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Old 06-29-2012, 08:50 AM   #1
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WWYD - friend's kid is a biter.

A friend of mine has a DD (N) the same age as my DS (2.5 yo). We recently moved to their neighbourhood, so we are seeing them much more often.

Unfortunately, N is a biter. The other day she bit my son at least twice while they were playing. DS isn't totally innocent in this, as she bites because he tries to take her toys, but still, she's seriously hurting him, and leaves marks too. Also, sometimes she bites because she wants his toy and he won't let it go.

My friend does say something to N when she bites (usually in German, so I'm not sure exactly what), and she tells her to use her words, but it doesn't really have any effect.

I don't really want to stop seeing my friend, and DS asks to play with N everyday, but I'm getting tired of my son getting bitten. Play dates are stressful because I have to watch them like a hawk, which is hard because I have to watch DD too.

So, what should I do?

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Old 06-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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Biting is normal behavior for many kids. DD1 was a biter, never a hitter. I'm sure your DS hits when frustrated. It takes time. We spent months working on it. It helped my DD to have something to chew on handy. Though it's much scarier to parents than hitting, it accomplishes the same ends for the child, and we've found it's most effective to deal with it in the same way. Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
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Re: WWYD - friend's kid is a biter.

There is nothing you can do but watch them closely and try to catch the trigger behaviors. If it was me, I would just hold off on playdates for now unless it is somewhere where the two of them are not right next to each other and fighting over toys. Anything outdoors would be better plus any new place like the library or something where again, they are not fighting and biting.

There is nothing YOU can do to curb this behavior for the other child. That is her mom's job period, doesnt matter what your son is or isnt doing to her.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: WWYD - friend's kid is a biter.

I don't really think there is anything you can do. Personally, even though it would make me sad to miss my friend, I would probably limit their time together for a few months. And, when you are together, I would just watch very closely and step in anytime you see something that seems like it is going to lead to biting.

If you miss your interaction with your friend, you could suggest mommy's nights out. Maybe you can go out for dessert after you feed the kids or coffee/tea or a movie or whatever. It would be nice to have some adult interaction without the kids anyway.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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When DS1 was little. I would say about 18 months he kept getting bit at daycare. Mostly by the same kid.

I taught him to say "No Bite" it really helped. I think for 1 it gave him a voice and then the other kid knew he wasn't going to take it and 2: it would catch the teachers attention to intervene in time.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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Re: WWYD - friend's kid is a biter.

Bite him back and say OUCH! In a really loud firm voice! And German no is "Nein!" (Sounds like "Nine" )
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: WWYD - friend's kid is a biter.

My daughter was bit so hard that the marks remained there for about 2 weeks. I was so mad.

but, my friend and I still get together and I watch them closely to make sure it doesn't happen more. I guess it helps that my DD doesn't bite and my friend doesn't tolerate the biting in her children.

I guess I would probably continue to get together and watch them. Or not watch them too closely, let them bite the crud out of eachother and get over it. Would that work? Would it get it out of their system?

also, since both kids are biting, I'd talk to your friend. You're not being accusatory because your child is also having this problem. Ask her what you think you can both do. Perhaps she'd be up for putting the toy in 'time out' when either of them bite. Maybe they'd both be put in time outs for any biting (regardless of who does it, just to show them both that it's not tolerated and not to incite the behavior by taking toys, etc).

If you were just getting bit and being like 'your kid is biting too much!', that wouldn't be cool. but you can be like 'our children really seem to bite eachother a lot, do you have any ideas how we can fix this?' and it's not accusatory.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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DS isn't biting, but he is stealing toys. I do intervene before he takes the toy, but sometimes she still bites. To be honest, I don't think that N likes people in her personal space, and DS is a very hands on toddler that likes to give hugs.

I think I will try to stick to outdoor play dates where they can run around and hopefully by the time winter rolls around they'll have outgrown their toddler ways.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:06 PM   #9
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I got a serial biter to stop by catching the kid right before she latched on to another little girl's arm. I grabbed the biter by the arm, said, "No!" and then embarrassed her in front of the other kids by saying, "ewwwwww!!!! How GROSS!!!! You eat PEOPLE???!? I don't eat people! I eat yummy stuff like FRUITS, and vegetables, and PIZZA! NOTTTTTT PEOPLE!!!!" The other little kids, who had all been victims of this serial biter LOVED that someone finally stood up to her! (This girl is allowed to bully everyone, more than just biting.) The rest of the kids echoed the "how gross!!! Yeah! We don't eat PEOPLE!" The biter looked embarrassed, and not surprisingly, she hasn't bitten anyone in over a year now!

I was tired of seeing my kid come home in pain with bloody bite wounds. Glad I could help stop it for the other kids, too.
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