41 answers

When Child Says... "I Don't Love You!"

My six year old son recently has started saying "Well, I don't love you!" when I don't give him what he wants. Tonight, he even said he'd take it back if I complied with his request. Now, I totally get it that he is manipulating me. He does love me because I'm the first person he comes to when he's hurt. He's my first born and I love him so much it can't be described.
My question is...
What would you do in regards to discipline or guidance in this situation? Would you ignore him, react to him, punish him, hug him, etc?
I've done many things but I want an unbiased answer from the moms on here. I'll respond later with what hasn't worked thus far later.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all of the quick responses! In the past, I've tried telling him how it makes me feel and I did this again tonight. It's not working. It seems to be just playing into the entire situation and making it worse. Next time, I'm going to just say "Well, I love you!" and give him a silly face. If that doesn't work, then I'm going to altogether stop responding at all. I want him to know he's heard, has valid feelings, and I love him, but seriously this has got to stop. LOL BTW, I try to never give into his manipulation or whining especially in these situations. Your responses are much appreciated!!!

Featured Answers

I wouldn't do anything in regards to discipline for saying I don't love you. at that moment in his life he doesn't love you. but you can respond to him that you love him but you don't love his behavior and if it doesn't stop he will receive "x" consequence for the bad behavior (the nagging, hitting, screaming etc" not the I don't love you thing.

3 moms found this helpful

My 4 year old son says this sometimes. I just say "that's ok, I still love you."

I wouldn't make a big deal about it. He's just trying to get a reaction and some attention.

2 moms found this helpful

I would just say, "Thatls okay. I have enough love for both of us...but you're still not getting what you want."

That shows him you aren't upset by his words and he can't use them to manipulate you.
Many kids try this. I think staying calm and not feeding into it is the best way to go.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would tell him "That's okay, I love you enough for both of us." And move on.

4 moms found this helpful

My son would do this, too, when he wasn't getting his way. I just say "That's ok. You don't have to love me. But you still have to do as I say." Now that he knows it won't bother me, so he can't really use it as leverage anymore. Hope this helps.

4 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't do anything in regards to discipline for saying I don't love you. at that moment in his life he doesn't love you. but you can respond to him that you love him but you don't love his behavior and if it doesn't stop he will receive "x" consequence for the bad behavior (the nagging, hitting, screaming etc" not the I don't love you thing.

3 moms found this helpful

I'd avoid letting him know it stings, or you're setting yourself up for emotional blackmail. He's entitled to his feelings, just as we all are. So I'd just say something light, like:

"Everybody feels that way sometimes, Son. It's okay – you get to feel whatever you feel. I hope you'll work on feeling happier, and let me know when you love me again. I've thought over whether you can have ______, and my answer is still no."

3 moms found this helpful

I say - that makes me sad, but I still love you - and then I move on w/ whatever I'm doing. I still wouldn't give in to whatever initiated the comment.

2 moms found this helpful

My 4 year old son says this sometimes. I just say "that's ok, I still love you."

I wouldn't make a big deal about it. He's just trying to get a reaction and some attention.

2 moms found this helpful

My youngest did this with me for a bit. I would just say, "Ok, but I still love you!" and make a goofy face at him. With him, a laugh seemed to diffuse the situation.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I would just say, "Thatls okay. I have enough love for both of us...but you're still not getting what you want."

That shows him you aren't upset by his words and he can't use them to manipulate you.
Many kids try this. I think staying calm and not feeding into it is the best way to go.

2 moms found this helpful

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