The Resolution (or maybe an experiment)
On the Good Ship Ninnypop

So harsh it hurts

I am so frustrated right now.  Chance, after no incidences biting other children since this, has suddenly started biting at preschool, just in the last week and a half!  He's been doing so well in his new class, and he hadn't bitten anyone even when he was in the younger class where he was having problems.  He's been bit himself quite a few times, but you'd think that would be a lesson in "biting is bad", right? 

This thing keeps popping up in waves and it's so frustrating.  However, previous phases have only been directed at me and his dad... he has a tantrum, or gets really upset, and tries to bite.  One phase was when he was really young and then stopped.  Another phase happened right before his verbal skills really took off and then got better as he gained more words (except for the occasional freak out, absolutely ballistic tantrum).  We haven't seen any biting in a while and thought he was past all that.  And now it seems to be back. 

So what I'm doing (and what I did today) is picking him up from school as soon as he bites.  He loves school and he really looks forward to going.  He asks to go and I know he'd probably love to go more than twice a week.  However, I told him that if he wants to do fun things like play with his friends there can be no biting, and I told him if he did it at school I would pick him up.  So there you go, I'm following through.  Even though it feels rather harsh (not to mention expensive and wreaking havoc on my work schedule).

Here's the thing... I know he knows it's wrong, I think he's impulsively reacting without thinking, and I think he's sorry after he does it.  But I also think he doesn't really believe there will be consequences.  Or at least, consequences that affect him emotionally and are far reaching (i.e. going to the director's office until he calms down is not a consequence that has any impact on him).   

Apparently today when the director got off the phone with me and told Chance I was picking him up and that he couldn't go back to his classroom he started crying.  He cried until I got there. 

You really can feel totally pissed off and broken-hearted at the same time.
                   - wg



I think you did the right thing. He's pretty young to "get" consequences, but being consistent like this and following through will send the message really quickly. It's hard though, isn't it?

You're a good mom.

Amy @


This is a so hard! And I really don't think 3 is too young to have consequences for bad behavior. How else do you teach them that good behavior gets good rewards and bad behavior results in totally unfun things happening? Of course the consequences need to be age appropriate. If he understands what he has done wrong and understands what comes next, he is way more likely to stop biting, hitting etc than if you just told him it's wrong.

To be honest, I'm not looking forward to a future where kids that have been raised with little to no consequences rule our world.


As the mom who had to send her son to school every day, where he got bitten consistently by the same kid - and the "consequences" were also sitting in the director's office, which didn't work at all - thank you for coming up with your solution, and for sticking to it.

Seriously. I know this is hard for you but I think we need more parents like you.


hey! did you get my email??? its been funky trying to send you stuff...

let me know!


I think every parent would agree that a little tough love (and I mean punishing, not abusing) is imperative in teaching your child right from wrong. But no one ever said that doling out the tough love wasn't tough. You're a good mom, and I'm sure his school appreciates you taking it further and sticking to it when their hands are pretty tied with the consequences they can give out.

Repeat: you're a good mom.

the weirdgirl

Amy, thank you for saying that! And thanks for visiting!

Summer, I'm with you. I see a lot of kids who just get to slide. And I feel like I'm tough on my son (but fair) and I get the stink eye because he's "energetic".

Hannah, I totally appreciate that! My son was also getting bitten by the same 1-2 kids and even if he didn't "learn it" from them (trust me, he figured out biting on his own!), I'm sure seeing limited consequences for other kids made an impression. These kids are really smart at spotting loopholes!

Stella, you got my email, hon.

Andrea, thanks! You're a great mom, too.

You guys make me feel good.

creative-type dad

I'm on the consequences bandwagon. The nothing happening thing was short-lived in my house.

The comments to this entry are closed.