The Blog

Head banging: an activity for both festival-goers… and toddlers

Head banging: an activity for both festival-goers… and toddlers


The summer months are the time of year when music-lovers take to the festival fields and spend a weekend camping out in the mud to make the most of the big-name acts that are playing.


You may have seen clips of festival-goers so into the music that they seem to lose control of certain muscles in their neck. Google describes this act as ‘violent rhythmic shaking of the head (by fans of heavy metal music)’. Yes, many festivals love to do a bit of head banging.


And that’s great; there’s nothing quite like watching people taken by the mood at Glastonbury, Reading or whichever other festivals you can catch a bit of on TV. But what isn’t great is when your 2 year old develops the same habit.


Sometimes when the cheeky little darlings fail to get their own way, we witness them carry out this very festival tradition… Just without the music, mud and rain to set the scene.


Falling to the floor and banging their heads is something that many toddlers do when something’s seemingly gone wrong.


Generally they don’t actually hurt themselves and, if they do, it hasn’t been intentional. Our cheeky toddlers have usually carried out experiments, prior to head banging, to source surfaces with the lowest pain infliction and greatest potential for creating a din. Quite clever really.


I suppose the head banging habit is fairly similar to that of festival-goers in that it’s a form of self expression. The difference is that for a toddler, it is an expression of annoyance, rather than deep appreciation for heavy metal.


The kids at the festivals are normally fine to be left to their own devices, but what should you do when your 2 year old is throwing themselves down on the floor?


Firstly, approach the situation like it were a normal tantrum. Try not to give a head banging session special attention (unless something is really wrong!), or your toddler might start to associate the practice with receiving lots of attention.


Show them that you’re not impressed and don’t give into them; as mum or dad, you should be the boss! Try to divert their attention to something that will take their interest, without giving into their unreasonable requests.


If they don’t fall for your diversion tactics, the best thing might be to let them really go for it. Just make sure that they’re safe, and still don’t give in. It won’t be long before they realise that self-inflicted pain is not the best sanction for punishing others… It’s only themselves they are hurting!


Don’t let yourself panic; the head banging phase won’t last long. They’ll soon come up with craftier ways to try and get what they want. Ways that won’t hurt. That’s when you should start to panic!



01279 433392


Pin It on Pinterest