18 answers

My Daughter Thinks We Do Not Love Her

My 6 year old daughter gets upset anytime she does not get her way. She starts to cry and say how we do not love her and that we are mad at her, I do not get it. I feel so rotten when I hear this she breaks my heart. I tell her we all love her but she can't.... but she still keeps crying. Does anyone have any ideas? I am losing my mind she spends most of the day whining and crying!

I forgot to mention she has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and bipolar.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for all of the advice. I will be trying all of them until i find one that works. She is still saying it but I am learning to develop thicker skin. She is in therapy and is getting medication.

Featured Answers

She is... manipulating you... and knows it and it works.
She wants attention by getting it by negative means, and manipulation.

Per her conditions, is she seeing a Therapist?????
If not, then she NEEDS one.
AND the Therapist will give you tips, on how to handle her and per her condition.
And, as well as just how to handle a child, issues or not.

If she uses emotional means, to manipulate people and it becomes an entrenched habit... this is not good, for her. And others. And it will become... a vicious cycle of behavior.
A negative AND DYSFUNCTIONAL cycle of behavior.
She needs to learn, positive and healthier... "coping-skills."

When my kids try and manipulate me, I just CALL them on it.
I tell them POINT BLANK... that I know what they are doing and it WILL NOT WORK. They can cry or tantrum or scream, it will not work.
They know better.
AND... I will go and sit down and read my magazine, until they calm down, then they can tell me when THEY feel better.
I also TELL my kids, IT IS A CHOICE.... they can act this way, or not. They are old enough.

The bottom line is: IF you keep LETTING her act this way... she WILL continue to act this way. And it will become highly dysfunctional and not good for her... at all.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Stop letting it break your heart, mama. She is doing this in order to try to change your mind and give into her.

I'll tell you what - the next time she does this (and if you aren't running around like your hair's on fire), sit down beside her without talking. Pull out a sheet of paper and start studiously writing a list. This list should include all the things, little and small, that you do for her. The more the better.

At the bottom, write her that if this isn't showing that you love her, you don't know what would.

And DON'T give in to her tears! You'll just teach her that tears get her what she wants, and she'll pull this on others too.

Her future husband will thank you for not allowing this.

And for whining? Say ONCE to her "I can't hear you when you whine - regular voice only." Then totally ignore her until the whine goes away. As soon as she asks in a normal voice, "turn on" and address her as if it's the first time she asked.

And the list? Pull it out everytime she starts saying you don't love her. Hopefully that will disappear soon.

Don't show weakness, L.. If she thinks she can make you feel bad saying this stuff, she will. Because making you feel bad can make you give in. Don't do it.

D.

8 moms found this helpful

Whenever my kids pull this I look them straight in the eye and tell them that I do love them and if I did not love them I would not care what they did, where they were, who they were with and so on...ok so 6 is a little young to understand all that, but you can remind her of all the fun things you have done or things you have got for her. She cannot get her way all the time...tell her you love her too much to let her be spoiled = )
I know even at age 6 I was big on bedtime and tucking in and our nighttime routine. Maybe take this time in the evening to have quiet talks about the day. Encourage her to better express how she feels, Give her the words if need be. For example, earlier today you said we did not love you because we did not give you x,y,z...you know that is not true, you know we love you very much, I think what really happened is you were feeling sad that you could not have x,y,z. I know it sounds overly simplistic, but some kids have a really hard time figuring out how to appropriately express how they feel...and by giving them these little reminders it can help.
My only other suggestion is toughen up a tad. Assure her you do love her, but tell her if she wants to continue her crying she can go sit in her room until she clams down.
Also just a word of caution, IF you are giving in because you feel bad, she is winning and has learned from you that this works sometimes...and you cannot let that happen, if it is a no...follow through.
Be strong, loving them really does mean saying no sometimes.

6 moms found this helpful

She is... manipulating you... and knows it and it works.
She wants attention by getting it by negative means, and manipulation.

Per her conditions, is she seeing a Therapist?????
If not, then she NEEDS one.
AND the Therapist will give you tips, on how to handle her and per her condition.
And, as well as just how to handle a child, issues or not.

If she uses emotional means, to manipulate people and it becomes an entrenched habit... this is not good, for her. And others. And it will become... a vicious cycle of behavior.
A negative AND DYSFUNCTIONAL cycle of behavior.
She needs to learn, positive and healthier... "coping-skills."

When my kids try and manipulate me, I just CALL them on it.
I tell them POINT BLANK... that I know what they are doing and it WILL NOT WORK. They can cry or tantrum or scream, it will not work.
They know better.
AND... I will go and sit down and read my magazine, until they calm down, then they can tell me when THEY feel better.
I also TELL my kids, IT IS A CHOICE.... they can act this way, or not. They are old enough.

The bottom line is: IF you keep LETTING her act this way... she WILL continue to act this way. And it will become highly dysfunctional and not good for her... at all.

6 moms found this helpful

As you've said she's been diagnosed bipolar/anxiety disorder, I would recommend you do some reading on a communication technique called validation. A good book about validation is "I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better". Validation is important in all of our relationships but especially if a loved one is troubled by a mood disorder. Some children have trouble processing emotion so it comes out as rage - or self rage. I thought validation just meant being positive until I read this book and learned that validation is about accepting the emotion coming from the other person even if that emotion makes no logical sense to you. The example I use is when the person says "You don't love me!" and we reply "Of course, I love you" - that is NON validating. The better answer is to try to get them to talk through the emotion. First you acknowledge it and empathize with it. So instead you might say: "I must have done something to make you feel like I didn't love you. That must feel terrible. Can we talk about what happened that made you feel that way?" There is a step process to acknowledge the emotion, find something to agree with in it, then transition to where you need her to go. Please give it a try. I wish I had found it earlier.

6 moms found this helpful

Its a game. She knows that it hurts your feelings so you'll give in so that you'll feel better.

When my kids (10y and 4y) say this, I've come up with some standard responses.
- 'It's because I love you that I say no'
- 'oh, I do, and to prove it, I'm going to feed you (break/lunch/dinner/???) in an hour!'
- 'see you're wrong, I do love you, its just that I don't feel like a trip to the dr. tonight when you fall and break something ...'
- ' okay, we'll when you're ready for me to love you again, i'll be in the kitchen (and then walk away) '
- 'i love you 50 times a day, but you're not getting cookies 50 times a day'

5 moms found this helpful

My daughter does this too. I think that it is brilliantly effective. Such pleasure that we get from telling our kids that we love them and hearing that they love us back. What better way to make us feel bad about not getting what they want?

Separate yourself from this and know that she doesn't really think that you're mad at her or that you don't love her. Admittedly you feel bad about her saying this and it breaks you heart. Do you give in to what she wants when she says this?

I think it's a phase. Be loving but not hurt, and tell her that you hear that she really wants thing "x"you're sorry that she can't have what she wants. You do love her but you don't like her behavior. And after she stops crying talk to her about how to define how she really feels.

I think 4-7 are tough ages for kids learning to express emotions into words. Give her some tools... she'll get through it.

4 moms found this helpful

This is the oldest trick in the book.
It really is.
If they can just melt you enough, you'll give in and give them what they want.
"I love you, but you're still not getting ice cream before dinner. You can cry in your room if it makes you feel better. But you're STILL not getting ice cream right now".
You just have to stay calm. Don't let them know that it makes you feel rotten. They can be like little sharks who smell fear and blood.
After a while, they do come to understand that getting their way for everything has nothing to do with love and you aren't going to cave in.
It's highly possible she will cry and whine whether you give in to her or not, so I suggest not doing so. Saying you don't love her will lose it's power after a while.

Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful

I think it comes down to how many times you give in since your heart is breaking. This is the oldest trick in the book, "you don't love me", even if it has only a 5% success rate they will try it.

Your daughter does not actually think you don't love her, she wants what ever you said no to.

3 moms found this helpful

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