Most toddlers fall into one or both of these categories, but society stigmatizes the children who bite. Why is that?
I mean, yes, biting is gross and I suppose there’s the possibility of transferring infectious disease if the bite breaks the skin, but how often does that really happen? And based on my experience, different types of bites are NOT handled differently by daycare providers, so what makes children who bite so much worse than kids who exhibit other aggressive behaviors?
When I was told that Luke bit another child yesterday, it was not the first time and I can’t guarantee it will be the last time. He’s a toddler for crying out loud – unpredictability is their main personality trait. But now he’s been labeled “a biter” by the daycare. Awesome.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not condone biting. I told him it was not okay several times, reminded him of the appropriate thing to do when he gets hit by another child and reinforced both of these things with him before I left for work today. What more can I do? His behavior is really in their hands once I drop him off.
Joey, Luke and the daycare worker all agree that the other child hit Luke first in the incident yesterday. Were the parents of the other child threatened with having to leave the daycare if he doesn’t stop hitting? Did they spend the same amount of time lecturing their child about hitting that I did lecturing Luke about biting? I doubt it. Somehow children who bite are the worst offenders in the daycare setting.
I’m wondering, too, whether we’re sending the right message when Luke gets timed out for biting and the other little boy gets to continue playing even though he got physical as well. Is it good idea to teach children that some forms of physical violence are okay while others are not? I mean, kids hit a long time after they quit biting, right?
So I’m left wondering whether biting is really that much bigger of an offense than hitting. There was a time when I would have said yes, but now I’m not so sure.
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