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Old 03-03-2010, 06:57 AM   #1
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Headbanger?

I babysit a 2 1/2 year old boy and since he was 1, he hits his head when he gets mad. He really slams it on the floor hard sometimes. He'll even do it if he's outside on the cement. I don't know how many times he's come to my house with a huge bruise on his head. Do you think he'll grow out of this? It's just been over a year and a half now and he's doing the same thing and getting even more violent with it since he's bigger. He throws lots and lots of tantrums. Almost every morning when his mom brings him here, she says he's been crying since he got up. He's usually pretty good by me but once in awhile he'll get in a mood and cry a bit. Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: Headbanger?

How verbal is he? My DS did this a lot when he was younger and would get angry and I talked to his doc about it because I was concerned he was really going to hurt himself. He told me that some studies indicate it's more common in boys than girls, and it can correlate to nonverbal or minimally-verbal children with higher IQs. The theory is that they have cognitive thoughts they cannot express and it's very frustrating so they lash out physically. Once my son's vocabulary increased beyond the basic one or two word stage, he stopped banging his head and his verbalization took off. And once he was truly verbal, he always displayed cognition beyond his years.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Headbanger?

My niece and DD both do this. Niece stopped by age 18 months and DD still does it when she gets REALLY angry and she's 2&1/2. If she hits her head hard enough she'll stop. Now that she is talking a lot more it rarely ever happens.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: Headbanger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amphibology29 View Post
How verbal is he? My DS did this a lot when he was younger and would get angry and I talked to his doc about it because I was concerned he was really going to hurt himself. He told me that some studies indicate it's more common in boys than girls, and it can correlate to nonverbal or minimally-verbal children with higher IQs. The theory is that they have cognitive thoughts they cannot express and it's very frustrating so they lash out physically. Once my son's vocabulary increased beyond the basic one or two word stage, he stopped banging his head and his verbalization took off. And once he was truly verbal, he always displayed cognition beyond his years.
this exactly. Our 2.5 year old does this and this is how his pedi described it. The more he talks, the less he bangs.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Re: Headbanger?

hmmm... that makes sense! He doesn't talk much at all. His vocabulary is very small (at least compared to my son at that age). I try to work with him to repeat words but he's pretty stubborn about it. Hopefully he will grow out of it... in the mean time sometimes I wish they would keep a helmet on him. I worry about him hitting his head so hard. Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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Re: Headbanger?

I was a headbanger.. and honestly ts a red flag IMO. I view it as early self injury and I believe it puts a kid at higher risk for self injury later on (cutting, burning, self hitting, etc). Its a maladaptive coping mechanism regardless of age. The ability to verbalize emotions does play into it, but I think there is more to it.. and its really something the parent should keep an eye on and seek help for from a child psychologist if it persists or worsens. Not to mention, banging your head on concrete can be quite dangerous (and the constant bruises could lead to CPS interventon unfortunately).
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: Headbanger?

What do you (or the family) do when he head bangs? If everyone is rushing to him and trying to get him to stop, they are rewarding the behavior. That is, if he is a "normal" kid. My ds with autism would head bang for hours, but it wasn't for attention or because he was mad. He just liked to (sensory input).

Head banging is pretty normal in toddlers. Some do it while they are falling asleep. Some do it when they are mad, some do it for attention when they are mad. If he's 10 and head banging, that's not typical. But in toddlers it's usually OK.

My oldest was really funny about it. We were pretty good about ignoring it when she would do it, like physically turn our backs on her. She would throw herself on the ground, then look at us to see if we saw her. Then she'd smack her head on the ground and look at us as if to say "Do you see what I did there?" It was a pretty short lived phase for her. She quickly discovered that the pout got us everytime.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: Headbanger?

Jake does it. You should see the bruises.. ugh. But yeah, they outgrow it when they get more verbal. Jake can tell me when he wants something most times in his own way, but if I don't pay attention for whatever reason, watch out. lol

Miranda used to do it as well at that age.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #9
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Re: Headbanger?

They grow out of it..SO doesn't bang his head anymore even though he did when he was little lol
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:08 AM   #10
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Re: Headbanger?

nak

DD did this and me and DH both believe it's not an acceptable behaviour no matter the age...so when DD started doing it at 13mths we decided to nip it in the butt. As soon as she started we would VERY sternly tell her no while holding her face so she had to look at us. If after we told her no she continued, she would get her hand slapped as soon as she started and put in time out for 1 min. She stopped doing it in 4 days.

ETA: Oh and she was a bad head banger the days that she did it. At any provocation she would lean forward and start banging her head on the floor or a wall if it was available. It was horrible and embarrassing. She would also bang her head on the shopping cart handle in Walmart if she didn't get way...not fun at all and DH and I were determined to make it stop!

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