Thursday 22 November 2012

Tiny Temper

I know frustration is voiced in many different ways, especially in instances with babies and toddlers, but what do you do when the child’s actions could be detrimental to themselves?

I ask this question because when things don’t go Leo’s way, he will persistently hit himself. Usually in his face, and his actions are obviously brought on by the negative attention he has attracted to himself by doing something that he shouldn’t be.

When he does hit himself, he isn’t gentle and really does give himself a slap. It pains me to watch and there have been times I have held his hand so that he can’t do it, but this just makes him angrier still.

The slightest trivial circumstances can bring about Leo hitting himself, and he will look at me directly as if he is insinuating that it is my fault somehow.

Have any of your children got so frustrated that they lash out at themselves? Is this even a normal part of child development and growing up?

I know it is through shear frustration and it manifests itself in many forms, but do you think this is something that he will just grow out of?

When we are out in public and I have to tell Leo not to do something, and he decides he is going to get angry. I have to contend with people staring as my child hit’s himself in the face, I have no real explanation to give these people piercing me with their pitty stares and although it is nothing to do with them, I would still like the reassurance that it is just a temper tantrum.

What do you think?


  1. Oh hun. How distressing for you all. I'd rest assured that at Leo's age I'm sure he's only doing it, like you say, out of frustration. At his age he understands a lot of what goes one but at the same time can't make himself understood very well and that must be really frustrating. If I were you I think I would try to ignore the behaviour and distract him with something else to hopefully snap him out of a temper. You can risk making him do it more if you make too much of a big deal of it or if you try actually stopping him. So I would keep calm and say "Stop that Leo" in a really light hearted way and then say "Come and look at this" or "Where are your toys?" or "Can you show me....?"
    And as for other people, I know it's hard but if you're out in public when it happens then just ignore them. Concentrate on getting Leo through this phase and being consistent with dealing with him.
    We had a little boy start school a few years back who used to pull his hair when he got annoyed. We used to use the ignore and distract technique with him and most of the time he'd stop it really quickly. He was just very immature and couldn't make himself understood very well.
    Good luck hun, I'm sure he'll get through this once his speech really takes off and he can make you understand him better. X

    1. Thanks Lucy, I do really value your advice :) I thin that we will be going down the distraction route. I have tried ignoring it but I worry he may really hurt himself. Just the other day he started poking himself in the eyes and really laughing. I couldn't help responding to him as I was horrified that he was actually poking his eye!


  2. That must be really hard Laura. I have no experience of Mads doing this but I am sure that this is just a case of him trying to communicate in the only way he knows how too. I find that when Mads has tantrums the best way to deal with her is the distraction technique- so do anything to distract him from doing it.
    I hope that he grows out of it soon, I am sure it is just a phase but that doesn't mean it is any easier to deal with. xx

    1. Thanks lovely, I really hope he does out grow it soon! x

  3. Awwwww bless him. I think he will like Katie says ne just trying to communicate with you how he feels but can't quite express himself any other way. Hopefully as he gets older he will stop xx

  4. My 2 have both gone through phases of doing this but both grew out of it pretty quickly as their speech improved x

    1. That's reassuring :) thanks lovely! I hope he outgrows it soon! x


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