Day One discipline consists of positive reinforcement. The use of physical punishment and or crude language is not permitted. Parents will be asked to pick up children who consistently will not follow the rules and regulations of the Day Care Center.
Children biting other children are unavoidable occurrences of group childcare, especially with toddlers. It is a common happening in any childcare program. When it happens, and sometimes continues, it can be scary, very frustrating, and very stressful for children, parents, and staff. Every child in the Infant and Toddler classrooms is a potential biter or will potentially be bitten. It is important to understand that because a child bites, it does not mean that the child is “mean” or “bad” or that the parents of the child who bites are “bad” parents or they are not doing their job as parents to make this stop happening. Biting is purely a sign of the developmental age of the child and often happens at predictable times for predictable reasons tied to children’s ages and stages.
Why they bite
Every child is different. Some bite more than others, or some may not bite at all. The group care setting is where the biting derives its significance. If a child has not really been around other children very much, he probably would not bite because neither the cause for biting or opportunities has presented themselves. Group care presents challenges and opportunities that are unique from home. The children are surrounded by many others for hours at a time. Even though there are plenty of toys and materials available for all the children, two or three children may want that one particular toy. The children are learning how to live in a community setting. Sometimes that is not easy. Biting is not something to blame on the child, parents, or caregivers. Confidentiality is also practiced with biting. We cannot tell a parent who bit their child.
Why infants and toddlers bite
What teachers do in response to children who bite
It is our job to provide a safe setting in which no child needs to hurt another to achieve his or her ends and in which the normal range of behavior is managed (and biting is normal in group care). There are several things the teachers do to assess the biting situation and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
Teachers can try to minimize the behavior
Letting the biting child know in words and manner that biting is unacceptable. Avoiding any immediate response that reinforces the biting, including dramatic negative attention. The teachers will tell the child that “Biting hurts” and the focus of caring attention is on the bitten child. The biter is talked to on a level that he or she can understand. The teacher will help the child who is biting to work on resolving conflict or frustration in a more appropriate manner, including using language if the child is able. Examining the context in which the biting occurred and looking for patterns. Was it crowded? Too many toys? Was the biting child getting hungry, tired, or frustrated?
When biting changes from a relatively unusual occurrence (a couple times a week) to a frequent and expected occurrence, it will be addressed with added precautions. The teachers will keep track of every occurrence, including attempted bites, and note location, time, participants, and circumstances. “Shadow” children who indicate a tendency to bite. This technique involves having a teacher with a child who bites. This teacher would be able to then anticipate biting situations and to teach non-biting responses to situations and reinforce appropriate behavior in potential biting situations. The teachers may consider changes to the room environment that may minimize congestion, commotion, competition for toys and materials, or child frustration.
If you haven’t yet experienced the temper tantrum in action, you probably soon will. Often it is marked by a screaming child and a frustrated and sometimes embarrassed parent performing unsuccessful attempts to make the whole thing go away. During toddlerhood, children struggle to develop a sense of themselves as separate from their parents.
When your toddler feels angry, frustrated, or helpless, he or she may kick, scream, and flop on the ground. Tantrums are a normal, natural, and inevitable part of growing up. Removing yourself as an audience quickly and calmly is the best thing you can do to lessen the frequency of tantrums. When a tantrum is over – it’s over. Children usually stop as soon as the parent is gone, Out of site out of mind. As frustrating as tantrums can be for parents, a calm, confident approach will go a long way to preventing this stage from lasting very long.
Day One maintains a family resource binder / board that provides information for parents, and resources to help link parents to the larger community, to social emotional and literacy development in young children and community agencies and social services.