Me No Love You Daddy!

For the past 4 months or so, every time Elliot is upset at me, for pretty much any reason, he blurts out these words, “Me no love you, Daddy! Me no love you!” Then, he stomps one foot. 

Brenda was horrified at first. I was more amused than anything else, but it still left me wondering, what is the right way for a parent to handle this situation? We’ve tried many things and I still don’t know the answer. Here is what Brenda and I have tried so far.

Look Concerned

The first few times this happened, what I did was look concerned and explain that the words were hurtful. “You hurt my feelings, Elliot.” I’m pretty sure he was cool with the transaction. After all, he was lashing out in response to not getting his way. By Elliot’s reckoning I was being hurtful towards him and this was a justified response. In fact he would always want to get the last word in with, “Me no love you!”


Look Unimpressed

The next thing I tried, after the novelty wore off, was to reply with an air of nonchalance. ”Oh, you don’t love me?” I would repeat casually, ”That is an unfortunate state of affairs for a young lad like yourself. Then I would offer with a plain face, ”You’ll have excellent material for a manuscript once you’re a little older and develop the ability to read and write. If the emotional turmoil doesn’t destroy you first, of course.” His response was predictable. He would wait until I finished amusing myself to reenforce his position with, “Me no love you!”


Or You Could Look…

Devoted to the relationship. This is where Brenda and I are now. Being concerned didn’t work. Being unimpressed and melodramatic didn’t work. So now I have a common response. When Elliot says, “Me no love you!” I simply look at him, smile, and say, “That’s not a very nice thing to say, buddy. Besides, I have enough love for the both of us.”

Of course he still responds with, “ME NO LOVE YOU!”


Chris Ames


I am an Internet citizen, sarcasm enthusiast, and digital practitioner. I am married to the lovely Dewdette and we have 3 children: The Artist, The Smiling One, and Boy.

4 responses to Me No Love You Daddy!

  1. Children at his age are testing out negative feelings words. They feel secure enough to test you. They are giving you an opening for conversation. You’ve done a great job so far! I would try,”it’s okay to be angry, but not okay to be mean to people. Why is it you are angry? I know you want a cookie for dinner, but I want you to grow up healthy and strong. Cookies won’t get you there. Mommy works very hard to make sure you have something healthy to eat every meal. We need to show her appreciation and respect by trying everything on our plate. If we do that, there will be room for a cookie for dessert.” He may still say he doesn’t love you, but the words will start sinking in :) I always found children did so much better when I spoke to them as if I thought they were intelligent rather than the because I said so tone.

  2. This really made me think! One question to ask yourself is: “what would you do if he said this to someone else?” Repeatedly. Mainly I would guess he is saying this to get a reaction. I dunno. I’m the parent that would give consequences for bad manners in general after several warnings, time out. I honestly can’t decide if this would fall under that, though!

  3. It is just a phase he are going through. Payton is doing the same thing right now only her phrase is ” I are mad at you Nana!” pointing her finger at me while saying it. I just say ” I love you Payt” and walk away. Then about 1/2 hour later I ‘ll look at her and say “I love you Payton” and 95% of the time she;ll say it back. He will out grow it. I’d just walk away without saying anything and ignore this behavior. If he sees you don’t engage, he may stop it sooner. But by addressing it, he knows he has your attention. Just a thought!!

  4. He is challenging your feelings for him. My response to Callie or Chloe when they said that was similar to your last one; “that’s ok sweetheart, I am ok with that because I love you very much and always will.” I believe it disarms them some. Keep up the good work.

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