Cause you’ve got…personality

For many of the months in his first year of life, if you had asked me (and sometimes people did) what our son’s personality was like, I would have answered (and sometimes did) that he was very Type-A, demanding, sensitive…”spirited” if you will. Surprisingly, though I still agree that he is somewhat sensitive, nowadays I find myself saying he is more passive, distractable, even happy-go-lucky. He is “slow-to-warm-up” which is very similar to how I, the non-bio mom, am, so I totally get it. When confronted with groups of people, he is an observer and it takes a while for him to feel comfortable enough to join in, even when it is a situation with which he is familiar. For example, Ima and I (mommy) brought him into his daycare this morning and noticed all the toddlers were in the 2’s room. So we took off his coat in his empty room and walked over there together. When the kids and teachers saw him enter, they lit up and happily said his name. His reaction was to step backwards, grab my legs and hide his face. A couple minutes later he quietly joined the nearest group of kids to eat his first snack.

He is good-humored and easy to make laugh. He is also innocent and unfortunately naive (as far as a nearly 2 year old can be). This means he takes no precaution when The Biter in his class approaches him, ready to attack (although sometimes he honestly doesn’t see her coming). So when we were notified that he was bitten for the 5th time last week, we were not only frustrated with The Biter, but also with him for not protecting himself a little better. Not that he should have to of course, but we do think he would benefit from not being quite so trusting sometimes.

While meeting with his teachers to discuss The Biter, we touched a little upon that. Sometimes when they sit for circle time, another kid nearby may kick at his feet and instead of getting up or telling that child ‘No’, he will simply sit there and take it and sadly look to a teacher for help. While we are delighted that he is generally not aggressive, it does hurt to think that your child may be an easy target for bullies. Luckily the teachers suggest ways for him to cope without always rescuing him, and we’ll try to work on that as well (although short of sticking our fingers in his ears waiting for him to tell us to stop or push our hands away, we’re not entirely sure what to do, nor do we want to lessen his trust in us as his parents).

All this to say:

1. Your toddler may be very different from your baby personality-wise
2. The Biter is still a problem at our daycare and this apparently will not stop until she can control herself because they have no real policy in place except to keep trying new tactics
3. Curly needs to learn how to better stand up for himself
4. Curly is not yet able to say “Lay off, bitch!”

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27 responses to “Cause you’ve got…personality

  1. Awh poor kid, this is getting outta hand! I didn’t think it was a big deal at first but now 5 times, really? Clearly she needs to be supervised very closely although I think she may need to be excused from the school all together. My Mom owned a daycare and I worked there for 5 years off/on, 2.5 of which I took my son with me, so I know all about this kinda thing. We had a 3 bite policy. My son was bitten many times (possibly 5) by his best friend and really never learned his lesson to stay away from him either. We didn’t kick him out only because it was my son he was biting and he really wasn’t a bad kid. Eventually the kid just stopped, I he guess grew out of it or was tired of sitting in timeout. Does this girl only bite your son or does she bite all the kids? Does she bite out of the blue or because she wants something your son has? I’m just curious because maybe they need to keep them separated all together. Do they do timeout or what is their strategy for handling this problem? Ugh, I would be tempted to move my child but not sure about the quality of other daycares in your area, proximity to your jobs, ect. Have you asked them about removing her? Or have you said you might remove your son if it happens again? Just curious πŸ˜‰

  2. All good questions. This girl bites anyone, not just our son. We know of at least 2 other children who have also been bitten because we talked with their parents. Also, she bites her own parents because on the sign-in sheets in the morning, we see notes they wrote that she ‘attempted on dad twice this morning’ or the like. The parents are very concerned but it seems nothing is working. She sometimes bites completely out of the blue, not because kids are taking things away from her or not sharing. The last time, our son was doing a puzzle and she just came over bit him on the shoulder, through the skin. WTF. They normally do time outs, and the teachers try their best to shadow her and keep them separated, but of course, things happen…and fast. They are constantly looking into new strategies, but I really wish they would boot her at this point. I did mention that other daycares do that but they prefer to continue to work with the child. This daycare would be PERFECT if not for that. We really don’t want to take him out but it’s so frustrating.

  3. I think if you and the other parents speak to the director together they would have no choice but to remove this child. She sounds like she has serious behavioral issues as well as possible issues at home. To hear that she attempted to bite her Dad twice during drop off is disturbing. I would not want my son in a class with her. 😦 It’s possible she will grow out of it but how many more kids will she bite in the process?! That’s not fair to your son or the other kids.

  4. Poor little guy. I’m surprised that they don’t have any biting policy.

  5. My sister taught my niece to say, “Back off Buster!”. Which worked great until she was 3 and she yelled it at my sister in the middle of the grocery store. πŸ™‚

  6. Interesting– I always thought of you both as being very outgoing people!

    We’ve got a biter in our room now, too… Lucas came home yesterday with a red mouth mark on his little hand. I am composing a post about it…

  7. such a serious post…until that last line that made me laugh my ass off. i really think you should work with him on learning to say that! πŸ˜‰

  8. Holy shit, if I ever heard a toddler say “Lay off, bitch” I think I might need to go high-5 him! πŸ™‚ That totally made my night to read that…perfect end to a great post!

  9. Wow. I never thought that my toddler’s personality could be very different from her as a baby. Holy smokes. What is coming round the bend? What ever happens personality wise I will be sure to teach her, “Lay off Bitch.” That could be very handy in so many situations. smile. Curly boy may suddenly surprise all of us, most importantly the biter.

  10. you know, in many daycares, that girl would get THE BOOT. i can’t believe he’s been bit 5 times by her–how old is she? i hope her parents are mortified. and poor curly! you guys have great insight on this situation–understanding that you obviously want intervention from the teacher, but want to teach him to deal with conflict himself. i’m sure dealing with conflict in this manner probably isn’t what you had in mind, but i’m hoping there’s a better end to this situation for you than there has been!

  11. I love your insight on this. And it will be awesome when you do teach him to call the bitch out. πŸ˜‰

  12. The situation with The Biter is just terrible. I feel so bad for the little guy and the two of you. How sad 😦

  13. They should make a biter policy at this point. Poor guy.

  14. That really sucks. I’m sorry Curly’s gotten bit FIVE times. How ridiculous. I would be livid. And so frustrated.

  15. I would say the biting has become a serious problem at this point. While I admire the daycare for wanting to work with the child, I don’t think it’s fair to the other kids. I mean, she’s bitten Curly FIVE times, and that’s not even counting how many times she’s bitten the other children. Also, I don’t think they should be trying a bunch of different strategies; they should pick with one approach and stick with it, and the parents need to be using the same approach at home. Good luck. I’d be pretty pissed at this point too and poor Curly!

  16. Our kids have become pretty assertive, partially as a result of their personalities for sure, but partially from practice. At play groups and heck at home when our 2 arent playing nicely we practice with whomever the “victim” is by helping to give them the language to defend them self. When a toy is taken or there is hitting or kicking instead of doing the disciplining we give the victim the words which is far more effective for both children from an empowerment perspective. For example, Ryan takes a toy away from Cooper, we’ll go to Cooper immediately and say, did you like when Ryan took that toy away from you?” She either says no or we lead her there. Then we say firmly, “tell Ryan you didn’t like that.” say, “I’m using that now, I’ll let you know when I’m finished”. If it wasn’t over a toy but rather for no reason. The same process applies, “did you like when Ryan hit/pushed/kicked/bit you?” no. Tell her, “I didn’t like when you —-, you may not —- me again”. It’s amazingly effective. The kids seem to really respect the assertion from the victim and the victim feels empowered. And honestly, when you give the kids the words it puts other parents at ease about the process if their kid is the perpetrator because you’re empowering the kids to deal with it… Even 2 year olds!! Has been awesome for ours, good luck!!

  17. I wonder if this is a common phase at this age? Our bean was incredibly outgoing as an older baby, but she’s become very shy recently as well. I’m hoping this isn’t forever, as I know firsthand how hard shyness can be.

    As for the biting, am I understanding correctly that the teachers are working with Curly and expecting him to assert himself with the biter? If so, I think he’s a little young for that. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I think it definitely involves a teacher and/or parent working with the biter directly and separating her from the other kids as much as possible.

    Also, I know its said in jest, but I’m slightly disturbed by all the comments referring to this little girl as a bitch. She’s very young and its not at all clear that she’s biting with the intention of hurting others, not to mention that none of us would like to hear someone refer to our children that way.

  18. krafty- The teachers are working much more with the biter than with Curly. They do try to empower all the kids though, so working with Curly to assert himself is pretty standard for them and we’re glad they do that.

    As far as the ‘bitch’ reference, you’ll just have to excuse our sarcastic sense of humor. Of course we know she’s just a child and not evil in any sense. It helps us with our present frustration though.

    All- we will be re-visiting this topic again soon. There may be something in the works where a few of the parents are talking of getting together to discuss a plan.

  19. I think you are on the right track with Curly. He really does understand a lot, so just telling him, over and over, when someone does something to him that hurts him/that he does not like, he should say “NO!” or “I don’t like that!” should begin to be effective. You can do little Q & As and and prompt him, “What do you say when the Biter bites you?” “You say NO! I don’t like that!” He will start to get it,and it will probably be good for the Biter too. She’s biting for the negative attention, and I bet hearing Curly tell her NO! would stop her in her tracks. Or at least give her pause.

  20. Also, after five incidents, I think they need to step it up. What ever they are doing is NOT working. Her parents, too.

  21. Poor Curly! You’re gonna have to start sending the kid to daycare in chain mail! Seriously though, I hope he learns to assert himself a little more because it sounds like the biter is not doing too well learning how to control herself.

  22. what an awful situation… i hope the daycare resolves this, soon.

  23. 2 comments for 1 post! πŸ™‚ j/k …. really, I am writing again b/c I could have sworn I had your PW??? But I don’t!!! 😦 If you are willing to share, please email me at dosbabymamas (at) yahoo (dot) com.

    Thaaaaaaaaaaanks!!!!!!!!

  24. Hmmm, I too seem to somehow not have your password… I could have sworn I did… Would you mind passing it along? Thanks!

  25. Hi there I’ve been following your blog for awhile but since I’ve been missing out on probably more cute pics of your son and some good info I was wondering if I could get the password.

  26. I totally respect your stance on the biter. While kicking her out is very very tempting, studies show that it is better to keep children IN the situation to teach them skills and I can only imagine the same is true for toddlers and self assertion. That being said– the Biter’s parents need professional help. It is clear that they need someone to guide them in helping her learn some new skills– skills the daycare could also utilize. As for Curly, he sounds like an amazingly sweet kid. Precious!

  27. Christine Ellis

    I’ve been lurking for a while now & two protected posts in a row is too many! May I please have the password?
    Thanks!

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