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July 20, 2006

I know...I can bite you and you'll go away....

Yes, I have a biting toddler. I had hoped he would not fall into this form of communication. Now, in his defense (if he should have one) he cannot talk, so he has to communicate somehow...enter biting friend's arm.

Now, how to respond as the mother, is the real challenge. I feel awful when it happens and there really is no perfect way to respond to the bitten child, your bitter or (drum roll please) the mother of the victim!

See there are two types of mother's:
1. The mother that understands toddlers bite and says, "it is okay, he has been bitten before. He has been bitten by his sister." or "it is okay, he will be fine."

2. The mother that says she is very disappointed and hopes this never happens again. Should she write a letter to the school etc....

Now I agree with her to some degree if your child bites EVERY child and does this all the time! However, it is not as if children are rabid dogs. (This does not apply if you are at the park and some stranger child - i.e. not affiliated with your day care, school, church, playgroup etc...- bites your child and takes a huge chunk out of his/her arm...solution...Emergency Room STAT!)

So, here is my advice (take it or leave it):

*If your child is bitten, just love on him/her and tell the mother, who is hopefully apologetic, that you understand it is a normal toddler response.

*If your child bites, love on the victim in front of your child so they understand, tell them the child is sad and hurt....clean off area....apply ice and then to the mother of the victim....tell her how sorry you are and leave it at that. Too much talking can just cause for confusion and disagreements on childrearing!

Here is a good read specific to this topic - (there are MANY more out there too)

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