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Does anyone else's toddler pull their own hair or hit themselves while throwing a fit?

My daughter is 18 months old. When she gets very angry, she pulls her hair, hits herself, or pinches herself. No one has ever done any of these things to her. I only spank when she does something dangerous or hurtful. I don't spank her when she does this. I tell her not to and try not to make a big deal of it. I feel she's looking for the attention or "shock factor" with this behavior.

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Asked by Chandra_T at 10:25 AM on Dec. 2, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • My daughter is two and a half and when she doesn't get her way she pulls her hair out and smacks her legs really hard. It honestly scares me sometimes but her Doc said it is normal, that she is still figuring out how to express her feelings and not to be too concerned unless she really does something to hurt herself.

    Answer by KlousMomi at 10:29 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • Yes, a lot of toddlers from the age of 15 mo. to 3 years old do that. I worked in a daycare and had to take classes so from working there and my own daughter i can tell you. They are doing it for a few reasons, ATTENTION, and they are playing the field. See what all they can do before they get in trouble. It's nothing to be worried about, but you do have to address the problem or she will keep doing that. I am not meaning to spank her when she does it I mean, talk to her. get down to her level and whisper to her. Tell her when she is done you will talk to her. It just about always works... Or if she is old enough to understand with pinching tell her to pinch you. She wont and will stop. DO NOT DO THAT IF YOU DON'T THINK SHE UNDERSTANDS YET!

    Answer by LizWithAvon at 10:36 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • I was told that I pulled my own hair too. I've also worked at a daycare with this age group and I saw this pretty commonly. I think they do it to make themselves cry. When my own kids have done things like this I just asked them how it felt and it was enough to make them think about what they're doing to themselves.

    Answer by Blueloveaura at 10:39 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • No but my little sister used to bite herself until she bled when she was a baby.. I still remember those things...

    Answer by momof5kidz at 10:48 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • My daughter was a head banger. If she got at she would sit with her back to the wall and bang away. At first it freaked me out, but her doc said it's perfectly normal and an simply an attention getter. The more attention you give her, the more it reinforces her behavior. We ignored our lovey and she stopped.

    If you ignore your lovey's behavior and she continues doing it (and I mean for a LONG time) or the behavior doesn't improve, then I would find a good child behaviorist. This is what we ended up doing for several other reasons (Aspergers, Sensory Integration, etc.) and it really helped a lot.

    As a side note, I was also a head banger, as was my hubby. Hugs to you, I know it's difficult to watch your child hurt herself, and strength to you to help you work through this.

    Answer by crittermomma at 10:50 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

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