When I try to get my 4year old to nap or sleep at night he says he doesn't love me. I realize this is a temper tantrum, bit how do I handle this?


Amanda - posted on 08/06/2012




My 4 yr old sometimes says this at bedtimes too. I figure he's just tired and doesn't know what he's saying.

I still go through our usual bedtime routine. When he says it I tell him it's ok but that I still love him and I will see him in the morning.


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Carol - posted on 08/06/2012




You stay calm and remember he has no idea the difference between anger, frustration, and irritation. He thinks love is what you feel when you are happy and want to cuddle, he is not happy and he does not want to cuddle so he thinks he does not love you. He also knows it pushes your buttons to hear this and he wants you to understand that he is angry and to get his way. You say calmly "I am sorry you are angry, that is what you are feeling right now and it is OK to be angry. You are going to have a nap or sleep or...whatever now. I love you very much even when you are angry but now is time to sleep". I assume you have some nap and bedtime rituals (brush teeth, read a book, sing a song) that you use everytime he goes to bed - perhaps he would like to mix up the ritual a little - would you like a song or a story before you lie down? Would you like me to rub you back? Just breathe deeply and show him you can love some one even if you don't like how they are acting.

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