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Friend v. authority figure? (cod you will like this one)

(35 Posts)
FrannyandZooey Sat 27-May-06 13:31:53

"My three-year-old has been calling me by my first name for about six weeks. I quite like it, but someone told me it was a sign of him trying to turn me into a friend rather than an authority figure, which would cause problems later. Is this true?"

from Guardian, link and place to reply here (scroll down)

Discuss. Is it wrong for a 3 year old to want to have you as a friend rather than an authority figure?

Enid Sat 27-May-06 13:33:16

I wouldn't like being called Enid by the dds but don't think its a 'sign' of anything.

This is a case of overthinking something if ever I heard it.

JanH Sat 27-May-06 13:34:58

Nooooo - he's just calling you what everybody else calls you! Mine used to do it occasionally, I used to like it too

FrannyandZooey Sat 27-May-06 13:35:59

It's funny really, before ds was born I thought I would want him to call me by my first name. I thought being called 'Mummy' would make me feel depersonalised, as if dp called me 'Wife'.

What a load of bollocks

Enid Sat 27-May-06 13:36:24

there you go, too thinky

mimitwo Sat 27-May-06 13:36:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrannyandZooey Sat 27-May-06 13:36:57

This is not my problem in the first post btw, ds calls me Mummy. I just lifted it from the Guardian website as it interested me to see what people thought.

GeorginaA Sat 27-May-06 13:37:43

We just have the stock phrase "that's Mummy to you!" ... ds1 thinks it's funny. Never analysed it at all, just assumed it was a phase they all go through, tbh.

FrannyandZooey Sat 27-May-06 13:38:07

Yes I love being called Mummy. 'Mama' was a particularly nice stage too. It does pall a little bit sometimes at 5 pm when I must have heard it 4 or 500 times that day, but still...

JanH Sat 27-May-06 13:39:16

When I was 8 or 9 I called my teacher "mummy" once - must have been feeling very cosy with her or something but boy did I !

edam Sat 27-May-06 13:40:34

Agree with Enid, reading far too much into it. The person clearly doesn't have any real problems to worry about, daft muppet.

Ds thinks it's funny to call dh and me by our first names occasionally, usually when he's overheard us using them. I also use the 'that's Mummy to you' line.

FrannyandZooey Sat 27-May-06 13:42:38

Ds does copy what I call dp though, which is not usually his real name but all sorts of ludicrous nicknames

I think the person with the 'problem' was being relaxed about the whole thing, it's some daft friend (or MIL ) poking their nose in, isn't it.

Elibean Sat 27-May-06 21:19:52

(not stalking you, F&Z, honest )

dd always calls me Mummy/Maman, but she occasionally calls her Dad by his name, in a spooky imitation of me yelling for him when he's downstairs and I'm upstairs. Fools him every time.

WideWebWitch Sat 27-May-06 21:23:14

A 3yo should see you as his/her mother imo, not a friend OR an authority figure although I think they are looking for guidance on boundaries at this age I guess.

Dd sometimes calls me by my name and calls dh his name since ds calls him that as dh is ds's stepfather, not father. I don't think it means anything really either.

threebob Sat 27-May-06 21:28:11

Ds calls me mummy, but when he comes to my music classes he calls me by my name like all the other children.

harpsichordcarrier Sat 27-May-06 21:34:19

funnily enough I saw this too and thought about posting
I agree with Enid - it is a sign of nothing other than a parent with not enough to worry about

mazzystar Sat 27-May-06 21:34:45

ds who is 19 months usually calls me mummeee but has occasionally hollered my real name in an impersonation of his father. it made me laugh

snowleopard Sat 27-May-06 21:39:06

When I was growing up I had some friends (brother and sister) who called their parents by their first names and it was not a good scene. The parents were like friends to them and not like parents. I think those kids mmissed out - they were real "latchkey" kids who literally came home to an empty house, they never got hugs or reassurance. One suffered from anorexia and they both have had a lot of problems. Not that using your real name causes these problems, but it has made me wary of thinking it's fine to just be a "friend" to your kids.

eggybreadandbeans Sat 27-May-06 21:43:49

Agree that it's just experimenting with different names we call each other. Especially if it's not all the time; just occasionally.

Ds - who, when I was settling him tonight, was saying, "Nana's called Vera. Daddy's called Steve ..." - also imitates how I speak to Dad. Ds shouts, "Steeeevo!" at the top of his voice to call Dad - but still says Dad or Daddy most of the time.

Pretty harmless, I'd say. And as for friend versus authority figure, would agree with pp: we're mothers - which is maybe a mixture of both.

FrannyandZooey Sun 28-May-06 09:12:30

But snowleopard, leaving your kids on their own and not giving them hugs or reassurance is being neither a friend or mother to them. It's just being crap.

Greensleeves Sun 28-May-06 09:53:21

I think it depends on how the child says it - if they call you by your first name in a pointed, disrespectful way, deliberately denying you the title "Mummy" because you don't deserve it, that's pretty horrible and something must be badly wrong (I have direct experience of this, but not with my own children). However my 3yo occasionally calls me or dh by our first names with a little cheeky grin, which is quite cute and doesn't bother me at all. He does it with the same hilarious naughty glee that primary school children exhibit when speculating as to whether or not teachers have Christian names, or whether they go to the toilet like normal people . When it's done in that manner I think it's a sign of a healthy degree of respect AND affection for the parent, which is ideal IMO.

snowleopard Sun 28-May-06 15:49:59

F&Z, these parents acted like "mates", ie, as if they all lived in a shared house, where everyone had their own key and came and went and was expected to look after themselves. The calling by first names was part of that. It's not that calling by first names automatically leads to such stuff - just that the memory of that family has put me off it. Calling your parents Mum and Dad or Mummy and Daddy is kind of a name for their special role in your life, isn't it. It's only OK for them to use first names, as GS describes, if it's done with an "awareness" that it's not the norm IYSWIM.

fairyjay Sun 28-May-06 16:06:07

The family I au-paired for (many moons ago had three boys - 4, 6 and 9, who called their parents by their Christian names.

Taking the youngest once to school, he said to me 'it's not fair, I haven't got a mum, and everyone else has got a mum!'

My kids call me mum - cos I'm the only one they'll ever have.

Tortington Sun 28-May-06 17:01:29

i like to be an authority fugure. i am a mother - it isan important role - other people can call me what they want ( and do !) but my kids will only ever have one mum - AND ITS ME GRRR

cod Sun 28-May-06 17:02:41

Message withdrawn

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