Saturday, 7 March 2009

Head Banging Toddler

My poor DS has had some kind of a stomach bug for the past few days. So I am not sure if it because he is unwell or not but he has been banging his head on the floor more than ever. He started doing this when he was about 8 months old. Usually it happens a few times a week, when he doesn't get what he wants. But lately, it has been happening several times a day. Sometimes even several times an hour ! Who taught him to do this ?!

When he first did this he used to do it quite hard but he soon realized that he could reduce the pain by doing it gently. I used to think it really funny, watching him put his head to the ground in slow-motion, in a sweet attempt to get what he wanted. Goes without saying, his head-banging tantrums did not work.

But he has now reverted back to hitting his head quite hard to the ground again. I know I shouldn't but I do give in sometimes. A bit of a vicious circle i guess, the more I give in, the more he will be doing this.

Here are some interesting facts about head-banging in children:

-About 20% of healthy children do this in a form or another. Some do this for soothing purposes, other out of frustration or temper tantrums (like my DS).
-Some kids head-band for relief when they are teething or have an ear-infection.
- Head-banging occurs during the latter part of the first year and may continue up until the child is 3 years old.
-Boys are 3-4 times more likely to head-bang than girls.
-Study of 525 healthy children shows that the children that are head-bangers are measurably advanced in the motor-skills compared to their peers.

And last but not least, I also found out that the most effective way to stop this habit is to ignore it and if it is part of a temper tantrum make sure he does not get what he wants. Hm.... knowing what is best and what one does is sometimes quite different.

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