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Biting Advice


sharonash
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We have a child aged 3 who is biting other children.

We have experienced this in the past and have been able to work out strategies to deal with and resolve the issue with ease.

 

This time we arent at the end of our tether we dont know what to do. We have called in the FIRST team which take up to 8 weeks.

The biter is with us full time, there doesnt seem to be anything that triggers it. She has a sleep during the day. We have tried to give her one to one but its near on impossible.

The biters mum is being very supportive wants to work with us, so thats great.

 

The problem we have is with the parents of the children she is biting, they are fluming and one is threatening to leave unless we exclude the biter. we have tried to explain that we are giving one to one seeking outside support etc but she isnt interested.

 

Can anyone give us some advice please, do you think I should exclude the biter?

The first team have suggested that the biter splits her childcare part time nursery part time childminder, I dont see how this would help?

 

thanks

 

sharon

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Me either - just give her a wider range of children to bit I'd have thought!

 

There have been lots of other threads on here about bitig problems so I'd suggest you have a quick search and see what's been said before.

 

I think the important thing to do is try to get everyone to stay calm - easier said than done. Will the biter's Mum come into the session to support the biter and see what's going on? - she may spot some triggers you haven't noticed - simply because she knows the child better than you can.

 

You haven't said if it's a new problem or been happening for a while

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Hi Sharon,

 

I had an issue like this not so long ago and I nearly lost a parent through it. I just made sure that both parties were aware that we had strategies in place and the child who was biting was 'shawdowed' (my children were toddlers) and made sure the biter was always occupied- its easier said than done mind. The parent who was going to leave, I invited in for a chat and I explained that biting happens for all sorts of reasons and that we can't exclude the child who is bting, but we have to put strategies in place and keep reviewing these. We have biting incident books as well so everything is always recorded. I also informed the owner of the Nursery and i made that parent aware and she was fine with how it was all being dealt with.

My advice would be continue with your strategies, see if there are any 'triggers', make sure every incident is recorded and that you are being supportive towards both sets of parents, hope it helps!

 

My behaviour officer has a few pointers for your age group so i will check with her tomorrow and get back to you.

 

Mich xx

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My first, instinctive reaction - PLEASE don't exclude the biter!!

 

She is little more than a baby and may very well not really understand all the fuss - but, crumbs, "aren't I getting a lot of attention"!!!

 

Will try to get back to you, but got to dive off right now!! Sorry

 

Sue x

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I have been in this situation and I did lose my parent. She was very hot headed and stormed out carrying her child.. I have since found out she's been through nearly all the settings in this way. So don't think it is you or your biter that is the entire cause of the threatening leaver, some parents cannot see reason. It is totally understandable that she is upset though, so we just have to support and understand them as much as possible. Definitely don't exclude the biter. We were lucky and managed to apply for one to one help for our biter and it is now no problem at all. it is a stressful situation to be in and worrying for the reputation of the setting, I know. I also printed out a new biting policy and displayed it for a while to really let them all know that we do care and we do have strategies in place.. Sorry if that doesn't really help, it's all I can contribute xx

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oh hec my last post explained that I had spoken to mum and advised that i want to support both parties and all seemed to be ok......

 

dad has marched into nursery this afternoon demanding the biter be excluded, stated he has been n contact with a solicitor he is going to report to ofsted and go to the papers. He has produced a copy of my contract which states that if we consider a childs behaviour to be unacceptable I will exclude them- course he is saying if biting isnt unacceptable what is!

I just dont need all this at the moment, I havent a clue what to do?

 

I phoned our early years support so hopefully she will get back to me with some advice.

 

The thing is the biters parent could then kick off say I am excluding and not supporting!

 

feel in the middle- The thought of working at Sainsburys is becoming more appealing by the minute!

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Sharon, firstly I would stay calm and firm. Biting is perfectly normal and common in young children and part of their development. Supporting both child and parents to work through it so that the child learns that biting other people is not acceptable in polite society is part of their care and education. :o This is what you are there for! Make sure you both you and your staff are all clear about your stand on this issue and how you are dealing with it so that when asked you are giving a consistent message. Don't let the threats of a parent who is clearly upset and angry dictate your actions.

 

I know it isn't going to help you at the moment, but I'm just wondering why you have that clause in your behaviour policy? Surely we aim to be inclusive in Early Years Settings? Excluding any child of 3 years old seems both extreme and unnecessary to me, but that is just my opinion. In reply I would just reiterate that whilst biting is unacceptable for older children and adults, it is normal behaviour in children and part of your job is to support child and parents in this stage of their development. Don't feel pressurised into saying any more than necessary, as you will find yourself going round in circles until eventually you trip up over your own words.

 

As for solicitors, OFSTED and papers, let him take whatever action he feels he needs to to vent his frustrations. At the end of the day, if he is not happy then he can remove the child and go elsewhere! Providing you have discussed the matter as a team of staff, agreed a plan of action and have strategies in place and have explained this fully to the parents then you have done all you can. I can't see what case they can bring against you and OFSTED will certainly take a dimmer view of you if you exclude a child!! A toddler bites another toddler is hardly breaking news either - it goes on in lots of settings up and down the country!

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Can I just speak as a parent for a moment? When my little boy was at nursery, he got bitten. The girl who bit him was the daughter of a friend (who felt awful about it). I was quite shocked at the time, although she didn't break the skin it was still worrying to see your child with teeth marks on him.

 

I know it's a fairly frequent type of behaviour with young children (my mum tells me I was a biter). But I also worry that your biter sounds like she is doing it very frequently, and to be honest if I was a parent of a child at your setting it would really concern me. If the skin is broken you've got issues with infection etc. that would worry any parent.

 

I know as practitioners you are looking at this from the idea of being inclusive, but I have to say that sometimes inclusion can end up meaning we ignore the rights of all the other children (the majority) so that we include one difficult child.

 

Is there a way that you can ask her to stay away on a temporary basis, with a view to coming back as soon as one to one support is available, or as soon as the issue starts to clear itself up?

 

I know this view is at odds with what others have said, but sometimes I think we worry about inclusion so much that we end up failing the rest of the children, who may be quite traumatised if they keep getting bitten. Also, they might end up starting to push this child out of their social groups and that could have knock on effects as well.

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