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To think this turn of phrase by teachers makes no sense!

(24 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Fri 05-Aug-16 13:08:09

I've noticed that teachers and midwifes refer to 'mum' and 'dad' as if the people they're speaking to / about are their own mum and dad.

e.g. Midwife says, ''So, what's your name, Dad?'' to my husband.

Teacher at school says to a colleague, ''We'll need to Mum about little Johnnie's behaviour today''.

Swim teacher says to a friend ''I've spoken to Mum about the swimming gala''.

These are all examples I have encountered recently - why do they do it? I find it so irritating and am trying to work out if it's part of their training for some reason, because they all do it.

peneleope82 Fri 05-Aug-16 13:10:14

Friends of mine who are Doctors/Nurses do this also! They'll be telling a story about a child and say 'So I spoke to Mum....'

It's confusing when my sister does it wink

ChicagoDoll Fri 05-Aug-16 13:10:25

I guess they mean I've spoken to your mum or the mum
I always get called Mrs surname at school though

YouTheCat Fri 05-Aug-16 13:10:45

Maybe it's because committing all the parents' names to memory is a bit of a huge task? Sometimes parents have different surnames to their kids - so little Johnny Smith's mum might be Ms Jones.

I don't see the problem. YABU.

HuckleberryGin Fri 05-Aug-16 13:11:01

Because they can't possibly learn everyone's names!

Mrsmorton Fri 05-Aug-16 13:11:37

YABU, it's an efficient way of describing a relationship.

Lolly86 Fri 05-Aug-16 13:11:40

I'm a paediatric nurse and I do this a lot so that I don't get names wrong... blush

MaynJune Fri 05-Aug-16 13:12:31

I was a teacher and absolutely hated hearing that. It was always Guidance teachers, not subject teachers, who said it.

It's used by medical people being interviewed on the radio too. Very irritating indeed.

ThePartyArtist Fri 05-Aug-16 13:13:40

I'm not expecting them to learn the names, but why not say things like;

(To child): ''I need to speak to your mum after school'' (instead of ''I need to speak to mum after school'')

(To my husband): ''So you're the father, what's your name?'' (instead of ''What's your name, Dad?'')

(To colleague) ''I spoke to his Mum about it'' (instead of ''I spoke to Mum about it'').

FiveFullFathoms Fri 05-Aug-16 13:14:10

A teacher saying it to a colleague is fine, I think. YABU there. All teachers I know would refer to 'Ms Fathoms' when talking to me face to face even if they said 'Johnny's mum' to each other.

The example of the midwife, YANBU. The midwives in my area always did this and I really hated it. I get that they are busy but my name was right there on my notes and referring to me as 'Five' rather than 'mum' would have made so much difference to how I felt. I was fragile and vulnerable and 'mum' just made me feel like I could have been anyone at all.

Lules Fri 05-Aug-16 13:15:33

I find it really irritating too. I understand you can't learn everyone's names. Call me miniLules' mum, or you if you're talking directly to me or word it so you don't need to directly refer to me

IcedVanillaLatte Fri 05-Aug-16 13:16:23

Don't mind it as a brief shorthand for someone - "I spoke to mum","I spoke to the mum" or "I spoke to her mum" all have different connotations and different levels of formality.

Can't understand, though, why it's used to people's faces. "And how is mum today?"

BettyOBarley Fri 05-Aug-16 13:16:50

I work in children's services and all the practitioners there do it, I've always found it odd to hear too.

53rdAndBird Fri 05-Aug-16 13:18:09

It is even more annoying when they shoehorn it in to as many sentences as possible. "So how are you feeling, Mum?" when I'm the only person in the room - whyyyyyy?

DailyFaily Fri 05-Aug-16 13:22:53

I'm a midwife and I don't think I do this but I can kind of understand it since the only reason we know the majority of our clientele is in their role as a parent/parent to be. The alternative to 'what's your name dad' is 'what's your name you there?', the former obviously sounding a bit more friendly and most people are generally happy/excited about becoming a dad so I don't think mind it. It's not in our training but clearly there's more to training than the official stuff, and if you notice a lot of your colleagues say something in a certain way, it's not unusual to start mirroring that.

On a side note I find it odd when people do this when talking about their own family - so whereas I would say 'I talked to my mum last night' they would say 'I talked to mum last night' which would only make sense to me if it was my sibling who was saying it. I'm not irritated by it though, it just sounds strange to me.

Lules Fri 05-Aug-16 13:25:14

But surely the father would know you were asking him what his name was because you were looking directly at him like in normal conversation?

Diddlydokey Fri 05-Aug-16 13:27:20

I think it is the absence of the 'the' or the 'your' that is annoying

MWs and HVs like to refer to baby in the same way

LottieDoubtie Fri 05-Aug-16 13:29:50

I find this irritating as a parent but find I do it at work blush

Until I was a parent I don't think I'd consiously registered it as something that I actually do.

It's meant as friendly shorthand as someone said unthread. I agree though it doesn't always come across like that.

ZedWoman Fri 05-Aug-16 13:30:11

This reminds me of something Eddie Izzard said about being confused about his Gran referring to her husband as Granddad. 'What, he's your Granddad too?'

Littleallovertheshop Fri 05-Aug-16 13:31:49

Yes I find this so annoying. "How is baby today". Urgh. I don't even have children and it annoys me grin

RevoltingPeasant Fri 05-Aug-16 13:34:40

I remember being admitted to hospital as a 4yo and all the nurses talking about how mummy would come and get me tomorrow, mummy would visit at such a time, and genuinely thinking they were talking about their own mothers (as I didn't call my mum 'mummy') blush

Preschooler logic!

YANBU to find it mildly annoying but you know, it's just a verbal tic. When I was in hospital recently and needed to get a nurse's attention I sometimes had to call 'nurse!' if I couldn't see the nametag. I'm sure doctors get called 'Doc' by some people. <shrug>

Smurfnoff Fri 05-Aug-16 13:34:56

Diddly - Oh God yes. My cousin's health visitor drove me to distraction doing this. 'What's baby's name?' 'How is baby feeding?' I wanted to scream 'THE baby, THE!'

5moreminutes Fri 05-Aug-16 13:35:36

It is patronising - but when I was teaching parental names were a minefield because of course you don't use first names, but so many people have different surnames to their children, and even if the office has a record of correct names and titles it isn't made available to teachers (and would be impossible for secondary teachers who teach hundreds of children every week to remember anyway).

I agree that when speaking to the child the possessive pronoun should be used - apart from anything it is really odd to model incorrect grammar by using Mum as a proper name...

Speaking directly to a parent becomes a tricky game of trying to avoid using a name at all whilst still appearing polite and formal!

IcedVanillaLatte Fri 05-Aug-16 13:50:19

Perhaps they were all taught grammar by Russians.

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