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Should a 2.8 year old be saying 'I love you' spontaneously?

(30 Posts)
Exceptionalroar Sat 31-Aug-13 22:03:22

When do kids start saying I love you? Although DS will repeat it after us he hasn't said it spontaneously yet. I wouldn't say he's overly affectionate he loves to be carried, his version of a cuddle is to put his head on your shoulder and I can't remember the last time he kisses me spontaneously. He's very lovely and communicative and very very sweet but It would be nice to hear him say I love you. Are my expectations too high? X

sweetiepie1979 Sat 31-Aug-13 22:06:02


flossymuldoon Sat 31-Aug-13 22:08:05

The first time our DS said it spontaneously was at about 3.5.
I think that's when he started to understand what it realjy meant.

breatheslowly Sat 31-Aug-13 22:10:22

Yes -way too high. DD is nearly three. She doesn't ever spontaneously say I love you. Yesterday I said "I love you DD". She said "I love you sometimes" grin.

Exceptionalroar Sat 31-Aug-13 22:12:48

Thank you. Sometimes I need telling!

Balloonist Sat 31-Aug-13 22:16:59

DD1 has never said she loves me. She is 5. Her younger sister has been saying it at 2. Different personalities!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 31-Aug-13 22:19:45

My two started saying it spontaneously sometime around their 2nd birthday, but all children are different.

DS1 wouldn't give anyone kisses until he was four, DS2 started coming up and kissing me and DH when he was about 18 months.

fififrog Sat 31-Aug-13 22:20:31

I hope not!!!! I get kisses but not so many cuddles. Sometimes I get them in a patronising sort of "there there mummy" sort of way. Dd's 2.5 but she never even says I love you to repeat either!

LondonJax Sat 31-Aug-13 22:20:50

DS has just started spontaneously coming up, hugging us and saying I love you and he is almost six and a half!

valiumredhead Sat 31-Aug-13 22:22:31

I can't remember when ds first said it but it certainty wasn't at 2

whattodoo Sat 31-Aug-13 22:26:00

God, I'm depressed now - my DD(5) has never said it spontaneously. She's not very cuddly either. Its just her personality.--(Might pop upstairs to wake her and demand she tells me she loves me)--

HorryIsUpduffed Sat 31-Aug-13 22:31:57

DS2 (2.4) says it spontaneously although it's a fairly new innovation. I don't think DS1 did at this age. I don't think DS2 knows what he is saying precisely except that it's a thing we say to each other that makes hugs happen - he's copying rather than being totally spontaneous, I think.

Flibbedyjibbet Sat 31-Aug-13 22:37:07

DD1 is 3.2 and has for the last couple of months been saying I missed you Mummy/Daddy/Nana and I love you spontaneously and although DH and I frequently say it to her I am always expecting a "Can I have a Freddo bar/ice lolly/blah blah blah type follow up.
I am a terrible cynic realist aren't I?

absentmindeddooooodles Sat 31-Aug-13 22:47:12

Ds is 2.5 and says it bavk to me and close family members but not ofd his own back. He will come and give me random hugs and kisses though smile

My dsis is 3.5 and shes been saying it for about 8 months I guess. She was ridiculously quick with talking and understanding though.

cory Sat 31-Aug-13 23:34:05

no "should" about it- that's the whole point of spontaneous wink

some do, some don't

adults don't express love in exactly the same way either: some like doing little things for you, others tell you in words, some are into long-stemmed roses

DeWe Sat 31-Aug-13 23:36:51

They're much more likely to say "I hate you" spontaneously. grin

Dd1 doesn't do talking about feelings. I know she loves me as much as the others but she would cringe away from saying it.
Dd2 does say it-usually followed by "and can I have/do..." wink She does say it in response.
Ds does say it lots, with a hug and cuddling in to me.

They've all been like since they could first talk.

But thinking about it, my family would never say that at all. Even a "love you," as a goodbye type. I don't think I've even heard my parents say it to each other. We're quite a close family and my parents are as much in love with each other as they were when they first married 43 years ago.

rockybalboa Sun 01-Sep-13 00:17:27

For some reason I have taken it upon myself to drum saying "I love you" into my 2y5m yo. Bit me on the ass this weekend when he climbed onto the kitchen table (obviously and knowingly Against The Rules), shot me a very cheeky look and "I love you". Cheeky little bugger.

DanceInColour Sun 01-Sep-13 00:28:22

DD (2.6) says it if she's in a good mood. Can be accompanied by a lovely kiss and cuddle too.

then other times I say it to her and she absolutely insists that I don't. This is often accompanied by the reason she wants a treat or i won't dance... Emotional blackmail already!!

mitchsta Thu 05-Sep-13 21:48:25

I started babysitting for a family friend when I was about 13 (not sure if that would be deemed old enough these days, but it seemed ok at the time.) Anyway, one was a baby, the other a toddler in his own bed. I'd put each of them into bed/cot at night, give them a kiss and say goodnight.

The oldest child - the other was a baby so not old enough to speak - would respond to my "goodnight" with "I love you". Not because he loved me, but because that was his routine and he was conditioned to say those words at that time no matter who put him to bed. That just told me he didn't understand what they meant whether he said them to me or his mum.

I'd rather have healthy, happy kids than ones who felt the need to say "I love you" - fine if they want to but certainly not necessary. Wouldn't you rather he showed it than said it?

sparkleshine Thu 05-Sep-13 23:47:41

My DS, 3.8 says I love you when I say it to him (sometimes) but doesn't say it off his own back. If I ask him how much he loves me he spreads his arms out wide which is cute or pinches his fingers close together then laughs.
He likes his cuddles though.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 23:50:10

I don't think saying "I love you" is a developmental milestone.

Otherwise there are some extremely overgrown and hairy toddler running about the place grin

teabagpleb Thu 05-Sep-13 23:58:07

Ds is 5 this week and hasn't said it yet. He did say he loves dd, and he really likes me so I can share all his toys. Even the Octopod. :-)

Spockster Fri 06-Sep-13 00:03:14

What Mitscha said. We got a nanny when DD1 was 4 and on the first day I heard Dd1 say; I love you (nanny's name). It was kind of sweet but made me feel very sad, bc she was obviously saying it bc she felt insecure rather than genuinely attached.

MiaSparrow Fri 06-Sep-13 07:53:27

DD does and she's 2.6 (maybe started when she was 2.4 - but to her AUNT - not me, humph!). Now she tells me and DP.

BUT I'm not sure she really knows what it means so I really don't think it's that much of a big deal anyway IYSWIM.

Seb101 Fri 06-Sep-13 08:46:40

My 21 month old says 'I love you' spontaneously all the time; but pretty sure she doesn't fully understand the meaning. I think she just hears me saying it a lot, and knows she gets a good response when she says it! Bless her; melts my heart every time, even if she doesn't understand what she's saying! Lol ��

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