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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I am a grandmother of a 2 year old who hits his head against

Customer Question

I am a grandmother of a 2 year old who hits his head against the table or wall or screams(earth shattering sounds) for several minutes when he doesn,t get his own way.I want to stop my daughter and son inlaw from one day half killing him as they can,t cope much longer with his behaviour.When I mind him I just ignore him and he stops after awhile but I don,t have to live with him all the time.What do you suggest.Bev
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.

Head banging is rather common and most children outgrow it by the age of three.
If you are truly worried, seek further evaluation from your grandson's pediatrician. However, some possible reasons for the head banging may be frustration as your grandson needs to vent very strong emotions. He cannot express himself well enough verbally through words so he uses the physical action of head banging. To your grandson, this may be comforting to him during stressful situations although it seems odd to adults. He also may want attention. when his parents see him banging his head, they become upset and fuss over his self destructive behavior and give him the attention that he wants. A third reason may be a developmental problem which is often seen in children with autism.


To help alleviate the problem, give him as much positive attention when he is not banging his head. When he does bang his head, do not put do much emphasis on the behavior. Ignore it if you can. Do not punish him for banging his head but make sure that he is protected from injuring himself. He will not bang his head to the point where he wants to hurt himself because he will reach a thresh hold when he feels the pain and will stop. Head banging is a self regulating behavior. When he throws a tantrum, the key is to discipline him. But when you discipline, you need to teach the correct behavior rather than simply punish all the time.

Edited by Expert4U on 2/10/2011 at 3:50 PM EST
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

thank you for your reply.It is what we think too although autism was a worry as he has a cousin who is autistic but i think he really is too bright.he also sometimes has a big grin on his face as if he delights in the chaos he is causing.

The trouble is my soninlaw as much as I adore him is a little immature and reacts badly.I told him I don,t know who the 2 year old is sometimes.

The other grandmother and I luckily have become friends and talk about helping them as much as possible.Thank you again and I guess we just have to help them survive this trying period.Regards Bev

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for allowing me to assist you. Sometimes the grandparents must step in on behalf of their grandchildren. Have a great day!!!

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