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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Biting Part II

My son had a problem with biting months ago. He was transitioned early into another classroom and the biting ceased to stop. I was elated, proud and encouraged that my parenting along with working with the day care was actually helping my child improve to be the little loveable guy that I know him as and not acting out on these little behavioral problems.

Then came this past Fall when the rest of his classmates from his previous room moved into this classroom. He got bit several times. So much that he had a big welt on his face for at least a week. Obviously no parent wants to see their child get hurt, but did not go crazy overboard with what had happened because I understand it is just part of that age group. I had been there and know those parents frustrations. I sympathized.

Then this week my son had a set back. Bit a few times and had a couple of attempts to bite but either stopped or did not succeed due to teacher's intervention. It is a learned behavior and I felt very sure it was because of the bites he had endured over the past few months. I have watched while picking up my son other kids biting or trying to bite others. It wasn't my son being the only vampire in his classroom. It gave a bit of reassurance but also was a bit weary because as I said, this is a learned behavior. I got a call on an early Friday morning after a Thursday bite from the Director. She stated that the behavioral coach at our school and her had talked to the President of the company and instead of the "if he bites he goes home" rule, they initiated that if he does bite then my son gets suspended for thirty days. I got this information via a phone call while I am at work. I am sure anyone within a twenty yard radius heard "30 DAYS!!!!".

I decided then and there to leave and pick my son up. He had a few attempts this morning and before a initiated 30 day rule would take place, I was going to meet with the Director and the Behavioral Coach to let them know my frustrations, worries, etc., I am an emotional person, so walking into the day care I first started talking to the Director in a higher pitched toned. Promised her I was not mad at her, but frustrated with the situation and the 30 day rule and then proceeded to start crying. I hate that my son is in day care, but I have to work. I have to work so I can make ends meet. I am not one of those parents that drops their children off at day care so I can have a lazy day to myself filled with "me" appointments in getting pedicures and massages. I work and work to pay my mortgage.

In my meeting with the Director and Behavioral Coach they commended me for my excellent "take action" mode. They said they knew how hard I have been working on my son's behavioral issue by talking with them, meeting with behavioral coaches, talking to my pediatrician, trying to enroll my son into speech classes (we feel this is half of his frustration), etc., etc., etc., That they would work with me and my son by shadowing him, calling me on any updates and if a 30 day rule was to happen that they could see if they could put him in a sister school. How putting him in another one of their sister schools would help, I have no idea. I don't see that helping. I see a one to two day suspension, but thirty days is a little much for me and really who can afford to stay home for a month? I would love to, but I can't. I left there still feeling weary and like this present doom is upon us with my son in tow.

Thankfully my husband had talked to his Mom who had a few options for us. We could call the very energetic (they are in their 60's) Great Grandparents to help us or perhaps one of her Russian girlfriends that stay home and that I also know could help us as well. I was thankful for the plan B and plan C. I find that Russian women as a whole are much better at banding together and helping out each other then American women. Yes, I said it. Perhaps its because they lived in a time where it was imperative that they help each other vs. the past few generations of Americans just haven't been put into that situation. They questions asked. I am thankful for that.

My drather obviously would be that my son stay in the present school that he is in. That maybe this biting thing was a frustration that will die out over the weekend quickly. I'd rather not uproot him from familiar surroundings to surrounding less comfortable for him and could possibly pose a greater risk of him acting out badly due to too much newness.

I feel often like I am a bad parent. I let my son try things and do things. I don't helicopter because I want my son to be able to choose appropriate actions, but also stay close enough to pick him up or take him out of a situation if necessary. I just wonder where I went wrong. What could I have done that I haven't done and no biting him back is not the answer. Too many specialist in the field have told me that is the thing NOT to ever do. I just want to help him, support him and have this phase done with. Is it stressful? Hell yes. Just please God, spare me "that call" from day care that I don't want come this Monday, for the rest of the week...for the rest of his life.

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