As hard as we try, we can’t always stop bad things from happening to our children. We can’t watch over them at school and we don’t want to be that mom running after them at the playground. Bubble wrapping them isn’t an option either. Sometimes, they will get hurt, and that’s fine. But what happens when it is another child that hurts them?
At school or during a tiff out and about, your child may get bitten by another little kid. While we might be popping off with anger inside at this other 3 year old, socially and morally we can’t actually start a fight with a toddler. That motherly-instinct kicks in and we look for someone to be angry at or to blame, but it really isn’t that simple.
As hard as it might be, you need to try and control you emotions, keep your cool and calm your now screaming child. Instead of a list of things to do when your child gets bitten, here is a list of what not to do when another child bites your child – you might need it more in the moment!
Don’t shout at the other child
In the moment you are angry – someone else has caused harm and pain to your little one. Our first reaction is usually anger. Looking at the guilty party though, you can’t start shouting at another person’s child. At the same time, you don’t want to be that crazy scary parent that screams at other kids the moment they do something wrong. Not only does it paint you in a bad light, but it can also get you into quite a bit of trouble. Rather assess the situation before making any bold moves.
Don’t attack the other parent
Because we can’t attack the 3 year old for biting our child, it would then in the moment seem logical to attack the parent. Yet again, not a good idea. You never know what that parent is dealing with. Some children just go through biting stages; it is not like the parent has sat at home night after night teaching their kid to chomp on unsuspecting victims. They are probably really embarrassed, sorry and more than likely also at a loss on how to deal with the situation. Rather approach them in a calm, understanding manner. Let them know what has happened and talk it out like adults.
Avoid acting in anger
The worst thing you could do is teach your child that anger is an acceptable coping mechanism. If you bust out the boxing gloves after something like this happens, you are showing them that it is okay to resort to violence or aggression to deal with a situation. Anger and aggression never successfully solve problems. Rather show them that in order to approach and deal with a situation, you need to remain level headed and fair.
Don’t molly-coddle your child
Biting can be really sore, but it is not grounds to call an ambulance and run around screaming with your kid in your arms. If the bite has broken skin, you should take them to a doctor because there are germs and diseases that can be transmitted this way, but don’t overreact. If you go full-dramatic then they will never learn how to appropriately deal with situations like this later on in life.
Don’t downplay it either
While you shouldn’t overreact, your child still needs some sort of reaction from you. They will come running to you in tears and will need your comfort and love. You need to soothe them and help calm them down. Once you have calmed them down to a manageable state, you can assess the situation and see if the wound needs attending to.
You will come across many situations in parenthood where someone has done something or said something to your child that gets your blood boiling. As easy as it is, and as much as we want to lose our cool, we have to remember that there are little eyes watching our every move. Every reaction we have and every situation we deal with will leave an imprint on our kids and how they deal with their own situations later on in life.