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Would you let your kids call you by your name?

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Parents Who Let Kids Call Them by Their First Names Are Giving Up Something Special

Posted by Jacqueline Burt on January 23, 2013 

mom shirtI was chatting with another mom friend recently when the topic of kids who call their parents by their first names -- you know, instead of "mom" or "dad." We both agreed that it's sort of cute when little kids fall into the habit accidentally, like a 2-year-old cousin of mine who used to call her dad "Bill." There was just something hilarious about the way her odd choice played into everyday conversation: "And then I went to the park with Mommy and Bill, and then Bill pushed me on the swing, and then Mommy said no ice cream but Bill said okay!"

If you didn't know better, you'd wonder if maybe Mommy wasn't having an affair with this "Bill" character. Anyway, we also agreed that hearing a teen calling her dad "Bill" (or her mom "Kate" or whatever) is a different sort of animal altogether. I'm not sure how I would feel about my 11-year-old, for example, calling me by my first name. On the one hand, what's the big deal?

What difference does it really make? On the other, it's the kind of seemingly trivial thing that can end up meaning so much more.

Some parents I know would take their kid calling them by name as a sign of disrespect, which I guess I understand. But for me, I think it would be more about ... loss. Like being demoted, or something. When you think about it, you're going to call pretty much every single person you meet in your entire life by name. Besides teachers, doctors, dentists, police officers and people in the military or clergy, that is. And even then, there's the possibility of overlap. You might meet more than one Mr. Franklin or Dr. Shapiro over the years ... but in the vast majority of cases, you only get one (maybe two) people designated as Mom or Dad.

I don't want to miss out on being one of those people, especially when I already am one of those people. If you know what I mean. I had the kids. I am a mom. I am THEIR mom. If the shoe fits, call a spade a spade? Oh, you know what I mean.

Would you let your kids call you by your name?

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM

No. I'm mom. My ex husband is dad. Our spouses are called by their first name. I'm not ok with my kids calling us by anything else. 

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM

I own my kids daycare, so if they are in a classroom and yelling down the hall to get my attention and "mommy" isn't working, they resort to "MISS DEBBIE!" every once in awhile to see if that will work. I think it's cute, until we get home and at the dinner table they are asking me "Miss Debbie can I have more rolls?".

My 16 year old has NEVER called me by my name. I think I would have my feelings hurt.

I do call my biological father "Smokey Dave" because he has never been a factor or participant in our lives. I feel like he is an outsider and to call him "dad" would be giving him credit for a job he has never done.

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM
1 mom liked this

No thanks! I am Mom, Mama, Mother, Mommy, Maternal unit, Parental unit, take your pick. My husband dosnt even call me by my first name, and my kids DEFINITELY arent going to get a response from using my first name to address me. Lol

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Only if we worked together would I let him call me something other than mama, mommy, mom, or ma... My husband calls his mom by her first name, and so does his sister, they have ever since their dad passed away, because she's just not the same person as she used to be


ETA: and he could only call me by my first name at WORK... (only because it's professional, and not disrespectful at work)

by Nikki on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

My kids do sometimes. I used to do babysitting and all the kids would call me Ms.Nicole.My kids both picked up on and have called me both Mom and Nicole or Nikki. I encourage them to say Mom but I don't make a huge deal if they don't do it.

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM
No. I personally find it disrespectful.
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by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Half my kids call me by my name because they are my siblings whom I'm the guardian of. My sons call me mama. I think its disrespectful for a child to call an adult, especially a parent, by their first name unless they are siblings or cousins.

by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM
I don't answer when they try to call me anything but mom.
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by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM
I still call my parents Mom and Dad. Dh's brother calls their mom by her first name. I'm not sure why but the way he does it is disrespectful..
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by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM

No, I wouldn't be comfortable with that. I can be asking my mom something & she doesn't hear me & I'll keep saying mom, mom, mom & then I'll finally scream her name & then she hears me.. when it's like that I think it's fine.. but not like on an everyday basis though. I only do that with my mom if I'm trying to talk to her & she doesn't hear me but I don't do it all the time though. Now my dad on the other hand.. I don't call him dad cause he hasn't been a part of my life since I was about 3 so It's hard for me to call him dad since I never have called him that.

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