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My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Posted by
Jainie_S
(Ihave2P@msn.com) on
Thu, Nov 15, 01 at 9:04

My son (3 yrs) has come home with numerous bite bruises all over his body from pre-school. Sometimes there is an accident report, sometimes not. But it seems like everytime we bath him, there is a new bite bruise. It appears to be the same kid doing this. From what I gather from the teachers, my son isn't provocing this, the kid just bites, kicks and hits. Hard. And from the looks of these bruises, it has to really hurt him. I went to the pre-school and talked to the director this morning. She said that she has talked to the kids mother, and she spoke to her pediatrician about her son. This was a while ago. I told her "either the biter goes, or we'll have to pull my son out for his own safety". We like the school. The teachers have told us that they aren't able to give the special attention that they like to give to the kids because they are always trying to protect the other children from this kid. We don't have an alternate pre-school lined up, but if I had to, I would make arrangements to stay at home until we can find a school. Am I making too much of this? I don't feel like I am. He is my son, and it kills me to know that someone would do this to him. I realize that what I am asking is for the school to kick this kid out, and put the other family in a bind, but, you should see these bruises.
Jainie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. From what I have heard from other parents who already have kids this age, there is always going to be a "biter", "hitter", etc. at schools. The key though is that the teachers/director deal with it appropriately. In this case, they are not nipping it in the bud, so to speak. If you feel comfortable doing so, talk to some of the other parents of kids that are being bit, and ask them to complain too, if they have not already. Furthermore, if the director does not make a change, I would go to the person in management above her.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

I have had a similar experience. Last year my son was bitten a few times over the course of the year. However, it was NOT by the same kid and was not that frequent. The kids were in a 1 year old class and I did not make a big deal of it. My son did not seem to be bothered by it. He is VERY verbal and even last year he would have been able to tell me what was bothering him.

This year the kids are in a 2 year old class and my son has frequently been bitten, scratched, kicked, and pushed all by the same child. It seemed like we could not get through a week without a problem. He would get to school and tell the other child "I don't want you near me!"

I arranged a meeting with the teacher and the director. I asked if it was a problem between my child and the other child or if this kid was torturing the whole class. It turns out the child was having problems with ALL the kids in the class not just my son. I have a flexible enough schedule that I could have pulled him while I looked for another school and I told them that I was prepared to do so. I just couldn't let my son continue to be the whipping boy for this other child. Like you I DO like the school and the teachers but I thought it was important to make sure my son felt secure while he was away from me.

The director and the teacher met with the other child's parents and told the other parents that they had to figure out a way to stop the child from being so aggressive or they would remove the child from the school. I don't know if they gave them a time frame or not, but the message was pretty clear. Well-I don't know what the other parents did but the child has ceased being quite so aggressive. My son has commented to me that "XXXX didn't make anyone cry today." I think you DO have to be clear that you will not tolerate that type of behavior and a good school will try to fix the problem. It is hard to figure out what is normal toddler frustration on the part of the other child and exactly where to draw the line.

Sorry to be so long-but that is my story. So-yes do go talk the people who run the school.

Mommabear


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

I used to be a preschool teacher, and occasionally we would get a child who would bite, not just once, but many times. There is nothing wrong with you asking the school to remove the child- when we had a biter that was often the only option, nothing else seemed to work, and we couldn't have the other kids getting bit until the child outgrew that phase. You could speak to the director of the school, and I would show her the bruises too, so she sees just how hard he is biting, and tell her that if your child gets bit again you will have no choice but to take him out of school for his own safety. Chances are she will probably tell the biter's parents that they need to find a new school for him, I'm sure the director would rather have the biter leave than your son. Good Luck!


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Jainie - I, too, have dealt with biters in preschool. Biting is the worst - it really hurts! Much worse than hitting or pushing.

The rule in our preschool is if your child bites, they are immediately separated from the other kids and the parent is called to come and get them. This way they learn that the behavior is unacceptable. If a child bites 3 times, the parent is asked to keep them home from school for 2 weeks. This was more a punishment for the parent than the child, but it does insure that the parent is addressing the problem.

It is also the teacher's responsibility to recognize the behavior and what might cause it. If they see the biter begin to get frustrated or upset, they can use a variety of methods to diffuse the situation before the biting occurs. This will also help teach the child how to control their impulses.

The 3 year olds I know are very much able to control their behavior in most (not all, but most) situations.

You are most definitely not making too much of this. In fact, I would make more out of it. Your child deserves to feel safe at his preshool and all the children deserve the teachers' attention.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

The biter should be either controled or removed from the school, and no you are definitely not making too much out of your son being bitten.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

This may seem odd, but I tried biting myself until I saw a bruise to see what my son was going thru. I couldn't do it, it hurt too bad. And I bruise easily. I can't imagine why a child would be so evil. The teacher said that this kid targets certain children and mine is one of them. I have showed the bruises to them, and the teachers have pointed them out to me when I pick him up. For a bite to leave an impression hurts, but to leave a bruise that can show a bite pattern for several days has to be terrible. When I spoke to her this morning, she said that she would speak to the parent again, how should I follow up on this? I don't want to see another bruise. I agree that it is also the teacher's responsibility to recognize the behavior and what might cause it. If they see the biter begin to get frustrated or upset, that they can use a variety of methods to diffuse the situation before the biting occurs to help teach the child how to control their impulses. This is also a problem because my son is starting to act out with behavior that he has never displayed before. I may write a letter, to document and further explain my concerns to the director. I may not have expressed everything that I wanted to in the few minutes we had this morning. She's the top of the ladder.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

If the biter cannot be removed you should remove your child for his own safety. Would you leave your child in a yard with a dangerous dog? Same difference. The teachers obviously have little control. Don't force your kid to be a victim.

Trish


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Well I was a 3 yr. old teacher for most of the ten yrs. that I taught Pre-school and if a child did ever bite a child you had to write a form informing the parent about the bite and where it was and how it happened. Having bites all over your child sounds like to me the child has a neglectful teacher. Of course a child will get a bite sometimes maybe more than one if you don't catch the other child right away, but to have bites all over him all the time is unexcuseable.

Three years old will bite, don't get me wrong but it should not be that prevalent. The other child soundS very immature like a 2 yr. old. I had to send one little boy out of my room to sit with the director most of the day and she called his mother to complain. I really got on to the biter and told him he was NOT going to bite the chidren in my room! I was very stern with him...something he had not gotten at home! One had older cousins that aggravated him and to get his way he would bite..even though this is a cause the parent should have never let the child get away with it in the first place. Sometimes a child has older siblings that he bites on so of course- to take up for himself but this should be unacceptable. when they enter Pre-school and they want something the child has they bite! (Most of the time they have never been socialized at all and are very spoilt, I found)

I would think the director would tell the parent that they needed to do something with the child to get him under control or the child would have to be let go from the Pre-school program. If the Director after telling the parent this would insist on a day the child was biting that the child must be picked promptly because he was uncontrolable-then the parent would be concerened.

I know of a Pre-school program that would actually suspend the Pre-schooler and the parent would have to either stay home and keep the child for a few days or hire someone else to keep the child. Or have a grandparent keep the child a few days. After another suspension and the child did this, he/she were not allowed to come back to the day care. care-as the child was uncontrolable. A couple of times with this happening at this Pre-school the parent would usually get on the child's case (because they (the parents)were incovenienced) and the child would finally behave :-)
Good luck!
~Lynn~


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

I have an update. Yesterday, when picking up my son, they told me that the "biter" bit several children and was sent home. The teacher informed me that the director said that the parents were told that the child may need counceling, that's it. The kid is there again today. The teacher also told me that she and other teachers have complained to the director many times, and have asked for help. That they send the "uncontrollable" ones up to the director's office, as well, when timeouts don't work. The director told the teachers that they are not to send the biter up to her office anymore because she is pregnant. That he has tried to hit her stomach and fears for herself and the baby, so, this kid is sent back down with the 3-5 yr olds, and the teacher to deal with because the director is afraid of him. They can't keep him in a timeout, they can't spank him, so they hold him back from the kids. It's a full time job, so the kids miss out and the teachers are frustrated. The teacher told me to try and get the other parents to complain, write a letter, pretty much unite. It's a methodist church child care center, so I have one more upward complaint area, the head of the ministry. I have also been advised to let the state child care adminstration know about this. They would have someone from the licensing agency talk to the center about endangering the children. I am not sure what to do about that. I am going to start off with talking to the other parents and writing a letter. Then following up with the director, if they don't remove him, I will have to move my son out. In the mean time, I am also going to start the search for a new center. I am just surprised at the reaction to this problem from the director.
Jainie


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

What's with the director?? She could lose alot of children just trying to keep the biter. IF she is afraid of him, what does she think the teacher/teachers are suppose to do. I would call the Director and tell her she could be in trouble not providing safe care for the children in the classroom, and that you would hate it to come to that because of one child. Tell her that the child has problems and the Pre-school/Daycare is not equiped to deal with them. You are sorry but for the benefit of the rest of the children you feel this child should be let go. You are sure that other parents possibly feel the same. And that she must not let the child keep going to the Preschool.
If that doesn't shake her up and she doesn't do something about it, then it would appear to me that this director just doesn't care about the children in the DayCare and I would remove my child and file a complaint with whomever owns the daycare and the State care Agency.
It sounds like your Director does not know the first thing as to how to handle a Daycare. The Ministry over it could be charged with "Endangering children" maybe you need to go directly to them-and lay it on thick. Sounds like they just don't want to deal with the situation-and they are very neglectful people too!
~Lynn~


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

This place does not sound like somewhere I would want to leave my child. I agree -- the director is afraid for herself (a grown woman) so she sends this little monster to hurt other little kids?! I would take my kid out of daycare, if your schedule allows, and THEN write letters... maybe you and some of the other parents (if you are close) could swap days and keep each others kids until the problem is resolved? It seems like the director doesn't know what to do, and as long as there are no consequences for her will not do anything. A bunch of parents taking out their kids might move her to action!


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Someone needs to write a letter that has a legal letterhead on it, if you get my drift. what kind of crazy daycare feels they have to keep the Biter at the expense of the other kids? That's nuts.

Trish


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

After everything you've said, I would probably not keep my child there, regardless of how good I thought the school was otherwise or how much my child enjoyed the school when the biter was in control. It just sounds as if they aren't handling this problem properly and it would make me concerned about how they might handle other issues.

Are the biter's parents large contributors to the church or very active? That could be the reason behind the director's unwillingness to take action. I've heard that complaint before and seen it happen in the preschool my son was in last year.

Also, does your preschool offer any parenting classes or lectures? We are in a Montessori school now, and I'm extrememly pleased with the education of my 3 year old. The teachers are very strict, and make sure that the parents are on top of any behavioral problems. Accident reports are written up for even the smallest boo-boos, and they often hold parenting discussions and lectures. We were just at a lecture by Dr. Brazleton for CT Montessori parents that was great, and there are coffee groups during school hours with other experts as well. If the biter's parents show up for one of these, it could help them to realize what a problem it is for everyone.

I'd look for a new school. Writing a letter with other parents may help, but it's bullsh*t that you should have to do the work to make up for the school's unwillingness to take action. If you and other parents leave, the message will come across.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Kidding but seriously....is the biter the Pastor's child, Youth Director child, Asst. Pastor child, Pastor's Grandchild et. Or like said about a large contributor to the Daycare Or the church.

I am willing to bet there is a connection. I have seen this before and don't know why I didn't think on it before. Is their a Preschool board? One of the worst kids I ever encountered Mother was over the Pre-school Board of a Daycare!!And a big worker in the church. It shouldn't matter but many times it is tolerated because of some type of connection to the daycare, child related to ______?I was kidding to start with -but seriously this just might be why the problem has not been addressed any better than it has?
~Lynn~


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Well, I talked to the director today, and she said that the board meets tonight and that she is recommending that the child be removed. In the mean time, I have been actively investigating the pre-schools around me to see who has an opening. If this situation rectifies itself, and the overall climate changes with the monitoring of the children. I may opt to stay. But, I am still looking just in case. I will find out the verdict tomorrow. The director agreed to call me and let me know the decision. The biter was sent home for Thursday and again on Friday so, perhaps other parents are already complaining. I know that my son has has been acting more relaxed just for those two days. The teachers also seem more relaxed. I looked into Montessori, they want him potty trained by three, so I will have to go on the waiting list. He has been rebelling against the potty, so that limits our options.
Thanks so much for be there to hear my problem,
Jainie


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

The biter has been dismissed. The director has informed the parents, and the biter may not return to the school. It's so weird. The teachers seemed happier today, the kids were all playing together nicely, and the director was in the room with the kids and teachers. It's like the negative energy has left the building. My son went #1 and #2 on the potty last night, after a little talk about how Santa Claus would be really happy if he went on the potty and was a good boy. A completely dry pull up since yesterday. It's like he's back to normal.
Jainie


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Oh, I'm so happy for you and your son!! It seems strange that the daycare would wait so long, and I would just keep an eye on things... But it looks like everything worked out great!


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

I was the mother of the infamous biter at one time. It was horrible to hear everyday that my son bit someone else. We pulled him from the school for the sake of other children. One of the teachers said a lot was provoked, my son was later diagnosed as autistic. I am fortunate to be able to work at home anyway, but as the biters mom, I faced issues such as...what if one day he breaks skin, bruises someone very badly, someone calls the cops, or CPS, I pulled him after the third day in a row of heavy biting, whether or not it was provoked. Also, there were 35 kids in one room, and two teachers. Too stressful for children. Now my son NEVER bites, in a good low ratio program for disabilities, but thats another story! As a biters mom, I want to hear if my kid is hurting someone else so I can take the necessary steps to solve it! Talk to the mother or father of the biter!


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

I am so glad things are working out. I was really thinking about you a lot!

Thanks for the update.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

wow after reading this whole post im glad for you i cant believe they let it go on that long even after he was trying to hurt the pregant lady,wow.and good for your ds on the whole potty thing.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Thanks everyone for all of your support when I needed it. It's so hard to do see anything happen to your babies. My son doing good, last night we had an accident in his pull up but he is really trying hard. Again, dropping him off at school today, the kids seem so much more relaxed. The teachers are more relaxed and I feel better. From what I understand, they go thru a process before dismissing any children. The director was a bit more relaxed about this process for some reason this time, but, she's focused now because some of the other parents complained, and the teachers were complaining that they didn't want to work under these conditions. These teachers really are great with the kids. My son is learning so much and he loves his classmates. He did tell me last night that he thinks that Santa isn't going to bring the "biter" any presents. I just laughed and said "Santa does know who is bad or good". He looked rather sad. God bless him, even after all of this, I think he felt bad for him because he wouldn't be getting any Christmas presents from santa.
Jainie


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

Forgive me for lurking, but this whole string makes me kind of sad. I can absolutely sympathize with a child who is hurt, and a parent who wants to protect. But calling a biter "evil"?

I hope someone in this child's life takes the time to hug him, look him hard in the eye, and follow him closely every step he takes until he learns his lesson.


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

This is one of those cases where the child needs special attention. Attention that goes further than a teacher/child relationship.
From what I understand, this kid doesn't just bite, he hits, pushes, grabs things from the other kids, destroys projects that the kids are working on, etc. He has physically hurt children as well as the adults, and doesn't have any compassion for the children when they cry and beg him not to do this. His parents have been to the school to go on field trips, and such. They seem like they are trying to work with this kid, but there is something about him, that just isn't right. He seems to enjoy making the other kids cry, or he wouldn't be smiling when he does this. Also, from what I have heard, he gets plenty of attention, he demands it. More attention than any other kids in the class, so it can't be that he feels neglected by the staff and kids. I know that my son likes to make friends, he doesn't like to make people cry, in fact he'll go out of his way to help you stop crying. He likes to share, and he would never intentionally harm anyone like this. If you would have seen what this kid did to my baby, you would have called him evil too.
Jainie


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RE: My son keeps getting terrible bites at pre-school

My heart goes out to your son. As to whether young children can be evil at heart, I suppose it's a philosophical question I hadn't considered before becoming a parent. I have a 2-year-old of my own.

I guess I believe that children can be difficult, mean, even damaged, but not evil. Of course embedded in that is a belief that a "bad" child is the result of poor parenting, and I'm not sure that's fair, either. God knows my daughter does things some days that make me want to sink through the floor.

Take care.


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