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Dd keeps saying she thinks I don't love her....what can I do?

(17 Posts)
noche Tue 02-Sep-08 19:48:27

Every time Dd (7) and I have any kind of words or arguments she dissolves into tears and says she feels I don't love her. I have told her over and over again that it is normal to be cross with people at times but that doesn't mean you don't love them. I have held her tight and said I will love her forever annd ever whatever she does because that's what mums do. I have looked her in the eye and said "I love you". She doesn't seem to believe me.
We are having a lot of arguments at the moment because she is going through a very testing phase-arguing about every decision, nagging to get her way, throwing a fit if she doesn't, being very rude if things don't go her way etc etc.
I'm so scared that she really thinks I don't love her. I felt that when I was growing up, and still do now about my mum if I am honest, and I know how it feels. I SO don't want DD to feel like I did growing up but it seems she does and I have caused it. Can anyone help?

mollythetortoise Tue 02-Sep-08 19:52:32

could she be saying it for attention.. ie she wants to hear you say you love her.. do you tend to say it only when she does this? Not criticism byt he way.. my dd (5) often says "nobody likes me" when she wants a bit of a cuddle and attention from me.. she likes to hear how wonderful i think she is! could it be a simialr sort of thing.. fishing for compliments..(and if it is, then nothing to worry about IMO)

noche Tue 02-Sep-08 19:54:55

I have thought it might be for attention. I do say I love her at other times, at least I think i do but maybe just at the minute it is happening more after we have had a row.

nell12 Tue 02-Sep-08 19:55:41

Do you think she is saying it just to stop the argument and turn things round to her advantage? If you are doing everything in your power to prove to her that you do love her then you can do no more.

She sounds as if she is manipulating you.


3littlefrogs Tue 02-Sep-08 19:56:09

Perhaps she just wants to be reassured?

stripeymama Tue 02-Sep-08 20:00:27

DD (5) is very similar to what you describe. Lots of "You don't love me" and "Why don't you just throw me on the rubbish dump if you're going to be so mean", over really small issues. And I mean small, like outting on waterproof trousers.

It really does make me want to weep, as of course I adore her and any suggestion that I don't is quite hard to take and makes me feel very guilty and self-doubting.

DP (not her father and so less emotionally involved iykwim) says the same as mollythetortoise - that its about attention. He also says that we should try to show plenty of random affection/attention to DD so that she doesn't come to see putting herself down and being a bit self-pitying as the way to obtaining love.

HTH, and I'm watching for any more suggestions too!

vjg13 Tue 02-Sep-08 20:01:02

My daughter age 5 is very similar. 'you don't love me, love my sister more' etc. I felt unloved by my Mum and this also plays on my emotions. I do the same as you but also sometimes say things like 'how did you find out' and make it obvious I'm joking because it can just be a drama queen type thing with her. Not sure if this is the right thing to do either.

noche Tue 02-Sep-08 20:01:02

I think she might be doing as you say nell12! You don't need to say sorry! But when you say doing everything in my power to prove I love her what do you mean? I haven't had a very good example of parenting so i'm not sure I nkow how to do it. A counsellor asked me a while ago how i knew I was loved as a child and I couldn't think of anything!

Goober Tue 02-Sep-08 20:01:28

It's a clever trick.
You will feel guilty, disolve into cuddles and forget to stay cross, she gets off the hook.
It's a game.

stripeymama Tue 02-Sep-08 20:01:54

DP also says that IHO we should ignore it when she says it, as it is basically manipulation. But to make sure she gets lots and lots of affection and love from us both at other times.

nell12 Tue 02-Sep-08 20:05:23

Noche, you are caring for her, you are keeping her safe and you know that whatever she says, whatever she does, if you look in on her when she is asleep, your heart does a little leap of joy (sorry for sounding so prosaic!)

I know what you mean about mothers; mine was just as bad... I have the theory that if I behave as differently as possibe (emotionally) as my mother then I cant be going far wrong.

Have you tried the line "Of course I love you, I always will, I just do not like you very much at the moment."

noche Tue 02-Sep-08 20:05:25

I think that's a good idea-lots of love and attention at other times. It must seem sometimes that she gets more attention when she's being naughty and saying this stuff, although I really think she does get attention/love at other times. Maybe it is just more intense on these occasions?

kolakube Tue 02-Sep-08 20:06:06

I often say to my Dd " I didn't like what you DID but I still love YOU". Seems to work at the moment.......

mollythetortoise Tue 02-Sep-08 20:10:26

i'm not sure i agree with ignoring it.. think you should give her what she wants... a cuddle and to be told she is the best thing since sliced bread. Being told how great you are is fantastic for your self esteem (especially if she does have slight SE issues). Why not indulge her in this? I don't think you can spoil a child by telling them they are great...She is only 7.. it is a phase and the more secure she feels the quicker it will pass.. indulge her outbursts with love and cuddles and try and remember to say you love her at other times too (elast thing every night for example)

cornsilk Tue 02-Sep-08 20:12:27

oooh she's manipulating you!

stripeymama Tue 02-Sep-08 20:18:13

As I understand it, its sensible to try and avoid linking this sort of self-putting down, slightly emotionally manipulative behaviour with affection. I'm not sure it is the right thing to carry into relationships later in life.

nooka Tue 02-Sep-08 20:41:25

I tell my kids I love them all the time, whenever I feel like it. My parents were also not very demonstrative. The really nice thing about it is that whenever they start to say something and then forget what it was they were going to say they say "Mummy.. I love you". It's a virtuous cycle. My son likes to throw in lines like "you love dd more than me" to which I just say no I don't , I love you both, and then move on. I don't make a big deal about it, I'm just very matter of fact. I try very hard not to do the "I love you but" because it's the "but" that gets heard. But I have no doubt that I love both of them, and I really don't think they doubt it either, even when they are very cross with me. I wonder if you weren't insecure about the issue whether it would come up so regularly in rows? Children are very perceptive (although I don't think it is manipulation as such). Could you try saying something like "that's a silly thing to say" next time?

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