Am I doing something wrong - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-08-2003, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a very sweet & sensitive 17 month old son. Lately, though, he has been having lots of tantrums and started to hit his own head when he gets mad. Also when my husband or I are holding him he will get this look in his eye and grab our face so hard and not let go(it hurts)

We have just moved and I know he is really wanting to talk a lot and it may be frustrating but is this normal?

Please.. I need some advice
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#2 of 7 Old 03-08-2003, 10:30 AM
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Hi. Our DS is only 13 mos, but has already started hitting his own head. I think it's fairly normal. If he does it, I say, "Be GENTLY with yourself, baby". I remember our ped saying that her kid would tap or hit his head into walls and such on purpose. I think it's a similar thing.

When frustrated, our DS also squeezes us hard. I guess just keep repeating the "gentle" stuff. I don't think they know at this age that it actually HURTS you. I'll be interested to see what other responses you get.
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#3 of 7 Old 03-08-2003, 12:19 PM
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Oh gosh! I had almost forgotten the head-banging phase! My dd was doing this at your ds's age. As long as she wasn't seriously hurting herself (she never did), we tended to let her express her frustration that way. It didn't last long...and as you see, I'd already forgotten about it! Hang in there! Maybe offer him a pillow to hit (model that for him so he sees what to do) and explain in words that he can hit the pillow if he is angry. Talk about normal emotions (frustration, anger, etc.). Say, "I see you're angry, do you want to hit this pillow?" or something like that. Let him know that you acknowledge his feelings and that you think they're normal (OK).

Be firm about the hurting. Talk about how you feel when he does that. Offer an alternative. Remove him from the situation if he continues. No use sitting there, leaving him the chance to continue and then scolding him (not saying you're doing this). Just get up and do something else.

Good luck!
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#4 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 01:36 AM
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Colbysmama, my 2.5 year old ds is a face grabber who won't let go as well. It is SOOO painful. My son does it more when he is tired but refusing a nap than any other time. I hope you don't have as many scars on your face as dh and I do! They will outgrow it, as long as we kkeep reminding them it's not acceptable.
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#5 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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It is always comforting to know you are not the only one who has experienced this.

I have been consistent in telling my son to be nice to himself as well as mommy and daddy.

The pillow idea is a good suggestion too.

Thanks again
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#6 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 03:05 AM
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I hate to admit this, but I hated the 15-23 mo stage big time. Its like they are learnign how to be little people but lack reason and experience to know what they are doing. You can't reason with them, they don't understand some pretty important concepts. I loved my child, of course, but hated the stage.

If its any consolation, you are not a bad parent! It's a super duper tough time. Be consistant with the "gentle" thing and he'll get it--eventually!


PS My dd actually got kicked out of her childcare situation because she was a biter.
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#7 of 7 Old 03-10-2003, 06:27 PM
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Indiegirl- Just reading that you hated the 15 to 23 month old stage makes me feel better! I have a 16 month old boy and I do daycare in my home so I also have a 15 month old girl. Let me tell you........they have torn down the drapes, (yes, they are now wond around the curtain rod, it looks fabulous!) They tear to peices anybook they can find, so now the bottom three book shelves are empty......nothing to tear, they climb onto the chairs in both my kitchen and dinning room and climb onto the tables so nothing is safe there. They can both reach about 5 inches into the kitchen counter and they have even opened the broiler drawer on the oven. All the cupboards are child proofed and I had to gate off the kitchen which was not easy since the door way is so big. So now they stand and the gate and shake it and scream. They throw dirt out of the two large plants I have on the floor which I have now covered in screan material and duct taped to the pot. One has climed up the outside of the high chair which ended up falling on her before I could reach her. She also climbed up in the rocking chair (glider style) and got so high on the back of the chair that it fell over with her in it. And they both climb on the sofa and fall off the back of it.

I am trying to be patient and remind myself these are normal things for this age and I am trying to make everything safe for them, I don't want them to get hurt. But my sanity is severely endagered.

The part that bothers me the most is when they grab things from each other and hit each other. I tell them to be gentle I stop them from hurting each other but it is constant!!
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