To be upset to hear DS referred as "hyper boy" by his cousin

(44 Posts)
Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 19:35:44

Context: ILs on Skype with DBiL and DNephews. DD1 and DD2 were here and DNephew says "Where is hyper-boy?", clearly referring to DS, 4. My lovely nephew is 5 and he's clearly using words from his parents. I am so upset.
For the record, DS is very active and excitable, but nothing out of the ordinary. No problems at all at school.
I just find it horrible that his own uncle would use this label when referring to him in front of his children. For the record, DH is not a fan of his DB and I was trying to build bridges for the sake of DMil and the children.

thebody Sun 10-Feb-13 19:41:25

Well yes but have to say our ds 2 was known affectionately in the family as trigger ( bit flaky)and dh is eeyor.( cup half empty) dd is HRH..

Just give them affectionate names and see how it goes.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 19:43:45

Hyper? I don't see much wrong with that.

What's the problem?

Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 19:46:21

OK, just me then. I don't find "Hyper-boy" to be a particularly affectionate nickname.

Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 19:47:31

I don't refer to my nieces and nephews as "xx-girl" or "yy-boy" for a start.

Flisspaps Sun 10-Feb-13 19:47:49

I'd just take it to mean lively and excitable - just as you've described him.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 19:49:45

One of my sons was called 'big fat x' by his grandmother for the first five years of his life. That was a problem. Hyper-boy or girl sounds affectionate to me.

thebody Sun 10-Feb-13 19:52:32

Edma, that's what I am saying. Make up names for them all and then refer to them as such in Skype.. Make u feel better.

Bluestocking Sun 10-Feb-13 20:01:41

I think Hyperboy sounds like an affectionate superhero nickname. I doubt it's meant to be hurtful.

Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 20:02:24

Must be me, then. My friend thinks the same as you.
It's so something I would never do which is maybe why it really offended me.

It's not just you OP. I wouldn't like that either, but then I am very much in in the family (in law) that like to label every child and I battle against it. My DS is the 'rough' one and my nephew is 'grumpy and awkward'...
Nicknames are only ok when they are affectionate but if they don't 'feel' right then it's not.
I should have stopped it with my ds when it was all superhero/hyper references that didn't sit we'll but seemed fairly harmless, as he has soon become the scapegoat for many a family incident and it is the only behaviour commented upon I.e. he could play perfectly nicely for 2 hours but if he then slips up everyone is all nodding and sharing looks (or picking him up and shaking him, which happened too...whole other story)
Just don't let him be labelled.

thebody Sun 10-Feb-13 20:12:00

I guess everyone is different but for us nick names are so a part of all our family, nieces and nephews as well. All done in affection but I suppose could be taken the wrong way.

HecateWhoopass Sun 10-Feb-13 20:12:18

I also don't think offence was meant. It's an affectionate sort of nickname, imo. But that might be because I don't think there's anything wrong or negative about a kid being very active. Mine are, and I laugh about it. A friend's boy is and it's lovely to see him happily bouncing about.

If you think that she does see it as wrong and it is therefore meant negatively, then I could understand why you wouldn't like it.

Do you think that it implies a criticism of him? Is there anything that she does or says that would support that?

MrsDeVere Sun 10-Feb-13 20:17:27

I don't see the issue myself.
But it upsets you so you should say something.
Be prepared for your family to be taken aback and offended themselves though.

HollyBerryBush Sun 10-Feb-13 20:20:23

At 5 your nephew is at school. He is quite able at that age to form opinions on behaviour witnessed.

Why would you assume BIL and not SIL had chosen the name.

Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 20:27:26

Thinking more about why it upset me:
1/The parents never called him this in front of us. They just clearly referred to him as this.
2/Labelling a child is just shit IMO.
2/DNs are pretty quiet and reserved and so is DD1. DS is the only live wire.
3/DFil clearly favours DD and DS is always fighting for attention and getting worse and worse when he doesn't get it.

I just know it wasn't meant in a nice way.
But I do realise that I am making assumptions, and that 3/ is not directly related to the issue grin

gordyslovesheep Sun 10-Feb-13 20:28:50

hyper - just means active and exited - not seeing the issue I am afraid

Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 20:30:37

I think it's meant as short for hyperactive. And "anything-boy" is not very warm IMO.

PixelAteMyFace Sun 10-Feb-13 20:32:38

I can understand OP being upset as `hyper` is not a term that is generally used admiratively when describing someone.

Nicknames are lovely as long as they are merely affectionate and don`t have negative connotations.

As a child my grandfather always called me `Beefy`. I was not overweight at all, but have spent my entire life feeling like an ungainly lump - even in my twenties when I was a size eight I never felt good about my body.

OP`s DS is too young to understand yet, but she should have a word with her DB and tell him how she feels.

AlfalfaMum Sun 10-Feb-13 20:38:48

Yanbu

If it was meant affectionately it would be fine, but you know it's meant disparagingly and that's not on.
In my experience most 4 year olds are loud and energetic (my 3 girls all were), it's not fair to pigeonhole them.

MrsDeVere Sun 10-Feb-13 20:40:43

It does depend on the context. Only you can tell really.

My family used to go on and on about my DS1. He was the first boy in the family. They carried on like he was some crazy thing. He was very active but they had been used to very placid girls (not because they were girls, they just happened to be girls and placid).

Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 20:50:10

And if it was affectionate, surely they would have called him this to his/our face. Not referred to him like this behind our back.
I am probably too wet/soft, and overreacting, but it just puts me off. I have to make loads of efforts as DH doesn't really like his brother (although he likes his SIL and the DNs) and I have pushed for us to spend more time together, mostly for the children to spend time with their cousins.
They are supposed to come and spend 2 weeks with us this summer. DH wasn't keen to start with. So that's not helping.

Thinking about it, I still want the children to spend time together. I just will need to make sure this doesn't happen again.

DoJo Sun 10-Feb-13 21:06:13

Apart from anything, it may be something they have said just once and he has turned it into a nickname, rather than something routinely spoken about when your son's name comes up. I wouldn't worry if it were me, but if you feel strongly about it then maybe ask them not to call him that because it upsets you.

Corygal Sun 10-Feb-13 21:09:33

It's quite endearing.

Maryz Sun 10-Feb-13 21:14:53

Is it not a joke? My kids named our last cat after their youngest cousin, because he (the cat) was a bit of a nutter and kept stealing food off their plates, which was exactly what their cousin used to do when he was a toddler.

It was a joke, and everyone thought it was funny.

There is no way they would have teased someone they weren't fond of in such a way.

Maryz Sun 10-Feb-13 21:19:06

In fact, having read all your posts it sounds as though neither you or your dh like them much at all so I expect any nickname they gave him would be offensive in your eyes.

Sometimes it's hard not to be offended by people who you don't like, if that makes sense.

How do your children get on with their cousins? Do they like them?

And finally, it seems to me that your real problem is your fil ignoring your son and favouring your daughter, rather than a bit of good-natured joshing from your nephews sad.

HestonsFatCock Sun 10-Feb-13 21:21:30

It's a good job you aren't related to me, OP. I love all my nieces and nephews to bits, alongside my DSs and "soft lad", "soft girl" and "bloody bugger" are all part of my repetoire of endearments grin

claig Sun 10-Feb-13 21:29:34

Edma, you are right to be upset over it. It is not nice and I don't think it is a joke.

But if he is hyperactive, then others will notice it and make comments. It doesn't really matter as it is part of his nature. It is not nice of them to single that out, but the best thing is to just ignore it.

claig Sun 10-Feb-13 21:37:39

On second thoughts, it is worth bringing it up with BiL or asking DH to do it, because it won't be nice for DS to hear himself referred to as this in future.

Zavi Sun 10-Feb-13 21:48:12

You've said yourself that your son is very active and excitable.

Hyper-boy is very apt I would have thought hmm

Are you checking carefully - by other peoples' responses - that your son isn't annoying other people?

My heart goes out to you having a child like that because they CAN be very annoying to other people

Edma Sun 10-Feb-13 22:01:29

"a child like that" Nice

You seem a bit oversensitive about your ds. Has someone criticised his behaviour in the past?

DonderandBlitzen Sun 10-Feb-13 22:25:24

I think there's a big difference between an affectionate family nickname used openly and the parents calling your son a fairly disparaging name to each other behind your back. I don't think "hyper boy" is affectionate or kind. I'd be p'ed off too.

I agree, btw, with the posters that have said that the nickname itself is not necessarily offensive but it is horrible to feel your child being is being discussed negatively behind your back. Especially in front of other children.

But but but...

Unless you know this - and you don't for sure - just move on. By all means talk to your in laws about how you feel about their approach to the children, or ask the parents straight out whether it came from them and why. Stick to facts and how it makes you feel, not speculation.

If you just get upset but do nothing it will simmer.

apostropheuse Sun 10-Feb-13 23:10:54

OP You sound over-sensitive.

Hyper boy is a perfectly innocent way of describing a boy who is as you described your son. I don't think it's the least derogatory.

It's also possible that your nephew gets called hyper-boy and in turn has called your son that. It's the kind of things children do.

You really need to relax about this kind of thing.

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 23:30:31

I agree it's rude and a put down. Next time just say 'how rude, who calls him that?'

Edma Mon 11-Feb-13 06:53:52

He is not hyperactive though. He can concentrate for very long periods of time and has absolutely no problems at school. We can go to restaurants for longish meals and he behaves etc etc.
He is just a regular 4 year old boy IMO.
So, MIL must have told DBil and he sent an email to apologise to DH, saying that we should not take offence and they all regularly call each other this.
I don't buy it but whatever. I think we'll move on.
I am indeed very sensitive when it comes to my children. Although I don't mind if family and friends discipline them when needed, clear favoritism and labelling is not on.

wixawoo Mon 11-Feb-13 09:51:14

My son made up his own id for online gaming when he was about 5 - HyperJake smile
I think it is cool, as would other kids. I don't think it's offensive. If you feel it is being used offensively.... that's another thing.... but to me it sound like there is no harm in it at all.

DeWe Mon 11-Feb-13 10:13:10

It could have been a one off comment from the parents. Children do pick up very quickly if they think something's funny.

I remember reading a book with dd2 when she was about 4yo which referred to a character in it once as "Jumping Jolly Jo".
Next day she referred to a child in her class as "Jumping Jolly Jo"... she thought it was funny and couldn't see why I told her she shouldn't use it-until I made an equivalent one for her name.

aldiwhore Mon 11-Feb-13 10:25:43

The parents may not have named him such, or may have done as an affectionate term (my youngest is astro-boy - we named him that, superhuman and lively and lovely) or just a nick name with not offence intended.

YANBU though. I once described a friend's son as a bit of a 'far side child' - in a conversation between myself and DH. It was a throw away comment between two adults, I didn't know small ears were listening. I learned my lesson HARD, and couldn't wiggle out of it.

MummytoMog Mon 11-Feb-13 10:48:29

Hmm. I quite often refer to OH's nephew as 'Gollum' around my two. Might need to stop that. Although given I often refer to my own two children as 'Fatboy' and 'Imhotep' affectionately, I might be able to wriggle out of it...

Magnificunt Mon 11-Feb-13 10:48:51

I wouldn't like it, OP.

My MIL used to call DS1 hyperactive (well, she pronounces it hypOactive --cos she's a bit thick--) and tell me it was all the sugar he eats... 5 minutes after she'd given him a bag of skittles hmm

ComposHat Mon 11-Feb-13 10:59:16

Hyper-boy sounds like an apprentice superhero.

I like it.

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