Why is the child hitting himself

Why is the child hitting himself

There are many possible reasons why a child might hit themselves. Some children may be self-injuring in an effort to cope with emotions, while others may be accidentally hitting themselves when they’re having a tantrum. Still other children may be engaging in self-abuse as a form of assert power over themselves.

Some toddlers may intentionally hurt themselves by banging their head or slapping their hands. This behavior can be worrying for parents. Whatever the reason, it’s important to get help for the child and figure out a way to manage the situation. How can you help your child if this happens to them?

Why is the child hitting himself

Most often, a child hits himself because he is overwhelmed by his emotions. He can’t yet express a need or a frustration he feels. This may be the case of a toddler who does not yet know how to speak or of a child who expresses frustration that his parents do not understand.

Keep in mind that Your child has the right to be angry. You need to show them ways to express it without hitting themselves.

This behavior can also be a sign of a developmental disorder, such as autism, or brain damage.

However, it is not because a child hits himself that he necessarily has a disorder. Finally, a child who is being neglected or abused may also hit themselves because they lack stimulation.

Why they do it

It can be shocking for the parent to see their child hitting themselves, but a toddler rarely goes so far as to seriously injure themselves.

Although it may seem strange, the child gets real relief from hurting himself because it distracts him from his frustration.

From what age baby starts hitting themselves

This behavior can start in the small baby who hits his head on the bars of his bed, for example and it normally stops around the age of 5 or 6 years, when the child speaks better and knows manage their emotions better. This behavior is more common in boys than in girls.

How to help your child

Be patient

If this happens with your child stay calm and avoid getting angry. Speak to him in a soft, reassuring voice. Put words on what emotion you saw him facing. For example: “You are very angry”, “It’s hard to be frustrated.” Put words on his emotions so that he understands them.

Let the child calm down

Stay present with your toddler throughout the crisis. Let him calm down first. You will not encourage your child in his crisis by staying close to him. you need him to calm down, so don’t ignore him or send him to his room.

Keep your child from getting hit hard

Make sure he isn’t hurting himself too hard. If your child hits his head on a hard surface, move him to a mat or put a soft object under his head, while talking to him in a reassuring voice. You can get between him and the hard surface.

Don’t rush to stop him

Don’t try to stop your child from hitting himself by holding back, as this may make his anger worse. Keep your cool. If you anger your child it will further make him throw tantrum. This eventually lead to a situation when the child isn’t listening to anything you’re saying at all! This won’t solve the problem in any way but make it worse.

Ask your toddler what he needs to calm down         

Every child has different needs what can calm them down. Some just want reassurance from you while other will want a hug. Be careful with your child’s need.

Offer ideas to relieve his anger

Try to find out ways that will relieve their anger. You can try to divert them from hitting themselves. It will also help them deal with emotions better. They will learn how to show emotion without throwing tantrums or worse hitting himself.

How to deal with it

Calmly reflect on what your child has just experienced

Many parents are often caught off guard when their children experience it for the first time. Try to calmly reflect on what your child has just experienced.

Give your child ideas to better express his anger next time

Try to teach them other ways to express anger or any other emotions. Ask them to take a deep breath, then blow hard as if to put out a candle; or ask them to express the emotion to you in words. Talk to your child about what you do to calm yourself down when you’re angry

Help your child understand that their emotions are normal

All emotions, even negative emotions, have the right to be expressed. It is therefore necessary to avoid punishing a child because he is angry. However, he must learn, with your help, to express his emotion in ways other than hitting himself.

Be a good model

Your child learns from you. If you have habits of hitting, then it’ll pass down to your child too. Parenting is daunting task. Be patient. If you are angry express that. Your child will learn to express anger too.


A child who hits himself expresses an emotion but he needs help to learn how to manage it. Stay close to your child during the crisis and avoid nagging him. Help your child calm down. Because when having a tantrum, he will not listen to you. Teach him to find better ways to express their anger next time.

Check out our other posts if you’re having questions while raising your baby! Do you know sometimes we start to don’t the very name we choose for our baby? What to do if I don’t like my baby’s name? This may help you better understand your baby!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *