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how to raise a head butting boy???

It happened last night. My husband, my son (20 months) and I were all watching a movie in bed and he for the millionth time head butted me. However, this time he got my eye and as a reflex I swatted him off in one hand to the head. Not hard but still I had never intended to hit my child and I did. There was a red mark and my husband yelled at me. Thank God the mark went away in a few minutes. I feel so guilty I barley slept a wink waking up at 3 am and then watching him sleep for a long time. I am at my wits end. My beautiful son is really naughty sometimes. He will head butt both his father and I while we hold him or he sits near us. Not all the time but many, many times. Also we put him in timeout for (1 minute or less) several times a night for head butting and sometimes biting or scratching. Last night he was put in timeout 5 times and the night before 4. That does not seem to be working. Also we do try to redirect him but


Asked by Anonymous at 7:34 AM on Dec. 11, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (13)
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    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:45 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • it is hard when you are getting hit up side your head. Please, if anyone knows what to do I am so lost and confused. I don’t have any help from parents or anything and I am at a loss. Also I am a big reader and will read any books recommended. We have talked to our doctor about it and he just says some kids do that, but still we are not even sure who to cope with it. Thank you!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:35 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • My youngest son was also a head butter. My pediatrician recommended that I get him a boxing bag, as boys tend to be more physical. I bought one from Toys R Us that was just his size. I told him that this was his boxing buddy and he had fun punching, kicking and head butting it. Also, I noticed that this effectively redirected his antics from other children and me! LOL

    Answer by Ewadun at 7:45 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Dont feel bad mom. It happened to me too. My 2 year old son loves to do that. You don't mean to hit them, but its a natural reflex. I'm sorry i don't have any meaningful advice but i will also read what others say on here. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:06 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • If you want him to stop it, spanking him is the best possible thing you could do for him. Children have to be taught that certain behaviors are unacceptable, and there is absolutely no subsitute for spanking their little behinds. I've seen it work for generations, and all the lies about it being abusive have made many homes miserable. So, if you want to teach your child to respect and obey you, spanking his tail will get you there in a hurry, and at the age your child now is, it won't take very long at all.

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:21 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Spank the spoiled brat.... it's the only way to cure him. You have to teach your child that you are the boss and that you demand respect.. sorry, but you don't want one of them wild animal children you see in the stores all the time, do you... UGH.. reprimand your child, so he will be something in life, other than a spoiled brat.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:27 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Mom Of 4 boys here. Sorry spanking is not the option. The punching bag is. Also play slap with him. Have fun. we even made a game out of head butting. Boys are aggressive. The point is to let that aggression out. Show him there is a time and place. By doing this we have found that the boys are calmer in public situations. Sit still in Church not run through the store aisles, play nice with other kids. Also I have very confident young men. Who have been known to put a bully on their butt. Stick up for the ones who are picked on and punched. They don't start things but they do finish it. Side note they are to tell a teacher if at all possible and they do, but there are those situations where we all know that's not possible.


    Answer by oldermomof5 at 8:42 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • It's tuff being a mom, isn't it? All the different opinions and issues we all have with our addorable little," ANGELS", all though they are the joy in my life I have momments of uncertainty.I think getting advise and others,"ways of dealing," can help steer us in a dirrection that will help us come to our own best ending'. I have 5 kids and they don't all respond to the same ways of discipline.I have 2 that time out does work well with.I have one that I can actually speak loud enuff to get threw.If I give a spankin', then they know that this is a situation that WILL NOT be tollerated. I would NEVER do it as a way of getting them to listen to me ,but if a serious issue arises and nothing else works and it keeps happening then taking that step is nessessary, but if I notice that it doesn't change th behavior then some other way is ment for that child.Spankin's don't work for ALL children either.You can get professional advice to

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:48 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • oh, that's just great ladies - your answer to teaching a child not to hit or hurt someone is to hit and hurt them. Does anyone else think this is as absurd as it sounds? First of all, forgive yourself for your instinctive response - he hurt you and you retaliated without thinking. PLANNING to respond to his physical aggressiveness in a physically punitive manner is another thing entirely - what does that teach? "You can only hit when you are bigger and stronger than the other person". Obviously, this is not what you want to teach - at 20 months, he cannot take another person's perspective - that comes with time. Your best response is "Ouch, that hurts mommy" and remove him from the situation. All kids do this to a certain extent, some more than others because they are more physical by nature. He may be trying to get your attention - try showing him a nice way to get your attention.

    Answer by LisaLulu at 8:49 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Raising a "head butting boy"?"? No you are raising a brat! I would have spanked his butt if he repeatedly head butted me...and no way would my hubby ever raise his voice to me certainly NOT yell at ME!! I can see where your child is getting his bullying from. You need to stop this before he gets worse or problems at school will ensue.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:21 AM on Dec. 11, 2009