Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Daughter, the Crab-turtle

Do they make muzzles for children?

If so, I need one. And some type of straight jacket thing where the child's hands are restrained would be helpful too.

You see, my daughter, Ladybug, thinks she is a snapping turtle/crab hybrid. Instead of a rosy, smiling mouth, she sports razor sharp teeth which she wields with great accuracy. Instead of hands, she has pinchers and she is not afraid to use them.
Every time Ladybug gets mad or frustrated or is told no, she lashes out either by pinching or, now, biting.

The pinching has been going on for several months. She gets upset about something and whips those little fingers out and gives whoever is closest a good pinch. If no one is close to her, she will pinch a toy or the wall (which is pretty darned funny).

Yesterday, she added biting to her repertoire. Three different times during the day, she got mad at her brother and bit him. Bit him hard too.

Obviously this has to stop. We have been using time outs and diversion, but are getting nowhere fast. I know this is normal behavior to a certain extent and I know it stems from frustration and will likely resolve itself when she is more vocal, but I am not comfortable ignoring it. I am especially eager to nip the biting in the bud since she will be in daycare in August and I don't want her to get kicked out for biting.

Ladybug is very high-strung and always has been. She was angry from the get-go and has always had a temper. We used to think she would grow out of it, but I am beginning to think it is just her personality. She will have to learn to control herself at some point.

Nothign we have done has worked. Timeouts and stern no's have had no effect. Diversions don't work. Short of a muzzle/straight-jacket combo, I am at a loss. Any suggestions?


Anonymous said...

Bite her back! It may seem extreme but I have seen it done and it seems to work.

Anonymous said...

Have you read The Strong Willed Child by Dr Sears? I have not read it, but I like him and his advice. May be worth a shot. Good Luck!


Molly said...

She is definitely strong willed!

Don Mills Diva said...

My son went through this too and it was relaly frustrating. It lasted a few months and stopped when he started to get more verbal...

Anonymous said...

you totally need to read the Sears books!

If you feel like she is doing it to get your attention, sometimes it helps to put yourself in time out. Literally tell her you don't want to be with her when she bites because it makes you sad, then go in another room where she cannot be with you (bathroom or bedroom with door shut).

I don't know how old she is exactly or her verbal skills but having a door between you might help her to find words to communicate instead of actions.

Mamma said...

Luckily I didn't have any real biters, but I know the few times the boys did it during nursing I used a very strong voice and pulled them off and that seemed to get the point across.

I love Dr. Sears. So if folks say the book is good...

I wouldn't bite back. That's just modeling the same behavior.

andi said...

Oy the biting! When Elliot was in a horrific daycare, we brought her home a few times with bite marks so deep they broke the skin. Then she started biting the biter back. I was mortified! Eventually the phase just passed (I think it might have also had something to do with the fact that we found a better daycare for her).

We were also told to bite her back, but I don't really feel right about that. I mean, if a kid is a hitter, do you hit them back?

nobody said...

duct tape?