My son will intentionally walk up to the wall, door, or some hard object and hit his head on it when he's having a tantrum. Then he'll either do it again or throw himself on the floor and roll around. Kind of like he's trying to put out a fire on his shirt. The reason they hit their head purposely is because they're trying to get you to react. When they hurt themselves from falling for example, you cuddle them and ask if they're okay. That's what they're looking for when they do it during a tantrum. Yes, they can hurt themselves, but it's important not to buy into their trick. By reacting in a sympathetic way you're rewarding them for their behaviour. This allows them leeway to manipulate the situation and get you to ignore the fact that they were told "No". Firmly tell them "Be careful" and walk away. Try putting him in his crib for a time out during a tantrum. He'll be less likely to hurt himself in there.
at 10:09 PM on Dec. 16, 2009