3 yr old calls me by my first name - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has occasionally called my and my husband by our first names for a while - usually in a pretty defined context (calling out to see if the other one is home when we get home). Recently, he first started calling me by my first name, then my husband by his, pretty much all the time. For a bit I didn't say anything about it to him, assuming it would go away quickly - and it didn't then and doesn't now seem like a power issue, or like he's doing it to make us mad - which it never has. Then after a while, I realized I would rather be called Mommy, so I started asking him to call me Mommy when he called me by my name. He would always comply (although this usually subjected me to that funny tendency by new talkers to repeat the entire thing, haltingly). After a bit of this, I just started ignoring it again. I vascillate between completely not caring, and worrying what people will think (esp my mom, who has already commented and given me advice on how to stop it). Anyone else have this experience? Any words of advice, or other thoughts? We have a daughter, 13 months. I wonder how all of this will play out as she starts talking.
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#2 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 11:56 PM
 
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My 5yo and 3yo often call us by our first names, alternating with 'Mom' or 'Dad'. (Often, they'll slip and call me 'Dad' or my spouse's name, or call him by my name. Interchangeable parents!) Now my 18 month old is calling me by my first name sometimes, too.

I admit, I'm sorry to see the 'Mama' go, sometimes. But I grew up calling my parents by their first names. I don't think it's disrespectful or inappropriate at all, and using first names doesn't indicate less of a bond, to me. The kids call each other by their first names - why wouldn't we all? Ultimately, I like what it says about our relationship that we use first names.
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#3 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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my 3 yo has started calling me and dh by our names. i don't think it will be permanent. i think he is just playing around with it. i honestly don't think it's a big deal.
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#4 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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My oldest started doing that and we just ignored it, but like you it didn't go away, so my husband started calling our son George (his name is Alex) and he would get so mad about it. Mad in a fun way, not an angry way, it was like a joke between the three of us.

and then my DH said, you know, I would like to be called Dad not John, and Mom would like to be called Mom not Kathy, and you would like to be Alex again right? and then he just came around.

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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#5 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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My best friend's son has never called his Dad "Dad", he has always called him "M" (the first initial of his name). He will call him "my dad" when talking to other kids/adults but never directly calls him Dad - he turns 8 in a month. It would make me kind of sad, but my friend doesn't seem to mind.
They have a daughter who just turned two, I'm curious to see what she ends up calling him.

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#6 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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My daughter started trying to call us by our first names around that age. It makes sense: I call my husband by his name and he calls me by mine. However, I do not want my child to call me by my first name.

When she started calling my "Kristina" I explained that she gets to use a special name for me that is just for her: mama. And no one else gets to call me that.

Of course she still tried to call me Kristina. I never answered to it. The conversation would go like this:
Denali: Kristina?
Me: (silent)
Denali: Kristiiiina...
Me: My name is mama, please.
Denali: Kristina!
Me: (silent)
Dnelai: Mama?
Me: Yes, honey?

And repeat, repeat, repeat... I was super consistent about it, and NEVER answered to "Kristina." She got it after awhile, and it hasn't been an issue since.
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#7 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 01:42 AM
 
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DD on occasion calls Dh and I by our first names. It doesn't really bother us since they are our names.

I admit I do understand telling your child that your first name isn't your name, when it fact it is. I think Homer Simpson was in the right by telling Bart "Homer is what grown ups call me" if it's that much of an issue.

Right now DS calls me "mine" and DH "Yours".

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#8 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 09:35 AM
 
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My niece has always called me Lou because that was as close as she could get to my actual name when she was little, and my dd (8) has always called me that too. When I asked her about it she said "That's what niece calls you, so I am too." I tried and tried to get her to call me some variation of mama, but finally gave it up.

It bothered me at first, but I finally gave it up as it wasn't disrespectful in any way. Now that she is getting older she will tell people "This is my mom. We call her Lou, and you can call her that too if you want to. She doesn't mind."

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#9 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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my four year old experimented with this also around age 3 1/2, my 2 1/2 year old now does this on occasion. we don't get upset with her, we just tell her that we prefer she calls us mom and dad. i think it is just amazing to her (and was to my ds as well) that we have names other than mom or dad.

my four year old just realized opa and oma (his grandparents that he sees quite frequently) also have different names and is going through this same thing with them. they also just tell him they prefer to be called opa and oma, not by their first name with him and he says ok.

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#10 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tinuviel_k View Post
My daughter started trying to call us by our first names around that age. It makes sense: I call my husband by his name and he calls me by mine. However, I do not want my child to call me by my first name.

When she started calling my "Kristina" I explained that she gets to use a special name for me that is just here: mama. And no one else gets to call me that.

Of course she still tried to call me Kristina. I never answered to it. The conversation would go like this:
Denali: Kristina?
Me: (silent)
Denali: Kristiiiina...
Me: My name is mama, please.
Denali: Kristina!
Me: (silent)
Dnelai: Mama?
Me: Yes, honey?

And repeat, repeat, repeat... I was super consistent about it, and NEVER answered to "Kristina." She got it after awhile, and it hasn't been an issue since.
This is about how it went at our house too, now B will tell other people what our names are and say , this is my mama, daddy calls her "Cass". She still reverts back to using our first names occasionally, we just try and correct her gently and move-on.

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#11 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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Both my kids call me by my first name and usually call DH by his first name too. He gets "daddy" more often than I get "mom" though!

Really, it doesn't bother us, but it really REALLY bothers some other people. I don't see what the big deal is. DH and I find it cute. At first we thought it was just a phase, but it's going on 8-10 months of DS1 doing this and now DS2 has picked it up.
I know if we pushed the kids to stop, they'd just do it more to get attention and to annoy us

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#12 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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My DS -6 calls me Kerri, instead of Mom. He started about 2 years ago. It never has bugged me. His younger brother-4- calls me Kerri or Mom.
I never tried to stop it or anything. People think it is strange, I think. It just doesn't bug me at all.
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#13 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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My older ds (6) calls dh by his first name and is corrected (by dh) everytime. It's been a couple years now... If this is a phase it's a long one.
I am about half and half and respond to either/ don't really care. Dh hates it though.
Ds #2 who is 3 almost always calls us mom and dad.
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#14 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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It doesn't really bug me all that much. Both of mine experiment with it now and then, and I have answered to my first name and teased them about how they call me Mama, just like their names are A and S, but I call them by their nicknames sometimes, too. They perceive Mama as being my "nickname", just like they both have nicknames that I like to use with them sometimes.

I actually like that my kids are comfortable with my first/last name being my "real" name from a safety perspective. If they're ever lost somewhere, I think it would be harder to locate me if all my kids knew was that I was MAMA! and not my first name/last name.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#15 of 24 Old 02-02-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I wouldn't take issue with it, as it seems your only real misgiving is what others/your mom will think.

My now nearly 7yo went though a phase at about 3 where she was calling me Mommy -- I had always been "mama" and dh had always been "papa" but as she started interacting in the community more she came across other adults who would refer to us as her mommy and daddy. It grated on us both soooo badly, there was a reason we had her calling us mama and papa We had a similar conversation as Gentle~Mommy about showing respect by calling people by the names they prefer. For us, that meant she was free to either call us mama/papa or by our first names. She tried out our first names for a while, but slowly slipped back in to mama/papa and that's who we've been since. If at some point in the future she or any of the other girls want to call us by our first names, that's fine.
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#16 of 24 Old 02-02-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Xpcting#3 View Post
(Often, they'll slip and call me 'Dad' or my spouse's name, or call him by my name. Interchangeable parents!)
For about 6 months, DS called us both Momdy.

For whatever reason, both kids call DH by his first name sometimes. It doesn't bother me if they call me by my name, but they don't. I think they're aware that while DH gets that there's no logical reason for it to bother him that it does. We address it jokingly. "Who am I? Am I just B?" Then they'll laugh and say "no, you're Daddy."

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#17 of 24 Old 02-02-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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For very specific reasons, my brothers and I grew up calling my parents by their names. In fact, once I reached teenage years, every time I said Dad, his answer was "What do you need". And he was right most times, I wanted to ask something...

So I am also okay with dd calling me by my name, it is my name. DH seems fine with it too. Somehow I have more of a problem when she calls me Sweetie and Dear though...

Most of DD1's friends have done it too, especially with their fathers. Some parents around us let it happen some don't.

You can simply say that you prefer being called Mommy because it is more respectful. That is what one of my friend did and his 3 year old has stopped right away. But I have to say that this little one seems to "get" the idea of respect quite well.

It will definitely have an impact on the toddler though from my experience... She will probably do the same thing he does.

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#18 of 24 Old 02-02-2010, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks everyone for all the great replies! I knew I could count on MDCers for some good advice. It seems like if it bothers me, there's a good chance (but not 100%) that I could get him to call me Mommy, but if it doesn't bother me, then don't worry about it. Honestly, I mostly don't mind it, and even kind of like it when I get those crazy looks from other moms who clearly think I am insane. Also, I feel like just getting through the Threes is tough enough without trying to consistently correct him! I mean, the kid says my name/Mommy about a thousand times a day!

Just wondering, what did Zuleicamoon mean about specific reasons not use Mommy/Daddy but Mama/Papa instead?
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#19 of 24 Old 02-03-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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Just wondering, what did Zuleicamoon mean about specific reasons not use Mommy/Daddy but Mama/Papa instead?
I just never liked the sound of "mommy" for myself....it just sounds (to me) sort of syrupy/whiny or maybe manipulative or something? I discovered wile pg with #1 that my dh felt the same way about "daddy." We considered having her call us by our first names right off the bat, but eventually settled on mama and papa as a sort of compromise for two reasons.

First, dh was not as comfortable with the first name thing as I was, he was concerned that it didn't show appropriate relationship (ie, he had a scenario in his head of needing to remove a tantruming child from a public situation and people becoming suspicious because the kid would be screaming his first name and not a name that immediately identified him as her father).

The second reason was less important overall than the first, but it did come up during our conversations about the subject -- other people (grandparents) could not refer to us with regards to parenthood without attaching some sort of traditional parental name. Since the default is mommy and daddy and we both had strong feeling against those, we felt it prudent to choose "parent" names we were comfortable with in order to avoid any unnecessary annoyance.

I should say, too, that neither of us has any issue with mommy or daddy for other people. When speaking of her parents with our niece we both refer to them as Mommy and Daddy because that's what she calls them...there is no hesitation and it doesn't bother or grate for either of us in the slightest.
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#20 of 24 Old 02-03-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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my 3 yo has started calling me and dh by our names. i don't think it will be permanent. i think he is just playing around with it. i honestly don't think it's a big deal.


mine does sometimes as that is what DH and grandparents call me.. i'm not worried.

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#21 of 24 Old 02-05-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Honestly, I mostly don't mind it, and even kind of like it when I get those crazy looks from other moms who clearly think I am insane.
Tell them insane is my DH's Grandparents who still call each other mom and dad in their 80s because that's the habit they got into 60 years ago. I'd rather have my daughter call me by my name than my hubby still calling me mom in 50 years.

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#22 of 24 Old 02-06-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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my oldest dd did this for a few months with dh and i. we figured she was just working out who was who in all their roles in life... she now calls us mom and dad again....

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#23 of 24 Old 02-07-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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my almost 3 year old has really been exploring this name thing for awhile. it must really be an age thing! i dont mind, but i did tell her that she can use my special mama name too sometimes

mama to one '07 and one '09
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#24 of 24 Old 02-07-2010, 02:55 AM
 
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I'm in the "no problem, it is my name" camp.

Jessie
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