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How do I react when my 3 year old says "I don't like you anymore"?

My DD turned 3 in Dec. and she has started telling me that she doesn't like me anymore and i am not her best friend anymore. Do I ignore or disciplone or what?

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:58 PM on Mar. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (19)
  • I would be impressed! She is understanding that she has emotions and is trying to express them. I would let her know that my feelings are hurt by what she says and move on. You are her mom, not her best friend. You set the boundries and she will not always like them. She is too young to understand that she doesn't like the rules you give her, not you personally. Don't discipline her for having emotions that will only cause her confusion and think her emotions are a bad thing.

    Answer by AnnaMac at 11:03 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I'm kind of in the same boat. My son turned 3 in November and just started doing that a little bit ago. It seems like he says it when he feels angry or frustrated and doesn't know how to express himself better. It feels really bad, but I wouldn't make a big deal out of it....she's just learning to differentiate between emotions and is learning to sort it all out. She's growing up!

    Answer by erika.lyn at 11:05 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I think you should just explain to her that it is ok for her to be hurt, or angry whatever. But you are her mother and you love her no matter what.

    Answer by Mikayla_lynn at 11:05 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • My reply would be to tell her that you love her whether she wants to be your best friend or not like you anymore. That is what I tell my niece when she says that. She finally stopped by the fourth day of me telling her that I loved her even if she didn't like me. Another favorite is that when they say they are going to tell Daddy or Grandma on you. My response to that is tell them and then I will tell them why you weren't allowed to do so and so or whatever it was that was taken away. I love this age it is fun to listen to the stuff that they have picked up.

    Answer by coala at 11:19 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • Remember you are the adult and she is the child. A child expressing frustration doesn't mean statements like that, like an adult would. My daughter did that too, I told her "that's okay to feel that way, I still love you very much". Allow her to feel her feelings, she's trying to express them, but doesn't use words like we do yet. Just validate that she's upset and let it go. It's not about you as a mom or a person. You are still a good mom.

    Answer by Steff107 at 11:32 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • My son did that when he was little. Usually after I had disciplined him for something. I finally got to the point where I told him "I don't like you either". He said "But you have to like me" and I told him "No I don't. You're my son and I love you forever but I don't like you right now." He actually understood the concept of "I love you but I don't like you". I also made sure he understood that no matter what happens or what he did I would always love him. Even if I don't like the things he does or the choices he makes in his life, I will still love him. He's 23 now and very secure that his mama loves him no matter what.

    Answer by AuntieM at 11:39 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • i get told that from four kids all the time! my kids are 10, 8, 7, and 4 yrs old, and at least once a day at least ONE of them is saying that i'm mean, they dont like me, and a bunch of other stuff. tell her you are sorry she feels that way, you stlll love HER , and she must still follow the rules. then laugh it off

    Answer by bi-polarmommy at 12:12 AM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • Have you asked her why she said that? You can reply back that " You still love her even though she does't like you." Tell her it make you feel sad to hear her say that and give her an hug and kiss. Try not to discipline her..she's trying to express her feelings and you're her outlet.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:51 AM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • I know it feels awful but AnnaMac nailed it! It think this kind of thing is just another phase kids go through. My 2 year old boy has a new favorite word. "Hate". Worst thing is he's using it on me! He's been telling me "I hate mama", but in a very calm voice. Or if I give him a kiss on the head or cheek, he immedietly wipes it off and says, "I hate mama's kisses". It is crushing to hear, but I just remind myself that at such a young age, he probably does not understand the complete meaning of what he's saying. Or maybe he does....yikes. Anyway, your 3 year old is just becoming a big girl with new thoughts and though it seems disrespectful, I would pass on the dicipline for now. Honestly, when my little guy says it, I just ignore him and change the subject. I don't want to put too much emphasis on it, in the hopes that this "phase" will pass.........

    Answer by Raegy at 2:37 AM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • When my son did that, I told him that was ok. that I still loved him, and when he was ready, he would like me again. he started liking me again a few mintues later, complete with sticky hugs and kisses. Nevermind the tearful phone to my husband in between. "where has my baby gone???????"

    Answer by tomib at 3:16 AM on Mar. 7, 2009

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