Thursday, August 14, 2008

Normal Toddler Behavior??

J does something that has really caused my husband and I to worry. And, my mom is usually not one to worry too much about bad behavior in kids, but when she saw J do this she did tell me to talk to his Dr about it... He bangs his head on things out of anger and frustration. And he does it hard enough to hurt himself :(

Here are a few instances: He likes to take things apart and put them together, but sometimes he has a hard time putting them back together and he gets frustrated. I usually intervene and help him out before he gets upset, but sometimes I'm not quick enough. He will scream in anger, throw the toy and hit his head (the front of it) on the nearest wall at least three times. And if a wall is not near he makes a fist and punches himself in the head :( He did the same thing in the truck on the way to Orlando b/c his favorite show ended. One night in the resort he saw me with a mug of coffee and he wanted some. He was in the pack n play and I said "No baby, it's too hot." He got angry and actually walked over to one of the plastic edges and hit his head on it several times until it hurt. He grabbed his head and cried. Part of me wants to think that he is doing it so that I can pick him up and cradle him, but we don't baby him like that. If he falls and it's not severe, we tell him "Get up big boy!!" and he gets right up. The only time we run to him and baby him is if it was a bad fall, so I'm not sure if this is truly for attention or not, but I really don't think so. Also, when he's in time out, he hits his head on the wall on purpose. Yesterday we were running some errands and I took him out of the truck and placed him on the ground to walk. He doesn't like to walk much b/c I believe that turned in leg bothers him and causes him to limp (Dr will check that out at his 2 yr appt), so he turned to me to pick him up, but Daddy grabbed his hand to make him walk. J got angry and went to hit his head on the truck tire!! Also, when he plays with other kids, he head butts. Not to hurt them but it's his way of playing. Daddy does play rough with J but they never head butt so I don't know. I'm concerned and worry that he may hurt himself.

So my question to ALL readers (even lurkers), do/did your toddlers do this? Is this a phase I should just wait out, or should I make an appt? I don't dare google this b/c I know anything I find will give me nightmares. I'm just wondering if my concern is b/c he's my very first toddler, or if this is truly a thing to worry about. Also, his next scheduled appt isn't until Dec for his 2 yr check up, but if this is something I should be concerned about I know I can't wait that long. Would it be crazy of me to make an appt to talk to the Dr about my son banging his head? I could definitely get him in today or tomorrow which would be nice b/c Daddy is still on vacation and could come with us. So please tell me what you think.

Also, check back later for pictures and stories from our two days at Busch Gardens. I think my husband even caught a short video clip of me on a CRAZY roller coaster!


Anonymous said...

My sister (my twin sister) did the head bang too. She would always hit her head on the floor, wall, anything when she got frustrated. She grew out of it. Her son, K, did it too. He's going to be 3 in Dec and doesn't do it anymore. It was scary seeing him do that when he got mad or frustrated but I think it's just his way of getting his frustration out since they can't talk yet.



mcarstens said...

i know it seems strange, but i read (in many books) that's it totally normal toddler behavior. they get so frustrated because of (1) what they can and can't do and then (2) that they don't have to vocabulary to verbalize what's wrong. my don is 22 months and when he gets frustrated, he immediately throws whatever toy/object is in his hand and then he sometimes bites his hand and screams. a minute later, it's as though he's forgotten all about the incident!

since it really seems to worry you, there's definitely no harm in mentioning it to the dr just to she was she/he thinks.

good luck!

L L said...

I am not a parent..yet...but I remember some of my cousins did this. I think that this is just normal toddler behavior, not being able to voice their frustrations etc...he will most likely grow out of it. But I also agree with mcarstens, if it worries you, no harm in mentioning it to the doc.

HelenFNeville said...

Head banging is normal, but not common. How is that possible? It's an indication of inborn who are emotionally intense, and need time to adapt when things don't turn out as they expect. This head banging normally subsides when kids can talk, and thus express frustration with words.
--author of TEMPERAMENT TOOLS Working with Your Child's Inborn Traits.