When children hurt themselves out of anger – baby and family

Parents are often shocked if the child hits their head against the wall out of sheer rage or otherwise hurts themselves. But how dangerous is auto aggression in children?

The crown just doesn’t want to hair to get stuck. After the fifth try, the little girl freaks out. Screams, rages and bangs his head against the wall. "Strong outbursts of anger in toddlers are often very strange for outsiders and parents, but from time to time they are quite normal and part of the child’s development", says Holger Simonszent, child psychologist from Gauting near Munich.

When children bite their own hands or bang their heads against a shelf, Simonszent speaks of auto aggression. "The children are annoyed at this moment about themselves or about their parents and cannot change their feelings Express, than hurting yourself." As a rule, this has nothing to do with the fact that children consciously want to injure themselves.

Every fourth toddler has a difficult phase of defiance

But what can Parents do, when your child hits herself? "There is no quick fix that works equally well for all children", explains Gabriele König-Lindinger, pedagogue from Munich. "In the event of an acute tantrum, parents should not leave the child alone and, if possible, remain calm. After the tantrum, the parents can reassure the child by paying attention and attention", says King Lindinger.

According to Holger Simonszent, children at this age go so far as to deliberately seriously injure themselves – even if "about 20 to 30 percent of toddlers experience an excessive phase of defiance in which the parents find it difficult to cope with them". However, if the child does not calm down and the outbursts of anger occur more often and more violently, it is important to get help from a pediatrician, psychologist or educational counseling center. "If a father or mother feels that something is wrong with the child’s behavior, I recommend asking a doctor for advice more often than not enough", says Simonszent.

Various triggers for auto aggression

The triggers for a slightly auto-aggressive behavior can be varied for the little ones: as soon as something does not work when playing or dressing, or when the parents do not do what the little ones want. "Sometimes the children are angry because they cannot understand why they are not getting something, such as a candy bar from the supermarket", explains Simonszent. Then parents say "No", the child mutates into a roaring bull.

The psychologist advises to keep calm and not to scold. He takes a critical view of using candy or cell phones as a diversion: "The child sees this as a reward, remembers it and will try it again and again."

Children cannot yet put problems into words

Parents can try a little to prevent the difficult situations: If children are tired, hungry or are affected by family stress, they react more extreme to small things. It is important that the parents have a good bond with their child, which means that they take care and take care of their needs. Because the little ones can usually not put their problem into words and need the support of their parents. Specific questions can often be used to find out where the difficulties lie and how they can be solved. For example, to give the child a piece of fruit when he is hungry.

This is how children learn to deal with stress

Once the baby has calmed down a bit, parents can help him to classify the situation. For example, by explaining to him that it’s okay to get help if something doesn’t work right away. Over time, the child learns how to deal with difficulties. Parents are also a role model in dealing with conflicts in everyday life. "This does not mean that parents shouldn’t get annoyed, but they should show the children how to deal appropriately with stressful situations", the psychologist advises. And if the child reacts calmly the next time, even though the crown doesn’t want to stay on his head: don’t forget to give praise and encourage him to continue like this!


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