Does your child ever hit themselves?

@triece (111)
United States
December 2, 2006 3:51pm CST
Ok, I know that sounds like a weird way to start out a conversation, but seriously. My 2 year old has started a whole new kind of hissy fit. She saw her cousin do it a while back, and now she thinks it's a form of punishing me!! Whenever she doesn't get her way she will stop dead in her tracks and punch herself in the forehead. WHAT IS THAT?! My oldest has started doing it too. At first is was funny, like "how is you punching yourself affecting me?" But now I'm starting to worry that people are going to think that I'm beating them, or something. Am I alone in this? I feel like I am, lol.
3 people like this
21 responses
@remaster74 (4065)
• Greece
2 Dec 06
This is not weird. It's a behaviour that they picked from someone else and saw that works. Don't respond to her behaviour. And next time she will do that, take her in your lap, and tell her looking in her eyes that next time she will be severely punished. You have to mean that. You have to stop that immediately. It will harm her brain. The brain is shaken and will be a matter of time to cut the brain loose. And then who will believe that you don't hit the child?
1 person likes this
@triece (111)
• United States
2 Dec 06
She hasn't done it much recently, ever since I stopped reacting so shocked to it. I try to let her think that it's not affecting me, but it's just so strange.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 06
i agree with remaster it's something they pick up from someone else. they do it for attention that's all.
@dsunny (999)
• India
2 Dec 06
i dont hav any childrem but my cousins 2year old child does the same way when his parents deny what he asks for...he blackmails them by hitting himself...
1 person likes this
@triece (111)
• United States
2 Dec 06
ahh! so i'm not alone. here i thought i was some horrible mom with self-abusing hissyfitters, lol.
1 person likes this
• India
3 Dec 06
Friend children are innocent..They actually what others do..Some times what they are following seems good but many times it looks bad..Juz warn them severely for once..Then they would really afraid to do that..
@arman9890 (452)
• India
3 Dec 06
well this is really wierd that this is happening. I think you should naa let them do that and whtever happens if they do this try not to accept their demands as if they will come to know that by useing this steps they are not getting any response from you they will stop doing those things and when they start this activity you just dont keep yourself in front of them. Because they are doing this to show you that they are hurting themselves.. If you wont be in front of them.. I think they will stop doing that..
1 person likes this
@ram_5052 (27)
• India
3 Dec 06
ya..... they do hit themselves when they are anger...
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (113667)
• United States
3 Dec 06
It is not uncommon for very young children to have tantrums and express their frustration by hurting themselves. In general as they gain mastery of language and can talk about their feelings they will stop hurting themselves. If your older child has good language skills, I would tell him, firmly, "Stop that. Use your words. What is the problem?" then,do your best to listen and understand. Accept what he tells you. Ask "What can we do about that?" Let them know, and be consistent, that hurting themselves, or others is not okay. Now if my mother was alive and answering this, she would tell you that I had one tantrum in my life where I pounded my head on the floor, and she picked me up, spanked me soundly and said "I will NOT let you do that" and that I did not dare do it again. I guess the point I am really trying to make is that that is not really uncommon, and she should grow out of it. Good luck.
@imadriscoll (2230)
• United States
3 Dec 06
My daughter is also two and does this. She sometimes hits herself in the head for any form of attention, not just when she's naughty. I will notice that she will go to the book box, pull out a book and hit herself in the head with it. She will do this repeatedly, usually very gentle to begin with and then she increases the amount of force that she uses. She also experiments with toys, remotes, shoes, whatever she finds. At first I noticed her doing it by herself and now she'll bring an item to us and stand in front of us beating herself in the head! Our oldest daughter never did this. I think that she is just experimenting, first with cause and effect ... ok if I hit myself this hard it feels like this, if I hit harder then this happens. We would sometimes laugh and sometimes make her quit and now she has learned that she will get a reaction out of us for these behaviors. Essentially I think it is a stage and how you choose to respond will determine how long it will last!! Best of luck my fellow terrible two mom!
1 person likes this
@gurjit_d (793)
• United States
2 Dec 06
somr time,
1 person likes this
@azriel (2108)
• Philippines
24 Jan 07
dont worry your not alone. i dont have a child but i have a nephew who does the same. if he's not hitting himself, his banging his head on the wall. it works for his parents because whenever he does that, they eventually give in to whatever it is that he wants. but he doesn't pull that trick on me because i already made it clear that it wont work on me. they always say that i was so strictand cold-hearted, lol! well anyways you just have to let them know that it will not work, not even commenting about it in front of him. he will eventually stop, if he knows that it wont work as he is only hurting himself.
@emarie (5451)
• United States
3 Dec 06
my son didn't hit himself, but he would slam his head on things. what i think it is...when they get hurt we come running to comfort them, or they get some type of sympathy, so when we're mad at them they do this to try to get out of it. my son used to hit his head on my sisters glass table, then he would do it on the carpet. i would just make sure it wasn't seriously hurt (because after a few times of him doing it really hard, he started holding back and just screaming like it did hurt) then i would just ingnore him like nothing happend. after a while they'll grow out of it and go on to do something else. i used to ask the doctor about it, they said it was just a normal tantrum and they'll grow out of it. as long as they don't 'really' hurt themselves it should be fine. if people ask, tell them you never touched them and if they witnessed this (some of my friends and family did) they would understand. don't worry too much about it right now. once they realize that it doesn't work, they'll stop.
• India
3 Dec 06
never heard of this b4..hahaha...but just xplain ur kids with manner as humble as possible....
@Tazzlady (174)
• United States
3 Dec 06
My son use to beat his head agaist the ground. It did not mater is it was soft or hard. I was going to a therophy already when he started this. The doctor told me to egnore this behavor. When I stop trying to get him to stop it took a couple of months then he stopped and never did it again. The last time he did it. It was on hot asfault and he burned his forhead. I would not respond at all when she does this. It will get worse befor it getts better.
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
3 Dec 06
I think if you ignore it she will stop. She's obviously trying to make you feel bad, so if you ignore her while she does it she should stop...she may not stop immediately but you must keep ignoring her when she does it and walk away from her.
@cyberfluf (5004)
• Netherlands
3 Dec 06
I've also heard this before, the reasons why young children do this can be different. Some kids hurt themselves out of frustration because they can't speak well yet and feel misunderstood. I've also heard kids hurting themselves to discover that parts of their body are really their own, because they get the sensation of pain the arm must be theirs (like babies not knowing their arms are their own arms). The most common reason is to get their way; they see your expression (oh my god...) or they've seen other kids getting their way with it. My nephue was banging his head on the wooden floor when he was little and he kept doing so untill he was 12 or something. He would also do so against the wall and on the couch, but the last one was at least soft. It banged so hard my aunt got really scared, but over the years she seemed to got used to it... it's odd really, he allready had a mental handicap, but somehow I feel like it might have become more severe because of this. With these extreme forms or when kids are cutting themselves, I suggest to go see a psychologist. Overall, it's normal behaviour, like 2 year olds saying 'no' to practically anything once they have found out the power of that word. You can try telling her a firm 'no' when she does so, or simply ignore it. When she finds out you aren't paying attention to it, it most likely will go away (since she picked it up somewhere else and hasn't started it all on her own). Good luck with this, and rest assure; you are certainly not alone :)
@Ambur25 (1007)
• United States
3 Dec 06
My oldest did sort of the same thing when he wouldn't get his way. But, instead of hitting himself, he would drop to his knees and bang his head on the floor. Regardless of what floor he was on. Until one day he did it outside on concrete. It messed up his forhead pretty bad, but fortunately he stopped before anything serioud happened. Later that night, after we'd gotten home, I took him into the bathroom where we had a full legnth mirror. I showed him the "boo boo" on his forehead, and I literally pushed on this bruised area. I know that may sound bad, but I wanted him to literally "feel" what he was doing to himself. I pushed on it, and told him that it "hurts Mommy's baby." And told him to stop doing that to my baby. That, to my knowledge, was the last time he'd ever done anything like that. That was 6 years ago. He is now a happy, healthy 8 year old little boy.
@moneytree (188)
• India
3 Dec 06
Dont worry all will be fine its just that you would need to constatly and very sweetly keep correcting her she will get out of this habbit soon.
• India
3 Dec 06
yes they ar emad they can
3 Dec 06
aww i thought its cute too but my cuzins baby does that to. no its not your fult indeed there trying to black mail u too lol they cant have there way so they attack them self so you fell sorry for them. bless em i think best thing is to ignore them dont laugh at them because it will encorage them more!
• United States
3 Dec 06
You neglected to say what kind of response the parents gave the cousin. This would have an effect on the reason why your child does this. Negative behavior often does not bring a negative response when children are young. They receive extra attention when they behave this way and as one poster responded, use it to 'blackmail' parents. Even laughter is a response and will encourage a child to continue in such behaviors. So no response at all is the best course of action. The behavior will loose it's appeal. Even your wondering about others thinking anything about this behavior is a response of sorts. Children are very perceptive and can see you watching the reactions of others. Children at the age of your daughter are the centers of their own world's. They do not yet comprehend that they are part of yours also, but not all of it. Give it time, ignore the behavior. She'll give it up when it is no longer pleasurable or makes you responsive.
@killailla (1301)
• Canada
3 Dec 06
your children picked it up form someone else, the cousin i belive if she wad doing this may have some sort of problem, you should email the montel williams show for information they provided on this exact thing last month!