Toddler throws tantrums butting head on floor or anything close, how do I stop it?

Karen - posted on 04/10/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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When my son gets mad or upset, he throws tantrums by hitting his head on the floor or anything he can find, also starting to bite when he gets mad, any suggestions on how to stop it?

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Mandie - posted on 04/29/2010

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simple ignore him, he does it for attention we went through the same thing with our son who is know 3 and stoped soon after coz he realized he got attention only when he was good trust me this works

Rosalie - posted on 04/18/2010

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MY SON DOES THAT TOO he`s 18 months,i just give him a thight hug and tell him stop it don`t hurt urself.and offer a toy or book or play at the frontyard he love to ride on he`s wagon=)just to distract him.and it works!!

Janet - posted on 04/16/2010

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It can be really easy to get upset yourself, but do your best to remain calm. Throwing a temper tantrum is a natural way for young children to experiment with feelings and gain independence and control of little bodies. They also don't have the verbal skills to express their anger and frustration. Imagine not being able to communicate your needs to someone. Try to help him communicate his frustration by just saying "you are really mad aren't you?" Besides helping him communicate it, you are acknowledging his feelings which may help relieve some of the frustration. As language skills improve with age, temper tantrums usually decrease. You may also find a soft place for him to help himself get calm.

You may also want to read him books on "no biting, hitting" etc." Reading books that are age appropriate help kids understand because they are written in terms they can understand. Then, refer back to it and say "remember when we read the book about not biting, hitting? You don't want to act like the boy in the book. It will bring the visual back to them in their mind. See some books under the Anger/Acting Out/Temper Tantrums link here http://www.cjkidz.com/parentsgrandparent...

I hope this helps.
.

Sarah - posted on 04/17/2010

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As an early intervention therapist my recommendation is to have your child evaluated by an occupational therapist to make sure there aren't any sensory issues going on . Sensory issues lesd to behavior issues and the circle continues. A good Occupational therapist will be able to give you the help you need.

Kimberly - posted on 04/13/2010

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My two and a half year old used to bang his head when he was just turning two. He did it when he would get angry. Sometimes he would bang his head on the hardwood or on the hard tile. And one time, he made himself bleed. I got very upset and asked the pediatrician for help and she stated he does it just for attention and to ignore it. So what I did was when he started to get upset and get in the position to bang his head I would move him to a softer spot. Sometimes I would also hug him so he couldn't put his head down but that was difficult. Once I threw water on his head and he stopped banging his head but just got more angry because of the water. His head banging lasted about 6 months and then he just stopped doing it. My daughter also banged her head when she was about two. If it's not a sensory issue, and is for attention only, it will eventually stop. Just keep your cool and redirect him to a place where he can't get hurt.

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Carlette - posted on 04/22/2012

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omg. that is what my 15 month old son does. He hits his head so much times that at time i get cocerned about him hitting his head so much and wonder if its any good. i tryed the ignoring but it only makes it worse. i try holding him but he throws himself out my arm after slaping and pulling my hair and the distracting him with things dont work. i know its frustrating at times but hes letting his anger out and somes times he does it for nothing what can i do?

Katherine - posted on 04/23/2010

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dont ignore this-- it could turn out serious, i would take him to see a behavior therapist.. it will help you out alot.. usually toddlers throw fits bc the y are unsire of how to express how they are feeling and it frustrates him so taking him to see a b.t. will help imensely. y sis in law went thru the same thing with her son and its been 2 months since he seen a b.t. he is alot calmer now they just show him how to better express his emotions. good luck

Lynne - posted on 04/19/2010

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my daughter soon grew out of it once she realised it didtnt work i gave her no attention and whednshe came crying because she had hurt herself i would say in a calming voice well that was silly she is now three and pushing her luck again but this time time out helps her and me to calm down they defo know how to push your button

Vegemite - posted on 04/17/2010

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my son was the same i tried all the conventional stuff which did not work. So when he would hit his head i would calming get down to him take his face in my hand and make him look at me and tell him "you are only hurting your own head and not mum so go for it." and left the room. He soon realised it got him nothing but sore head. As for the biting I completely over reacted pretending to cry as load as i could telling him it's sore made him give me a hug and kiss then he helped me put a bandaid on it, which i left on for the rest of the day. He would point at it and say sore, looking sad. He never did it again.

Vegemite - posted on 04/17/2010

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my son was the same i tried all the conventional stuff which did not work. So when he would hit his head i would calming get down to him take his face in my hand and make him look at me and tell him "you are only hurting your own head and not mum so go for it." and left the room. He soon realised it got him nothing but sore head. As for the biting I completely over reacted pretending to cry as load as i could telling him it's sore made him give me a hug and kiss then he helped me put a bandaid on it, which i left on for the rest of the day. He would point at it and say sore, looking sad. He never did it again.

Cheryl - posted on 04/16/2010

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I've loved reading all the different advice! My 18 mo. old has been having this same behavioral problems for about 2 mo now. I think the right thing to do for each child in each situation is different. I do ignore most of it most times, when I suspect it's for attention, or because I told her no. Sometimes I can easily coax her out of it, by like picking up her favorite book to thumb through myself. Sometimes it simply can't be ingnored, because of the intensity, and without any anger form me I will tell her No or Stop and pick her up and remove her from the situation altogether, I love to step outside for a breath of freash air with her. Many people believe that it's not good to allow children to give in to such strong emotion and that if they are allowed to do it they will continue to act out more, and should be calmed as quickly and loveingly as possible, lots of picture books used for communication, and breathing techniques mainly.

Amber - posted on 04/16/2010

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My children do not do this yet. However after just attending a parenting class. I would say to do like some of the others say in re-guards to getting a soft pillow for him and not giving him attention for that behavior but maybe also asking him why he is up set.Even if you think you already know. Relate to his feelings and advise him that you will not pay attention to him while he is banging his head but would be ready to talk when he is ready.

Jaymie - posted on 04/16/2010

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My three year old would do this constantly around two years of age, I finally made an appointment to talk to his peditrician because I was so worried. When I spoke to the Doctor he told me to ignore it, I told him I was worried about his safety. He told me when he starts to put him in the middle of the floor and tell him he can throw his fit here but I was not staying around to watch, then walk to another room of the house. My husband and I both did this the next time, my son got up and realized we were not there and followed us into the next room and threw himself on the floor again and continued his fit...again we walked out, again he followed. This happened several times until he finally gave up and it has never happened again. Good Luck to you!

Divya - posted on 04/15/2010

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Hi,



Try to divert his attention...my son does the same, shakes his head, bangs it etc....its a way of getting your attention...please do not ignore as this might aggrevate the child and he might bang his head harder, hurting himself trying to get your attention. All the best!

Katrina - posted on 04/15/2010

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My son did this. We told him "no bonking". At around two we started timeouts, because our thought was this was like hitting osmeone else. Biting was a timeout too. It has gone away as a way to show frustration, we're at 3 1/2 now. It took time, patience, and other ways to express his anger. He'll even say things now like "I don't like those words."

Kasandra - posted on 04/15/2010

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My son did the same thing for a while there and he still will do it sometimes but very rarely. What i would do is i would just kind of hug him tightly enough so that he wouldnt hurt himself( because he wold hit stuff hard with his head) and when he calmed down a little bit he had to go to timeout for a minute or two until he stopped crying and then i would give him a hug and tell him not to hurt my baby. lol. He hardly ever does it now because he knows hell go to timeout. Hope that helped

Amanda - posted on 04/15/2010

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My 2yr. old son does that too without the biting(yet). He just started doing it right around his birthday which was in March. I'd tell him no to playing with a nightlight in the living room. He'd walk over loudly to the middle of the room and throw his head down to the floor with or without his blanket to break the hit of the floor and head. He does it now along with hitting me and ONLY me when I tell him no or it's time for bed at 8pm when he has daycare the next morning at 6am and I carry him to his room. It's hard for me to really do anything cause I still live at home with both parents and I'm working alot! I try doing things for it but when my dad is watching him while I'm at work he doesn't do it the way I do. He thinks it's mean and not safe to just let him to do and to not say or look at him when he does hit his head. So, good luck with the bitting! I'm sure I'll be in your shoes with that one soon. Just need to find a way that works for the child. I'd go to his doctor and see what he or she thought about it and try to help stop it. Good Luck

Jessica - posted on 04/15/2010

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Wow that sounds exactly like my son, he is 2 1/2 now and has grown out of it but I read somewhere that 20% of children do the head banging and studies have shown that those children are smarter. How I beat it was with love and affection. I tried ignoring it and it just got worse. I find that just holding my son and telling him that I understand why he is frustrated and being really tender he calms down. Explain why no is no super tenderly and if he keeps crying then just keep saying awww mama understands and rock him in your loving embrace. I feel like the fact that children have no control really is very frustrating and letting them know u understand is really helpful. My sons attitude turned around so quickly, everyone noticed. He is so sweet and obedient now.

Cora - posted on 04/15/2010

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bad behaviour or tantrums does not constitute a good hiding as you put it, and to give the excuse of bad disciplining for that sort of behaviour from a child is ridiculous, you should feel very ashamed, i,m no do gooder but i try my best as a parent and if my childs tantrum offends you and others then walk in the opposite direction.

Michelle - posted on 04/15/2010

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My daughter used to bang her head on the corners of our island in the kitchen. She must have a hard head because she never got any bumps or bruises! Anyway, I just let her do it and then afterwards told her that she did not hurt me, she only hurt herself. She eventually stopped doing it. I think that sometimes if you ignore the behavior, they will stop acting out sooner than if you make a big deal out of it.

Katie - posted on 04/14/2010

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ask him if it hurts.. to his reply, be it a yes or a no then just tell him that its silly.. when you see hm doing it just say "you'll hurt your self" and mearly walk away, because he is young any attention he can get out of diong it wil just make him do it more, dont tell him that its naughty because its really not, its just SILLY.. if he is really hurting himself he will definately stop when you keep reminding him that he will hurt himself and his body will only tollerate so much pain until he figures out that pain is all he gets out of it :) just b patient

Merri - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son did the same thing. after a while i started to tell him if you get mad stomp your feet dont bang your head. For us it has worked great. Now he thinks about what he does and most time will stomp his feet or lately clap his hands

Kimberly - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son is also having tantrums but he is not using his head, he usually kicks and falls down , what should I do just ingore him ?

Mary - posted on 04/14/2010

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I don't even want to know what a HIDING is....sometimes walking away is the best approach if you've left the child in a safe place to throw a tantrum...if you're in your own home, you're not subjecting anyone to the behaviour....if you're a public place, you calmly pick your child up and walk out....my daughter threw many tantrums in the car because she had a melt down in the grocery store....it will pass and the more attention you give them, the worse it gets....both my kids have thrown tantrums and once they found out it does not get them what they want, they give up....
hope that helped.....

Shalonda - posted on 04/13/2010

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I thought maybe I was alone with this situation. My son is 20 months and he does the same thing. Not as much any more. Ive had to be stern with him to keep him from doing it. He still has his tandrums when he can't have his way, but he hesitates before he bangs his head on the floor.

Cora - posted on 04/13/2010

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Hi karen, i,ve just read the problem your having with your son and can say i fully understand how upsetting this must be for you, i have a 2 yr old son who also hits his head, bites, kicks, punches, pulls hair and scratches, i was at my wits end and no one seemed to believe me until they witnessed it, we found out that he was getting angry at the word No and with certain things he didn,t want to do like having a nappy change, and because he couldn,t tell us he would fly off the wall but he was also making himself worse because he couldn,t understand his own anger. We changed our dialogue to things like you can,t do that or its naughty to bite it hurts people etc, they biggest key i found was to stay with him in the same room to ensure he didn,t hurt himself, to stay as calm as possible and wait for it to blow over. During the past few weeks his speech has come on in leaps and bounds and his tantrums have also calmed because he can communicate better. He still has the odd 1 or 2 a week but it is getting better. I wish you all the best.

Sam - posted on 04/13/2010

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my daughter did exactually the same the best thing we found was not even to look at them wen they do it just walk away, dnt let him see that u are worried that he might hurt himself. my daughter soon got out of it like that, as soon as u stop payin attension to it he will stop doin it

Pauline - posted on 04/13/2010

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My son use to do that a lot. That's a tough one. Try placing your child on cushions & pillows for a tantrum fest until he mellows down. That way he's not hurting himself. If it's extreme. Only in desperate measures would i suggest calming music while holding your child in your arms until they calm themselves down. That may be considered "restraining". So only if you feel the child can seriously hurt himself.

Tara - posted on 04/13/2010

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That's a good idea, but I get worried because one time he went to hit his head and instead hit his face under his eye and swelled up and bruised. but i will definitely try that! thanks so much Helen!

Helen - posted on 04/13/2010

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as long as he is safe just get up and leave the room as he is only doing it for attention. don't even give eye contact. i used to go into the other room and play with his toys (making lots of noise like i was having fun) he would soon become curious and forget what he was angry about

Tara - posted on 04/13/2010

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My son does the same thing! He's been doing it since he was a year old and he's 19 months now. If I tell him no or he gets upset or anything he will just hit his head on anything and everything he can find. He's had bruises his head, knots on his head, he's even busted his lip open once. I don't know how to react. I don't want him to hurt himself, but if I try to tell him to stop he will do it harder. I'm afraid he's going to pass this bad habit to my daughter who closely watches everything he does and likes to imitate him! I've tried putting him in time out but then he will smack himself in the face or scratch himself.

Lauren - posted on 04/12/2010

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Well, my oldest Nathan did that when he was almost a year old but would hit his mouth on the tile floor. All i did was watch him but didnt say uhh dont do that, stop, or act like it was a big deal. Soon later he just stopped. All kids are different so make sure there isnt anthing more serious going on. Check with a dr if ur not convinced or the ignoring thing isnt working. Hope this helped.

Faith - posted on 04/11/2010

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my 15 month old does this as well. I have a playpen set up still and when he throws a tantrum he gets "time out" Im pregnant with number 2 so i can't really do much about it. I let him sit in there till he calms down. He gets timeouts for misbehaving as well (trying to play with things he shouldnt like outlets or cords, even if he climbs on things that he can get seriously hurt) i will put him in there for no more than a few minutes for somehting like that.

Adrianna - posted on 04/11/2010

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My son had same issue we actually took him to a theripist to see why he was doing it and they never found anything wrong with him, but they said when he gets to doing it u have to restrain him or he will end up hurting himself, my son was using walls, edges of tables anything hard that hurt him, they told me when he gets like that to sit down and put him in my lap and wrap my arms around his arms and chest and then take one of my legs and hold his legs so he cant hurt him self till he calms down. then let him return to playing took a while first couple times we did it but he did get used to it and cams down very easily now and has seems to out grow them fits

Kerry - posted on 04/11/2010

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I agree with amber..pay as little attention to it as possible. Maybe have a cushion in each room or wherever he usually does it any put that under his head but otherwise don't talk to him or even make eye contact while he is doing it.

Amber - posted on 04/10/2010

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Sometimes my two year old does this too. He doesn't bite, but will walk over to a wall and bang his head. I would say, if he is not hurting himself, ignore it. I think it may be an attention getter. If he is hurting himself, put him on soft carpet, and walk away. Any attention you give it will make it worse. My little boy tends to do it when he has a sinus infection and his head hurts, so make sure he is not having sinus issues or a headache and can't tell you. ;)

Amber - posted on 04/10/2010

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Sometimes my two year old does this too. He doesn't bite, but will walk over to a wall and bang his head. I would say, if he is not hurting himself, ignore it. I think it may be an attention getter. If he is hurting himself, put him on soft carpet, and walk away. Any attention you give it will make it worse. My little boy tends to do it when he has a sinus infection and his head hurts, so make sure he is not having sinus issues or a headache and can't tell you. ;)

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