DD, 4, saying I don't love her(5 Posts)
DD1 sometimes says "you don't like me" if I tell her off. I say I like her but didn't like her behaviour and she repeats "but you don't like me".
Tonight at bedtime she came out with a list of grievances - that I don't love her, I'm not her best friend, I don't smile at her, I don't kiss her in the morning, I don't look right, that CM is best friends with her own daughter, that I don't act like a best friend. She was in a terrible state. I told her that her dad & I love her best in the whole world and that meant that in the whole world, no one loves her as much as me & her dad, that id give her a kiss in the morning (although we already do) & play with her when i can - im usually making tea when she gets in. She seemed happier after that.
I'm upset at her thinking all that though, is it possible she senses I don't like it when she says "you don't like me" and really went for it? She only says it when she's tired.
We've come back from a nice holiday & she's back at nursery/CM, might change of routine also be a factor?
Or seeing a Program or DVD where this was a theme & putting herself into it?
How can I help her feel reassured and loved?
I remember writing my mum a note when I was little saying she loved my sister more than me, not even sure why I did it, & that she was upset. Is it quite normal?
I think children quite often have phases where they get the idea in their head that a parent doesn't love them as much as they should/as much as a sibling. I guess it's because they depend on us so much, and they are so attuned to our moods and body language that they attach importance to things we're not even aware of.
Once you're a parent and understand quite how deeply and utterly you love your child, those childhood insecurities seem insane, don't they!
Maybe it's worth actively working on your connection with her for a bit, if she's feeling insecure. Things like:
- making sure that you take time to reconnect when you see her after the separation of nursery (a big hug and kiss, and a few minutes talking about her day until she's ready to go off herself)
- being playful with her (tickles, chasing games etc)
- a bit of time each day just for her, where you give her your full attention and follow her lead about what she wants to do (ie in free play rather than an activity led by you)
'Playful Parenting' is a good book about the importance of connection, and ways to improve it.
I posted a similar thread recently and the most useful advice I got was that DD is trying to articulate her emotions to me in the only language she knows. But perhaps it's not quite what she wanted to express so you can help through 'empathetic listening', so:
"It sounds like you're angry with mummy" or whatever you think she's trying to say.
It's easier said than done, you really need to listen carefully and try not to take it personally
Thank you for your replies, will take on board (wrote more detailed responses twice but the phone "ate them"!)
4 year olds can be so melodramatic! I've had it the other way around with ds: "I don't like you, you're not my best friend!" I always say "Well that's a shame, because I love you more than anything, I just don't like it when you do/ say x, y or z". We both tell him several times a day how much we love him, that he makes us proud, highlight the good things he does etc. It didn't stop him announcing the other evening (during a surprise dinnertime discussion about the birds and the bees) that "you didn't want me". I have absolutely no idea where that came from, we tried for 2 years for him, through me having pcos, giving up loads of foods i enjoy and exercising every single day to give myself the best chance of falling pregnant! I think they hear these kinds of things from other, older children and say them to add some drama! Just keep reminding her how much you love her, at any time of the day and in response to a range of behaviours.
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