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Would You Let Your Kid Call You Anything Other Than Mom?

Posted by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM
  • 17 Replies

Calling Your Mom By Her First Name Doesn't Make You a Brat

by Jeanne Sager Wednesday at 3:24 PM

momWhen my daughter stopped calling me Mommy, I had a much harder time than I expected. It seemed to signal the end of an innocent time. And yet, that bump in the road is one I dare say has better prepared me for the inevitable moment when she doesn't want to call me Mom anymore.

This seems to be an even more difficult hurdle for parents. I've talked to moms recently who said flat out that they'll never allow their kids to call them anything but Mom (or Mama or Mommy) because to allow them to deviate is disrespectful.

But is it? Is it really so bad to give your kid a little leeway in how they address you? Even to, gasp, let them use your first name?

You'll notice I just admitted I struggled with the change from Mommy to Mom. I don't want parents to think I don't understand the emotions that come with a kid who is growing up, and the relationship we all have with a name that no one else in the world can use (or should anyway ... if you're not my kid, don't call me Mommy!!).

But I have to say I'm confused by the notion that only one name can connote respect for a parent.

Let me tell you a little story. When I was a teenager, I hit that "don't want to call my parents Mom and Dad" stage. It's been long enough that I don't remember what fueled it, but the more parents I talk to, the more I'm finding it's COMMON.

My father wasn't about to let me call him by his given name, and I knew it. I never even tried. Instead, I started calling him George (his real name is Steve). Even then I wasn't sure why I chose George, but to my father's credit, he went with it. The way he saw it, it was a term of affection that his daughter had chosen.

Fast forward to my adult years, and George still pops out every once in awhile, but I've largely returned to Dad (or even Daddy ... for which I've gotten my fair share of mocking from an old boss and friend).

This memory is what helped me get over the Mommy to Mom transition, and it's what will arm me for the possibility that my kid will one day give up on Mom too. Because, from the kid's perspective anyway, there was nothing disrespectful about dropping Dad. If anything, it was my way of trying to balance respect with my growing independence.

Maybe you don't want your kids calling you by your first name; I respect that. But instead of flipping out, how about you talk to your kid? You might find out they respect you greatly ...

If they don't want to call you Mom, maybe the answer isn't to demand it anyway ... it's to let them find the name that represents their own balance between loving you and growing up.

Would you let your kid call you anything other than Mom or a variation of that?

Do you think it is disrespectful for children to call their parents by their first name?

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

 I would not let me kids call me by my first name. I have never addressed my parents by their names.

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM

 I wouldn't bother me but mine have always called me mom because my husband called me mom when they were around and they were little just like I called him dad. 

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 11:12 AM

No. I do think it's disrespectful. And I expect their friends to call me Mrs.....

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 2:38 PM

No I wouldn't.

by Kimberly on Apr. 12, 2013 at 10:00 PM

I have always been and will always be Mom to my guys.    I can't imagine them calling me by my name. 

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 10:57 PM
I would be sad. Only people in the world who call me mom (well lots of their friends too but it's a term of endearment) are my kids.
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by on Apr. 13, 2013 at 5:08 AM

If my kids wanted to address me by name, that would be OK as long as it was done in a respectful voice and they continued to treat me politely.  So far (and they are older teens, 17 and 18) they haven't wanted to call me anything but Mum.  I think 'Aramanth' is just too long to get their tongues around when Mum is quick and easy.  

My mother has long passed away but I called her Mum to the day she died.  My husband and I both call his mother Mum, which she likes.  Our girls call her Nana.  None of us would dream of calling her 'Joyce' - although I do call my FIL Tom rather than Dad.

by Susie on Apr. 13, 2013 at 8:23 AM
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by on Apr. 13, 2013 at 10:32 AM


by on Apr. 13, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I really don't think it is a matter of respect. But my kids still call me mom. I'm 55 and still call mine mom. My in-laws I call by their first names, but my hubby calls them mom and dad. And my kids call grandparents "grandma Helen" etc. just easier that way.

if my kids wanted to call me by my first name, I would be sad- no one else can call me mom. It's almost like a term of endearment. 

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