when my child throw a fit (often) he bangs his head on the wall, & leave knots on his forehead

Rachelle - posted on 05/13/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My child throw fits when he dose not get his way. he will smash his head into the wall or the ground leaving knots on his forehead. I have a play pen for a knotty box, I use for dicipline it seem to only work part of the time any more. I really dont even know how to get him to go to bed a the same time, or even a decent time at night. last night I tried to let him cry in his crib within less then 2 min. he had puked all over the crib. I don't know what to do. He really is a good kid & is very smart just his temper is crazy.

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Chris - posted on 05/18/2010

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My son started doing this shortly after he turned one and continued with decreasing frequency until he was closer to three (he's now just over 3 years old). With my son it was definitely a form of temper tantrum and letting out his frustration. As his verbal skills grew and developed his head banging became a lot less frequent. We discussed the issue with both our family doctor and our pediatrician (our son actually "demonstrated" by having a tantrum at the pedi office). Both assured us that it wasn't a problem; it's not possible for a child to actually hurt themselves (bruises and knots aside). They're not going to damage themselves longterm. The only real advice they could give is that ignoring the behaviour is best (rather than even punishing it). I found it incredibly difficult to ignore and more often than not intervened when he started. However, in the few instances I was able to ignore it, my son would stop as it wasn't getting him the attention he wanted.

Also, in case this issue is raises at some point, autistic children can be given to head banging. However that is more of a repetitive, ritualistic action meant to sooth themselves. It sounds like your son (like mine) is doing it as a temper outlet. If in doubt seek medical advice and assessment. Our doctors ruled that possibility out very quickly.

The temper will ease with time and vocabulary (small comfort now I'm sure!).

Sara - posted on 05/16/2010

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i thought my daughter was the only one with the barfing fits... when she doesnt want me to go to work she will cry and cry and make herself vomit. she used to bang her head on the floor until we started ignoring her and letting her cry when she did it. she throws toys every now and then but doesnt bang her head off the floor anymore :)

Ashley - posted on 05/16/2010

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I was told that if they make them selves puke to clean it and them up, and put them back if puking makes u pick him up then he will no that he just has to make him self puke and u will go get him sory its hard mine dident puke but shure had the temper for bed took a strait month to finaly get him into a rutean i give him a bath a book and put him to bed closed the door and he would scream it out but now there is no screaming just goes to sleep because i dident give in. it was the hardest thing iv had to do so far leting him scream it out but now he sleeps so well and it helps him have a ruteen.

K.C. - posted on 05/15/2010

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It might be him just being naughty or it might be more psychological. I know head banging is the symptom for a few things. If you feel deep down that the head banging might be a problem, then please go get him checked out. If you think it is just naughtiness, then look at his diet. Moods that are over the top can often be the result of too much gluten, additives etc in diets. Start giving him a kiddie form of fish oil and try to get him to eat more natural food instead of processed food. If you think food might be the key, start keeping a food diary and see if there is a pattern between what he eats and when he has these head banging outbursts

Amy - posted on 05/15/2010

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I can so relate, here lately i've been desperatly seeking help. My son turned 3 in january. He started banging the back of his head at age 2. The older he got, the more nervous I got, because he was getting bigger and stronger. Now he starting to chill out a little on the head banging, now he's been getting aggressive by throwing and hitting us. If we react back, he gets more aggressive.We are at our wits end. I do like the play pen idea, because our son now knows how to open doors and chase us around the house screaming. Very frustrating, feel your pain.

Louise - posted on 05/14/2010

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It sounds like your son is using his tantrums to get his own way! As soon as he starts to go into a rage get down to his eye level and say firmly no this is not right stop now or you will go to the pen. If he continues to strop pick him up and place him in the pen until he has calmed down. This is the only way to protect his head from damage. The sickness is also a sign of control a child of this age can make themselves seriously sick, my daughter went through this phase if she did not want to eat her dinner. It is not plesant I know! You are doing the right thing by letting him cry it out in his cot. Just keep going in every few minutes to tell him to calm down and once he has made an improvement praise him. He will soon learn that tantrums and sick will not get him what he wants. Try also distraction when he starts to go into a rage try and distract with a high pitched voice "wow look at that" a lot of bad behaviour is also linked with just pure frustration that there little bodies wont do what they want them to do. Try and watch what starts these tantrums off and try and help him problem solve. Good luck

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