“I don’t like you, Mommy”

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Communication, Parenting, Toddlers/Preschoolers

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Kudos for this boy’s parents, who let him say what he feels.  Many parents would get angry or have their feelings hurt if their kids said, “I don’t like you, Mommy!”  But usually, they are either simply expressing anger, or as in this case, qualifying what deserves loving.  It’s important to teach your kids about unconditional love—you love them all the time, no matter what!  And, when you’re angry and it feels as though you don’t love them, they need to know you’re not liking their behavior, but you still love them.

Enjoy your kids!

So how do you feel about your children truthfully expressing themselves?  How  would you have responded to this little boy? Please feel free to leave a comment below.


9 Responses to ““I don’t like you, Mommy””
  1. itzmecheredsy says:

    whenever my 5 y.o. son tells me “you’re not my best friend anymore”, my response is, “ok, then who will help you with ur homework, studying, preparing ur food, will teach u to read & other stuff?” he will think and change his mind by saying “ok, ur my bestfriend forever” =D

  2. heather says:

    both of my two boys tell me this all the time. it used to be “i don’t love you no more” but i explained to them that no matter what i’ll always love them and it hurts my feelings when they say they don’t love me. They’ve since re-phrased to “i don’t like you” when i don’t let them have ice cream for dinner or put the puppy on the trampoline, but…i’m cool with that.

  3. sheena says:

    I never really knew what was the best response when faced with your toddler saying those words…but a good friend of mine said it to my son one day when he was faced with the same fate….”I don’t like you”….my friends response was…”well I love you anyway”! its a good way to teach your child unconditional love, and believe me it works out well!

  4. Dr. Vicki Panaccione says:

    Thank you for your suggestion. It gives kids permission to feel the way they do, while showing them that parental love doesn’t diminish just because they aren’t very happy with us at the moment. Enjoy your kids!

  5. vanessa paine says:

    My 3 year old tells me she doesn’t love me anymore whenever she’s mad and I tell her its ok I still love u but have to admit it does hurt my feelings.

  6. Dr. Vicki Panaccione says:

    So true–We tell our little ones to use their words, and then don’t like what they have to say! Sometimes it’s hard to be a parent, especially when you need to put your feelings aside for the good of your child. Giving her permission to have her feelings is important. You also might try helping her label how she is really feeling…not actually a loss of love, but rather anger, frustration or disappointment. You might say something like, “Wow! Sounds like you really are angry with me!” That validates her feeling and more accurately identifies what is really going on.

  7. Meghan says:

    I try hard not to get my feelings hurt when my 4.5 year old says mean things when he’s angry, and I want to let him express himself, when he talks to me or his friends. But how do I teach him about the consequences of mean words? How do I help him learn to express his feelings in an appropriate way without saying things flippantly and reactively that will cause others pain? Or is this something he is not old enough to learn? I’d live to hear your thoughts.

  8. Dr. Vicki Panaccione says:

    I am so glad you asked! Your 4.5 year old is doing what he’s being taught to do…use his words! That’s what we tell kids to do, and then they get in trouble for using certain words! It’s great that you don’t get your feelings hurt—because generally, he’s just trying to tell you how he feels. What would be really helpful to do is to tune into the feeling he’s trying to express when he says things to you. For instance, if he says he hates you or calls you a poopy-head, respond with something like, “Wow! it sounds like you’re really angry with Mommy…” That will get him to tell you what’s going on and will be much more productive than to emotionally react to something he says, or merely telling him what he canot say.


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  1. pligg.com says:

    “I don’t like you…

    Kudos for this boy’s parents, who let him say what he feels. Many parents would get angry or have their feelings hurt if their kids said, “I don’t like you, Mommy!”…