Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.
You are doing a great job and I am glad she is doing well. In fact this biting stage is also normal for her age and development.
As adults we look at this behavior as horrifying, but this is how children express themselves because they do not have the skills or the language to express the frustrations that they are feeling.
The daycare gets a bit upset about it and they all do because they have to tell the other parent that it has happened, but truly this is normal.
You are very right in that she cannot grasp what she has done or even express her feelings differently. Imagine not having full language or the emotional coping skills to deal with the heave duty emotions that two year olds feel, so they bit as they have no other way to release.
I am with your pediatrician in their thinking.
One thing you may do is to keep it simple. "biting hurts and can give a big owee."
you may also set up a reward system and have her help you create a no biting chart...paint it color it and each day she doesnt bite in school she gets a sticker and give her that gentle reminder each day before she enters.
How does this sound?
I think it is such an impulse for her that it happens without her realizing it, because as soon as she bites she puts her head down like she's ashamed. I think she knows it's wrong, but she won't quit doing it. If they gave her a time out in daycare already, should I give another one when we get home?
absolutely not....if there is a delay like that she has no idea why she is getting a time out.
and because this is impulse driven the time outs may not even be helpful...she knows it isnt right but cant control it....that is exactly the point. The gentle reminders of biting hurts will eventually help her as will just growing out of this.
It's hard to know when to give time outs and when not to, sometimes I think she's a little tired or hungry and acts out pretty badly. But if she's tired, do we just ignore the tantrums?
dont engage, walk away from it as long as she is safe. The more attention you give it the more she learns that her behavior is being responded to.
if you only engage when she is calm then she learns that is when she gets responded to.
We just feel terrible for the kids being bit and are scared the parents are going to start finding out who's doing the biting and get upset (we live in a smaller community where everyon knows each other). I know in my heart it's an impulse that she can't really help, but I'm scared we will get into more trouble with her daycare
if she tantrums and you engage and scream then she gets the negative attention which is attention and she loves it no matter what.
I understand. Most schools have a policy that they are not allowed to tell the other parents who did the biting for the exact reason you are fearful about.
It is a phase and one that many many children go through. Trust me your child is not the first the daycare has had to deal with on thie biting issue.
Thank you for your help... I'm feeling a little better about it
when she swats at you...you say simply but firmly...no hitting, hitting hurts. we have a loving home.
it is my pleasure. come to me anytime for more support. I am here to help.
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Here is a great link to look at. http://www.ok.gov/health/documents/BITING%20IN%20THE%20TODDLER%20YEARS%20rev.pdf