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Hitting tantrums...Is this normal toddler behaviour?

My fourteen month old hits herself in the head when she gets frustrated. She will do this if she falls down and hurts herself or if I take something away from her (I try the distraction technique by replacing it with something she can have) or in any situation where she is frustrated. She will start to hit herself in the head with her little fists. I am a first time mom with no previous baby experience. We also have never spanked or hit her as a disciplinary action. Is this normal? Is she doing this because she likes the attention I give her when she starts to hit herself? I tell her "no, we don't hit. Hitting is not nice. Hitting is ouchy." Is this normal? What should I do?

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Asked by hollysybb at 2:05 PM on Jun. 3, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 6 (145 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • that sounds perfectly normal. My son would get so frustrated he'd bonk his head or hit himself in the head - you are doing the right thing. I have never spanked either, right not there is just not another way for them to express their frustration.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 2:12 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • That is how she started... she'd trip and fall and then bang her head on the floor out of frustration. Sometimes when I go to change her diaper and she doesn't want me to she will hit her head on the wall. It just freaks me out a little!!

    Answer by hollysybb at 3:19 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • It totally freaked me out too - I instantly thought the worst, but then he went through the stage where he didn't want me to change his diaper so he would hit himself or the floor by him while I was changing him too - then he even would run to the wall and do it for the sound - lol!! If the NO hit, hitting isn't nice stops working, try totally ignoring it - that is what really got him to stop - it wasn't fun for him to get NO attention from it - but they also do need to express themselves - I wouldn't let her hit anyone of course but you know what I mean

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 4:27 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • I think you are definitely right about ignoring it. The "no hitting" thing seems to get her to want to do it more. She likes the attention she gets from me. Now she'll hit herself and then look at me with this little smirky smile. I think I will try the ignoring thing for awhile and see how that goes. Thanks for your advise and I'm glad to know this is normal. We are also working on "no hitting" of the kitty cats. She likes that one too! Eeek!

    Answer by hollysybb at 1:13 PM on Jun. 4, 2010

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