You don’t love me!!!

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    Our 3 year old has started asking her Dad and me all the time if we love her and is lashing out saying ‘You don’t love me…You don’t like me’

    We tell our children every day that we love them and we are a very cuddly, loving family. I try to kiss them all in the mornings before they go to school and at night before bed, so I have no idea where this is coming from.

    Its awful to hear these words coming out of her little mouth and its not the kind of language we have in our house so I have no clue why she is saying it.

    Why would a 3 year old say things like this??

    CA Coaching

    Yes this is not nice to hear. The first thing I would say is that she absolutely knows that you love her…so try (as hard as it is) not to take it to heart.

    There are a variety of reasons why she might be saying it. One, like many children, when there are a number of children in the family, they might see it as a way to get attention. This is not saying that you don’t give her enough attention but she is probably learning that if she says this, she is guaranteed to get mum or dad’s attention. Some children break things to get attention, while others say "I love you so much" and grab hold of you.

    So for a blunt example, as parents we are all very busy and sometimes when we are getting things done, like washing up or cooking dinner, and our child comes in to tell us something, in our heads we are listening but we don’t stop what we are doing and turn and face them (sometimes because the sauce will boil over if we do!!). Our children need to not only hear us say "what’s up darling?" but they also need to physically see that what they have to say is important to us. Some parents might say, give me 5 mins and I’ll be with you…and 10 minutes later there is a large crash in the sitting room and that good vase is broken, completely "accidentally". But look what’s happened, you’ve actually stopped everything that you are doing and giving attention to what’s happened. Negative attention is better than no attention.

    So if I were in your shoes, I’d look at what’s been happening in the build up to when she comes out with it. Has she tried to get your attention in some other way? Has she been out playing with friends or siblings and maybe something has happened? If you can see a pattern, just try and break it, so as a parent you’ll see signs in her that she may be about to say these words…just grab her out in a big bear hug and tell her how much you love her and distract her with a story about something that happened that day or ask her for her good news story for the day!

    As I say, it might be something else but a bit of investigation may reveal what’s going on.

    Hope this helps.


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