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#1 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you have any "aunts" in your family that are not really relatives how did they become that?
we had one growing up and my sister actually just started calling my mom's friend, Aunt.
To this day I call her aunt....


there are 2 friends in my life that once in while refer to themselves as AUNt to my kids. It bugs me. not enough to say anything but I never refer to them as aunt to my kids.

I don't even know why it bugs me but it does.

How do you feel about honorary aunts?

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#2 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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I have one, and my kid has one. What I dislike is calling other female figures "mom" (like, a good friend's mother "mom" or your MIL "mom" -- drives me batty). I wouldn't really be OK with someone else declaring them to be aunt or uncle to my child without me initiating it. But I do have an almost-sister, who I've known since 2nd grade, who is aunt to my son, and I'm aunt to hers. We call them cousins, and our nephews, and they'll grow up closer to each other than my kid will with his "real" cousins. But I don't call her mom my aunt, nor "mom". My honorary aunt is someone my parents have known since before they were married, with whom we often spent either Thanksgiving or Christmas, and with whom I am closer than almost any of my "real" aunts.
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#3 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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I don't have any. DD does though, she's been my best friend since elementary and a huge part of our life. Now she's surrogate to our baby too so I guess that makes her officially a blood relative too.

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#4 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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We have several honorary aunts and uncles, and granpas and grandmas. One of my friends called herself aunt and actually I was flattered that she wanted to be involved in DD's life as more than a friend. Now if it had been someone that I didn't want to be more involved, I think that would bother me.
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#5 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 02:31 AM
 
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We call my dd's godmother "Auntie." I think it's sweet. The more loving people surrounding our family, the better!

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#6 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 02:46 AM
 
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That's why I love my friends. I like to think of it as we have one big giant family.

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#7 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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I think it's sweet, mostly. I have one friend who started calling herself auntie when my DS was born, and I don't really mind, but I don't want my other friends to wonder why she's "auntie" and they're not, so I don't usually call her that when I refer to her, although I do write it when DS wants to send her a card or something.

(Holy run-on sentence! )

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#8 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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We've decided to make key adults in DS's life aunts and uncles (good friends). My friend grew up in Hawaii and this was how she was raised. I liked the idea and so we went with it.

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#9 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 04:26 AM
 
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In my culture (Czech), it's very common for close friends of the family to be "aunts" and "uncles". It's almost second nature for me to introduce my close friends to my DS as "auntie" so-and-so and "uncle" so-and-so, though I never insist that he call them that.

I guess I've never questioned it, but I don't consider it a big deal. If one of my DS's "aunts" came to me and said it made her uncomfortable, then I wouldn't bat an eye and put an end to it.

Frankly, sometimes your honorary "aunts" are closer to you than your blood relatives (it's happened to me). I think it's nice to have an extended family.
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#10 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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Honourary Aunts to me usually are just close family friends - that I probably wish were in 'aunty' relation to me!

I have two close friends I wish were my sisters - I would happily tell my son they are his aunties! hehe

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#11 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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Ds has one, who has been a close friendof mine since grade school...then she ended up marrying one of dh's best friends from when he was growing up.
She never declared herself as Aunt ____, but we did and he refers to her as such.
He has a few "Uncles" as well.
We don't have big familes, and live away from from them all...to us, our close, long term friends are our family too.
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#12 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 10:40 AM
 
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in my husband's culture (he is filipino), my son would call everyone of my generation who is close to the family auntie or uncle. this includes real aunties and uncles, and close family friends. so, all of our close friends who are filipino are auntie or uncle by default, and a lot of our non filipino friends can go by auntie or uncle, too.

LOL, it makes it easier for me at family gatherings, too... because if i forget a name (huge family) i can just call the person auntie... or if they are older, grandma.
i think its kind of cozy:.
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#13 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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The only honorary aunt my kids had ended up marrying one of my brothers; so now she's a real aunt. They still have an honorary uncle though.
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#14 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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I am the honorary aunt, and I love it! However, I wasn't the one to announce that status. I waited till the kids' moms started calling me "Auntie" to the kids.
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#15 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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All my good friends are referred to as aunt and uncle and vice versa. I lived in South America for awhile and there any friends your parents' age or older was Tia or Tio whatever. Also DH's family is from India and it seems to be similar there I think. And most of our friends have parents from countries where this is the case as well, so we all have just fallen into the habit.

It also seems just natural - I would feel weird being Mrs. So-and-so to my friends' kids - it seems too formal. But I would also feel weird having my kid call my friends by just their given names without explicit persmission / preference on the adults' part - too presumptuous. So this seems to me to be a good balance between friendliness and respectfullness.
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#16 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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I have one sister and we have never been close. But I have a really close friend who has been like a sister to me for almost 10 years...She is definitely considered "aunt"...For other really good friends (1 or 2) I refer to them as "auntie" out of respect for our friendship.

My Mom had 2 really close friends from college that we still refer to as "Aunt"...Even though my Mom has 3 sisters.

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#17 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I find nothing wrong with it if you are close, my best friend and her DP are my DD's aunt and uncle. DP(also a very close family friend) even refers to himself as Uncle Dave, they are closer to us than much of our real family. we even thought about them becoming DD's godparents, never made it official.

I find nothing weird about it, unless they are not really good friends.

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#18 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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I still call my parents' best friends "aunt" and "uncle." They told me years ago I could drop it, but it's comfortable for me so that's what I do.

Dh's parents have very close family friends, their dd lives in the neighborhood and is very close with us (she's like 40). Her parents are also in the neighborhood and so is her sister. My kids call them "auntie" and "uncle." I see it as a term of respect.

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#19 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 01:34 PM
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We don't do it.

I completely object to the it. I don't see why children can't just call adults by their names. I HATE making a distinction based solely on age.
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#20 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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I have 3 sisters who I am very close with and DH has four sisters that he is close with and I still refer to my best girlfriends as auntie to my daughter. We also call a few of DH's friends uncle. IMO the bigger the family the better.....it takes a village.
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#21 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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Growing up we only called our actual relatives "Aunt" and Uncle" but I have a good friend who is like a sister to me and my dd calls her "Aunty Jen". We are very close so I think it's great.
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#22 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
That's why I love my friends. I like to think of it as we have one big giant family.
I wonder whether our people (heh) are more open to this out of necessity? So many of us are without FOO...

I'm an aunt to the Small Friends--they initiated it (in some cases, their parents did) and they don't call me "Aunt" unless they're teasing me, though their parents refer to me as "Aunt Terri" when talking about me to them, when I'm in earshot.

I love it and feel honored to hold a special place in their hearts and lives.
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#23 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cotopaxi View Post
I would feel weird being Mrs. So-and-so to my friends' kids - it seems too formal. But I would also feel weird having my kid call my friends by just their given names without explicit persmission / preference on the adults' part - too presumptuous. So this seems to me to be a good balance between friendliness and respectfullness.
Same in our family. All my best girlfriends are my daughters' aunties.

I think it's awesome, and my girlfriends enjoy it, too.
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#24 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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We don't do it.

I completely object to the it. I don't see why children can't just call adults by their names. I HATE making a distinction based solely on age.
Do your kids call you by your first name? Their grandparents, too?

"Auntie" is just a term of endearment, it's not a means of oppression.
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#25 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 05:50 PM
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Do your kids call you by your first name? Their grandparents, too?

"Auntie" is just a term of endearment, it's not a means of oppression.
My mother would be very happy if her grandchildren called her by her first name. Sadly - my oldest sister refused to respect that choice with her children. And now that there are older kids saying "grandma and grampa" it would be very hard to change.

I'm happy for DD to call me either by my first name, mama or mom. I don't want to be called "mommy" I hate the way it sounds. We started her off with 'mama' because my name is hard to say. But I would NEVER correct her for calling me by my first name. DH also agrees. He likes "daddy" - but also strongly believes that he has a name and there is no good reason why DD couldn't use it.

Luckily I have little contact with my oldest sister - and my other sister doesn't care if she's called Auntie or not. We're both happy to have each other's children call up by our first name.

I really despise the ariticial boundaries set up between adults and children by forcing these things.

Children are already powerless. Adults hold all the power. So why make there be special titles.
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#26 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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I never had any growing up, but my kids have an honorary aunt, grandma, and an honorary uncle. It represents how close I want them to be to our family and our children. However, we offered to all of them to be honorary family and they accepted. I would be upset if someone just started calling themselves "Aunt" without talking to myself first.

I call them "Aunt" and "Uncle" to the kids, and usually just say that to others we meet too who ask about them (like, Evie said she went to the beach this weekend, who'd she go with? Oh, her Uncle Justen). But sometimes (like with dh's blood relatives who would then say "Oh, your brother?" and I'd have to explain, no, he's not my brother, he's a friend, I tend to call him out as "the kids honorary uncle." I feel weird about it though, and I think I should just say "Uncle" and if they think he's my brother, so what?

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#27 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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I grew up with a couple of honorary aunts (and uncles) -they were friends of my grandparents, who were very close to the family and became aunt and uncle at their request...they didn't want to be "Mr and Mrs (lastname)" so they were "Aunt (firstname) and Uncle (firstname)." Close family friends of my parents were called Mr/Mrs/Dr or the appropriate honorific (lastname) unless we were told otherwise by the adult in question.

My daughter at the moment has one honorary aunt. We've become good friends with the doula who attended her birth, and she doesn't want to be called Mrs. (lastname) or Miss (firstname) which she elaborated when we were chatting one day, and so we decided on "aunt firstname" which is fine with me.
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#28 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kiera09 View Post
I really despise the ariticial boundaries set up between adults and children by forcing these things.

Children are already powerless. Adults hold all the power. So why make there be special titles.

Here it is not about boundaries or power. Ds has several honorary aunts and uncles and they are the most special adults in his life outside of this household.
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#29 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cotopaxi View Post
All my good friends are referred to as aunt and uncle and vice versa. I lived in South America for awhile and there any friends your parents' age or older was Tia or Tio whatever. Also DH's family is from India and it seems to be similar there I think. And most of our friends have parents from countries where this is the case as well, so we all have just fallen into the habit.
We're jewish but I was raised with close friends who were Mexican, and so our lives involved a Tia or two-Our dd's have one "Titi" who is a close family friend and who is actively involved with our dd's.
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#30 of 44 Old 09-16-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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We don't do honorary aunts/uncles. We had one friend who referred to himself as Uncle Carl for awhile, and as much as I like the guy, I wouldn't go along with it. I just continued to call him Carl to the kids, and he backed off.

For some unknown reason, Mike has older cousins that he grew up calling aunt and uncle. We are getting away from that now, too, since I was pretty boggled when I found out they weren't actually his aunt and uncle. They don't seem to care that we address them by their first names now.

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