Monday, March 8, 2010

The Biter & The Bitten

It's ridiculous that each of these monikers describe one of my children, but thus is life these days! When I last posted on this topic, we'd had several minor biting incidents at home & one in the church nursery that left a substantial mark. Unfortunately, we don't seem to be improving much.

Last Monday, the kids were upstairs playing when I heard screaming from first Mallory & then Jake. My super Mommy radar told me that Mal had been offended in some way, had bitten her brother & now he was clearly offended to have been bitten. I ran up the stairs, expecting to see bite marks but couldn't find any. Jake acted like he'd been hurt from his whimpering but I couldn't find a probable cause. So, I sat & consoled him & watched Sesame Street with them for a few minutes to calm everyone down.
Then I saw this:
Um, yeah, I guess I didn't think to look for bite marks on his neck! What is she, a vampire? Anyway, Mal got a stern scolding, but I wasn't sure what to do about actual punishment since we were about ten minutes removed from the incident. I had no idea whether or not she would still connect the event to the punishment.

The next day, I was informed when I picked up the kids from Mother's Day Out that "someone" had bitten Jake on the hand. The caregivers didn't see who had done it, so they didn't want to place blame, but I wasn't so confused as to what had occurred. I assured them that it was probably Mallory & scolded her once again.

After relaying all of this information to Justin, he told me that we need to prepare to play hardball & punish even if it's after the fact since this is clearly a pattern. We will, of course, show her the bite marks & talk a lot about what she's being punished for, but since she's apparently smart enough to do it when we're not around, I guess this just has to be our course of action. We've also been dealing with a lot of fit throwing from our sweet girl lately, & last night she got put in time out at church for pushing Jake. If you have any advice from previous experience, I'm all ears!


Paige said...

I feel your pain! Allie was the biter and it was very frustrating to deal with. I never saw her biting and that made it very difficult. She only bit at the baby sitter's.
My best advice is consistency. Jarod, babysitter and I all tried to say the same things to her and respond the same way every time. The babysitter always told her "no bite" very sternly and removed her immediately from the situation. She usually had time out and then gave the bitten child a lot of attention. When I would pick up Allie I would also give that child attention and talk to her about how biting was wrong and to use her words when she wanted/needed something.
Allie was also a huge fit thrower at that age! Again, we tried to make sure we all said the same thing and followed through with the same consequence.

I hope this helps! Hang in there, you are a great mommy!

Sharon said...

Sweet Mal? Never...:) I have no advice, just lots of love from this non-mommy friend. We love your kids lots and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for them (hopefully, for your sake, not much more biting...:)Love you!

Hattie said...

Still love your kids to pieces and at least she is only biting her brother! Hopefully she will not go outside the family!