Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CHOMP!



First off, everyone must check out this website. It allows you to generate a whole array of fun things--alphabet soup, fortune cookies, etc.

The point of this blog, though, is biting. I need some input. Here is the situation: Jonathan is by far the smallest kid in his class. The fact that neither Bryan nor I break the 5'4" mark obviously was the cause of that. It does not seem to bother him in the least. For the past three consecutive school days (Friday, Monday and Tuesday), his teachers have reported to me that he bit a kid in his class. Each time, it was while they were playing in the block "station." This concerned me because I thought he outgrew the biting phase long ago. Each time, I talked to him about it, as did Bryan. We explained that he needed to tell the other kid to stop or that he didn't like it and, if that didn't work, to tell Darla or Deborah. He understood and repeated it back to me.

This did not seem to work in practice, however. Yesterday, Debra stopped me on the way out to tell me that it happened again. But this time she told me it was the same kid all three days, which we did not know, and that Jonathan was, in fact, using his words to tell the other kid to stop. He even told Ms. Debra after that was not successful. But then she reported that as soon as he went back to the area, the same kid started bothering him again and so he bit him. Bitten kid apparently screamed bloody murder but then returned to the same thing--pestering Jonathan. Debra told me this other kid just would not leave Jonathan alone.

The reason I need input is that I felt oddly comforted by the knowledge that my son was not the instigator but rather was trying to defend himself. I obviously do not want him to bite, but I likewise do not want him to be the whiny, crying kid when some other child pesters him. My dad, when told of this scenario, seemed quite proud of Jonathan's self-defense mechanisms. I am not really proud, but I am also not as bothered by the situation as I was before I knew all the facts.

So, do any of you have any thoughts on this?? Any opinions or tips will be appreciated!

8 comments:

Kimberly said...

Well at one point there was a biter in Sophie's class...but she was only 10 months old at the time and the kid doing the biting was biting EVERYONE. So of course I flipped out.
Now if this happened today...and I knew that she was pestering or being mean to some kid...then I'd probably think that she deserved it. But seriously...it would probably be better if he knocked the kid's lights out rather than bite to defend himself. Unless they were threatening to kick him out...i wouldn't worry about it.

Shana-Lynn said...

Honestly, I would just keep reinforcing that biting is NOT something you do and it is not okay to do it. Ask the teacher to keep an eye on both of them and redirect one of the boys (Jonathan or the other boy) to a different area so they are not together. Maybe talk to Jonathan and try to tell him when that boy bothers you, go play someplace else, unless you're there, that is much harder to explain to a toddler though. Good luck!

Kara Lewis said...

Gah. I was a sporadic biter even when I was waaay old enough to know better (no, not last week, but old enough), so I can testify that he'll grow out of it eventually. Otherwise, I'm with Kimberly -- work with him on his right hook, sounds like that other kid deserves it.

Janice said...

Ditto what Shana said. I know it's hard to explain this to a toddler but it's never ok to bite someone even though he was not the instigator (good for him for defending himself, though!). However you wouldn't want him to continue to react this way whenever someone bothers him. Jonathan is doing the right thing by using his words and tell him to say, "I don't like that!" but I know he is probably frustrated because the other boy isn't listening. I say, the teachers should try to keep an eye on them and separate the two with different activities before anything happens. Good luck with everything and keep us posted!

Neurotic Att'y said...

Hi Jonathan's Mommy! Thanks for visiting my blog! I have no solution for the biting. Believe it or not, none of my 12 nieces and nephews was a biter. (Seems statistically impossible, doesn't it?) I'll go with Shana-Lynn, though. Just keep reinforcing what you told him.

You have to give Jonathan credit, though. He did what you told him to do and only resorted to biting when nothing else seemed to work! I hate to say it, but the other kid totally deserved it! (This is why I'm not a pre-school teacher.) Of course, I'm sure his mommy wouldn't agree. Good luck to you...and to Jonathan!

Angela said...

Kory had one problem at after school care, and this was only four years ago. It was the same type situation -- kid was bugging Kory, physically restraining him, and wouldn't let up. Kory punched the kid below the belt. The counselors told me about it and I made it clear to them that I wasn't going to punish my son for defending himself against a larger child who was obviously bullying him.

You really have to count on the adults in that situation to monitor what's going on -- if J-man is feeling backed in to a corner and the only way to get out is to bite, that's what he's going to continue to do. I think you're on the right track continuing to encourage the no biting policy, but this other kid obviously has a problem too.

Andrea said...

I wrote you a big long response, and blogger ate it! I am going to tell the story on my blog sometime soon instead!

Susie PSU said...

Here's a pre-school teacher's point of view...

If he is biting the SAME kid each time, and they KNOW who he is biting, and he IS using his words to ask the kid to stop, and the kids is STILL not stopping, then it is the TEACHER'S fault for not controlling the situation before it got to that point!!

I'd ask the teacher to redirect a child before it got to the bite. You don't want him to be known as "the biter" in the class!