Saturday

Frustrated Child Causes Serious Headache

OPINION
I don't know how to really put this so ill just say it. I watch a 13 month old who expresses her anger or frustration by throwing her head. Like pounding it on things. It's resulted in bruises but she just won't stop. Today she got mad because she couldn't access something and once again threw her head but this time, she hit her nose and it bled. MB came home and I was honest and she didn't say too much. I'm so worried that somehow it will become my fault. I mean what kind of baby does that? I've never seen a kid do this. How do I get her to stop before my job is on the line? - Anonymous

16 comments:

missmary said...

She's probably seen her kid do this a million times. Maybe she's worried that it's a sign of something wrong mentally, and is trying to surpress that.

OyVeyNanny said...

A child that I used to watch would bang their head when angry. It's a sign of not being able to communicate. Does she not talk very well? I am positive that the mother knows that her daughter is pounding her head and just doesn't want to "deal" with why. Classic scenario.

Farrah said...

I am sure that this child also does this around the mother.

Just in case however, I would want to hear the mother acknowledge that this is true before working again.

This could be a liability issue later on if not dealt w/immediately.

It could be your word against the mother's w/the physical evidence being very damning.

Good luck.

Op said...

No talking just whining and she says hi and thank you (dant do)
This is their third kid so.I think they are more chill...but still its still weird to have to explain everyday where injuries came.from.
I don't know that anything is mentally wrong.with her but I think its just a very strong personality in a tiny body.

Caring Mom All Day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Some red flags said...

I knew a 2 year-old who would bang his head and flop around everywhere. The head banging happened with separation anxiety, not anything else. He was intense and I made sure to bring a mat and pillows near during goodbyes.

I also worked with a child who seemed to be on the spectrum and was getting intervention services, whose sense of special relations were such that he could not predict falling off the climber for instance or lurching out of my arms and where his body ended and the rest of the world began.

I'm also curious about his hearing. A thorough hearing check is a good first start. What could it hurt?

Correction said...

*spacial relations*

Lyn said...

This is actually a pretty normal response to emotion from a pre verbal toddler. They get so frustrated with not being able to verbalize what it is they want that they "throw fits". My 17 month old charge is at that age where he only knows 10-15 "words" and gets angered by signing when he was previously fine with it. It's frustrating to see and hear everyone around you able to verbalize what their emotions and they just are not able to do it themselves yet. I'd probably have a temper tantrum too, haha.
The best things I've found that work are spending extra time teaching "yes" and "no" most new toddlers will only be able to catch one to one of those and will use it for every question asked once they master it. But it gives them a sense of power in the conversation. My personal favorite option is active listening. Example: My Charge points at the front door and mumbles a string of baby talk. I say "I'm sorry Honey, it's raining." Charge throws whatever he is holding and does a mini stomp in place. I get on his level, look into his eyes, "*insert name* is angry that we cannot go outside! *insert name* does not like it when it rains!" It validates the child's feelings to them when they are not able to find words and only act out psychically. And it gives them names for what they are experiencing. And it is freakishly good at helping the child to calm down immediately. You can't blame them for being so upset at this stage. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be. But this too shall pass Nanny! Like the other posters have said the Mom knows how her child handles frustrations. Good luck honey!

MissMannah said...

"What kind of kid does this?" Uh...just about all of them.

RBTC said...

In my travels i was lucky, watching kids/ working for "nanny" agencies for 17 years i never had a kid that banged their head or tried to hurt themselves so i cannot offer advice on how to get them to stop

but - i will say that the way things are today - every bruise must be accounted for and if a kid hurts themself - the caretaker will be blamed or have to defend

it is a dilema - i look forward to learning from the advice ;)

do you quit?

or document?

or be a miracle worker?

The Toddler Whisperer said...

Lyn's advice is dead on. Active listening is very helpful when break pre-verbal children of these tendencies to act out of frustration. I've been a preschool teacher for 15 years. This is my first post here but I'm looking forward to being more active!

Psyber Chica said...

If your phone has a camera, you could record a few episodes. I agree with also keeping a journal about injuries. I love Lyn's advice, I'm going to try that with my toddler.

Caring Mom All Day said...
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momoftwo said...

Lyn and NYCMom consistently give the best advice!

Miss Sunshine said...

That's a difficult situation. There's really not a whole lot you can do, except try to keep her safe. Keep her away from hard surfaces as much as you can. I understand there's no way to really keep her from doing it, but protect her as much as possible - maybe put pillows around her. Soft things. I really feel for you... If I were nannying for that family, I would keep an eye out for signs of abuse from the parents. I know it's hard to call child protective services on a family - I've had to do it several times in my career and it's never, ever easy. But if the child is being emotionally or physically harmed, it's so necessary. This poor baby sounds distressed. It can't be a good environment for her. I'll keep her in my thoughts.

NannyBrandie said...

When I was in the infant/toddler class in a daycare, there was a little girl who would rip her hair out in clumps when she was upset and couldn't express herself. I would talk to the parents about it in a a very non judgmental way and express concern about her well being. If she is doing it often enough she could give herself a concision and serious head trauma.