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My little girl headbutt's the floor, what can we do?
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My little girl headbutt's the floor, what can we do?

My little girl is 16 months old and has been headbutting the floor or anything she can since about 11 months. We have told her doctor and were told to just ignore her unless she was on a hard surface or something. We tried this but it is not working she has went on doing this for long periods at a time, and has also starting slapping herself in the head, her last fit left a large lump and pretty dark bruising on her forehead. We are at a loss of what to do we're afraid that she will hurt herself, she does this when she gets upset but the smallest thing can throw her into a fit and their is no consoling her until she is ready to stop, I have spent many nights having to hold her down in almost a bearhug until she tired out and fell asleep.  We're also afraid because of the bruises that someone is going to think that we are abusing her, I have video taped her tantrums and taken pictures to try to keep a log of what is going on, but I'm not sure if that is the right thing to do...please help!
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484465_tn?1347117312
Im surprised you all were not able to make her stop before now.  She sounds like she's running the show.  She's just a baby (meaning very, very trainable)   I cant imagine myself watching either one of my children do this that long.  I had to dig deep within my memory of my son trying out head banging I pulled him away firmly and told him "no. no" and that was the end of that.  

You say she does this when she gets upset.  Maybe, b/c she is now 16 mths, you should start teaching her language or sign skills to communicate more effectively.  Also, she's going to be a toddler for awhile.  One of the biggest tasks on hand with them is embracing their newfound independence, while also teaching them to be "little people".  Tantrums must be ruled out.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree totally, and I am not one to spoil my child and until this and other than this she is a very attentive child. But when these fits start I feel like there is nothing I can do, I can usually catch her when she is about to do it and pull her up and tell her NO but that instigates an entire brawl and putting her in the playpen or crib doesn't solve it because she just keeps headbutting and will continue a  tantrum well over half an hour sometimes its like she has no limit to her energy.
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433383_tn?1204128429
Oh boy, do I know what you are talking about.   My 16 month old daughter did that too, when she was about 10 months old.  She also gets upset at everything, the smallest things throw her into a fit.  I have to disagree with the above... she's just a baby.  You can't seriously think "she's running the show".  Come on now, she's too young for that.  She probably just wants attention, wants you.  Babies don't think in terms of "I better get what I want or I'll throw a tantrum mommy will never forget".   Older kids, 4 or 5 maybe, but not young toddlers. Teaching is great but you can't teach a child not to be upset, and it's hard to teach them how to show their feelings ......unless they UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR SAYING.   A 16 month old isn't running the show.  

With my daughter, I would pick her up sometimes if I knew she was going to hurt herself on a hard surface.  I did ignore her but that didn't help because she would just keep going, and like you - I even tried a playpen or something hoping she'd need a few minutes to calm down but she would keep crying and screaming.  I think it was the attention she wanted, she wanted me to hold her, wanted to be read to or wanted me to play with her and I was busy.  She would calm down if I just gave her some attention.  That's my girl though, always demanding attention, since the day she was born... but that's another post all together :)    

I'm sure it will pass, but you should probably get a second opinion from another doctor, just to be sure.  It's easy enough to call a pediatrician and ask them a simple question. There are parenting hotlines too.
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484465_tn?1347117312
The more interaction a young child gets from infancy, the more intelligent they are.  The more you teach them, the more they can/will do.  It's proven that the only difference between "smart" babies and the rest is how they are treated.

You can have a 16 mth old who cant speak and some who can.  There are 16 mth olds who are already nearly potty trained.  Then there are some 16 mth olds who are just learning how to walk like my sister-in-law's daughter.  She still sucks a bottle and pacifier too.  Children's intelligence levels and capabilities all depend on parents presenting the opportunities and teaching for them to grow and mature.

It is very possible for a 16 mth old to throw real tantrums as any 4 or 5 yr old would for the same reasons and with the same intentions.  Also,  I want you to know that at age 16 mths old was the only time in my 6 yr old son's life that he went through tantrums because I nipped them in the bud right there when they began.

Iv never even seen a 4 or 5 yr old throw tantrums and I wouldnt want to.  They are too old for it and should have been stopped a long time ago
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Avatar_f_tn
I have read many of your posts and yes your advice is good at times but you are VERY judgmental in your responses.  NO parent is perfect and raise perfect children.  Just because the child is throwing a tantrum doesn't mean that parent hasn't done their very best at trying to right by their children.  And not to mention the fact that you belittle the medical field by saying that most doctors would rather say its something and put them on meds than to say "it's a tantrum".  Some children who act that way have a legitimate problem.  I'm not just saying that, I'm speaking from experience.  
And for graciesdaddy, I know your frustration.  Although I'm sure it will pass over time, my advice to you is to get a second opinion just to be on the safe side.  It wouldn't hurt anything.  Or try distracting her with something, like her favorite toy or anything to take her mind off of what she is doing at that moment.  I hope all gets better for you and your daughter soon.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like you to know that I am a college graduate I am not some simpleton that can't raise a child.  For you to say that a childs intelligence (which is completely off the topic by the way), is up to what the parents do is the opinion of someone that had a good child and was lucky enough to not have a child with a disability. Now I'm not saying that my lil girl is afflicted with anything but for you to put that kind of stigma on other parents is appalling. You should be ashamed to print something like that, I have read alot of your posts and you sound like a person who has watched alot of Dr Phil but that doesn't make you a Child Behavioralist so you should probably keep the things that you speak of to matters of personal experience and state them as such, and for anyone else reading this take any response you get on here with a grain of sand especially the ones that are negative. This site was not made to make parents ashamed to post what is happening to their children it is here to gather a broad spectrum of experience and wisdom. Unfortunately not everyone has the mentality to see any further than their own experience so I would appreciate it if you (treazzure007) would give your advice to someone that is in the exact predictament that you have been in because that is as far as I would trust your advice thank you.
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484465_tn?1347117312
Ha!  Im not surprised at the responses.  Everything I said is true and based off of 1st hand experience over a spand of nearly half of my life, common sense, as well as my studies at GSU in elementary education.  

I dont have to feed you all anything on a sugar spoon.  Out in the REAL world, your child will always be viewed as a direct reflection of you and the home life you've created.  EVERYTHING from a childs appearance, to their demeanor, to what they're knowledgeable of, to their behaviors have to do with their parents.  

Im sure no parent wants to feel responsible when their children are throwing tantrums outside of toddlerhood, stealing, killing, raging out of control, or sitting behind bars one day, but it remains true that they are responsible.  They just are.  There's always something they should have done that they didnt.  And MOST of them know exactly what it is.  I wont even begin to quote scripture from the bible but I'll let you know that God holds us fully responsible as well.

I dont answer any forum dealing with clinical/medical issues b/c I dont know anything about it.  However, b/c you didnt state whether or not your daughter had a disability, I assumed she didnt.  Dont hate me if I can pinpoint a solution to her behavior as something that YOU can/should fix.  You are her parent.  Her provider, her disciplinarian, her responsible party.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a 4 year old daughter who use to bang her head on the floor and quite hard at that.  I use to just let her go, I would stay in the area and just look at her and say go ahead you are still not going to get what you want, if she was banging her head on the hard floor I might just move her onto the carpet and let her go nuts there.  I will let you know that she is in JK and a very good student and her abilities are above the JK level.

I now have a 13 month old son who now bangs his head on the floor he seems to be a little smarter than my daughter as he doesn't bang as hard.  I do the same thing with him as I did with my daughter and that is to pretty much ignore and don't give in.  I don't think my daughters fits lasted for very long and his don't seem to either.  The other thing you might try is to go and play with something that she likes but don't make the attempt to play with her see if she will come to you.

I am just remembering one incident when my daughter was having a fit in her bedroom and I walked away from her.  She stopped looked up and waited for me to look back before she began to bang her head again, she would also stop sometimes to follow me and when she was in range she would start banging.

I wouldn't be concerned about her, you just might be able to find things that distract her from the tantrum, but just don't give in and let her know that by banging her head she's not going to get what she wants.

As for the other people who responded in a critical fashion, people are posting the concerns to get help and not to be judge so if you cannot offer words of advice and encouragement don't bother responding at all.  Nobody really cares about your BS opinions.  Didn't your mother ever tell you if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.

Good Luck to Graciesdaddy
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Avatar_n_tn
See you don't get it, you say the things you point out are from 1st hand experience but their not 1st hand experience would mean that you have a child who did poorly in life because of something you did...now you may have 2nd hand experience meaning you have interacted with children who have done well or poorly based on a family setting. You cannot seriously sit there and try to tell people that every single person in this world who has a problem and has not travelled the right road in life, can just sit back and blame it on their parents. That would be saying that there are no emotional or behavioral disorders that all our problems are solely based on what our parents did. And I can tell you from 1st hand experience that this is not true. I spent most of my teenage life moving from one foster home to another, in and out of abusive settings and if what your saying is true I should be a deranged serial killer who hates kittens...I LOVE KITTENS....even though I understand that you are giving your opinion which I fully respect you must understand that just like myself and millions of others you opinion is not always the Truth, the Way, and the Light. You also made a wise decision by not trying to quote scripture to me, because coming from an enormously Judgemental person it wouldn't hold much water. Scripture is meant as a guide and an inspiration, to try to use it to blame a parent for the things that happen to their children is rediculous. I believe one of the mainstays of Christian belief is the fact that bad things happen to good people and even though it may only be meant as a wake up call or to strengthen our faith. It does not however state anywhere in the bible that we are responsible for the hardships of our children. Yeah you may go back to the "Spare the rod, spoil the child", but I never heard you mention anything about whipping your kid. Just remember that if one day God forbid one of your children get into trouble I want you to hold yourself completely responsible.
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152852_tn?1205717026
I totally disagree with this statement:
"EVERYTHING from a childs appearance, to their demeanor, to what they're knowledgeable of, to their behaviors have to do with their parents."

Have you never seen a family with one or two kids who are calm, quiet, and well-behaved when a sibling is not?  People are born with personalities and dispositions.  If you've ever taken a class in child development, you'd know that.

What works discipline-wise for one child may not work for another.  While some children who are totally out of control may be that way, at least in part, because the parents have not been effective in their interaction and discipline, the same cannot be assumed if a child is head banging at 14 months old.

To graciesdaddy, I have a 15-month-old and she occasionally does this when she's upset (when I take something from her that she shouldn't have)--but she only does it for a second (two or three times) and on the carpet, so the times it has happened, I just quickly picked her up and redirected her attention to something else.  If you give it too much attention (react), I think she may end up doing it more and doing it to get a reaction from you--but, not in a manipulative way...they are very into the whole cause and effect thing at this age.  I would try to pick her up every time she does it and just walk around and calmly talk to her or hum her favorite song until she calms down.  Then when she stops, hug her and play with her favorite toy with her.  This may take a while at first, since she seems to have gotten to the point where it goes on for quite a while.

And I agree with rilbrianne when she says your daughter is not manipulating you--I know that mine is not.  She's just frustrated/upset.  And if it has progressed to the point where you can see that she is watching your reaction as she head-bangs, then I think it's more of a cause and effect thing than an, "I'm going to get these people to do what I want" way.

All the best to you!
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13167_tn?1327197724
treazzure,  I firmly believe there is a little scorekeeper with a pad and pencil up in heaven keeping score of what we say about other people's children - and the more you say "my child will never do that!",  you get a little mark on your paper.  Your child will do worse.

Words to live by,  the more you decide you are in complete control of your children's behavior and destiny,  the less you are,  because you aren't prepared to watch out for it when it begins.

RR,  old and wise and sprouting grey hairs.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Graciesdaddy - at this point,  I think I would consider getting her a medically designed helmet.  They're kind of expensive,  but she seems to be doing so much head banging that she is probably causing at least small brain injuries.

That might actually get her to stop - when she goes into the head banging,  grab her,  strap on the helmet and my guess is,  that will be uncomfortable enough that maybe she will learn other avenues to vent her frustration.

My husband was a head banger when he was her age - but only to fall asleep.  He'd get up on all fours and bang his head against the crib to comfort himself.  Who knows.  Eventually he outgrew it.

Can you look into a helmet?
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484465_tn?1347117312
To graciesdaddy:
Neither my husband nor I spare the rod.  Thats why my children don't and won't keep up bad/unruly behavior.  The reason I didnt give advice about what to do with stopping her tantrums is b/c I dont advise anyone on what discipline method to use.  I know there are many effective ones besides spanking.  Assuming that she was a healthy child (you didnt say she wasnt),  I said they're normal tantrums and to work on helping her grow out of them (through teaching and disciplining her).  I only brought up that she's capable of learning to stop whenever you decide to teach her b/c someone else told you that she wasn't.  Also, I wanted to deter you from seeking medical intervention for childhood behavior like many parents are doing nowadays
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13167_tn?1327197724
treazzure - if your goal is to keep a child from exhibiting a behavior,  I think your approach is good.  I could get almost any child of normal intellect to behave how I want them to - but at what cost?

What cost would this child incur if she were spanked for exhitibing frustration?  Who knows.  She might turn into one of those kids who whollops other kids.  She might start picking her hair and nails and skin.  Simply forcing a child to stop exhibiting a behavior like this - when clearly she is experiencing extreme frustration - is probably not the best solution in the long run,  although,  yes,  I think we all could make her stop headbutting today.  

The better parents look way down the road, and don't just focus on getting the appearance of good behavior.  That sometimes backfires hellaciously.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have just read all of the comments on this post some of which are sane and some are verging on the bizarre! I have 2 boys aged 8 and almost 21 months old. I have never spanked either as I believe if that is the method you choose as discipline it can turn around to bite you in the end! My youngest has banged his head on the floor when he has become very frustrated(he cannot say a word yet) I definately think it is their way to exhibit frustrations to the outside world that they cannot understand yet. My way of dealing with it(for what its worth!) is to remove him from the situation, place him on my lap until he is a bit more calm. In relation to what treazzure said about scripture there is a peom by Erma Bombeck called Mother. It is a poem that I think EVERY parent should read regardless of what may be the matter, it can encourage COMPASSION. Something I think the world is sorely lacking in!!!!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you for all the comments and I am happy to tell you that things have gotten better with her yeah she will still throw a fit we just have to guage when we need to ignore her and when we actually need to pick her up and stop her...and to treazzure007, I was brought up being spanked and I did "pop" my lil girls thigh at first but she learned quickly that this is how she should act when she was mad...so i stopped. I now try to stop a second and think about how can I do this without aggression, because she can see when I get angry and it feeds her frustration...but we are doing alot better thank you
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the thread - years later it was really helpful trying to figure out what to do with my 12-month-old son who is doing the same.  The suggestions from dawg51 were particularly helpful. Hope your daughter is doing great!
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Avatar_f_tn
i know exactly how u feel my 15 month old son does the very same thing and i agree with you how can we as parents ignore this type of behaviour i try to ignore it but i just cant i do not want people or social services thinking i hurt my son, i am at my wits end and in the same boat as u if u had any advice since posting your storey i would be glad if shared with me on how to help them stop
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2136621_tn?1355125587
My nephew did the same....He is now 3 and has since stopped doing it.... he used to bang his head on the wall.....or chair .....

(had me dumbfounded)
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757137_tn?1347200053
Bathe her head in cool water. That can stop a tantrum cold. Getting tired or overheated can provoke a tantrum. The cool water worked wonders with my daughter. She would stop immediately, breathe a sigh of relief, and fall asleep.
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Avatar_f_tn
To treazzure007 - you sound like a very black and white person and your way is the only way and you think all children should respond to your way of dealing with problem behaviour.  Every parent. every child, every situation, every reaction is different.  No one way is the right way.  Maybe you were lucky and your child was never going to have another tantrum anyway.  I would stop patting yourself on the back if I were you. I had my child later in life and I have seen many families deal with their children's tantrums the same way but with different outcomes so I know that I need to find the best way of dealing with my child and that may be completely different to the next person but with exactly the same outcome.  Parents with issues don't need other parents like you being so opinionated.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, while I agree with most of what you have said, I have to say that parent's are not always responsible for their kids behavior as they get older. I doubt Jeff Dahmer's mom served leg of Bob for dinner. It can't all be laid at he parent's feet as at some point folks must take responsibly for their own actions & stop blaming their parents.

But like you I do tire of hearing, "But he/she is only 16 months old!" Then, as with a family member, it was, "But she's only 24 months" & 36, & 48. I was blamed for starting the argument when I pointed out that 48 months is FOUR YEARS! Kids learn early on. When we had to have our son in our room while in base housing waiting for a bigger place & at 9 months old he'd reach for the light switch & then turn to see if I was watching him. He KNEW he was not supposed to play with it.

BTW, to you guys not wanting to accept responsibility for your children coming this close to 2 years old & knowing all they have to do is throw a tantrum & get their way: I raised 3 kids that all went to college to become productive citizens (Daughter is a teacher. Son an Engineer, Youngest daughter fast food management) & now I have a hand in raising 2 grandchildren - 1 & 6 years - both well behaved. I was always complimented in public on how well behaved my kids were. I gave credit where it was due though & said that they were good kids. Most kids are good kids, but they are normal & are going to test limits. & btw, they WANT discipline & limits. It takes more work to give them that & is so much easier to give in.

I guess I will see some of your kids running around terrorizing people in stores & you won't have a clue as to where they even are! How's that for not sugar coating it? treazzure007 was much nicer & you guys showed the kind of people you are by insulting her. Your children must hear  "no" probably as often as "I love you!"
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Avatar_f_tn
There are three things that affect someones personality traits. 1) genetics and how their brain works 2) what the people around them do (not necessarily their parents; it could be their peers or siblings) and 3) how they were raised (whether they were given the attention they needed, neglected, abuse etc.). It is certainly not completely dependant on a persons parents. Gosh, if I turned out like my parents I wouldn't be where I am now!
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