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September 10, 2007


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What do you do when there are parents in a playgroup that when you mention that your child watches a particular TV show they seem to have a comment. Example-- I mentioned that my 7 year-old liked to watch a certain super hero show--Power Rangers. A mother right away said that those shows weren't appropriate for that age range and that it promotes violence among children. I got really upset but didn't say anything. Should I have made a comment or just ignored it even though it really bothered me...

But after all aren't we all either lovers or fighters, huggers or biters?

A friend of mine has had her son kicked out of two daycare centers for biting. That said, we're lucky (?) and our son only bites Daddy when he's really, really angry. (!) Quite frankly, our son doesn't want you to touch him if you're a kid or an adult that he doesn't know all that well. So, yeah, we could do without the huggers as well. My maternal grandmother doesn't seem to get that one... and it makes my son bite my Husband every time! Oh dear.

You crack me up! Don't forget the hitters! Mine was a hitter. We got through that quickly, thank goodness. I know grown up huggers too. I like my personal space too much, and they annoy me.

I know people that hug way too much. I can't stand it. I have serious personal space issues.

Oh, and by the way Michele, Kudos on the sneak bite-return. I'll have to remember that for when my son gets a little older.

We are starting at a new day care in a week and the last time I went by there to drop off my paperwork I discovered that they have a hugger of their very own. Booger is only 8 1/2 months but this three year old girl hugged me and him about 5 times each in the 10 minutes I was there. I patted her on the head but Boog cried, I hope this isn't a bad omen for our new daycare arrangements.

I had a mom who laughed and told her son, "Oh honey, you can't be loving on everyone like that." She mistook her son's aggressive behavior as being "loving". WTF? Her 18 month old head locked my shrimpy 18 month daughter and wrestled her to the ground. She was extremely upset and fearful of this kid immediately after. That isn't a hug, that's assult sister! Oh, of course I had to be the bitch and pry him off of my daughter and sternly tell him, "No! no. That hurts and we don't do that!" That woman obviously thought her son was just being a "boy".

My 5 year old, after being bitten by his one year old sister, asked, "Why did you have to have a baby?" I reminded him that we LOVE our baby, and he responded, "Well, why couldnt you born one that doesnt bite?"

I had a biter briefly, he grew out of it before he bit any casual acquaintance's child and I had to deal with playgroup ostracism. Fortunately my close friends' kids had their own 'issues' and we all agreed to just intervene, end the situation and not dwell on the various behaviors.

There is a hugger in our playgroup. Kids have been known to run from her shouting 'no want hugs!', which her mom thinks is 'too cute'. I told her one day that she needs to teach her daughter "no means no"

Having had a 'My way or the high way-er', a clinger and a biter, I have to say the biter was the worst. You never knew when she was gonna bite and the feeling of those awfully cute baby teeth trying to meet with little flaps of your skin between them??? NOT FUN. The clinger wasn't much more fun but at least it wasn't so painful.

I have a 13 month old hugger...it's a cute party trick at home when it's a stuffed animal, but I cringe when he goes after other little kids. I definitely try to watch it. One of these days a biter will get him back and perhaps then they'll both be even.

I've got one biter - as in left teeth marks that could be used as dental records on the kid next door - and it's horrifying. I've also got family members (adult and offspring) who are huggers. I'm pretty huggy or can at least handle it. My husband and HRH - not.at.all. HRH backs/runs away or caught unawares hollers.

LOL I hate those kids too... my daughter will hug just about anyone her height or lower - but she doesn't tackle, and then I tell her to back off (because seriously, that's how head lice are spread, people) but no thanks on the biter!

My kids can take a bite with grace and dignity but DAMN THOSE HUGGERS! With biting the social rules are pretty cut and dry but when the assault is masked by sunshine and lollypops I never know how to react.

Thus far I have yet to see a biter break skin. I have however seen a child's head gouged open by a hug gone wrong. The offenders mother was frighteningly unapologetic, I suppose that just because the hugger didn't *mean* to smack my kids head on the cold hard pavement makes it okay.

It's okay though. My kid didn't *mean* to poke hers in the eye Three Stooges style. She was just showing him how to count to two.

Mothergoosemouse/Kristin: My son's shove of the little girl happened at a neighborhood playgroup that was a little too large (possibly 20 kids ages 2-6 in one playroom). The meeting is for the neighborhood Mom's Group that hosts these playgroups, among other activities. I'm going to march in there bravely, knowing my kid is not a bad kid, but a good kid who did a bad thing. Her kid will too some day. Maybe her kid will be The Biter!

When my daughter bit, she only bit me, and has been the bitee once or twice...and since when she was on the receiving end of it it was from her friend whose parents I know would overreact if it was the other way around, I was glad to be on this side of it.

But, now, she is a hugger. I am vigilant about it, though. I would never just let her tackle and strangle other kids in the name of a hug. We've worked a lot on the asking if you can give a hug, and she's great in practice...but not so good yet in the real-life situations. sigh. It can definitely be a bit embarrassing...

I'm so on your wavelength with this one. I had a kid who literally JUST MET US grab The Poo in a headlock and wrestle her to the ground. She was crying and the mom was all, "oooohh, how sweet!"

Don't molest my kid, period, with biting, hitting ... or hugging.

I hate huggers too! My son Evan is very easily unbalanced and if he gets hugged by another little kid he invariable topples over and I have to deal with the fall out. Luckily we have not encountered too many of that ilk.

My kid is a bitter, but only bits me. I am special I suppose.

Hee hee!

My son is definitely a biter.

I've been the mother of the biter and the mother of the bitee, and I much prefer being the latter.

But I guess my kids take after me in that you've got to cajole them into giving hugs. Hugs, ugh.

(Jill, I'm curious: Did this happen at a pre-school or a private playgroup? A mass meeting seems like a strange way to handle the situation in either case - and definitely not appropriate if it was a pre-school setting.)

Hah! Rhiannon used to bite -- and all it took was me biting her back one time and it was over.

She does like to race from one end of the house and jump at me like a flying squirrel to hug me.

and yell "OOOF!!" on impact. LOL

My son has been a hugger and a biter. I prefer the hugger. It is still pretty socially acceptable. Biting is so barbarous.

I know, seriously, what's with the 30 year olds that hug at every opportunity?

We talked for all of two minutes in the street? Obvs requires a hug hi and bye. Oy. It's like that Seinfeld episode where he dreads the hello kiss(ers).

My Little Man is turning out to be a pincher so far...probably better than a biter (definitely better for my nipples!).

My son was a classic tackle hugger and I felt it was my job, just like if he was a biter, to intervene. Before he even got close to someone I would instruct him to ask, can I hug you?, and then to stop when/if they said so. I wasn't always successful, but trying is part of the battle. He has trouble understanding personal space and being too rough. He wanted the other kid to hug the daylights out of him, so it is a little different then biting - I don't think any kid wants to be bitten.

Oh I'm sorry Jill. But at least he didn't bite her, right?

My Lillian is a hugger, and believe me, I'm on her like a hawk, since most kids, after the first hug, get a little tired of baby arms wrapping around their neck or head. I allow her a gentle hug if it's accepted and then move her along.

Oh the drama of a biter.

Gesh. I've never understood why parents get so up in arms over biting. In my former playgroup, moms would get all in a tizzy and mean at the mere talk of "if we had a biter". The mommy judgment from the mere idea of having a biter was crazy. And yep, my kids have been on the receiving end of bites so I know what it feels like to have your kid bit. Still though, chill out people.

I don't see any difference with inappropriate hugging and biting. Our job is to teach our kids the right social behavior and painful hugging shouldn't be viewed any different than biting.

So let's all get our panties in a wad over hugging too.

My kids have a hugger at their daycare. He is also a "SuperBaby" (his Mom's term, I just think of him as Giant Classmate Eating boy), so his hugs are more like python grips. My kids have figured out on their own that if they push him in the nose, hard, as he comes in for the death grip, they can stop him.

They also have a special needs kid in their class who bites, and he is a sneak attacker, but since he is "Special" they cant fight back. I am teaching them the sneak bite-return on the sly. Its a hig, but you slip in a nice chomp on the shoulder before you release.

And water chestnuts, are like juicy styrofoam. I dont get them either.

No, you really don't want to have a biter over a hugger. I'm in the position of having to go to a meeting tonight at the home of the child who my son shoved off a slide on Friday. Don't ask me how she got so many injuries from 3 feet up, but she did and her mother read me the riot act in front of twenty other parents, many of whom will be at tonight's meeting too. I just can't wait till her perfect child does something bad and hurts someone else. No, right now I wish he'd hugged her till she fell and got those same injuries.

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