saying "I love you"

Nicole - posted on 03/01/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )




When do children spontaneously say "I love you?" My son who will be 5 in a week doesn't say "I love you" spontaneously to me or rarely repeats it when I say it to him. Usually I get a "yeah" or a grunt. He's learned to say it when he says goodbye on the phone (kind of a rote thing) and just within the last two weeks he'll sometimes repeat after we say it at bed time (thanks to reminders from dad). My 3 year old hasn't said it either - just repeats it. I'm curious because it'd sure be nice to feel some returned feelings! :)


Lisa - posted on 03/01/2010




I'm not real sure when children spontaneously say " I love You" however I have a 20 mth old that one day just sat down beside her dad and said " I love you" she hasn't done it since. My 3 year old son has just begun to say it several times a week. They both repeat it when we leave grandma's, when Dad or myself (Mom) are leaving or bedtime. I say just continue to make it part of your daily routine and show him the affection that comes with it. Ask him if "he loves his mommy" See what response you get. Something else I would do at bedtime I would read the moon in my room book then tell the moon,the stuff animal Dog and what ever items he took to bed that night one by one I love you. I'm sure you are loved. When they finally do your heart will melt because it will be sincere. Best of Luck keep telling them.

Lucy - posted on 03/04/2010




I think a lot of it is to do with personality, and the ways the individual child has found most comfortable to express themselves.

My daughter, who is 3, is more likely to show things physically and often comes up and hugs or kisses me spontaneously. She will also say "I love you" unprompted, but it's not as frequent, maybe a couple of times a week.

My son, however, is 2 and says "I love you" all the time! He says it maybe ten times a day to me, his daddy, his sister, he can't say it enough.

I understand your yearning to hear the words from your little ones without it being a repetition, but I wouldn't worry, I'm sure if they hear it from you all the time they will say it in their own time.

Desirae - posted on 03/02/2010




My husband and I, after a difficult time with my health, decided to make sure we said I love you out loud to each other every time we are going to be apart, even if I am just down the block, and hug each other for at least 30 seconds at a time at least once a day (that is proven to increase your endorphin level)... When my daughter asked me why, I told her that nothing in life is certain except for love, and if anything bad ever happened to me while I was gone, that I would know that the last thing I told her is that I love her. Every time since, even when she is going outside to play in the yard... she tells me she loves me.

Iridescent - posted on 03/01/2010




Our children each did at various ages, from 2-5. To be honest, I have never told anyone but my husband and my children that I love them, and likely never will (this includes my parents). Are the words used daily by you and your husband in the house with each other and the kids? That makes a huge difference.


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Louise - posted on 01/28/2011




I don't feel the need to hear my daughter say I love you. I know she loves me by the way her eyes light up when I walk into the room, or the way she runs towards me with her arms outstretched shouting mummy. I love you is just words and said to often become meaningless.

Serafine - posted on 01/28/2011




My son started at around 3, almost as a game. At night, I would list all the people who love him. Then we started slowly a game of how much we love eachother "to the moon and back", etc. And playing with the idea of love "I love you always and always more." And also just describing what goes along with love, what I do for him and for others. Making him aware of how special our bond is. Now he is 4 and he spontaneously tells me at least once a day that he loves me "sooo much". And yes it does feel really good. Little by little, is my motto. Hope you will feel the love returned to you asap!

[deleted account]

My boy, who is three, has just started to say I Love You spontaneously. I can't remember when my daughter said it first, but she is seven and says it but not too often. My boy is much more open about his love than my daughter but the flip side is he is also more open about when he is ticked off with us.

Nicole - posted on 03/02/2010




Being open, loving, etc is a natural part of my day, as well as my husband's. He's a great dad, very loving, quite sensitive (probably more than I am even - over certain things). My son does have a quiet personality. Sometimes I have a difficult time talking with him. That makes it sound like I don't talk to him but that's not what I mean. I ask him questions, talk about things, etc. but he gives me little to work with unless I talk about something he's into (like a game or book he likes). He tends to be pretty specific so maybe he doesn't understand why we say we love him. Maybe it's just words to him? So perhaps at the right time, explaining why. My husband started doing this the other week which is when we saw some improvement at bed time (it only lasted a few days, he's back to his "yeah" response). The life of a parent! By the way, my three year old only has said a few times (usually in copying).

Mary-Jo - posted on 03/02/2010




For us, it started very early. As soon as they could form words and talk. I always make a point of telling my children I love them and give them hugs. It has always been a part of our every day life. My 5 yr old tells me "I love you, mommy" about 10-20 times a day. My 7 yr old about 1-5x a day.
Is there a male role model that does not think it is ok to show affection? Is he being like that person? Is anyone upsetting him in a way where he does not think he is loved or if you loved him you would not allow this to happen to him? TV shows or movies that say not to show emotion? Is he being "strong" because of a negative situation that has occurred?
Begin your list of things that may be affecting him. Talk with him to see if he is happy, sad, upset, has a secret etc. Make sure you tell him you love him and always want him to know that. Bedtime is a relaxed time to have your little ones open up and talk. Sit in his room and just jabber away and cuddle. You never know what they will say and what you will learn about how they are growing up and what their daily influences are. Good luck!

Nicole - posted on 03/02/2010




Yes, the words are used plenty as well as nonverbal stuff (ie, hugs, smiles, cuddling with stories, etc.). I'll keep plugging away, thanks! :)

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