Head Bangers Ball
When you get frustrated because you can't figure out how to complete a task or don't get your way, is your first instinct to bang your head on the floor or the wall or any hard surface that's handy?
Because, apparently no one told me, that's what toddlers do.
Last week, Jack started this little routine. At first, we were alarmed. Oh my god! He'll knock himself out! Stop him!
But then, we started recognizing he might be doing it for attention. So we tried ignoring it. That just made him madder, resulting in more head-butting.
Finally, I consulted the Internets because if Al Gore invented it, by God, it should have an answer. As always, my Google Medical Degree comes in handy. I found that this is totally normal.
Toddler around Jack's age (13.5 months) understand everything you say to them. But they don't have the ability to communicate back to you with words. So everything frustrates them, from trying to put a square block in a triangle opening to letting you know that "NO I DO NOT WANT MORE BANANA SO GET THAT SHIT OUT OF MY FACE."
Instead, they bang their head. When they learn to talk, or are sick of knocking themselves silly, it stops.
(Maybe I should start trying this tactic with Josh when I don't get something I want. Next time he says he doesn't want to do something, I am going to walk up to him and bang my forehead right into his knee. Then we'll see who's boss.)
Best advice on how to deal with this behavior, which OF COURSE was from Moxie, said to wrap them in your arms when they start the behavior and to give words to them. So a tight hug and a little "I know it's frustrating when you can't get your sock off. I am sorry you feel that way."
Amazingly, when we started doing this, the head-banging ceased pretty quickly.
So now we have less bruising and more hugging. Which is, you know, always a good thing.