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Head banging and face smacking, is it really normal?

(13 Posts)
Molly28 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:22:33

My 20mo has been headbuttingand the floor during tantrums for a while but he also smacks himself when I say no and also if people are watching him, or other children get too close for his liking like he's self conscious or if someone takes his toys. The headbuttingand has improved but the face smacking seems to be getting worse. I am sure other mums look at him like he's odd if we are at places like soft play. Apparently it's normal for this age especially as he doesn't have a lot of words yet but it just doesn't feel like it is!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 12-Aug-15 15:55:53

Sounds perfectly normal and could very well be down to his speech. Have you thought of introducing some signs to help ease his frustration?

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 12-Aug-15 16:00:43

Just had a look on Pinterest and there seems to be some good activities for improving speech here smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 12-Aug-15 16:05:22

Sorry for several posts, but sometimes if put all of the links into one message, MN kicks me out halfway through.

Anyway, have a read of this on headbanging and see what you think smile

Molly28 Wed 12-Aug-15 18:37:32

Thankyou!! I don't see any other children displaying the behaviour so for me I find it hard! He has been a bit behind on speech so I'm sure that is a factor, just hard to see past it sometimes!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 12-Aug-15 20:11:18

If it's any consolation my dis did head banging and he's a very well adjusted young man now smile

sleepyhead Wed 12-Aug-15 20:15:45

Ds2 did this. I think it was frustration/attention seeking as he'd often look to check we could see him before he did it.

He's mostly stopped now (22 months). His speech is slightly delayed and he does still get frustrated some times but again, this is lessening as his speech improves.

sleepyhead Wed 12-Aug-15 20:16:53

Not 22 months (probably the peak age for the banging actually), 28 months.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 13-Aug-15 19:52:05

It's the kind of behaviour that Mums don't normally discuss. No idea why but sone people want to give the impression that their child behaves perfectly.

PaulineFossil Thu 13-Aug-15 20:11:42

My son used to head bang before his speech suddenly exploded (can't remember exactly when, between 20 and 24 months). Signing definitely helped. You don't need to go to classes, just decide what will be most useful to you both - we found mealtime ones, more, food, drink etc, most use and sitting at the table was always a good time to get him signing as sitting still and getting the food was a good motivator to use the signs. As long as you and he use the same sign consistently, it doesn't matter what it is so you can just make things up. Ds started making up his own and was delighted with himself.

Don't worry about other mums. I've been guilty of alarmed looks in the direction of the noise of an unhappy small child. The alarm is not anything to do with what the child is doing but alarm at what my child might be doing to cause it...(I also hate soft play and probably looked alarmed most of the time).

CordeliaFoxx Thu 13-Aug-15 20:14:03

My DN did it a lot, without any speech problems.

DS2 never did it and did have speech problems, it's not necessary linked.

GetTheFudgeOutOfRodge Thu 13-Aug-15 20:33:06

My 19mo has been head butting the floor for a few months now when frustrated, I'm so worried she's going to do it when we're out on a really hard ground and hurt herself confused
It's her first sign of frustration though so I don't know a tantrum is building and can do something to intervene.

Sorry not much help to you but you're not alone!
She is slightly behind with speech as well but we do sign already.

LateDay Thu 13-Aug-15 20:41:49

My 24 month old does this too. Has been doing it since about 11 months. Has given himself a nosebleed and split his lip before! He has also recently started biting himself if he really gets going. We have concerns about his speech too.

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