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A mum says she’s not sure if she’s overreacting, after her child was bitten and the other mum didn’t even offer an apology.

The mum says her 16-month-old goes to a weekly baby class with the other child, who is 19-months-old.

“My son was sitting at the top of two steps,” she explained. “The other child goes over and sits next to him and starts trying to push him down the steps. The other mum is sitting closer to them than me and just says (smiling) ‘don’t do that’.

“I realise she’s not going to intervene so I start heading over. Before I can get there, the other child grabs mine by the scruff of the neck and bites his cheek. The other mum (still not getting up) just says ‘not on the face’ but still in a sort of sing song voice.

“The bite didn’t break the skin but went really red, swelled up and left teeth marks. The other mum didn’t apologise or even check my child was ok.”

The mum says while she does understand these things happen, she was angered by the other mum’s reaction.

“I didn’t say anything to her as I didn’t want to make a scene. I’ve spoken to my husband and he says he thinks I did the right thing as I see her every week and probably no good would have come from saying something but I’m not sure.

“This is the first time my child has been bitten so maybe I’m overreacting but felt the other mum’s behaviour was really off.

“Interested to know what other people would have done? Kicking myself a bit now for not speaking up.”

What advice would you offer this mum? Share your opinion in the comments below. 

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  • Wow, bit off of the other mum. Yes, it’s to be expected with small children, but if you don’t let them know what’s wrong or right, how will they learn?

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  • Too late to speak up now, but I would definitely be keeping my child away from this other child at every opportunity. And I would make the point, if asked, that I don’t let my child bite and don’t want him associating with a child that does.

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  • The other child’s mother should have done something about it, not just tell them not to bite on the face. It’s not appropriate to bite anywhere especially on a toddler. I wonder what the other mum would have done if your child had bitten her child on the face?

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  • I cannot believe the other mother did nothing other than say “not on the face”. So where is it appropriate to bite another child? If she parents this way, I imagine your values will not align on other things. I’d be steering clear of her.

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  • This happened to me 35 years ago and I did the exact same thing as you did – nothing! I stopped going to play group as a result though.

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  • It’s the new age parenting method- just let the kids do what they want. No discipline. It’s a tough situation when you’re going to see the other mother again. I’d be keeping my kid away from that one.

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  • the other Mum should have gotten off her butt, not only talk with some firmness to her little one but at least apologised and importantly asked “Is your child ok?”. If my child did that, I would have been embarrassed as a mother. It may be the first time it happened to your child and the way you handled it, was a good thing but it is still infuriating when the other Mother doesn’t show empathy. And judging by the reaction of the mother, your child wasn’t probably the first to be bitten by this child. Both my boys had bitten others but also had been bitten themselves from others, Myself and the other parents were always on the same page on how to address our children… And saying sorry or showing sorry was a start. Even at a young tender age. They are sponges and learn really quickly.

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  • yes kids bite , even thought none of my 5 were biters but had been bit while at daycare and usually we didn’t interact with other parent but if it happened in front of me , depending how bad the bite was i would be ropeable that the mother didn’t care or pull her child up about biting by only saying , not on the face !!! ..NO how about NOT AT ALL !!!! ..i wouldn’t be able to help myself, if the mum just brushed it off that would make me angry as hell and now i’m an older mum in my 40s i’ve cooled down a bit but my eldest is 30 so back then i wouldn’t of been as laid back n probably started yelling n screaming at the mother’s attitude..

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  • There’s no excuse for that woman’s lack of manners. Just quietly distance yourself from her. Be polite but don’t associate with her outside of this group.

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  • I’d be furious! You are your child’s protector so i can understand it may be difficult, but the child needs to be able to feel safe

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  • Fortunately we didn’t have this problem often, but I always took it really seriously if my kid hurt another.

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  • This is totally unacceptable. I would be mortified if this happened to my child. I would have pulled the mum up and asked why she didn’t do more.

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  • Its unacceptable behaviour. I would watch my child very carefully when around the biter.

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  • Yes, she should have apologised but making a scene won’t help. Keep your child away from that child and be ready with a firm NO if it happens again.


    • I agree, making a scene won’t help.

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  • The other mother should have apologised and spoken to their own child about their behaviour. Im aware they are still young and learning, but biting has to be stopped there and then.

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  • I personally would have addressed the issue at that time it happened. Not accepted and should have been corrected.

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  • Wow that makes me mad just reading about it. She should have apologised and removed her son from the situation. She sounds like a lazy parent.

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  • I would have said something and I’d be moving my child away from the other child as well.. :/

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  • I would have addressed the incident immediately for the benefit of everyone. Biting and being injured is not acceptable and this kind of behaviour needs to be managed.

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  • I think it’s good you didn’t say anything to avoid a scene.
    In general a response to a biting toddler should be calm and not strong and punitive (as that would be very reinforcing).
    Although I agree that the other mum could be more pro-active, we all have our different personalities and parenting style.

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