Responding to "I love you"

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by jae, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. jae

    jae Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2010

    It is my first year teaching, and I am discovering that kindergarteners hug a lot, and more and more lately they are saying I love you to me when they hug me. I am not sure what the appropriate response to this is... My fellow kindergarten teacher says that she says I love you too because for some of them, this is the only love they receive. I care deeply about my kids, but I'm not sure that I love them:unsure:. How do you respond to I love yous from the kids?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't think they would understand the difference between deep affection and love.

    I agree with your fellow teacher.

    (Not that I get a whole lot of "I love you" comments from the teenagers I teach-- that would be an entirely different problem.)
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    When I taught the littles, I always told them I love them.
     
  5. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I usually respond with an "I love you, too." Or sometimes a very warm smiles that shows them they've made my day.
     
  6. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    I teach high school and have heard lots of I love you, usually they say something like "I love you like you were my mom" to which I always tell them "I love you too, just like I love all my students."
     
  7. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    I always respond, "I love you too" to my kindergarten students. I agree with Alice - they don't consciously know difference between different kinds of love, they just love.
     
  8. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    If you don't feel comfortable saying "I love you" back just say something like "Oh, Thank you sweetie. Thats so nice of you to say!" I usually don't say "I love you" back either, but I also don't see anything wrong with it. Our state teachers union actually told us that we should never even touch the children. They obviously don't teach kindergarten. If I followed their advice nobody in my class would have shoes tied, coats zipped etc... We were even told that if a child needs help buttoning their pants, buckling a belt etc... we should send them to the nurses office so that she can do it. That is ridiculous! I still help with their basic needs. I do give hugs back, but I never initiate the hug. You do have to be careful, but you also have to be realistic.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You could always respond with something like, "You are such a sweetie!" or, "Oh, thank you for that!". They just want to feel special and close to you. It's a compliment.
     
  10. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    I cannot help but smile when I think of all the hugs that I have gotten from my students from kinders up to my fourth graders. It is their way of showing they appreciate you. I always say don't squeeze when they hug and I return with a light pat on their back or shoulder. Even though I don't actually love these kids like I do my own children, I care about them. I have seen too many parents who never think about saying they love them or, what is the most shocking to me, the parents don't seem to know about little things like singing silly songs, playing games, making heart shaped pancakes or any small token of affection. I find parents can be very self centered. I must say these types of things come natural to me and I cannot imagine not doing them. So, when a student out of the blue just hugs me (I had a 3rd grader do this last week) and says I love you or Thank you, I smile and return the sentiment. They will remember those tokens of affection (even if you send them to timeout once in a while) more than anything else in their years at school. I remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Branch. I remember I kissed her on her cheek. I remember the way she smelled and that she smiled. It really matters.
     
  11. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    I've said "Thank you" sometimes and one of my students made a face and said "Why do you keep saying 'thank you'?" I wasn't trying to offend her but it seems she was only expecting the reciprocal answer. Ha ha.
     
  12. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I'm uncomfortable saying, "I love you, too." I don't know why...but I am. So I usually answer, "Oh, thank you!" or, "aren't you a sweetie?" or something like that.

    I have one little girl who tells me she loves me 108 times a day. And she is the cutest thing I've ever seen. And she is one I may actually love....but I still don't want to tell her that I love her. So, I always give her one of my pat answers with a big loving smile.
     
  13. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Feb 6, 2010

    I always tll my kids "I love you too, I love all of my students" and I do, maybe I wouldn't take them all home for the weekend, but I do care about them and that is what they really mean ;)
     
  14. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I have to say, this has happened to me a few times this year (I'm a man teaching kindergarten) from both boys AND girls. What I've said is something like "You are so sweet to me" or "I think you're one of the nicest girls (or boys) I know" - something like that.

    Now I DO tell my entire group I love them ALL the time, but that's a little different.

    This week I had my first attempted KISS. A little boy gave me a hug and as he pulled away, he tried delivering a SMOOCH. I explained that kisses were for family members at home only... ugh.
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    It's so funny I read this today. Yesterday one of my boys, who says it all the time (my feeling is mom thinks it cute and lets him get away with anything when he says it). He said it yesterday and I really, really wanted to say back to him (although I would never say it) - if you really loved me then you would actually finish your work for once!

    I also never repeat it back. I just say "Thank you". No child has ever complained or asked why. I really don't think they have any understanding of the concept-just something family probably says to them all the time.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 6, 2010

    'Thank you' is a good response...others you might consider:
    That makes my heart feel so good
    You are special to me, too
    You are in my heart

    Find ways to love the kids you teach...:love:
     
  17. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Interestingly enough, even high school kids still do this... I tell them I love them, too because I do. :)
     
  18. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    My first two years, I felt awkward about hugs and "I love yous". Then, last year, I worked with a partner teacher who showed me that's it's okay to hug your kids and to say, I love you back. So, now, I have no problems hugging students, former and new and saying I love you back. I may not love them like I love my family and hubby, but I do deeply care about them. :)
     
  19. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    I teach pre-k and I get hugs and "I love you's" all day every day! I always say it back. Many children crave love and affection and I enjoy making them feel loved! I think it's important for children this young to be nurtured and hugged and told how special they are. If you're uncomfortable saying it, then I wouldn't because some children will pick up on your discomfort and perhaps take it to mean you are being dishonest. But if you are comfortable, then go ahead and tell them!!
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Feb 7, 2010

    I've heard this from a few of my grade 8s--"See, I told you she loves us", "We love you (teacher love)". My response--a smile and sometimes, a "Love you, too--student love!"
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The comment I tend to hear most often is "Can you request to teach us next year??"

    My response: "I would love to. But we're not allowed to request students. If we did, think of all the kids who would have no teachers!!!"
     
  22. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    :lol: Alice!
     
  23. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Wow! I guess I'm the exception! After the first few days of school I line my kids up to go home and say to each one, "Bye Cole, I love you!" "Bye Sarah, I love you!" etc. EVERYDAY! By the second week some of the children tell me they love me. And by November, they respond with things like, "I love you more! Or I love you to the moon!" lol

    Now, do I love them like my own children or like my husband? No. But I love them like my students!:) I think they feel at ease knowing I love them and want what is best for them. This also works out well when I have to correct behavior. After having the "talk" with them about their behavior I always end it with a hug and "I still love you". This has really been a miracle worker for my class. They try really hard not to disappoint me.

    What kid wouldn't want to go to school where they felt safe and knew their teacher loved them!? Doesn't it feel good to be at home where you know you are loved?! Many of my kids don't get that at home...so I make sure each one knows they are loved at school! Many of them will come up throughout the day and tell me. I smile and tell them I love them too!:)
     
  24. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    :thumb: though, I do answer back with, "awww, I love you too". Maybe, cuz I"m a mom? I don't know...but saying "I love you" is especially easy when the kids just let it rip! :)
     
  25. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I do tell them I love them, b/c I do, some I know just don't hear it
     
  26. teachornurse

    teachornurse Rookie

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    this right here makes me want to teach!!!! making a positive difference in kids lives. It's very sad to think that some kids don't get attention or affection from parents!! They need to feel special! :)
     
  27. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Feb 17, 2010

    I am with you. I teach 6 year olds. I do love them...maybe not the same as I do my family, but I love them in the moment. And for some that is the only love they will get. And I had a special teacher that I "loved" when I was young and in Kindergarten. She wore blue pantyhoses. I remember sitting on the carpet by her rocker and running my hand on her leg while she read. (I would HATE for a kid to do that to me, but she would just smile.) I had heard my aunt use the word "sophisticated" and I decided any teacher that wore blue pantyhose was that! I can still feel those hose on my hand while I think about all the Curious George books she read. Curious George is still my favorite and I still hate Dr. Seuss (she didn't like him.)
     

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