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Do you mind being referred to as 'mum' in meetings and on forms/reports?

(15 Posts)
warmfirescoldnights Sun 22-Oct-17 22:34:43

I know this thread is quite a few years old now but I'm wondering if it still represents opinion.

I am a professional who works with teachers, parents, paediatricians, allied healthcare teams etc and without exception, they use 'mum' whenever talking about a child's parent. It's not even "Johnny's mum says that..." or "Johnny's mum would like..." - just "Mum says that."

I think it is incredibly rude and patronising but I appear to be shouting into the wind when I mention this to fellow colleagues. Incredibly, I also see it written in official reports and letters and think it's even worse when others are named, such as "Jane Doe, Senior OT, reported that Johnny is doing well, but Mum says that he is finding things difficult right now."

AIBU to think as I do?

Pollaidh Sun 22-Oct-17 22:48:21

Whilst I understand the time pressures medical staff are under, I do find it rude and patronising. However, I don't mind so much when they add 'mum intelligent and capable' or something on the notes! That usually means that subsequent medical staff treat me as a peer, use the correct terminology, and give our family freedom and responsibility to manage DS' condition (early trigger antibiotics to keep at home, stethoscope use to monitor condition, home nursing to avoid hospital stays).

When DH takes DS for an appointment it usually say 'dad'...

Allthewaves Sun 22-Oct-17 23:28:26

It always makes cringe inside when professionals do it but I understand why - they can't remember everyone's name and quickest way to establish who you are and the relationship to the child. Seems pretty standard tbh as nearly all documents related to dc statement say 'mum stated ....'

zzzzz Sun 22-Oct-17 23:48:27

I find it intensely irritating. It isn’t beyond any other professional to remember the names of the key people in a meeting or in correspondence. Sloppy and depressingly unimpressive.

softmachine Mon 23-Oct-17 00:43:11

I find it very irritating.

It's almost forgivable if it's a professional you've never seen before and are unlikely to see again.

But when it's someone you speak to regularly (DD's SENCO I'm looking at you) it comes across as deliberately patronising and belittling.

Spikeyball Mon 23-Oct-17 07:41:38

I am not that bothered about it if it is a one off short appointment but it is irritating and patronising at meetings and in reports. If a professional is persistently doing to me I think they have a "you are just a mum and what do you know" attitude.

Shybutnotretiring Mon 23-Oct-17 15:02:50

The first time they did it I was shocked and started looking over my shoulder wondering how my mother could have got there without me realising. And then it dawned on me, 'oh you mean me?!'

Msqueen33 Mon 23-Oct-17 16:41:35

Our senco does this to me frequently and gives me the rage! I have no issue with people using my name. Yes I am a mum but I'm a person too.

warmfirescoldnights Tue 24-Oct-17 09:22:22

Thank you all - I am really glad I asked the question. I've since found that there's a grassroots campaign that's recently started - called Don't Call Me Mum - which is advocating my thoughts exactly!

I am definitely going to continue to avoid calling parents 'mum' in my meetings and reports and am considering sharing that campaign with my colleagues.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me smile

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 24-Oct-17 12:38:08

When I attended especially difficult meetings with professionals I would sign myself as 'name: - name', role: 'DS' Advocate'. It stopped anyone else claiming that role as well as giving me the confidence to feel I was leading the meeting rather than being the grateful recipient of it.

warmfirescoldnights Tue 24-Oct-17 12:42:20

I like that idea Starlight smile

May I ask why you don’t feel others can claim an advocatory role? I would have thought that EPs (for example) would consider themselves to always advocate for a child’s best interests?

zzzzz Tue 24-Oct-17 13:02:10

I would have thought that EPs (for example) would consider themselves to always advocate for a child’s best interests?

Seriously? shock. EP are (generally) paid by the LA and really NOT free to recommend anything their clients don’t wish to provide. Ours certainly wasn’t even allowed to suggest which setting in the region would be suitable to educate my child let alone support levels.

How realistically CAN a professional who often hasn’t met your child advocate effectively for them?
What real investment do they have in getting the best provision for your child?

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 24-Oct-17 13:24:43

EPs are Local Authority agents. Local Authorities are both the assessor of need and provider of services. They are naturally incentivised to deny need to meet their own internal pressures, and EPs always see children 'with much more severe needs'.

LAs compare children with SEN with each other when allocating resources, when they ought to be compared with non-disabled children.

Parents are the only people in any meeting with their child as their ONLY agenda.

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 24-Oct-17 13:25:59

Of course I am not implying that LA EPs don't do their best for the child. But because they are not independent, parental confidence in them is always going to be low to an extent.

Independence would help, as would a statement of truth at the end of each of their reports.

Sleepyblueocean Tue 24-Oct-17 15:02:49

EPs advise based on what the local authority can offer and it is generally woolley advice.

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