How it really feels when you’ve got a child who’s a biter

One mum shares the reality of having a little one who bites other children in the playground...

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Biting. Just one of those things that comes up when you have a child of a certain age, right?

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We reckon loads of us out there will have had the experience of a phone call from playgroup or nursery telling us our child’s been bitten by another child.

And it’s not nice, obviously. Horrible, even. It’s hard to know how to feel: rage and instinct kicks in and you just wanna punch something, then you want to physically curl around your little one, to protect them.

Our rational brains also know that these things just happen. It’s aggressive, but rarely malicious, and at first, little ones might not even get that it’s very, very not cool to do.

The reality is: biting is a phase plenty of children over the age of 1 go through, often when they’re still learning to use their words.

Now, ScaryMommy blogger Jenny Hopf – whose son Charlie had previously been bitten in the playground – has got us thinking about the flipside of the coin:

How it really feels when OUR child’s the one doing the biting.

“I received a phone call that we had another biting incident,” she wrote in a recent blog. “But this time, my daughter Lucy was the predator.”

“My sweet, happy, smiley Lucy was biting someone in her class. And not once, but 4 times in 10 days, warranting a call from the director about ‘action steps’.

“I was horrified, and I have to tell you, this time felt worse. Far worse. And I think it’s because this time I took it personally.

“Was this a reflection of my parenting? Was Lucy becoming a psychopath? Was this the beginning of a lifetime of violence?

“Yes, I knew these were crazy places to go, but moms tend to spiral when it comes to their kids, and I was dizzy with the hypothetical future.”

Understandably, Jenny sent herself into a bit of a tizz, eventually calming down after consulting colleagues and the internet and remembering how totally not-unusual it is.

“After I calmed down and had one (fine, two) glasses of wine, I remembered how normal this is.”

“We’ve had about two weeks now bite-free. Not going to lie, I have a bit of anxiety every time my cell phone rings, thinking I’m getting a call that Lucy has struck again.

“And I may make you sign a waiver that states you understand the possible consequences of a playdate with my child, but other than that, I think we’re managing pretty well.”

It’s a rollercoaster, no doubt. But most of us have been on it. Pretty much all of us here at MFM have a biting story similar to Jenny’s, if we’re being honest…

Share your stories

Has your child been the biter – or the bitten? Perhaps they’ve expressed themselves in another, not-so-ideal fashion? Please do feel free to tell us your stories, over on Facebook or in the comments below.

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