Babysitter guide: the child throws everything on the floor. What I do?

Why does the child throw everything on the floor? What will he want to tell me with this behavior? What can I do? If these doubts are bothering you too, read on. We will discover together the reasons for a behavior that is actually common to many children and that generally corresponds to a specific stage of growth. 

If you are reading this, it has probably happened to you too. The child entrusted to you throws objects: from the high chair, in some cases even from the balcony. The funny thing is that he seems to have a lot of fun: he does it and does it again, over and over. In fact, the taste and habit of throwing objects on the floor are a common behavior in children, especially from 8/9 months.

Does the child throw everything on the floor? it’s normal because….

If it is a common behavior and corresponds to a very specific phase of growth, getting angry is useless. The child should not be attributed with a malicious or spiteful intention that it does not have. Nor need to scold him. He’s not doing it on purpose. Important: Remember to talk to the parents about this, to handle the problem together.

Experience the world

The child is simply experiencing the cause-and-effect link between his actions and the world around him. (We have also seen the same mechanism in  children who bite) . If I throw a teaspoon off the high chair what happens? Does it fall or fly through the air? Like all scientists, he too needs to repeat an experiment over and over to ascertain the truth.

And do you know why when the object hits the floor he claps his little hands happy and shouts of happiness? Because he realizes that his gestures have an effect, which therefore he has the ability to influence the reality that surrounds him. In fact, seen this way, there is something to celebrate! 

And he trains himself to stay away from his parents

To explain why a child of a year or older likes to throw everything down, and why he loves to do it over and over again, we need to bother no less than  Sigmund Freud , the father of psychoanalysis. Freud, observing his nephew Ernst, aged one and a half, playing with a spool attached to a thread, formulated the famous theory of the “ game of the spool ”.

Little Ernst, like many children of the same age, enjoyed throwing a spool out of his cot ten or twenty times in a row. Then he retrieved it by pulling the thread tied to the spool. In fact, the child was experiencing that an object can disappear but then reappear. And like objects, people can do the same thing: move away, but also return.

So, according to Freud, his grandson Ernst was training through play to live and overcome the trauma of being separated from his mother. For this he needed to do it over and over again. At this age, children experience their own being different from their mother; but “different” means “separate” and it is clear that this can frighten the child. Through the game of throwing on the ground, especially if you pick up the object with a smile and return it to him, the child learns to survive the separation from the mother . In fact, throwing and collecting is often one of the most fun ways to play with babies .

The child throws everything on the floor. What to do?

Up to two years

The “throwing of objects” phase can occur around eight months. And it is normal for it to last even up to twenty or a little beyond. During all this time, in addition to removing all fragile or heavy objects, you:

  • never scold the child: it would be as if I told him: no experimentation, no growth! ;
  • if and when you can, pick up the object he threw and put it back with a smile: through this “complicit game” you will help him understand that mum always comes back ;
  • if the throwing of an object causes it to break, do not scold it, but calmly explain to it, looking it in the eye and with simple phrases that things break : in this way you will help them discover the world;
  • the same, in the same way, if he gets used to throwing objects at others: the child / brother gets hurt.

You will see that, slowly, before the age of two your child will stop throwing objects. Alone, simply because the game will have run out of function.

And then

If even after the age of two the child throws everything on the ground and the throwing of objects has angry connotations, or is intentionally directed at people, you will have to adopt a slightly different strategy.

At this age, perhaps, the child throws everything on the ground to express anger, dissatisfaction, sadness. It may also be that he does this mainly because he cannot express his feelings in words. Once again, don’t get infected with her anger and stay calm. Rather, try doing this:

  1. calmly, try to make him understand that it’s not done. Use short and easy sentences, look him in the eye, perhaps lowering yourself to be at his height;
  2. use words to translate his feelings: I understand that you are angry because now I can not play with you, but things never pull, never . In this way you will teach him to manage and communicate emotions;
  3. observe, try to understand if there are situations or people that trigger the throwing of objects and try to prevent them;