Why Do Kids Hit Themselves? 5 Expert Reasons

Kids are strange. Just this morning, I was watching my son dance in front of a TV that wasn’t even on. I’ve no idea what was going on inside his head! There are some things that kids do that we don’t fully understand. Screaming, throwing things, and hitting themselves are just 3 things they do. Why do kids hit themselves? In this post, we will take a look at 5 common reasons why they hit themselves and 5 things you can do that will help.

What you will learn from this post:

  • Why do kids hit themselves?
  • 5 things you can do to stop your kid from hitting themselves.
5 Reasons Why Kids Hit Themselves

Why Do Kids Hit Themselves? 5 Common Reasons

Why Do Kids Hit Themselves? 5 Common Reasons Infographic


Why do kids hit themselves? The answer is likely to be the most common reason, your kid is angry!

Various stages of a child’s progress involve learning to deal with emotions. Anger is high on the agenda.

Humans aren’t born with the ability to deal with anger, so it is up to you to teach them how to deal with it.

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This is more for younger kids. When they get excited, they can get into a habit of hitting themselves.

The reason is down to a build-up of energy that needs to be released. This could result in your kid hitting themselves.

Attention Seeking

Why do kids hit themselves? It could be because they want more attention.

Have you noticed other attention-seeking habits that your kid has? It is worth considering that your child is doing this because they want some more of your attention.

You know kids, they are constantly seeking your attention.


Your kid might feel the need to punish themselves for something. This is a widespread self-abuse tactic. It very common amongst those who have suffered abuse.

If your kid is hitting themselves as punishment, it could be a sign of a mental health issue that needs to be resolved, so seek help.

It may not be a sign of a mental health issue, though. Your child may be hitting themselves because they have seen someone be physically punished for misbehaving.

In Pain

I used to do this when I was in pain! For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to hit myself to reduce the pain I was in. This could be because I had just hit myself against a piece of furniture, or I may have just fallen over.

Maybe it was a placebo affect, but it did make it feel a little better. Maybe your child is doing the same, it is very common.

There is a thought that the hitting draws more blood to the area to fix any issues.

Also – pay particular attention to your kid hitting themselves near their ears. This could be a sign of an ear infection.

How To Stop Your Kid From Hitting Themselves – 5 Steps

First and foremost, if you think this is a mental health issue or you are unsure, please seek professional advice.

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Stop It Every Time

If your child hits themselves, then tell them to stop it.

Some kids do it that regularly that it forms a habit. They do not even know they are doing it.

Simply bringing it to their attention may be enough of a prompt for them to understand

Discuss Why

If your child is old enough to tell you why they are doing it, the best thing you can do is ask them why they are hitting themselves!

If they are doing it because they want your attention, either in general or about something specific, then this is what they wanted to achieve.

They could also be in pain. If they are, then you can find out and do something to alleviate it.

Teach Stress Relief

It is your job as a parent to teach your kids what to do when facing a stressful situation.

Hitting is not something they should be left to do as a stress relief tool!

As it is your job, you must teach your kids some tools to help with stress relief.

Give Alternative Response

Is your kid hitting themselves because they are excited about something? Are they doing it because they have a lot of pent-up energy that needs to be released?

If this is the case, then you should be teaching your kid how to release this energy.

Turn it into something positive, like showing them some workouts they can do. Push-ups, sit-ups, running on the spot are all things you can do to release energy. They are all good for you too!

Reward Good Behavior

Rewarding good behavior is so much better than punishing bad behavior!

I will always reward my son when he does something good—every time.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go out and buy him a toy just because he cleaned his room, but I will give him some positive praise. Kids love that, it builds the foundations of a good person.

If your kid gets frustrated, angry, or excited and doesn’t hit themselves, reward that as good behavior.

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Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

Why does my toddler hit his head?

Your toddler could be hitting his head for a number of different reasons. It could be anger, frustration, or it could be an ear infection that hasn’t started to hurt yet. Try asking your toddler why he is hitting his head.

Why does my toddler hit himself when angry?

Because he hasn’t learnt how to deal with anger yet. Kids are not born with knowledge on how to deal with anger, this is something they need to learn. It is your job as a parent to teach your toddler how to deal with situations where they find themselves angry. Sure, it is tough teaching breathing techniques to a toddler, but eventually they will learn!

What does it mean when a child hits themselves?

It could mean your child is angry, frustrated, in pain, or it could be happening because of a medical condition. I would begin by ruling out other reasons before moving to a medical reason. If you need to seek professional help, do not feel bad about speaking to a professional.


Why do kids hit themselves? In this post, I have given you 5 reasons why and 5 things you can do to help them.

Here is one thing that YOU MUST DO:

If you haven’t got to the reason why your kid is hitting themselves, it could be the result of a medical condition. It is your job to seek medical help. Consult a pediatrician to get some answers. It could be something small, but you also need to rule out anything serious.

Good luck!


About ME

Let’s start with the obvious, I’m a dad.

I have 2 kids. One was dragged out from the comfort of his Mother’s womb kicking and screaming, and the other was a little easier.

Dad Gold was created to give tips that I wish someone had given me!

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