OK, there’s a lot of information about what you should do if your young child is a biter, but what do you do if it’s your 3-year-old granddaughter who bites?


As a parent, you are supposed to make sure your child is behaving properly and that they are corrected and, if needed, disciplined for bad behavior.

As a grandparent, your job is to spoil the heck out of them.

So, let me first recount the incident as best as my memory serves. I went to pick up my granddaughter, Summer at daycare. She was playing outside and clearly was the prettiest girl there—she was actually glowing (not that I’m prejudiced). Summer was at a table doing some artwork, and I must say, her drawing was museum quality (not that I’m prejudiced).

As soon as she saw me, she ran to me. Her speed was blinding, and I’m sure in a few years she’ll be competing in the Olympics (not that I’m prejudiced).

Summer then gave me a big hug and bit my leg right above the kneecap.

As a grandparent, my first instinct (after saying “ow”) was to compliment her. Great bite. You’ve got strong teeth; a vampire would be jealous.

And then, of course, I realized biting was not a positive attribute. I wasn’t totally crazy. I was just “grandparent crazy.”

I then decided to handle the situation myself. By saying “situation” and not “problem,” I am showing what a progressive grandfather I am.

One thing I did not want to say was, “I’m going to tell your mother.” That’s not who I am. I am better than that. I can fix this problem myself (oops, I said “problem”).

I thought I should get to the root cause for her behavior, so I looked up the reason for children biting on the internet (the internet can’t be wrong, can it?). They could be experimenting, or irritated, or defending themselves, or showing love, or being controlling.

I, of course, chose “showing love.” Summer loved me so much that she wanted a piece of my leg to take home with her. And now it was time for the talk:

Me: Summer, when you bit me, were you just showing your love?

Summer: Huh?

Me: I just want to know why you did it.

Summer: Did what?

Me: A few minutes ago you bit me. Right on my leg. Do you remember?

Summer: Huh?

Me: OK, I’m not reprimanding you.

Summer: What does reprimoonding mean?

Me: OK, let’s table this for a second.

Summer: What table?

Me: I mean, let’s not talk about it.

Summer: Talk about what?

Me: Never mind. Do you want to get some ice cream like last week?

Summer: Yes, I want a little strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate with six M&Ms, two gummy bears, cookie crumbles, and whipped cream. Just like last time.
Me: So you remember what you had last week.

Summer: Yes!

Me: But you don’t remember biting me a few minutes ago.
Summer: Huh?

Me: Let’s just forget the whole thing and you promise not to do it again.

Summer: Do what?

Me: Never mind. Just give me a hug. That’s nice, that’s a good hug. No, don’t bi—no, no, don’t bite—oww! That’s it; I’m telling your mother.

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