Our 2 ½ year old was going through (I hope it’s over) an age appropriate phase of biting and hitting. It began a few months ago when she bit her BFF at daycare, how upsetting right?! It broke my heart that she would hurt her friend and even though daycare doesn’t disclose who bites your child, since I knew the mother well, I decided to talk with her about it in front of both girls.
I went up to the mother with M and apologized for her behavior and asked the little girl how she felt after she was bitten. As I was talking to the mother and daughter, M was looking at her BFF the whole time. I looked down and said, “What’s wrong M?.” She said “I sorry for biting my friend.” I then told her how proud I was of her for understanding how sad her friend was.
As we were driving home M and I talked again about the biting incident and went over ways in which we can avoid biting.
I asked her what animals do when they get mad and frustrated. She thought about it for a few seconds and said, “Angry tigers growl no bite.” I tilted my head, looked in the rear view mirror at her and said, “Great answer!” “You and Mommy will make a promise together that when we both get angry, mad or frustrated we will, “Growl like a tiger.” She nodded her head and smiled.
Since our short car discussion I’ve reiterated our promise to her daily. Some days I don’t bring it up and she does, that always puts a smile on my face.
This mama tiger is proud to say that at least a dozen times already she has growled and avoided hitting and biting. It’s been weeks since she’s done that. While its startling at times when your daughter growls very loudly, because she doesn’t want a bath or have dinner, I would rather be startled from my daughters growling than upset from her biting/hitting someone.
To all the moms out there, never under estimate the power of a five minute car ride discussion with your child. It can move mountains, change her behavior for the better and leave you growling of joy! As I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, we never give our children enough credit for understanding new means of behavior.