way here!!) ;)

  12. Seriously, are you KIDDING me? It pisses me off no end that you were at risk of having your kid “labelled” with some BS for biting other kids. What kid HASN’T gone through a biting phase? Freaking Laura Ingalls Wilder bit some other kid at some time. So did Thomas Jeffereson and Einstein. It’s a freaking mother effing NORMAL phase that kids go through. But I bet there’s a drug for that. So they can turn Finn in to a vegetable/zombie. Yeah. That sounds like a good idea. (Would TOTALLY handle the under-staffing issue)

  13. Pam says:

    LikeI had said before my boy was and is a licker! But i am really ticked at their reaction to it! They are stupid heads and i wanna bite them!

  14. W.T.F?

    Is this a daycare or a kennel?

    As the parent of a serial daycare biter I can relate to the stress and grief but as you can see already from the comments here and as we found out ourselves, it happens. A lot.

    If your daycare is disturbed by a biting toddler, then the problem is your daycare.

  15. jess liv says:

    (i am a total stranger to this blog, just following mannlymama’s tweet …)

    as a previous professional childcare provider (in a daycare, not as a parent) i have one question: what the heck?

    if they’re suggesting you hire someone, it’s most likely because they did not witness the biting & they are understaffed. this is a red flag to me — the fact that they’re not investigating themselves makes me think that they have shoved off any responsibility which is so not cool for your kid, or any of the other kids in the center.

    that being said, even if they did witness the biting, this whole thing is kind of bull. kids bite for hundreds of reasons, or for no reason at all. instead of telling a parent to hire someone who isn’t familiar with the class community/climate, they need to pay more attention to group activities to try & recognize a pattern. your kid is probably not the only biter, & kids don’t usually pull biting out of thin air — most of the time, it’s a learned habit.

    as far as the half-assed lack of indicators/probably not non-diagnosis, my sister has aspergers, & i find it highly insulting that they would suggest that as a “probably not” option, like it’s some frivolous thing: “oh he doesn’t seem very aspergery. he probably doesn’t look cancery. she’s most likely not experiencing a hint of down’s syndrome.” like it’s something he could stumble onto while meandering through a field of freaking flowers. the initial act of biting a classmate is not something that should cause a childcare provider to even consider a severe behavioral issue/disorder/disease/anything — it’s BITING for crap’s sake. also, since they have yet to determine a pattern (or a lack of pattern) their observation is as warranted as me diagnosing a parrot who likes to quote movie lines with schizophrenia … kinda jumping the gun without reason a bit, eh?

    what i really think happened is one of the providers probably took a class in order to continue their early childhood education credits, read a statistic & 3 sentence description about aspergers, then tried to include it in a work-related conversation without putting themselves on the line legally (thus, the non-diagnosis).

    basically, if you want it to stop, it would be helpful to find out when it’s happening, if there is a cause, & then go from there (if this hasn’t happened already).

    if i were you, i’d be tempted to bite his teachers, though. just sayin’ …

  16. Cindee says:

    My 18 month old daughter recently became a biter, but day care hasn’t decided to expel her or diagnose her with anything out of the ICD10 manual. She’ll even bite her own arm when she’s frustrated. We’ll get through it.

    Not even tangential, here’s a link to a NY Times story about a guy who was diagnosed as Asperger’s as a youth, even appeared in a documentary about it…and eventually came to realize he was just smart and socially awkward. His mom was the expert who misdiagnosed him, she eventually apologized. For some reason, his story struck me as a big win for him.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/opinion/i-had-asperger-syndrome-briefly.html?_r=1

  17. Ralok says:

    get used to people trying to diagnose your children with aspergers/autism, it is a rediculously easy to diagnose condition . . . I used to work with a group of people who supposedly had it, and they attach this to pretty mcuh any condition.

    The kid is super smart? AUTISM! The kid is dumb? AUTISM! The kid is bullied? AUTISM!

    and I swear to god, KID HAS A LAZY EYE, AUTISM!!!!!!!!

    They diagnosed him as having autism because he didnt always make eye contact, but if you sat down and talked to him . . . you realized he didnt make eye contact because he felt bad about his wandering eye and he didnt want people to stare.

    People are ALWAYS going to try and diagnose people with any level of individuality as having something wrong with them

    • Ralok says:

      JUST . . . .remember this . . . if any of your children have any . . . condition (refer to it as a condition, not a disability, or any of that crap)

      TREAT THEM LIKE HUMAN BEINGS!!! That is something that seems to escape most psychiatrists and social workers . . .

      They treat them like they are animals . . . Nobody ever takes the time to just sit down and talk to these kids, they are too busy pumping them full of drugs and telling what is wrong with them . . .

      But . . . they forget, that they are still human beings . . .

      With emotions, desires . . . needs . . .

    • jess liv says:

      maybe i’m being overly sensitive, but saying aspergers/autism is easily diagnosed is kind of dismissive. my sister was 17 when she finally got diagnosed with aspergers, & that’s only because my mom fought with the school district in order to get the evaluations needed by professionals. even my aunt who is a nurse & who has known my sister her entire life dismissed my mom’s belief. i think people are quick to label & misdiagnose kids, but not usually with aspergers/autism … my sister was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, depression, & a slew of other behavioral issues before she finally got the correct diagnosis.

      usually the kids who aren’t on the autism spectrum get the misdiagnosis, while those who actually are on the spectrum are stuffed into a different, wrong diagnosis.

      • Ralok says:

        Aspergers and Autism is the new ADHD

        it is the fad diagnosis! going around right now!

        • Erich says:

          My wife’s aunt is constantly saying our daughter has ADHD. I say she’s just a 2 year-old. It seems ANY display of energy or failure to snap to complete and immediate attention is grounds for slapping that diagnosis on a kid.

        • Sunshine says:

          It is not easy to diagnose.

          Your local daycare cannot diagnose it.

          Many autistic kids get along fine without biting people.

          Get a life.

      • Sunshine says:

        You are not oversensitive. Ralok is a jerk.

        This whole conversation is pretty offensive, really. Worried about “labels” are we? The blogger needs to work on the biting issue. Either this is the shittiest daycare in the world and they really can’t handle your commonplace toddler issues, or the biting has crossed the line from your average behavioral issues and one should be concerned. Either way, the fact that someone MENTIONED autism to the father shouldn’t be his biggest concern, and plenty of autistic kids can behave, so Ralok’s ignorant idea that daycares can diagnose ANY child with behavioral issues is just silly. Developmental pediatricians diagnose Autism, NOT daycares. The criteria has absolutely NOTHING to do with minor behavioral issues. The school the blogger is talking about HASN’T suggested autism. Ralok is just completely ranting off topic.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    How did a random biting go to a possible diagnosis of aspbergers??? My kids were victims of their cousins biting. Their cousins are normal adult people today. Their mom was a biter as a kid too. My father in law said he cured my sister in law of biting, by biting her back!!! Not hard, but dramatic enough that she got it! I don’t know that I could do this, but I think my sister in law did it because her daughters were doing it way too much. They stopped.

  19. Rachel says:

    My kid was kicked out of daycare for just that, along with all the guilt-tripping and “Make him stop” entreaties and testing suggestions. (Make him stop! Why didn’t I think of that? Brilliant plan.) It was almost as if I hadn’t shrugged it off when he came home with multiple bite marks earlier in the school year, but no matter. Several pediatricians and a board of therapists evaluated him. Their response? He’s a toddler.

    At almost 4, he still has challenges, but cannibalism isn’t one of them.

  20. neal says:

    My sister was a biter. She grew up to be one of the most selfless, loving people I ever met.

    And, if you’ve ever read Moby-Dick, perhaps the most noble character in the whole book is Queequeg, the cannibal who bunks with Ishmael. Cannibals get a bad rap sometimes, but they grow up to be upstanding citizens, as well. And they’ve always got a shrunken head or two to loan you.

  21. Vicky says:

    I’m in shock! What kind of preschool is that?! I imagine you’ve moved him from there now if this happened a few months ago… *all* kids bite, how else do you learn that it’s not OK to bite people without giving it a go first and seeing what happens.
    Breastfeeding toddlers who bite… now there’s a fun game to play with mummy! Yeouuchh :(

  22. Karen says:

    I am the parent of an Autism Spectrum child, his first diagnosis was PDD and Asperger’s Syndrome – they were wrong, he is Hyperlexic. It is very rare.

    Autism is diagnosed by looking at a pattern of behaviors and seeing how the child fits. I would never trust a preschool teacher to diagnose a child. You need a someone ideally with a background in pediatric developmental neuropsychology or Autism Spectrum disorders.

    Children bite much for the same reason puppies do (I am a dog trainer and raised my kids the same way I raised puppies: clear rules, kindness, appropriate responses to undesired behaviors, teach self discipline and control from the start). Anyhow, children bite for attention, because they are frustrated, it gets a reaction. I handled being bitten during nursing by plopping the child on the floor and walking away – do that a couple times and they realize biting gets them nothing. With a toddler it works as well – give no attention for it. If the child persists, then a proper time out (not like my sister does where it is snuggles on the lap and crooning “No sweeting, hitting/kicking/etc is not nice.” This just reinforces the behaviors. Nope, time out, 3 – 5 min for a younger child, explain child is in time out for biting, when the timer goes off, time out is over, if child gets up before time goes off, time out starts again. THEN STICK TO IT! After time out is over, you return, explain age appropriately better behaviors instead of the undesired behavior and let it go.

    I have dealt with biters, hitters., etc as a sub teacher with younger kids (pre-school – Gr 5). It is often due to frustration and/or attention.

    I also know several Asperger’s children and just being a biter is not always a clue – actually none of the Aspie kids I know bite.

    If they are seeing any of the other behaviors specialists are taught to look for in possible Autistic children, then that is a different thing. I would discuss this with his pediatrician first and then a specialist if there is any question.

    http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/learn-signs

    Often teachers attempt to diagnose with no clue just to explain something they do not like. I have had teachers work with school specialists in mental health and development to help get a child who has had chronic issues evaluated – but preschool teachers and such are not trained in this field and should not be telling you what the child may be.

  23. I started to comment immediately, and the read others comments and realized, they had all apparently, somehow, already read my thought bubble.

    Yes, address the biting issue with your son. Guaranteed there is something else going on, and HOPEFULLY, it’s a classmate, and not a teacher issue. (I’m sure you saw the recent new item where a Dad recorded his teachers abusing him, the same teachers who were saying-in a parent teacher meeting- that he was acting out in class for no reason.) My son learned biting from a classmate. It was handled well by his teachers, it wasn’t tolerated at his preschool, nor at home, and it was very short lived.

    But yes, also address the above mentioned shortcomings of that preschool. Finding a new one could easily start a whole new set of problems, so I won’t recommend that. But specifically how they handle/explain their misstep of a “non-diagnosis” AND being short staffed would factor greatly in my decision.

    Good luck.

    WOLVERINES!! <–obligatory movie reference

    • Karen says:

      However, I would also want to observe to see how the preschool is handling things, watching children, etc. Some are just glorified day cares with little social teaching of the chidlren while others are outstanding. I was blessed to have a superb county run preschool ages 2 – 5, staged so that a child began a couple days a week for just a couple hours up to five half days a week before starting Kindergarten. The county schools had special ed teaches rotating through the classes to help with early intervention with students recognized with possible problems. The county would evaluate, etc. The issue I had was no one had ever seen a Hyperlexic child and they are often wrongly diagnosed as Aspie or PDD. Once I got an outside person doing a research project into Hyperlexia to confirm my suspicions, it was a whole new world of help for my son. It made a big difference.

      I would want to know more about this program. One of my earlier jobs was at an overpriced preschool/daycare where the day care and preschool were together and honestly, there was no real work done at all to prepare kids for anything – it was supposedly one of the best in the region, highly rated, certified, etc. Seeing and later subbing at the county preschool with the same age range and seeing he difference was eye opening. I then began subbing at the elementary level when my second child was out of preschool.

      If he was not a biter before, there may be something going on at the preschool.

  24. Catherine says:

    Don’t also let your sense of humor go either. When my son was 2, he was a helluva biter, quite the surprise because his sisters never bit and at that time were 6 and 7. My oldest daughter got the worst of it, he would sneak up and bite the back of her thigh. Whist trying to stop the behavior we employed our own sanity saver… humor. I had studied Classics in University and Gods always had a stock epithet that described them.. like… Apollo, fleet of foot. Zeus, father of the gods… and our son became Alec, mandibles of death. He is 19 now and doesn’t bite, so cheer up, the phase will pass!
    Catherine

  25. KeAnne says:

    We went through the same thing with our former preschool and hitting. I think his teachers wanted and expected all the kids to behave perfectly and they over-reacted and scared my son to the point that he shut down when he was there. He might also have not been ready for preschool (he was 2). Just go with your gut. I wish I had taken him out sooner.

  26. Claudia says:

    What toddler doesn’t bite on occasion? Isn’t that why Yo Gabba Gabba made a video for?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6UWNA-WQgI

    I’d be pretty upset that someone who isn’t a medical professional was trying to diagnose my child. It’s not that I’d be “OMG my child has a condition!” its like having a mechanic tell me how to cure cancer; not your field of expertise dude. I’d be pretty darn upset that they’d suggest additional staff. Are they trying to find a reason to get more help that is paid for by the parent? Do they not have rules/regulations they follow in these circumstances? Or OMG Is your son the first bitter they’ve ever had?! (find the latter hard to believe).
    I’m very defensive, so props to you for being the nice wolverine. I’d be a raging grizzly momma bear on her period!

  27. ElectraDaddy says:

    I must be missing something. I don’t understand why your son would be labeled or diagnosed with any condition simply because he’s biting kids. The questions you plan to ask seem spot on, so it sounds like you’ve put some thought into this. Good luck at the meeting & keep us posted.

  28. Joe says:

    My son was removed from daycare 2 weeks ago for biting (and I guess by proxy so was my daughter). We were told don’t worry it’s normal and that many MANY kids in his room bit at the beginning of the year (my son was a mid year room-mover). I’m still kicking myself for not being adamant about seeing the videos of the issues, but when yer told not to worry about it. . .ya tend to not worry right? My son doesn’t bite at church daycare, playgrounds, home, or anywhere else and I’m not being a denying daddy. It’s hard to correct a behavior that I don’t witness. . .

    Now we are having to go through the fun of looking for another daycare. . . ugh . . .

  29. I wish it was okay for adults to go thru a biting phase, and ONLY get labeled with Aspergers. I could chew thru a belt sometimes, trying to remain the Polite Wolverine daddy of a 2 1/2 year old boy. What do you do to blow off steam? Seriously, looking for suggestions.

    And thanks for the “We Crazy” link. One of the top comments made me laugh out loud “It was his daughter in there.” People on the internets are so funny.

  30. Jesi says:

    Don’t work yourself up too much over it. Biting is a normal phase some kiddos go through. Some do it early, some do it later. Kids don’t do it to be mean or to harm someone either. Sometimes they’re frustrated, other times it’s simply because teeth are sorta new to them and they want to try them out. They don’t have many outlets to vent frustration or fear or pain, so they do what they can to get it out. Sometimes it’s just because, sometimes it’s in retaliation to someone taking a toy, pushing them, just being annoying, etc…He will outgrow it, they all do eventually with the right approach. There were a few kiddos at the daycare I was at who had biting issues and with the cooperation of the staff and parents it was managed. Communication is key :) But yeah, suggesting you hire someone to watch your kid is a little weird…You’re already paying *them* to watch your kid, why should you hire someone else? If they need extra staff that’s their problem, not yours.

  31. Gale says:

    First…I love the term “threenager.” You have to make a t-shirt of that (if you don’t, I will).

    2nd, really, a kid is biting at 3 and they’re throwing around terms like asbergers? What kid between the ages of 2 and 4 hasn’t bitten someone, at least once?

    My child just went through that phase: wasn’t out of anger either. He came over, showed me teeth marks on his arm (obviously left by his own teeth) and then said, “Look, a cirlce.” Then he tried to bite my arm…I guess to give me a circle too. And so the splaining bout biting began.

    (Actually, this is his second biting stage…the first came during breastfeeding, and I gotta say, this is tame in comparison).

  32. Birch says:

    I agree that a daycare should be able to deal with a biter. On the other hand, is this part of a pattern of some other non-age-apropriate behavior? There was a kid in my kid’s classroom who was agressive. My kid somemtimes hit, all kids sometimes hit. This kid… his behavior was not the same. Before you write them off as crazy over-reacters, consider if you are not hearing everything they’re trying to tell you. Then go rabid wolverine daddy on them.

  33. So here’s the difference: my son has Asperger’s. And when he was about that age, he didn’t bite, he pulled hair. But not just any hair, it turns out. And not because he was upset about something. He only pulled the hair of blond girls. Then, he’d step away and watch to see what would happen. Yes, he was conducting human experiments at the ripe old age of three. Really, just trying to make sense of the world. “Look what happened. If I do it again, will it happen the same way.” But it took us working with the caregivers in the room to actually begin to document the what, how, when and where…until we saw the pattern emerge.

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