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Ok, so I asked my 'anger' question before and now my question is, how do I get my three year old to quit hitting himself when he gets angry? If I tell him something to do, like it's time to pick up toys or let's get dressed for the day/bed and he doesn't want to do it, he will get mad instantly and start hitting himself. Ugh... I'm sooooooo frustrated and cried myself to sleep last night. I am getting a divorce and my 'husband' doesn't help and just gives him whatever he wants and I feel I am totally on my own in the disipline area... Sigh.. Any advice?

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Asked by HappySam at 1:52 AM on Jun. 23, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 6 (151 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Im sure he'll grow out of it. Just leave the room and don't pay any attention. If that doesn't work, try the opposite by going and hugging him. That's a hard one since he is so little. . I remember I used to bite myself and bang my head on the wall when I was real little whenever id get mad, then I graduated to throwing and breaking things. Don't know what would've helped me stop though. I just grew out of it. Good luck.

    Answer by BitsMom00 at 2:20 AM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • I am sorry to hear about your divorce. I hope it is a civil one!

    Usually the two main causes for a child hitting himself is they have been hit before when punished or he is so angry a simple tantrum will not do, hitting himself actually gives him a better outlet for his extra anger and energy.

    I would pinpoint when this hitting began and make efforts to fix the problem. He could be angry at you or daddy, but would rather hit himself than you two? He will need lots and lots of extra love, hugs and attention as well. He sounds like he might have some pent up anger and obviously he is too young to reason with.

    If after a week you do not see results, start some daily activities to burn off some of his extra energy. Things that make him happy.

    Kids end trends as fast as they start them so results should be quick.

    Answer by Gingerwheel at 2:20 AM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • I found a good article about your what are dealing with:

    Answer by Gingerwheel at 2:22 AM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • holding therapy.. quietly calmly gently and lovingly restrain his arms and hold him until he calms down... soothe him and talk to him asking him why he wants to hurt himself when he is such a beautiful good boy.. tell him its not nice to hurt himself like that...

    Answer by girlglow6 at 2:23 AM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • Your divorce and his hitting may be related.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 3:49 AM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • The more attention a child gets from a behavior, the more they will do it. Part of the reason he does it is because of the attention he gets when he does this.


    Answer by JSD24 at 10:39 AM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • Thank you so much you guys for your advice and comments. I asked him today why he hits himself and of course he said, 'I don't know'. I feel he is too young to understand if I try to explain things about emotions, but then again I guess I could always try and see what happens. I kept telling him that I won't let him hit himself anymore, but I also think that kids will do certain behaviors to get attention. It's funny, when I was little I used to bite my hand and hit my head... didn't do me any good. LOL I also told his dad yesterday about the anger and all he could say was... He didn't get it from me. (which he has yelled at me on several occasions while holding our son and our son has just looked at me and him, probably wondering what in the world is going on). Ok, sorry, probably t.m.i.

    Comment by HappySam (original poster) at 1:30 AM on Jun. 24, 2011

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