Biting. I know. I can't believe it myself. It started a few weeks ago actually. I was looking up something on the computer when I heard the most horrific catterwalling from the living room. Sissy came running into where I was sitting, barely able to breathe and scream at the same time. She was rubbing her arm and screamed "He!! Bit!! Me!!" I looked at her arm and just about came unglued. There on her arm was the tell-tale teeth marks with a horrible purple and red bruise rising to the surface of her skin. I immediately came into the living and told Boo-Boo that "we do not bite anything but food" and then I did what I thought I'd never do and I bit him on the arm in the same place he bit his sister. She was crying, he was crying and I was crying.
How did this happen? When did biting back become discipline? I immediately sent my husband a text telling him what happened. Then I called my friend Tara. Of whom I almost always ask parenting questions. This makes sense to me since we are pretty much long-long sisters and parent very similarly. Her children are a few years older than mine, so of course in my mind, she's an expert. (Thanks Tara!)
The conversation went pretty much like this:
"hey, what's going on? hope you're okay?"
"we're fine. just on the computer, catching up on Facebook."
"you're stalking again?" we both laugh.
"I have a problem..."
"Boo-Boo bit Sissy and I bit Boo-Boo. Now I feel horrible. Have you dealt with this too?"
"yes...I did the same thing..."
We talked some and I came to the realization this is something most parents do. I asked Momma about it and she said neither my brother nor I were "biters" so she never really had to deal with it. However, my cousin bit me and she said my aunt would bite him back. This was 30+ years ago.
Again, I ask, when did this become a good idea?
I rationalized: Boo-Boo needed to understand the pain he inflicted on his sister. I didn't want to wait until later when my husband got home from work. If I did that, then Boo-Boo wouldn't understand what I was talking about. Remember, he's 2 years old. He's the youngest and he is trying very hard to speak clearly. We don't understand a lot of what he says and I think he gets very irritated when he can't communicate his feelings or problems. I tried explaining to Boo-Boo that it's not okay to bite. We use our teeth to eat food. We do not use our teeth to hurt others. The root of the problem? There was a toy they both wanted and Sissy had taken it from Boo-Boo. He's reaction? To bite her.
Later I talked to Sissy and explained to her that while it's not okay for Boo-Boo to bite her. It's also not okay for her to take things from her brother. She's 4 years old and she understands what it's like when people take things from her when she wants to play with them. She understood, but they are brother and sister and fight like cats and dogs over silly things. I know it will get better. I'm just waiting for the day, it might be 20 years from now, but it will come.
In the mean time, has anyone else had to deal with biting children? I'm curious to know how you handled it and what advice you have to offer.
By the way, the biting back didn't work for me. He bit her again today...