My toddler hits himself in the head when he’s upset

Why Does Your Toddler Hit Himself?

As kids develop from infants into toddlers, they’ll begin exploring their environment and speaking their desires and wishes. Nonetheless, their capabilities don't fairly match their want to do each of these issues.

In consequence, their incapacity to verbalize their needs or wants, mixed with their wrestle to navigate their surroundings efficiently, could be a recipe for a mood tantrum. If they’ve a low tolerance for frustration, they might hit themselves as a approach of expressing their exasperation.

In the event you discover this taking place, pay attention to any triggers that led to the tantrum. Maybe you stated no to one thing your youngster actually wished to do. Or perhaps, they have been merely over-tired or hungry.

When you acknowledge a sample or a set off that results in the self-harming conduct, you might be able to forestall issues earlier than they begin. Simply make sure to intervene earlier than the fists begin flying.


Step #4 Hear. Your assist is a robust antidote to the worry that causes hitting

Whereas your youngster is upset, it helps them vastly if you will be loving and calm. They will not must be afraid of your impulsive conduct or your disapproval. As an alternative, your youngster can focus on letting all that pressure tumble out.

Possibly they will cry. Or they might start to perspire whereas they scream. Your youngster may arch their again in your arms, or throw themselves on the bottom.

They could kick and flail.

Consider it or not, the extra vigorous their response, the higher the end result of their emotional episode. They’re expelling dangerous emotions—worry, specifically—utilizing your calm presence as their sign that they’re free to let go of the emotions which have contaminated their conduct.

Your Toddler Might Be in Ache

One other rationalization for toddlers out of the blue hitting themselves, is that they might be in bodily ache. As an illustration, toddlers that hit themselves on the facet of the pinnacle might have an ear an infection.

In the meantime, infants who’re teething may hit themselves at occasions to deal with the ache of their gums. Generally, hitting will be self-soothing. Be looking out for indicators your youngster could also be in bodily ache.

Take note of the place they’re hitting themselves. Generally youngsters try to speak the place it hurts. And, relying on the supply of the ache, you might be able to deal with your youngster at dwelling.

If you’re unsure what’s inflicting the ache, nevertheless, a visit to your youngster's pediatrician could also be so as.

What Ought to You Do When Your Toddler Begins to Hit Himself?

As stated earlier, youngsters do that as a result of they’re attempting to speak. So, if you punish them, you might be telling them to maintain their frustrations to themselves, which isn’t wholesome. Nonetheless, this could not make you ignore the conduct and assume that all the pieces is okay. Notice that this may trigger accidents if not dealt with nicely. So, what do you have to do?

Dad and mom and caregivers have to fine-tune their parenting abilities when dealing with toddlers with this type of conduct. They need to cease the aggressive conduct gently however with seriousness. When your toddler begins to hit himself, maintain his hand firmly however with kindness. If you do that, it sends a robust message that it’s flawed to make use of his palms to hit himself.

You can too assist your child be taught to make use of phrases as a substitute of hitting himself, particularly if he can communicate nicely. Let him get used to expressing himself verbally. Inform him that hitting himself when he’s indignant just isn’t one of the simplest ways of expressing wants or emotions.

Is Self-Hitting Amongst Toddlers a Regular Conduct?

Since self-hitting is a part of toddlers speaking their emotions and wishes, you might be proper to name it regular conduct. When toddlers are hungry, drained, confused, apprehensive, feeling unwell, or need some consideration, they grow to be aggressive. Is there a approach of passing a message to a father or mother or caregiver that every one just isn’t nicely? This type of conduct is kind of regular. As a result of they’re powerless, the one factor they will do is to grow to be aggressive to get what they need.

How do I get my toddler to cease hitting himself?

So, now that we all know why your toddler could be hitting himself and when it’s trigger for fear, how do you make them cease?

Even should you assume it could possibly be one thing worse, you must have interaction with short-term options to maintain your youngster from hurting themselves.

I as soon as met a mother at a playground when my women have been a lot youthful. We obtained to speaking whereas our children performed merrily. Her toddler son got here as much as her and requested for a juice field. When the mother realized she’d forgotten one, he began punching himself within the face.

Different mothers have been aghast, however I knew what was occurring. I occurred to have a few additional juices in my bag, so I supplied him one, and the conduct stopped. “Thanks a lot! He retains hitting himself like this. The girl on the daycare nearly accused me of kid abuse till she noticed him hitting himself within the face,” she’d instructed me.

I used to be comfortable to share my ways with this mother then as I’m now with you. 🙂

Stop accidents

In case your toddler is on this part, it’s a smart thought to guard from accidents. In case you haven’t but safeguarded sharp corners in your home, now could be the time. Yow will discover these foam corner bumpers or these more subtle ones. I nonetheless have them on the windowsills in my daughters’ rooms as a result of they’re close to their beds, and I don’t need them smacking their heads once they flop down onto the mattress.

What in case your youngster is actively hitting themselves? Wrap your arms round your youngster in a agency however not-too-tight approach. It will maintain them from harming themselves.

Ignore them

In case your youngster isn’t inflicting any bruising or bodily harm and is in no obvious hazard, you possibly can safely ignore them. It is a nice possibility when toddlers attempt to get your consideration as a result of should you don’t reinforce the conduct, they’ll develop uninterested in this act and cease doing it.

Guarantee bodily wants are met

What in case your youngster isn’t simply looking for consideration? In case your youngster is in ache, wants sensory enter, or may be very annoyed attempting to speak with you, you might want to see what you are able to do to make them extra snug.

Look ahead to patterns.

In case your youngster hits themselves when their diaper is moist, you can also make a preemptive strike to take a look at the diaper at these occasions and assist change them. When your youngster’s wants are met, they’re much less more likely to hit themselves.

Ship them in a brand new path

Kids want our steerage and path to learn to specific emotions correctly. I’ve all the time instructed my women that we’re allowed to really feel our feelings. Everybody has emotions, and nobody has the fitting to inform you tips on how to really feel or how you must really feel.

That stated, we have to be taught acceptable methods of expressing these emotions. My women laughed after I acted out eventualities as a result of they thought it was humorous to see a grownup throwing a tantrum. Foolish as I used to be, it proved my level. Now each of them, once they’re indignant, will use the identical ways I taught them for expressing anger and asking for assist when shifting via it.

I’ve taught them to take a break and are available again once they’re annoyed with a venture. Hitting a pillow is a good suggestion too. I additionally give them issues they will squeeze, like play-dough. It feels actually good to strangle that stuff.

Allow them to know you perceive

Your toddler simply desires you to know them. So allow them to know that you simply get it. “I do know you’re indignant as a result of your block set tipped over. You labored so laborious on it. I may help you decide it up, and we are able to begin over once more.” It’s actually that easy to validate their emotions and present you care. That’s what they should hear.

In case your toddler asks you for a cake for dinner and also you say no (and rightfully so!) and so they begin hitting themselves, you possibly can inform them you get how annoyed they’re, and you would like you may have cake for dinner too, this places you on their stage. Once they relax, you possibly can clarify why cake isn’t a correct meal and the way quickly you possibly can take pleasure in some cake collectively for dessert.

Train them what to name these emotions

The difficulty with toddlers and emotions is that they will really feel them, however they don’t know what they’re referred to as. You may role-play with their stuffed animals, label your personal feelings, or get picture books that appropriately deal with the subject.

One very last thing about toddlers hitting themselves…

A toddler hitting themselves within the face or head is unquestionably unusual, nevertheless it’s not unusual. It’s all a part of growth. If you take care of their communication points and wishes, although, you’ll discover methods to cease them from doing this.

Most youngsters develop out of this on their very own with the assistance of problem-solving behaviors like those I’ve detailed above. Must you discover another uncommon conduct or signs, although, schedule an appointment along with your physician.

Leslie Berry Leslie Berry lives together with her husband and two younger daughters in Los Altos, California the place she loves serving to different mothers get snug with motherhood and embracing the madness with information peppered with laughs. She loves consuming an excessive amount of sushi, train, and jamming out on her Fender.

Right here’s the way it can work

I went to the park one afternoon with the newborn, my toddler son, and his pal. Sooner or later, the pal tried to hit my son when he was on the slide. I gently picked her up off the slide, telling her that I couldn’t let her damage him or anybody else. She arched again and wailed on the high of her lungs. 

I continued to calmly speak to her and inform her that I couldn’t let her damage herself or anybody else, and tried as gently as I may to keep up bodily contact together with her physique. She screamed, “I would like my mommy!” time and again. Definitely if her mom was proper there, that will have been superb, however I didn’t really feel completely secure strolling dwelling with the three youngsters together with her in that state. It was a couple of blocks and I had the newborn in a service. I used to be involved that she wouldn’t take heed to me if I wanted her to carry my hand or not run so quick. I softly instructed her these items. 

There was a second the place I attempted to present her a bit of extra bodily area and he or she took off operating out of the playground in direction of our dwelling. So I gently gathered her again up, telling her that I could not let her go dwelling by herself. The crying, holding and speaking went on for fairly a while, perhaps 20-Half-hour, ebbing and flowing. I wasn’t positive what different mother and father have been pondering. At one level one of many mother and father checked out me, smiled, and stated, “I’m taking notes.”

Moreover, I used to be intermittently attending to my child and my son, who sat near me with a involved look on his face.

We have been now sitting on a bench and he or she began to inform me that she wished to go on the swing. I instructed her that we needed to wait till there have been two swings accessible, for each toddlers, and he or she began to wail once more. This ebbed and flowed a couple of occasions.

Lastly, I felt like we may not less than wander over to the swings, and as we obtained there, the opposite child left so she and my son went on the swings collectively, with me pushing.

When it was time to go dwelling, I requested them in the event that they wished me to cease the swing for them, or simply let it cease by itself. The lady stated that she wished the swing to cease by itself, and slowly, slowly the swing got here to a quiet cease. There was one thing deeply shifting about everybody ready patiently for the swing to cease.

As we walked dwelling, she took my hand. After we obtained dwelling she simply went to her mother and father. I took her mom apart and gave her a quick description of what had occurred, and the following day I checked in about how her daughter had been that night. Her mom stated that she was tremendous calm and really drained at bedtime.

Once I noticed her enjoying within the yard the following day, she gave me a giant hug.

–Laura Podwoski, Berkeley, CA


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