Stephanie Hanrahan, a mom and writer of the blog Tinkle My Pants, recently shared an encounter her child had at school that would send most parents through the roof: another student bit her son, Eli. In a Facebook post, she explained that although he came home with a bandage, she didn't feel the need to overreact.
"My son came home yesterday with a bite mark on his arm and here's what I did about it: Nothing," wrote Stephanie. "His arm was bandaged, he was smiling — I signed an incident report which stated he didn't even cry at the time — and I have enough trust in his teachers to believe they handled it accordingly with the other kid."
While many parents would look to place blame on the offender, his or her parents, or the teachers, Stephanie says she knows better for a few logical reasons.
"Do I need to be upset about it even if he's not? Nah. Do I need to place blame on the other child? Certainly not," she explained. "My son may have been on the receiving end this time, but he's also been the pusher of peers in the past. I remember back then how awful I felt about it — not being able to control my child's unfavourable behaviour — and I would've given anything to have just one mom look up at me and say, 'I've been there too. It's okay.'"
She elaborated to POPSUGAR via email that making mistakes is simply how children learn, and sometimes accidents happen in the teaching process.
"I can't name one child who hasn't needed correcting of behaviour, whether that's simply to not throw food off their tray or to pick up their toys."
"We are raising children who have their own will and their own way, and sometimes that way is disappointing or needs correction," she wrote. "While not all children are biters, hitters, or pushers, I can't name one child who hasn't needed correcting of behaviour, whether that's simply to not throw food off their tray or to pick up their toys. We are all in the business of bettering our children, so in this situation, there shouldn't be blame. As long as the parents and teachers are correcting the wrongdoing, offering the child a better alternative to biting, then my son was just a casualty of another child learning and growing, and I'm A-OK with that."
With that being said, she's taking the time to let the other child's parents know that it's OK and honestly, part of raising a little kid.
"So, to the parents of the child who bit mine: it's okay. Your child is learning. He's doing his best and so are you," she said. "This wasn't bullying, or even intentional, it was a child who can't verbalize his frustrations and took it out with his teeth. Oh well. He will progress. And in the meantime, you've given my son an opportunity to show his progression too. Six months ago, he would've retaliated." Now, he took it in stride and went about his play. He's fine — and your baby will be, too. We are on the same team. Love, A mother who's been there."