“Mommy you don’t love me”

Hi Dr. Ann

I dont know what to answer Idean, he keeps saying to me “you dont love me ” or “mommy dont love me”. I dont know what to say, its breaking my heart, please help.

Dr. Ann Corwin, The Parenting Doctor Advice

Remember that Idean is experimenting with language, as he is trying to find out ‘what’ he says and what kind of the response he gets from you when he uses certain words and phrases. He absolutely does not believe that you don’t love him! When young children feel like their parent disapproves of something they do, they will say these words because they know that the parent will then talk to them.

So, first of all do not let this break your heart because he doesn’t know what he is saying and he definitely does not believe it! Secondly, when he says those words do not respond to him with words back.
If it is not in a time of conflict just hug him, while not saying anything. If it is in a time of conflict between you two, so the same thing we talked about before…discipline him for what happened and when it is over tell him how much you love him.

Also, just continue to tell him you love him during the day, not necessarily associated with something he does right, just because you feel like it. This should pass quickly as a phase in his language development. Hope this helps? Ann