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Says "I love you" only when he's been naughty - how do I reply??

(30 Posts)
Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:19:15

Hi there,

DS1 seems to say "I love you" mostly when he's in trouble, or when I'm annoyed (for example: he's just spilled his chocolate milk everywhere), or angry. He does it to placate me.

I understand where he's coming from but every time, I feel he uses it as a blackmail.

He sometimes does say "I love you" in neutral circumstances (ie out of the blue), and when he does that I make sure to tell him how happy I am that he said it.

But mostly, he says it just when I'm angry.

Any suggestions for smart/grown-up ways to answer?

So far, if I'm really angry (ie he's been very naughty or I am about to start 20 min of wiping chocolate all over the kitchen), all I manage to answer is "i love you too", but my voice is white with anger. Awful.

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome!!!

RosyPony Tue 26-Sep-17 11:19:53

How old is he?

MuchBenham Tue 26-Sep-17 11:22:01

How about"I love you too now please help me clean up the milk" or whatever. How old is he? I don't know about kids using blackmail! Maybe he says I love you because he knows whatever he's done has upset you, and he wants to be reassured you still like him?!

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:22:03

Ah of course! He's 5.

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:24:09

Ah that's an interesting one MuchBenham... maybe i need to have a sentence ready to go where i say "i still love you too, even if sometimes I'm annoyed"....

(yes you are right blackmail is a grown-up concept.... he most certainly can't engineer this at his age... )

HerOtherHalf Tue 26-Sep-17 11:27:21

I'd be more concerned that a 5 yo child being a 5 yo child makes you "white with anger".

Viviennemary Tue 26-Sep-17 11:30:11

I thought you said DP grin But if it was an accident it;'s quite sweet. If deliberately smearing chocolate milk everywhere then it's naughty. And should be dealt with by showing disapproval.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Tue 26-Sep-17 11:32:31

My ds does this too although he's a bit younger. I do find it a tiny bit manipulative if I'm totally honest though I think it's probably just a phase. I think he's recently sort of got the whole 'I love you' being a lovely thing to say and at the moment is using it at opportune times! I think as long as it's not being reinforced - i.e. bad behaviour forgotten because he's said it, he'll grow out of using it that way.

bookwormsforever Tue 26-Sep-17 11:35:21

I'd say to him (depending how old he is): 'I love you but I don't like your behaviour/I don't like what you've just done.'

Tell him - once everything is calm - that you love him and it's lovely for him to tell you he loves you too, but that you don't like it when he says it to you after he's done something wrong

wowbutter Tue 26-Sep-17 11:35:56

I think he says it to deflect, and possibly try to placate you. You sound terrifying.

When he says it, can you not take a deep breath and reassure I'm you love him too, but whatever he did wasn't a nice thing or whatever it was and you and cross, so he needs to say sorry, but you still love him.

Also, work in your anger. Why are you "white with anger" at a five year old spilling his milk?

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:36:03

HerOtherHalf.... so true.... I get angry so fast... sigh.

Thanks for other comments!, it's getting me thinking.

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:37:49

Wowbutter yes!, again this is at the heart of the matter!

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Tue 26-Sep-17 11:39:20

Reminds me of yesterday - ds shouting sorry dm from upstairs. I asked why he was sorry and he said because he was eating his dsis chocolates!I explained she wouldn't be happy and he wouldn't be having any more when they were shared out after school for taking them. He is 3. After school he never fussed when he had no more.

MuchBenham Tue 26-Sep-17 11:39:52

Yes that's what I think too OP. It's like when people say "kids know how to push our buttons" - I don't think that's what motivates them - not that I'm a child psychologist! - but I think it's just trying to get attention/approval. I would have something like that line I suggested ready to go: yes of course it's lovely that he says he loves you, and he can be a big boy etc by helping you clear up. The other thing that I try to do is think "this is not a big deal" - it's literally just chocolate milk that's spilt. So whereas before I'd have been thinking the milk is spilt, we're going to be late, I've already cleaned up today and now it's all a mess again - running on and on - now I just try to focus solely on what's happened and getting that sorted. I don't know if that's the case for you but it really helped me.

TheVicarOfNibbleswicke Tue 26-Sep-17 11:40:48

Yes definitely "I love you too but I don't like your behaviour" (trying to be specific about what he's done). My 5 yo does this too, looks for a lot of reassurance when I'm cross.

NannyOggsKnickers Tue 26-Sep-17 11:42:45

I fon't think it's a crime to get 'white with anger' as long as you aren't shouty and scary. I am quite often livid with DD but it is all on the inside and only for a moment. Then my rational brain kicks in and I realise it is toddler naughtiness and we do some gentle correction.

With the 'I love you' - it could be his remorse and a way of showing he is sorry.

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:43:33

Yes.... it's all about the reassurance when I'm cross... totally true TheVicar....

Yes MuchBenham I need to have this sentence flashing in my head when I feel getting cross: it's no big deal..... it's no big deal..... good image...

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:47:24

Actually... maybe... (the thread got me thinking...) what gets to me is... guilt??

I feel guilty because I get really cross at stuff I shouldn't (for ex he asks for three things on his bread, I can't be bothered with the faff, I say no we'll have only two things... he starts to cry, I go white with anger-face because I feel guilty - yes I could well have put 3 things on his bread but now I can't go back).... so he sees it, says "I love you" to placate me/deflect the whole thing....

and then I feel so guilty because I needn't have been so cross in the first place...


OhTheRoses Tue 26-Sep-17 11:52:53

I used to tell mine my love was forever but I wanted always to like them too.

How does the chocolate milk get spilled everywhere? It's the same as the complained about crumbs on the carpet. At that age all food and drink needs to be eaten at the table using a plate, mug, etc. Makes like so much easier.

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:55:44

OhTheRoses - like the 'my love is forever but I want to like you too'....

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 26-Sep-17 11:57:58

But you can't say "I want to like you too" because a little boy wants three things on his sandwich instead of two!

Flowerpower147 Tue 26-Sep-17 12:00:45

Oh yes I realise this is at the core of my issue - I get angry at stuff I should not! Hence the guilt, a guilt that then reinforces my anger, and from there it's a downward spiral. Argh.

So I like the comments here that go in the direction of 'have a sentence in your head that deflect your internal guilt', so that even if I take the wrong path (ie I get angry and stuff I shouldn't... a 5yo is a 5yo), I can quickly come back and display a more serene attitude....

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 26-Sep-17 12:02:23

I was like this when my son was little - it was PND. I found I had so much going on in my mind that one small request for something would seem like the straw that broke the camel's back. I, too, blamed my son until I had ADs and the problem miraculously went away. He stayed the same and I was just able to cope.

NannyOggsKnickers Tue 26-Sep-17 12:03:25

Yes, I think it's all about talking yourself through stuff internally.

OhTheRoses Tue 26-Sep-17 12:03:38

TBF I think I'd just put three things in the sandwich. Pick your battles op, that wouldn't have been one of mine.

As he's five has he just started reception or yr 1. There might be a lot of changes he's taking on board or having to try very hard to comply at school and be trying all day. Five year old's can't articulate that so he might just be acting up a bit at home to make sure you really really do love him.

Can you make a little plan to anticipate naughty and have it ready. He's three weeks into a term. Try not to get cross, perhaps just puck him up and hug him and then talk about what would have been better x

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