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What Do You Say When Children Say They Love You?


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One of my key children over the past week or so, has said a couple of times saying 'your're my favourite, I love you' as she sits next to me.

 

Makes me feel warm all over! Have felt that we have been relating well to each other.

 

I smile back at her and say 'I like you too'.

 

Is that appropriate? What do others do?

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I say 'That's a nice thing to say, thank you' or something like that. To 'you are my favourite' I would say 'we don't have favourites, we like everyone the same' or something like that - I wouldn't encourage that personally.

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I say I love you too because I do. I love all the children at playschool some slightly more than others :oxD

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I work with a few children who are on child protection register so have to be careful while at the same time showing them that they are special just for being them.

 

I have actually broken my rule today of not saying 'I love you too'. I usually say something along the lines that puzzles does.

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I say 'thank you' and usually 'that's a kind thing to say'. It’s a hard one as I don’t want to hurt their feelings but I feel that I want to keep a professional atmosphere in the classroom, well as professional as you can be surrounded by delightful 4 and 5 year olds!

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Hi

 

I err on the isde of caution due to the number of vulnerable children we have present.

I usually say "I think your're lovely/ kind too"

 

Its avoiding the kisses that can be more awkward- especially as we have one little boy who grabs the faces of children/ tries to with adults to plant a big wet kiss despite regular circle times on how we can show we care/ like friends etc. Don' t want him to think its wrong as his mum said that they are a very 'kissy family'- its just getting over to him who he can kiss and when/ where!!!!!!!

 

Lisa

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This has been a tricky one for me in the past as well.

I now tend to respond by saying 'Thankyou. You are my friend too!!'

They always seem happy with that response.

 

I have also found it awkward when children want to give you a kiss goodbye - INFRONT of parents!!!

even worse when they are wet sloppy ones!!!

What do others do with the kissing situation??!!

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I try to avoid, without giving offence to the child, after all, they are giving you a fine accolade!

 

Reason for avoiding - I see what they've put in their mouths, despite our best efforts!! :o

 

But I love'em all!!

 

Sue

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Interesting topic. Just met my new foster family, the girl aged four on the 1st day of meeting us said "can I call you mummy and daddy?" and "I love you". The mummy & daddy question we replied, "we'll see, lets wait until you move into your new home with us" ( this Friday). and to the "I love you" my husband replied, "do you?, lets go play...." in other words distraction mode.

 

At preschool, I give a "do you? " response, I sometimes ask who else do you love? and just give them my warmest smile :(:( then maybe have a cuddle then get on and play. I do sometimes think that when a child says "I love you" they may actually be saying I feel loving, or I need a cuddle.

 

As for kisses, I had a girl attend last year who's mother always insisted she came to give me a kiss goodbye, you know the child with the longest hair full of the most number of lice and the perpetual runny snotty nose :o . I 'loved her to bits' but always made it very clear, "Oh, we only share kisses with family" and offer a hug, but inevitably she would pucker up and aim right for the lips xD . As a compromise I said " I don't kiss with lips, you don't want my germs" and always offered her my cheek to kiss. Mum didn't cotton on and insisted every day that I should get a 'kiss' goodbye. :(

 

Peggy

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As for kisses, I had a girl attend last year who's mother always insisted she came to give me a kiss goodbye, you know the child with the longest hair full of the most number of lice and the perpetual runny snotty nose xD .

Peggy

 

 

Ours was Sean, and even hiding in the cupboard at the end of session didnt work, 'Lets go and give EVERYONE a kiss' says mom. :(:o

 

Lovely lad :(

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yes, it's always the one with the snotty nose!!! :) I always thank children when the say they love me...........and usually say some thing along the lines that most of you do,with an added, 'it's really nice to know when someone likes you!'

 

...........and i wouldn't discourage it, I think for most children it's simply their way of actually saying they feel safe with you, so I take it as a compliment................we have one little girl who wailed about everything for weeks, and one morning, she suddenly stopped mid-wail and announced..........'I LIKE you' and gave me a huge beaming smile!

 

Also, some children are NEVER told that they areloved and it's something they need to know.............another reason why I would never try to stop a child saying it, as it's good for them to express their feelings..............you can have some excellent discussions with them this way

Edited by narnia
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I have really had my eyes open at this new nursery where I am, the staff all kiss the children!!!! They think it is fine, but I feel weird about it, we never have encouraged it at my old nursery (I know you get the odd one and when parents are present it is fine but..), yet they say "oh come an give me a kiss" I have been shocked at lots of things that are said,

 

On a lighter note I was proposed to yesterday by a 3 yr old girl and that was lovely, I replied by saying that it was lovely that she wanted to marry me, and do the same if children say they love me, I thank them and my ego is sufficiently boosted and morale returned.

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Thank you everyone for your replies, they make me feel more comfortable and confident I am doing the right thing. I have also taken note of some of your additional suggestions which will be very useful next time.

 

I think it is right that children feel able to express their emotions in appropriate ways. I chose to ignore the child's comment about me being her favourite rather than encourage or discourage it, after all it is human nature to click with some people more than others.

 

Same with the kiss you get unexpectedly planted on your cheek when you're playing on the floor, I don't encourage it but I neither do I recoil from it either for fear of damaging a child's self esteem. Luckily haven't been too many snotty noses though !

 

As a staff, the only time I can think any of us kiss our children is when they say goodbye for the last time and go off to big school (if they wish too) and it's usually an exagerated kiss on the cheek, in front of their parents.

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We have one little boy who is always declaring his undying love for us. I always tell him I love him too. The mum knows what he is like and trusts us as staff and understands that we are caring professionals and nothing more. :o

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interesting thread....

 

our pre-school children are being very loving at the moment and come to me grabbing my leg and saying "i love you". i reply to them " I love you too", if the other children overhear i say " I love you all".

 

as for kissing. again pre-school will come and give you a kiss on the check and i just say "that was kind", many of our pre-school children and some of the younger ones kiss us as they go home, this is encouraged by the individual children's parents.

its a grey area really, but if parents are encouraging it i certanly would not NOT respond to the child i would give them a cuddle back and thank them for my kiss.

 

Dawn

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Lol @ these tales.

 

I always reply "aww thankyou, and I Love you too", and I do, i love and value everyone of them for who and occasionally what :o they are. I believe that even if they dont hear it at home, everyone should be told that they are loved and sometimes thats the case. and yes sometimes i do have to repeat it 20 times in a minute to all that overhear but thats fine too.

As for the kisses, they are always accepted with gratitude and i turn my cheek to accept, although have once been caught off guard and the very strong handed child turned my head and planted a very snotty smacker right on the lips! Quite distressing for me, although i tried to be professional, the parents was nearly crying laughing and appologised.

 

Im also a favourite xD , which is a special feeling to have, and the parent of the particular child was happy to tell me, and obviously i was happy with that.

I think it depends on the individuals feeling to be honest, i wouldnt expect that everyone would feel comfortable recieving a kiss or hug, or such compliments from a child but it serves to remind me how precious the children are and how vulnerable.

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It's the greatest thing when little ones show their affection. There is little to beat it.

 

Montessorians get around the end of sesssion 'kiss' by shaking hands at the child's level & asking him/her about what they have planned until you meet again. Showing interest & taking time for each child as they leave models the personal. social & emotional constructs we aim to develop while they are in our care.

 

 

Rosie

Edited by Guest
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Hi Everyone

 

I have also found this a tricky one, and reading everyones advise has been very helpful.

 

I love the children I work with (O.K. some are a challenge!!!) but I form a real emotional attatchment to most. When you work so closely with them it`s inevitable and I also think it`s what child care is all about. What a shame that today in the childcare enviroment we can`t be naturally spontaneous and honest for fear of being "correct" and following proper procedures and guidelines.

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It seems most of us are doing the same thing, we have children who say I love you and i also say i like you a lot too just like all the other children do. There is also a child at our unit and his mum says at home if ever he refers to me he always calls me mummy mrs m this makes me feel that i had a special part in settling him into our unit as he was a particularly tearful child to start with. Has anyone else had a child have a special nick name for them.

 

Nic

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Something maybe within the lines.

 

How can I deel with children kissing each other. Some kiss on the cheeks, few on the lips. They also talk about marrying each other.

 

I know that it is the age (4 and over) to identify with their sexuality, so they are discovering new aspects of themselves.

 

How can I deel it in the best way possible? Not sure if to keep this in this topic or apart.

 

Thanks in advance for your replies!

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Two 3 year old boys were kissing and hugging each other a few days ago. There was much giggling and both boys kept telling me 'he kissed me'.

At each time I just asked the 'kissed' boy if he wanted to be kissed, if he said yes I let it continue, but if he said 'no' I pointed out to both how we must stop if someone doesnt like something.

It only continued for a few minutes and then they went to play with something else.

I think we should be senitive to the childrens needs at that moment. I dont advocate staff kissing children, not sure I'd want mine kissed by nursery or school staff either, but if the children are kissing each other and so long as everyone is happy then I dont see a problem. Remember kiss chase at school, I never was very athletic!!

I'm supossedly marrying loads of children, and we did actually have a wedding at playgroup once. We were doing celebrations and my wedding dress was called into use, there was a load of role play from the bride because she'd recently been to a wedding, the poor old groom hadnt got a clue and did as he was told :o

(start as you mean to go on, my mom would say) xD

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Hi dunkirk (or should I say Nic)

 

We had a particularly challenging little girl at a previous setting of mine, she was very prone to outbursts of temper, and would lash out with hands, feet and nails. A colleague and i worked hard with her for an extended period, during which she gradually learnt to control these outbursts. When she wasn't having them, she was a cracking child with a wicked sense of humour. She used to call me 'Suieee', and by the time she left, so did almost everyone else!

 

Sue

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Hi Sue, it makes our job so worthwhile when we see children bloom and grow. I have recently been dealing with a child who at the start had great delight in telling me she was going to beat and kick me. She actually bit me leaving a lovely bite mark. However i have developed a bit of a soft spot for her and every time she comes to foundation she gives me a hug without fail and her mum says she is always talking about me at home. Ah bless them all.

 

Nic

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