When you have a two year old in daycare, tantrums, crying fits, and generally obstinate behavior are things that may be expected from your child. However, if your child suddenly starts biting other students it can be quite frustrating. If you have recently received a phone call that your child has bitten another student, then you need to make sure that you take action immediately to prevent another incident from occurring.
Investigate Teething Issues
If your child is between the ages of 13 and 33 months, then it is very possible that the molars are coming through the gums along both the upper and lower jaw. Teething problems are likely if this is the case, even if your child did not have issues when the incisors and canines erupted. The molars are quite flat and they force through the gums with some difficulty. This is a far cry from the sharp incisors and canines that cut the gums fairly easily.
If your child has just bitten another child at daycare, take the time to examine your child for signs of teething. A low grade fever, constant drooling, ear pulling, excess nasal mucus, and lack of sleep are some common teething indicators. If you notice these things, then start your day by providing your child with an anti-inflammatory pain medication. Choose either ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Both of these drugs reduce inflammation causing chemicals in the body called prostaglandins. Acetaminophen is better at blocking pain signals and reducing fevers, so choose this pain reliever if fever is more of a teething concern for your child than inflammation.
You can also rub a small amount of clove oil on your child's gums to relieve oral pain. Whichever pain relieving method you use, make sure to inform the daycare center and provide a bottle of pain relievers or clove oil that can be administered every four to six hours.
Provide Coping Strategies
Some children bite, especially when they start daycare, due to the challenges of the new environment. This can make small children feel over-stimulated, frustrated, impulsive, and excited, all at the same time. Unfortunately, all of these emotions can lead to biting behaviors. Toddlers do not have the ability to logically deal with emotions, so you will need to provide your child with a variety of coping strategies to manage strong emotions, especially negative ones that may lead to hitting or biting.
First, speak with your child about strong feelings and start to verbalize and name emotions. When your child can start identifying how they feel, they can start communicating their feelings. This can help with steering your child away from frustrating or overly stimulating situations, especially when feelings are communicated to the daycare provider. To help with identifying feelings, pick out some books from your local bookstore or library that explore topics like self control, coping with anger, exploring feelings, and fear. Discuss the characters in the book, their feelings, and how this might relate to situations at daycare.
Once feelings are identified, work with your child to come up with an activity that helps them to deal with the emotions. For example, if your child is feeling angry, then inform them to jump up and down for several minutes or rip up paper. If feelings of fear are a concern, then allow your child to bring a stuffed animal to daycare that they can snuggle with when feeling fearful. If feeling overstimulated, inform your child to look at a book quietly in the corner of the room. Let the daycare center know of your child's new coping strategies, since they may interrupt the daily schedule.
Along with these strategies, allow your child to have a good amount of quiet time at home after daycare so they can calm down from an emotionally charged day. Also, let your child make decisions at home so they feel more in control. This can help to reduce feelings of fear and frustration. Allow your child to choose their own clothing in the morning as well as snacks, meals, drinks, and other things. Provide several appropriate choices to help with this process.
For more tips and information about daycare age children, contact a company like Advantage Learning Center.