whats the best way to stop my son headbanging? any1 else with similar probs?

Bex - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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my 21 month old head bangs regularly! If he doesnt get what he wants, if i have to take something away and even sometimes when i put him in his cot, he will throw his-self around and hurt himself. Ive tried everything! talking to him gently/calmly, ignoring him, shouting, timeouts, cuddles. nothing seems to work, help!

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Mindi - posted on 01/11/2010

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Bex My son is 20 & 1/2 months. My son Blaze has been banging his head against the floor, wall basically whatever he can... sometimes it is out of a fit he's throwing but normally its because I think he is trying to hear the difference in the sound of banging on different things. I went to south FL to see some family and the floors were concrete and there was a cylinder block and Blaze walked up to it and lightly tapped his forehead to the cylinder block it was too funny. Honestly when I know he's banging his head out of a tantrum I just ignore him, doesn't seem to take my son long to figure out that I'm not gonna stop him. My concern use to be that he would hurt himself but I've heard him say owe so now that I know he knows the difference and what pain feels like now it just looks like he's banging his head but if u watch up close he is doing it very gently :) I don't know if this helps u any but just thought i'd let u know your son is not the only one to bang his head...my son also takes any toy and bangs it on everything in sight I think my kid is gonna be a drummer LOL whatever as long as he's happy :)

Melissa - posted on 01/04/2010

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My son did the same thing. Everything I read said to try to re-direct them, or show them a better way to vent their frustrations. When my son would start banging his head on the floor or wall, I would say: "Are you sad?" "Are you angry?" etc...



When this didn't work well enough, I asked his pediatrician. She said to make sure his surroundings are safe and to ignore the behaviour. She said for us to just walk away and show him that he will not get his way by throwing himself on the floor and hitting his head repeatedly. (This was very hard for me to do) She also said that if hitting his head on the floor/wall is causing bruising, we would need to make some kind of protective headband. (I thought this was ridiculous....try keeping that on a 18-19 month old).



Ignoring him has worked the best. I do find that once he learned to communicate a little better, he didn't get as frustrated. He no longer head bunts the floor or wall. I can't say the same for taking fits and throwing himself on the floor though.

Ashleigh - posted on 01/03/2010

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It's actually very normal for toddlers to do this behavior, especially boys. It helps them release their frustrations, especially since they aren't able to verbalize their needs. My son likes to roll around too, and smack his head with his hands. I just make sure he is on the carpet, and that he is clear of things and let him do his thing. I stay with him and talk with him to reassure him too. Usually after about 5 minutes i get a book and that really calms him down. Good luck, I totally understand what you are going through and it can be so difficult sometimes!!

Jeni - posted on 01/03/2010

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I had this problem with my oldest son who is getting ready to turn 7 now. He got so bad with it I would cry thinking oh my gosh what am I doing wrong?!?!? I sat down with our Pediatrician and talked to her about it, her advise was to pretty much ignore that specific behavior while making sure he was safe (don't let him throw him self on the floor standing next to the stairs of course) pretty much I think my son was doing it for my reaction wether it was positive or negative he was always getting a reaction when he did it. While I don't remember exactly when it stopped I do remember that it didnt last long. Hope this helps a little! He is now a very smart little boy and has never had a concussion...lol

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[deleted account]

hi, i have the exact same problem, i have seen health visitor about it, and she has advised me to ignore it as much as i possibly can as he is just wanting my attention and i have been tyring this for nearly 2 months now and he seems to have just stopped doing it, still get 1 or 2 times a week but really better. i understand it is hard but you just have to try ignore him and not give him the attention that they doing it for, hope this helps :)

Bex - posted on 01/12/2010

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thx for your post mindi, that made me laugh! Its reassuring to know i'm not alone. My son will smack his self in the face too! and yes he loves banging toys against everything too! Either that or he'll just throw it against something, lol! He's got quite a throw on him actually, perhaps he will be a javelin thrower,lol :) x

Melissa - posted on 01/11/2010

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You can't really safe proof the floor and walls. The only thing you can do is make sure he's not going to hit his head on something sharp or pointy. I sometimes used to put my foot where I knew his head would land. Then, I would gently let his head fall so that I could walk away. Sometimes, I would stay there with him but look around, look at the ceiling, out the window. I would not talk to him at all.
Someone told me that their doctor said: They would never hit their own heads hard enough to cause major damage, not even a concussion. (as long as no hard or pointy objects are in their way.)

Good luck! I hope the ignoring works for you too.

Bex - posted on 01/11/2010

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thanku for your reply melissa, it seems ignoring him is probably the best solution, though as you said it is hard. I did think how the hell can i safe proof the floor & walls? and thought of putting a helmet or somthing on his head! lol

[deleted account]

Hi Bex,



I have not idea what to do in a case like that but I hope you can find options to try on this site. Moms on this site are very helpful. Be positive. He may just need time to overcome this. Best wishes!!!

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