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Jessibear2010
why is he doing this?
October 22, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Every time I tell my 21month old "no" or Don't" he slaps himself in the head.  I haven't slapped him, so why is he slapping himself?

Replies

  • Bieg9093
    October 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM

     When my boy was really little, he used to hit himself when he got frustrated.  It went on for months no matter what I tried. 

    Then one day, I was venting on the phone to a friend about something.  I was sitting down and, as I made some point, I slapped my leg.  It was nothing...just a mannerism that goes along with animated speech.  I had never before noticed I did that.  Once I stopped throwing my hands around so much when I talked, he was able to learn to quit hitting himself when he got frustrated.

    Don't know if that's your problem, but it was mine.

  • Jessibear2010
    October 22, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    i had never thought of that.  i'll watch what i do more closely thank you

    Quoting Bieg9093:

     When my boy was really little, he used to hit himself when he got frustrated.  It went on for months no matter what I tried. 

    Then one day, I was venting on the phone to a friend about something.  I was sitting down and, as I made some point, I slapped my leg.  It was nothing...just a mannerism that goes along with animated speech.  I had never before noticed I did that.  Once I stopped throwing my hands around so much when I talked, he was able to learn to quit hitting himself when he got frustrated.

    Don't know if that's your problem, but it was mine.


  • CoeyG
    by CoeyG
    October 22, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Because he is tired of hearing you say no or Don't. 

  • robyann
    by robyann
    October 22, 2012 at 11:16 PM

     He is doing it to get a reaction from you. What did you do the first time you saw him to it? Like gasp, or get a bit upset. He liked whatever reaction you gave. He'll keep doing it as long as he gets that out of you. Either totally ignore it when he does that, or if you feel like he may hurt himself--when he does it just take his hand and pull it down softly and make a sad face, don't say anything. It may take quite a few times before he'll stop, he'll keep hoping he'll get that reaction from you. Eventually he'll stop.

  • frndlyfn
    October 23, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    frustration and getting a reaction out of you like others have said.   I would also encourage gentle touch towards ourselves and towards others.

  • CorpCityGrl
    October 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Frustration and reactionary are the two things that are probably causing him to do this.  He cannot communicate yet so he is getting frustrated by that fact and acting out, but also think back to your reaction whenever he would do this because oftentimes kids will do things to get a reaction from a parent for attention.

    When he does this, don't get mad.  Gently pull his hand down and tell him that we don't hurt ourselves or others.  Tell him that if he's mad or frustrated, you don't understand him and he needs to calm down and you'll listen.  You'll have to be consistent with him and encourage gentle touch.

  • blondie805
    October 23, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    It's ok. My grandson did this. I never knew why but, we responded gently: "Don't hit my baby" and hugged him tightly. After a while, he stopped.

  • newmommy-again
    October 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    It could also be his way of disciplining himself - a reminder that he isn't supposed to do something.  Obviously it's not the most pleasant way to do it.

  • EmilysMom2010
    October 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM
    I just firmly grabbed her hands and said "we don't hit. Ever. I know your frustrated but its not okay to hit anyone. Even yourself"
    She seems to have grown out of it. She only did it for about a month when she was like 19mo. It scared me. I hope it's just a faze. But every time I saw her do it I would repeat the line above. And it's been months now.
  • Jessibear2010
    October 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Thank you all.  I have heard of toddlers getting frustrated and throwing tantrums and screaming.  I guess hitting is another way of acting on it. 

    Robyann, I think my first reaction was to pull his hand down and tell him not to hit himself :P

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