Tears rolled down my cheeks as I sat in the front seat of my miniature van, parked in the Chik-Fil-A parking lot, baby bump nearly touching the steering wheel, I called my mom. “Mom, she’s a junkyard dog!” I said recalling the embarrassing scene I had just fled. The small 2 year old child strapped in her carseat behind me had just bit 4 people in less than 3 days. At this rate, she was surely on the path to Juvie.
I knew I had to intervene, but how? I felt like I couldn’t take her anywhere for fear that she would bare her teeth and the rest would be history. I sought out advice, most mom’s remembered their kids biting, but couldn’t remember how they stopped biting (funny how that works). Some moms suggested I bite her, so she knew how much it hurts (since I don’t want trouble from the law, I avoided this option). Others suggested I model nice interactions for her (she just ran away when I did this). The wisest moms of all shrugged it off and insisted she would outgrow it.
So what did I do? I took a combination approach. I prompted her to bite her own arm. I pretended to bite my own arm at the same time. She was really excited at first, but soon, I had her full attention. That is when we talked about how important it is to use words to express yourself, instead of hurting people. Viola. She was a reformed 2 year old.
What would I have done if the biting had persisted post intervention? I would have sought expert consultation that extends beyond my circle of mom friends. Here at IFM, we’re regular parents too (our children aren’t perfect), you can tell us the whoas going on in your family and we won’t judge. What we will do is listen. If necessary, we can refer you in house to our pediatric sensory specialist and our behavioral health specialist. So keep your chin up parents, IFM has your back!
Sara Lynn, RN, BSN
“If you don’t invest in your health, no one else will.”