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.
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!"
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!"