How to Change Self-Destructive Behavior

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Many toddlers display self-destructive behavior at some point or another. Find out how to change self-destructive behavior with help from a family therapist and child development specialist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Parenting with Babies & Toddlers
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Dr. Cindy Bunin with Drcindybunin.com. Today, I'm here to talk about how to change self destructive behavior. Self destructive behavior in children can be frightening. When you see your child banging their head you know, against the wall or on the floor or in their crib or a child who bites themselves can be really overwhelming and frightening and you may not know what to do. It's not that uncommon about 20 percent of children exhibit these types of behaviors and these are the reasons. They do it for self soothing, believe it or not, self soothing by banging their head sometimes makes them feel calm. They can do it out of frustration, not being able to communicate to you what they need, they'll bite themselves, they'll bang their heads and also they do it for attention. So what can you do, what do you do when children exhibit these behaviors? The first thing if your child is doing it in their crib be sure to make sure there's extra padding in the crib. Don't put things in there that don't belong, make sure it's bumpers and things that could be tied down so they don't, you know, hurt themselves or suffocate. So be very careful what you put in the crib. The next thing is when your child is exhibiting these behaviors, do not pay attention to your child when they are exhibiting these behaviors because what that will do is just continually reinforce the behaviors so don't do that. The other thing you can do is if you are really really concerned about it be sure that you speak to a doctor because sometimes head banging can be an indication of something that might be developmentally wrong. So watch for these behaviors, try to deal with them, do the best you can and if you get concerned, definitely seek a professional's help. This is Dr. Cindy Bunin with Drcindybunin.com for eHow, until next time.

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