Day care worker bites child to show that biting is wrong


106 Responses to “Day care worker bites child to show that biting is wrong”

  1. DevinC says:

    Now the kid’s gonna grow up to be a wallflower, because he was once bitten.

  2. elix says:

    *smack* “Don’t hit!”

    Son, welcome to the wild world of adulthood. The cognitive dissonance and unfairness that you feel is natural. Unfortunately.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      Eh, I’d give it a little more credit than that: experiencing a negative outcome for yourself probably makes it considerably easier to understand why inflicting that outcome on others is forbidden, if you don’t already possess comparatively advanced theory of mind.

      Doesn’t mean that this particular worker shouldn’t be off looking for exciting opportunities in some other sector, or that the hypothetical ‘use of corporal punishment to discourage physical violence’ wouldn’t be dissonant; but I suspect that being bitten provides an otherwise unavailable perspective on why you aren’t supposed to bite people.

  3. hadlockk says:

    Did the daycare worker have some sort of transmittable disease? More importantly, did the kid stop biting others? I feel like the synopsis left out the most important parts of the story.

  4. JustAdComics says:

    The child should be monitored for signs of lycanthropy or vampirism. Either that, or the “adult” should be smacked upside the head with a 2×4.

  5. Michael Rosefield says:

    My nephew can be a bit of a handful at times. Once, when he wouldn’t stop pinching people hard and thinking it was a game even when told in no uncertain terms not to, I pinched him back hard enough to make him cry. To be fair, he was probably about 9 at the time, and is quite sensitive – I don’t think I pinched him particularly hard, just hard enough to be unpleasant.

    I don’t really regret it, more that I had to do it. He had to see what it was like for other people.

    • oasisob1 says:

      At least you didn’t let him walk to the post office.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      It may disqualify you from ‘hero of nonviolent passive resistance’ status; but just about anything you do as a direct response to being done-unto enjoys at least some automatic moral elevation… And 9 isn’t exactly ‘helpless uncomprehending baby’ age. You are almost a real person by that point…

    • Finnagain says:

       Tit for tat. I see nothing wrong with this.

      • dean s says:

        Damn it. No no no, you’re supposed to say:
        “An eye for an eye. I see nothing wrong with this.”

        And then someone else is supposed to reply:
        “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
        Mahatma Gandhi, (attributed)
        Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 – 1948)

      • niktemadur says:

        Tit for tat. I see nothing wrong with this.

        One word and one word only comes to mind:  Hammurabi.

        • cellocgw says:

          For those who don’t know history: Hammurabi was proposing that a penalty be *no greater* than the crime. E.g., a serf who steals a loaf of bread is fined equivalent cost, NOT lose his hands or life.   That said, I’m deeply saddened to see that, even on BB, in 2013, so many people think that committing violence against a child does anything other than teach the child that (1) violence is OK , at least if you’re an adult, and (2) next time commit greater violence and don’t get caught.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Oh, I don’t know.  “Taliban” also comes to mind.

  6. silkox says:

    I was a biter when I was a kid, and my mother finally put a stop to it by biting me. But I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have been happy if some other adult had bitten me. Maybe the kid should have been sent home with an assignment to have his mother bite him.

    • chaopoiesis says:

      Cue the open source biter-bot kit.

    • laurenceriley says:

      my roomate’s sister-in-law makes $77/hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her income was $21126 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on  Jive8.c­om

      • lavardera says:

        my sister-in-laws brother’s roomate’s cousin makes $78.50 an hour biting people on the internet. They has been in this job  for 3 months but last week their income was $73947 just biting on the internet for a few showers. Dear god lets please never read more on this again…

    • Architexas says:

       My mom did the same exact thing when I wouldn’t stop biting my sister (I was 2-3 at the time). And guess what? I never bit my sister again.

      But, yeah, if someone ELSE had bitten me? Hell hath no fury like my mom when one of her cubs is in danger.

    • Stickarm says:

      Maybe the kid should have been sent home with an assignment to have his mother bite him.

      Ha-ha — lots of kids come home from school with a message for their parents that says “bite me,” it’s just not usually meant to be taken literally.

  7. up to I saw the check four $9562, I didnt believe that…my… neighbours mother was actualie earning money in there spare time on their computer.. there neighbour has been doing this less than six months and at present cleared the mortgage on their place and purchased a new Lancia. I went here……. ZOO80.ℂom

  8. teknocholer says:

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with teeth…

  9. My dad (a veterinarian) always said that when you have a kitten/puppy that bites, you should bite its ear immediately. I’ve done it and it works very well, also with startled expressions from the beast. I don’t see why it should be any different with kids. No, I don’t have kids, why do you ask ?!?

  10. kdfaire says:

    I too was a biter when I was a kid. And this is EXACTLY what made me stop. I was bitten by a daycare worker. She told my mother she had done it too. I stopped biting people after that. 

  11. Why do we ̶k̶̶i̶̶l̶̶l̶ bite people who ̶k̶̶i̶̶l̶̶l̶ bite people to show people that ̶k̶̶i̶̶l̶̶l̶̶i̶̶n̶̶g̶ biting people is wrong?

    • sirgoofs says:

       Because how else will they learn?

    • Rindan says:

      No, we (uh, we in the abstract, I avoid kids) are biting kids so that the stupid little savage understands that external forces can inflict pain via biting, and that it shouldn’t do that or be surprised when people act pissed off after getting bitten.

      The idea isn’t to punish.  The idea is to instruct the little savages on the nature of reality.  Before getting bitten, a child can fail to grasp that biting others hurts them.  Bite a kid that was just biting someone else, and suddenly they realize that, shit, biting hurts.

      If the little monster is struggling to wrap its undeveloped mind around the idea that it is inflicting pain on other people and that this is bad, it is safe to assume the little savage isn’t going to be swayed by an appeal to its non-existent ethics.  It also isn’t going to notice or be outraged by any sort of  potential hypocrisy.

      • elusis says:

         Pity that this kind of cause-effect thinking and empathic response is cognitively impossible for kids who are biting at the typical biting age (about 2-3).  Discipline needs to be developmentally appropriate or it’s useless. 

        • Christopher Houser says:

          They’re too young to understand directly how painful biting is without being told. Unfortunately, it’s the most effective method available. Question is, how much actual harm was caused? If no permanent damage has been done, and the lesson is effective (see: fast), then I”d say it’s completely okay. No need to get all offended that someone else is teaching your child important life lessons, if you have a problem with that you shouldn’t leave your children in the hands of others. It’s irresponsible to sit by idly while a child  continues developing antisocial skills.

    • Marko Raos says:

       The important thing here is that the little biter is not aware of the consequences of his actions… Not in that they may cause retaliation (as in punishment), but that they cause something called pain to others (as in empathy).
      By biting the biter punishment is not the most important thing (in fact excessive pain can be counter-productive), but sensitization to pain of others. “This is how I feel if you bite me.” At that point in development children have a very fuzzy sense of self vs other and by biting back you very effectively socialize the child “By biting you cause pain in the world and since you are a part of it you will feel that pain too.”
      The cause of most evil in the world are little biters who are not aware of this, who have either not been bitten back or have been bitten too hard which caused them to create what is called “armoring” in psychology.

    • vrplumber says:

      Because McGRUFF said it was ok?

  12. bcsizemo says:

    The only thing that bothers me here is the fact it wasn’t done by the parent, other than that it seems like a rather straightforward approach to teaching the child what it feels like to be on the other end of what they are doing.

    • Kibbee says:

      What’s the difference. If the parents are going to leave their kids in the care of another adult all day, the adult should be able to give whichever punishment the parent would give. Otherwise, rules are inconsistent and the child will have trouble understanding what the rules and consequences are. This is the big problem for teachers. They are supposed to keep the kids under control but can’t do anything to discipline them. If you don’t want someone else disciplining the child, don’t ask them to look after your kid.

  13. Rindan says:

    Yeah, this gets a big ol’ meh from me.  I don’t really see the problem with biting your child to show them that biting hurts.  Don’t break skin or anything, but enough to send the message of “oh shit, I didn’t like that!”  It seems like a pretty straightforward strategy to explain to a dumb kid that they are hurting people.

    The only thing that makes this sketchy is that it wasn’t the kids parent.  So yeah, this is poor behavior from a caregiver, but if this is the worst thing this guy has ever done to go a kid, it barely even deserves mention.  This is more poor taste and a lack of professionalism than a OMFGTHECHILDREN moment.

  14. This is how cats teach their kittens not to bite.

  15. sirgoofs says:

    I’m glad the kid didn’t get caught masturbating.

  16. Preston Sturges says:

    Merely the latest sign of the Zombie Apocalypse.  

    Nothing to see here people, move along.

  17. if the bonobo do it…

  18. John MacDougall says:

    I understand the outrage.  They should file the kid’s teeth.

  19. Marko Raos says:

    And this is how you normally socialize mammals. So that’s forbidden now? Ok, enjoy your reptilian brain sociopath future.

  20. big ryan says:

    my mom used this punishment on me when i was a toddler because I kept bitting other kids.  I remember the incident and I never bit another kid again, I think feeling what I was inflicting on others really brought it home. 

    BUT! that was my mom and if a teacher or caregiver had taken it upon his/herself to administer the same punishment she would have been royally pissed

    • Marko Raos says:

      “I think feeling what I was inflicting on others really brought it home. ”

      Exactly, this is not about “punishment” but about developing empathy which is also something that has to be learned. At that stage children mostly don’t even understand the concept of punishment – to them parents, grownups are gods and the world is a magical place where the rules of cause and effect haven’t solidified yet. By “punishing” a child that small you just teach it that the world is an evil magical place where it has no real control over the appearance of pain; instead of making the child “more responsible” you potentially do exactly the opposite. It is a fine line, but small children do not think like adults, they have different mental arsenal and what seems like “just” punishment may look as something completely different to the little rug rat. Small children need to be shown the consequences of their actions rather than being punished for them. They simply don’t have the mental tools to understand the concept of punishment yet.

  21. voiceinthedistance says:

    An eye tooth for an eye tooth . . .

  22. KanedaJones says:

    I think we all need to sing along

  23. brerrabbit23 says:

    Eh. Dumb politically, but not ineffective.

    Because mirror neurons work. We learn both by direct and vicarious experience in the same (reasonably) harmless moment.

  24. Shohanna says:

    My twins were at that stage at one point in time. 4 or 5 times I got calls from the school that my daughter bit someone.. The last time they told me she wasn’t allowed back until she stopped biting. I was at my wits end.  Then she did the unthinkable. She bit her sister hard enough to draw blood. I had to stop it. So I took her to the bathroom, got on her level and told her that biting HURTS. And bit the crap out of her hand.  She screamed bloody murder, and miraculously, she never bit someone again.  Funny how that works. ((I felt so guilty it wasn’t funny and to this day I didn’t think it would work, but I didn’t have any other alternative))

  25. johnphantom says:

    I lived with a couple where the woman encouraged biting to her child. What a wacko she is…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I have to say that when someone twice your size tries to hurt you, a deep face bite is a pretty effective weapon.

  26. ocschwar says:

    Yo, seriously not cool. Adult homo sapiens got a nastier mouth than canis familiaris. 

  27. winkybb says:

    Whilst not doubting that being bitten by parents has “cured” biting behaviour in the cases quoted, I wonder about the mechanism. Children of a young and bitey age lack empathy. They may or may not already be aware that biting hurts (I’d guess many are). The issue is that they just don’t care whether or not it hurts others. I propose the theory that the biting cures work because the child simply doesn’t want to their parent to bite them again. Not because they have somehow become sympathetic to their own victims’ plight. That comes later.

    • wysinwyg says:

      Either empathy just magically appears one day or it is learned.  If it is learned, this seems as plausible a mechanism as any.  Unless you have a better idea.

  28. Jazza says:

    This is a non story.  Why is it in Boing Boing? Of course the worker should be sacked. Biting a child is gross incompetance.  Firstly biting a child does not teach them that biting another child is wrong and does not stop them biting.  It just shows them it hurts.  Just as hitting a child does not stop them from hitting other children.  There is absolutely no evidence that biting children stops them biting.  I train people to identify non-accidental injuries in children and bites from adults are often part of child sex abuse.  If you see adult bit marks on a child get on the phone to Social Services and report this straight away.  This is not a silly story but one that shows how people are preapred to leave their children with badly trained incompetant staff.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      How did you get from “non story” to the importance of reporting in one paragraph?

      • wysinwyg says:

         By exiting the freeway and then doing a surprise 180 on the off ramp:

        This is a non story.  Why is it in Boing Boing? Of course the worker should be sacked. Biting a child is gross incompetance.

        “Argh!  This is a non-story about which I have very strong opinions!”

    • Tom West says:

       Firstly biting a child does not teach them that biting another child is wrong and does not stop them biting.

      Well, a bunch of other posters here are testifying that it *did* stop them from biting.

      Now, it would be nice to have a moral framework to understand why biting is bad, but lacking that, I suspect many parents will do with second-best (third-best?) solution.  Likewise, as a child I wasn’t required to have a thorough understanding of my own mortality and car-human physics.  I just needed to know that running onto the street produced immediate, unpleasant consequences.

      Of course, the alternate solution might be to isolate a child from all other children for a few years until such time as they have built that moral framework, or in the case of the street, refuse to let children into a potentially hazardous environment without being tethered to an adult.

      However, in either case, it seems more a case of catering to a parent’s wish not to descend to second-best solutions over the over-all welfare of the child. 

      (My personal experience was trying to persuade my 5-year old not to shove children bigger than himself, occasionally knocking them over.  Many lectures, and the occasional early return home from the park failed to make a difference.  A big shove back by an annoyed 10 year old that sent him flying into the grass put an immediate, permanent end to that.  A few years later, he learned that big people were people too, but at that time, he learned what he was capable of learning – don’t do that!)

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Well, a bunch of other posters here are testifying that it *did* stop them from biting.

        Quite a few people throughout history have also testified that the mere smelling of basil caused a scorpion to grow in their brains, imbalancing their bodily humors.

  29. niktemadur says:

    One of only four or five Kindergarten memories that are still with me, I was standing with a fellow student while another kid walked casually by, and my friend gave me a piece of street-wise advice:  “Watch out with that boy, he’s a biter”.

  30. schmittenhammer says:

    Tit for tat, I am old school and not into tats like the younger crowd, but sounds like a fair trade.

  31. I’m kind of irked by the prevelrnce of people above me stating that this is only a problem because a non-parent did it.

    If your child needs disciplining and you’re not there to do it then they will be disciplined by someone else. In fact im pretty sure there was a thread here in the past couple days of people pointing out this attitude is a serious social issue of our times (parents thinking it somehow inappropriate for others to interact with their children in anything other than a coochy coo capacity) . If your shit is being a shit then they’ll be told they’re a shit. I couldn’t give a rats arse if I’m their parent or not. You brought them into the world, but we have to deal with them.

    • niktemadur says:

      On the one hand, who the hell is anybody to lay their hands (or teeth) on my child?

      On the other, if my child is insouciant with “third-parties” as they often are “in the comfort zone” with mom and dad, “third parties” will teach him/her a lesson, their way.  The older one gets, the world teaches lessons (reacts) in more brutal ways, better smaller ones now than huge ones later.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I get it – it’s actually a perfectly natural response. It’s just something we should call ourselves out on, rather than use as the basis for argument.

        It doesn’t matter how old someone is, if they need putting in their place their next of kin should be irrelevant.

        Ok, so maybe biting isn’t the best example… but hopefully you know what I mean.

        • niktemadur says:

          Don’t get me wrong, I get it

          I’m agreeing with you, but also expressing the emotional dichotomy involved, first the gut reaction, then a bit of reasoned thinking.  The tragedy is that many parents never get to that second part.

        • Jamie Norwood says:

          There is an implicit (and sometimes explicit) agreement with day care workers that their discipline will NOT be any more physical than it needs to be. If biting is an ongoing problem, they should be talking to the parents to deal with it, and if that doesn’t work, ask them to stop coming. But it is in NO WAY acceptable for a random daycare worker to /bite a child/, no matter what “good reason” they might have.

          You don’t walk up to a random misbehaving child in public and slap them, and this is no better.

          • If you approve of the learning method then it shouldn’t matter who administers it.

            I wouldn’t smack a random child, no, but if that child received regular smacks from its parents I’d assume that they approve of it – so why would it matter who did it?

            That’s what I find entitled – not the wish from parents for people not to attack their children – but the perspective that it’s fine as long as they’re doing it.

    • social_maladroit says:

      If your shit is being a shit then they’ll be told they’re a shit. I
      couldn’t give a rats arse if I’m their parent or not. You brought them
      into the world, but we have to deal with them.

      As opposed to, “if your child is being a shit then they’ll be assaulted”?

      I’m kind of irked by the prevalence of people above me who think it’s OK for a 56-year-old childcare worker to bite a child in her care, for any reason. I expect that she, and the daycare, will get the shit sued out of them.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        A lot of people hate children, although they won’t admit it. England and Germany, I’m looking at you.

        • Tom West says:

          England and Germany, I’m looking at you.

          I can only think what your reaction would be to anyone else here making national, racial, or gender generalizations of the same scope.

          Doing so with the moderator tag prominently displayed may well give the impression to readers that making gross generalizations about group characteristics is fully acceptable here.

  32. Mike Meyer says:

    It’s rude to bite a child unless you intend to eat the whole thing.

  33. lewis_stoole says:

    biting is the mark of genius.

  34. rick stanley says:

    I don’t know why I thought that was funny.

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