August 8, 2004

The Final Dr. Michael

Sadly, the last one I have...

Dear Dr. Michael,

My 17-month-old grandson keeps getting bitten in daycare. The teacher sends notes home with him that say things like "My friend bit me today when we were playing. It isn't a bad bite. My friend didn't mean to hurt me."

The only punishment they do to the kid who bites my grandson is they give the kid timeout, but that doesn't work because my grandson gets bit every week, some weeks 3 or 4 days and some days as many as five different bites.

What do you think me or his mom should do to help him so he won't keep being bitten?

--Brett's Nonna

Well, Brett's Nonna,

I think what you should do is write a letter to the school, the people there should yell at the kid and tell the Mom what the kid is doing.

They should keep the kid home from that school. They shouldn't let him go. If it's pre-school, it should be ok to let him stay home, or they should send him to a proper school. Not one that allows biting, but one that will give the proper punishment. You know, "timeout" and let the parents deal with it.

The parents should send him up to his room, not let him watch TV or do anything that he likes to do. "Go to your room and sit there" is the proper punishment.

The people at the daycare should have more proper things to say. They should watch all the kids better. "If you keep biting this kid, I'm going to have to tell your mother and send you home. Biting can really hurt a kid."

The other kids might feel that Brett is not an "OK kid." They probably don't like him. But those kids are really mean. These days they criticize people because he doesn't dress or talk right. He probably doesn't talk the right way. They probably have something there... a way of talking, and he's not doing it right.

I don't think Brett is a bad kid. These other kids are just bad. Bring the biter to a school where if you do one little thing bad, they yell at you. They should drop this kid out of pre-school. You can still do that. He won't be able to bite Brett if they drop him out of school. And if he tries to bite his Mom and Dad, he'll be in big trouble.

Take "Mommy and Me" for example. All you day all day is play with toy trucks. Why would you want to bite? Teachers should do more than just say, "Oh, look at this kid, he's so cute." They shouldn't interfere but they should watch out for bad behavior.

Brett shouldn't feel bad. It's not his fault. He's probably just one of a kind.

--Dr. Michael

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