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hurting herself when being told off

(12 Posts)
lilaclotus Tue 02-Aug-05 09:59:46

DD is 4. whenever i tell her off or put her on the naughty step she starts scratching and hitting herself on arms, legs and face. she shouts 'awww' and yesterday she went a bit too far and her arm was all red from the scratching. i had a chat with her to find out why she feels she should hurt herself. she said "because i do. because i get cross." i don't really know what to do about it. if i ignore it, she might really do herself harm. a few months ago she would hit or scratch me instead and i would actually prefer that to her hurting herself iykwim.

kid Tue 02-Aug-05 10:02:42

DD went through this phase, She was nearly 4 at the time.

When she couldn't get her own way, she would headbutt the wall! I didn't like it one bit but I ignored it. She hurt herself once and never ever headbutt the wall again!

My nephew used to hit himself on the head if he was told off or couldn't have what he wanted. I don't think he still does this but it definatley seems like something kids go through at some point or another.

Twiglett Tue 02-Aug-05 10:04:11

my impulse is to say to ignore her and she'll stop

but I don't have any experience of this .. it sounds spookily close to self-harming for me to be that glib, do you think you could speak to a sympathetic GP?

(I'm sure someone on here has a DD who does self-harm)

piffle Tue 02-Aug-05 10:05:47

my dd is 33 mths and has started to smack her face when she is told off.
So we have had to be very careful about how we let her know that something has been done that needs to be brought up.
She has virtually stopped now, we do the we don't smack in this house as well and hold her hands down if she does it.
IT has all helped, I have assumed it is a phase, but am alarmed at where she might have picked up that doing wrong gets a smack as we do not smack at all here.

Aragon Tue 02-Aug-05 10:14:42

My sone went through a phase of this. It is only a phase and will stop. We used to walk out of the room when he started banging his head on the carpet (apparently DH used the nearest wall as a toddler)He's 2.5 and it's virtually stopped although he did start smacking himself on the head when he was tantrumming in the street the other day. .
It's just her way of showing you how cross she is because she isn't getting her own way. It's as silly as walking into a bank and saying "give me all your cash or I'll poke myself in the eye with this pencil". As she gets older she'll gradually find more effective ways of dealing with her frustration.

piffle Tue 02-Aug-05 10:17:49

yeah like gimme your cash or I'll poke YOU in the eye with the pencil
Makes you wonder when that change occurs. Directing anger at the source.

Mummyvicky Tue 02-Aug-05 10:18:05

My best friends dd, used to pull her hair out in handfulls in her frustration and anger when told off, she is now 4 and has stopped.She was told it was done out of frustration and she would grow out of it- which she has now.

lilaclotus Tue 02-Aug-05 10:19:50

thank you all. i hope it is all a phase. it is upsetting that she might want to punish herself.

wishingchair Wed 03-Aug-05 14:08:03

Lol Aragon and Piffle.

My dd is 2.5 and does this. Either she slaps herself in the face, or bites her finger, or bumps her head on the floor. I've noticed she does it when she's in the early stages of a totally unnecessary tantrum. We ignore tantrums so my take on this is that it's a combination of frustration, and trying to come up with a legitimate way of getting some attention. "Hmmm mummy's ignoring me but if I'm hurt I get lots of cuddles so how about I whack my arm on the door frame then see what happens".

I'm trying to ignore it too, then when she's calmed down I try to have a discussion with her - why did you bite your finger? was it because you were cross? why were you cross? well next time why don't you just say you want to take your own shoe off (or whatever ridiculous thing has triggered the whole escapade).

I think they'll grow out of it - I hope!

colditz Wed 03-Aug-05 14:10:33

I don't think she is "punishing"herself, just making you feel sorry for her. I used to do it when I was a child. I've never self harmed though.

starlover Wed 03-Aug-05 14:12:51

agree with colditz. she knows that if she scratches and hits herself then you will come and see her.... and she gets attention...

kbaby Thu 04-Aug-05 21:38:24

My DD whos 14 months has started to pull her own hair if we tell her off. I guess she does it out of frustration at being told off.
My Brother used to headbutt the floor.

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