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Old 05-17-2012, 05:58 AM   #1
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Saying "I Love You" regularly?

I tell my 22 month old I love him about a million times a day. He sees me tell DH I love him. We tell him that we love the dogs, etc etc etc. He CAN say "I love you" back and will on occasion. But, I have to grudgingly admit, it hurts my feelings that he doesn't say it more!

I know it's so ridiculous, and I should be old enough to get over it, but I'm curious, when do they really understand "I love you" and start to say it with regularity? Do some kids just not say it much?

He gives lots of hugs and kisses and says other super sweet things like 'mommy--me up' or "mommy--hug" or (my favorite) "mommy--holda da hand" (he especially wants to hold my hand at night), or he will give lots of kisses. But I can say "I love you" 5 times in a row before I leave to go somewhere and I get nothing but a conversation about something unrelated (e.g.-- BLUE TRACTOR!) hahaha.

Just curious when others' kids really understood the phrase? I'd like to hear it a little before he launches into "MOM I hate you! you are so unfair!"


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Old 05-17-2012, 06:09 AM   #2
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Re: Saying "I Love You" regularly?

My 16 yr old is the one who taught my 3 yr old how to say "I love you" about a year ago. I am still not convinced that she actually understands it. She NEVER says it spontaneously, only in response to someone saying it to her, at bed time or before we go somewhere. But, my 3 yr old is behind in her speech so I don't know if she's a good measure of it or not...
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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I think DD caught on at about 2 but could say it way before then. We prompted her to say it back. She is 3.5 and says it spontaneously all the time and has been for quite a while...a year or so.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:16 AM   #4
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Re: Saying "I Love You" regularly?

With DS1 it took a long time and I felt the exact same way. I think he was about 3 before he said it consistently. I remember singing "I love you!" to him because he would sing it back more often than if I just said it. And it was only from across the room.

It seems like my younger two said it earlier. Having an older brother to emulate helped I guess. And at one point DS2 started coming up to me at random times and saying, "Mommy, I wuv you!" big smile and then running off.

By the time they are 4, they know that not saying it is a way of expressing their displeasure with what you are doing. ex "Night night. I love you, sweetie." "I don't want to go to sleep." Deafening silence. Perhaps a roll away for emphasis.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:21 AM   #5
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Re: Saying "I Love You" regularly?

My son is 2.5yrs old and he'll say it spontaneously now. I'm not entirely sure he knows what it means, because he was saying goodbye to the guy working on our basement and he told him he loved him Awkward.....
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:22 AM   #6
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My daughter was about 2.5 ish when she started saying it. She was just 3 when she started saying it after she did something that she knew would make me angry. It was a pretty cute manipulation. Now at almost 4, she says it randomly like people do and doesn't use it like a tool anymore.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:34 AM   #7
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Re: Saying "I Love You" regularly?

Ds is 2 1/2 and a month ago said I love you for the first time. I was getting him out of the car and he looked at me and randomly said it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:48 AM   #8
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Re: Saying "I Love You" regularly?

My 2.5 yr old says it occasionally, but only when I say it to her. She understands that it's a positive happy thing, but I don't think she truly gets what it's about. My son is 4 and says it ALL the time with true meaning. He's probably been doing it for 8-12 months I think. He's a very lovey boy.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:04 AM   #9
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Re: Saying "I Love You" regularly?

For every child it is different. My older 3 were older like 3+ before they started to say it on their own. But my youngest, it was one of her first sentences, at like 2ish. She says it all the time, will come up out of the blue and will grab my hand and will say I love you momma, or will go up to one of her sibs and will bury her face into their bellies and will say ____________ I love you...

Its super cute. But I learned with my olders that it wasn't the words that they spoke that expressed their love and devotion to me, it was the moments that they would come up out of the blue and kiss and hug me. They didn't necessarily understand the words, but they sure did understand the emotion and how they felt.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:28 AM   #10
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Re: Saying "I Love You" regularly?

My daughter has been saying it since she turned 2 or so. I think that girls might catch on sooner? She definitely seems to know what it means.
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