Hi. My son is now 19 months old. He is a very well behaved kid, who helps with everything, has lovely manners and is just generally a good boy. Lately he has started hitting himself when he is told no, with fists clenched and screams at the top of his lungs when he does it. I've noticed that it's leaving welt like marks when he does it and it really frightens me. He's so well developed for his age and I really need some help before he really badly hurts himself. Especially because my partner and I want to start trying for another baby and Im really frightened it's going to get worse. I don't know where its come from and I want him to stop. Please help!
Try to avoid him becoming overtired, over hungry and bored – I know this can be a challenge but all of these states can become a catalyst for “emotional meltdowns” in toddlers. If you see him about to get upset and hit himself, try distraction, this can really work well. Otherwise, just ensure he is safe and in a place where he cannot hurt himself and direct your attention elsewhere. Although this can be very hard, it really is a remarkably effective strategy. He will outgrow this and you don’t want him to develop or learn to develop skills where he knows he can get a reaction from you.