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

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.

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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?


Image via Jamie/Flickr

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