This morning at physical therapy Lucas learned a new trick, and not in a good way. He was getting frustrated that his PT wanted him to walk up stairs and he started to throw a tantrum. When he realized it wasn't helping him get his way he flopped down on his hands and knees and banged his head on the floor. I was instantly horrified and felt sick to my stomach. We quickly told him "NO!" and stopped him from doing it again. The floor is concrete (I think) with carpet over it and he got a little strawberry knot on his head right away. Being the smart kid that he is he instantly realized banging head= instant attention NO MATTER what.
I know his intention is not to hurt himself because the next time he went to bang his head again he hit his head on a soft chair and then a soft mat. When he did try to hit his head on the floor again he did it REALLY gently because he didn't want to hurt himself. I just wanted to cry. His PT kept apologizing like it was her fault and gave us both a hug. I just don't want him banging his head when he is frustrated or not getting his way but I don't know how to nip it in the bud. If I pick him up to keep him from doing it his negative behavior gets reinforced but if I just ignore him or wait for him to stop he could seriously hurt himself. I wanted to cry the whole way home. Instead I just kept telling him "baby please don't hit your head when you are upset, it hurts you and mommy!" I guess this is payback for thinking I did such a great yesterday with his first real tantrum.
*I forgot to add that before the tantrum started Lucas said "bubble" for the first time. Also when it was time to leave he was very enthusiastic about saying bye-bye to his therapist. He was waving so hard at her I thought his hand would fall off. He cheerfully said "bye-bye" all the way out to the car.