Thursday, May 22, 2008

My son keeps saying I don’t love him.


I recently bought the Positive Discipline A-Z book I have enjoyed reading it and learning from it. Recently my 5 year-old-son has not stopped saying, "You don't love me." What is it that is making him feel that way, or what can I improve on to make him feel different? I have tried in every possible way to make him feel love. Please help


Dear M,

My guess is that he doesn't believe you don't love him. He has just learned how to "get a rise" out of you. This is very typical behavior that many children go through--especially when parents react. I suggest you just ignore it or say something like, "I can see you are really upset right now." Then don't give it any more energy. Another possibility to say, "Well, I love you," and then don't give it any more energy. Another possibility is to say, "Wow, I think we have a problem here. Why don't we put this on the family meeting agenda and talk about it during our family meeting." I hope you are getting the main point is that you can respond kindly, but don't get hooked. Your son will notice the difference. He may keep claiming you don't love him for awhile to see if he can get the same rise out of you that he used to, but eventually he will expeerience that it doesn't work and he will most likely give up the behavior. It will pass.

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