Please say, “I love you”

So, I know it’s not about me.  Sort of.  I just would love some validation from my child.   Ha.  Who am I kidding?  First, she’s a kid.  Second, she’s an introvert.

Every night at bedtime, I hug and kiss my daughter.  Then, I say, “Good night.  I love you.”

She usually doesn’t hug me back.  Personal space issues for her are HUGE.   She’s not into touching so much.  Her hugs crack me up.  She gets a look of terror on her face, her eyebrows crunch together and she winces.  Nice.  Then, I go in for a hug and watch as her arms become floppy, followed by her body.  I hug.  She waits for it to be over.  It’s so fun!

Then the “I love you” part of bedtime.  I say it.  She doesn’t.  EVER.  Once, she grunted!!

“Would it be so hard to say it back to me?”  I asked her.

“I don’t know.”

“Will you say it one day?”


“Do you love me?”

“Yes,” she groans.

“Okay, good-night, then.”

Interesting.  She’s so inwardly focused.  I truly believe that it’s hard for her to verbalize her feelings.  She just knows them and that’s how it is.

It’s not about me.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about me.  . . .

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10 Comments on “Please say, “I love you””

  1. mommybgood Says:

    How old is your daughter? I had this problem with my son until very recently, but I think part of my own situation is that my son is 3 1/2, and he didn’t even really start talking until after his 3rd birthday. I mean, he didn’t even say “Mommy” or “Daddy”. Since then his speech has exploded, but every time I’d tell him I loved him, I never got a response back. I started explaining to him why I was saying it to him – that I care about him, and love spending time with him, and that saying “I love you” was just a way to let him know all of that. After awhile he started answering back. From your post, it really sounds like you’ve been working with her, and all I can say is KEEP TRYING! Persistence is huge, and maybe she just needs some extra time and reinforcement. You know that you love her, and that she loves you, and one day she will say it out loud. Keep working with her, and keep your head up!

  2. meltay Says:

    Thanks! I will keep telling her I love her and hoping one day to hear it back. However, she is 7 so she understands the concept for sure. Her little sister says it, hugs me, and is her total opposite. It’s so interesting to see how different kids can be! Never a dull moment, right? 🙂

  3. fruitlady Says:

    My good friend has a fourteen year old with severe autism. Read this post she wrote the other day! I think it will give you hope!

  4. meltay Says:

    You’re right – that was beautiful! Thanks.

  5. Amber Says:

    I wouldn’t call my daughter an introvert but she is definitely not affectionate. I felt rejected the first few years of her live but have just come to accept it. I still hug and kiss her but am also learning to accept her boundaries. Plus, she has a snuggly little brother so I attack him on a regular basis. 🙂

  6. kathleen Says:

    My daughter is 16 and has always been exactly like this (she is also highly introverted but no other issues other than stubbornness). I don’t find it quite so offensive as I once did. I have never yet heard her say “I love you”.

    The hugging is getting better. At her age she seems to understand that other people need the contact and now she freely lets me hug her and might (maybe?) even like it. She no longer pulls away and allows it without flinching.

    She is in Girl Guides and her peers enjoy teasing her that they will hug her because they are so familiar with her aversion. It is the one place where they get that she needs her space and can joke with her about it. Anyone else and she would be terrified that they might actually do it.

    It’s a relief to hear of someone else who is a normal, active, engaged child who has their quirks. I’ll keep hoping that one day I’ll get my “I love you” to.

  7. meltay Says:

    I’m not glad that you’ve gone through the same thing, but I’m happy to connect to you and share similar experiences. Thank you for sharing about your wonderful, normal daughter – who just doesn’t express in that way!


  8. Charlaine Says:

    I know this is an old post but I wanted to thank you so much for putting it out there! My 7 yo son is the exact same way. Once in a while he’ll say “me too” and just that makes my heart happy, but I just can’t help but to feel heartbroken sometimes. I just want to hear it, ya know? My older son was so affectionate and even at 15 still tells me he loves me all the time and I couldn’t figure out why my little one won’t. But I suppose he does just need his space and I know all kids are different. It’s good to know I don’t have to take it personally. Maybe I’ll put something on my blog about it in case it might help someone the way your post did me. Thank you.

  9. Megumi............. Says:

    I understand how it’s hard for you guys, since my mom is kind of like your daughter. Don’t worry, try your best, and God shal make miracles happen 🙂 ! I think you should pray to God even more about your hopes. Good Luck~!

  10. donna Says:

    I’ve got 15 year old daughter who always tell me how much she hates me i tell her all the time how much i love her how much she means but she refuses to admit she loves me yet when she ill or sad she always wants me ever since bein child she always told me she loved ne then world ended lol she became teenager and it all stopped no hugs or love u lol

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