Do your kids call you "mom" / "dad"?
Just curious if you've adopted an older child and if they call you "mom" or "dad". I told my son he could call me whatever he was comfortable with. He tried out "mom" for a while, but settled on calling me by my first name because it "didn't feel right". He had known me for a while before I became "mom" so he was used to calling me "Miss Edy." (I had him drop the "Miss" part).

When he talks about me he says "my mom", but when he talks to me he uses my first name. Now I wonder if it was a mistake to not encourage him more strongly to get used to calling me "mom".

Did your kids embrace the idea of calling you "mom" or "dad"?
My daughter has struggled with this.

Its only recently that she refers to us as her mom and dad (2 years after she moved in). She is using the term more and more. But we are still "W" & "B" the majority of the time.

It causes some raised eye brows by people who think kids need to use certain terms for authority figures, but we ignored them.

Looking back, I'm so glad we didn't force it. hearing j say ""I love you, mom" on her own was worth the wait Smile
My nephew's wife has a son from a previous relationship (he's now 9) and he has always called her and his dad by their first names (with their blessing, I should add). Guess it's not just something that affects adoptive parents.
Interesting that she's making a change after 2 years! I'm 3 years in so I feel like we're pretty set in our ways. I definitely agree with not forcing them to use terms they're not comfortable with and that was my theory behind not steering him in one direction.

The reason I brought this up is from an attachment standpoint, would using familial words help form the familial feelings.
We are only still in the process of adopting, but my DH and I are both step-parents to each other's children. I was never comfortable calling my own step-dad by his 1st name so as kids my sister and I made up different "nicknames" that we found more endearing than using his 1st name-- especially when we were raised to never refer to an adult by their 1st name (always Mr. or Ms etc). My children chose a really cute nickname when they first met my now-husband. Even though they were really very young when they made it up, they still use the nickname and have never once called DH by his 1st name.
My step-children, however, have always called me by my 1st name. It does bother me to an extent. Not because I want to be called "mom" b/c they certainly have and live with their own mom... but rather for the informality of it. I realize for many it is NOT an issue at all, but having grown up recognizing the informality and not using 1st names with our own step-dad I do wish often that the kids called me something other than JUST my 1st name.
I think we will encourage our adopted child(ren) to come up with some sort of nickname if they are open to that. It does cause some issues with my Biological children when they hear my step-kids use my 1st name-- they have tried calling me by my name and it is sometimes hard for them to grasp why THEY can't but my step-kids can. My kids also SOMEtimes refer to DH as "dad" and have even stated that they "realize that ____ is their 'real' dad" but they don't see why they can't call step-dad "Dad" and other times the kids say it is "just easier" to say dad than the nickname :love:
I don't allow adults to be called by their first name. I gave mine the option: aunt __, Ms. ___ , mom ___ or mom. My 4 adopted kiddos call me mom but they did it in their own time.

Things can get complicated when you are talking relative adoptions. I WAS "W" to DD long before I was "mom". We have multi-generational cousins. The (larger) family norm is cousins are on a first name basis.

So, while I COULD enforce a prefix when she moved into my house, this would be akin to me forcing her to call me mom. It was the change that she was resiting (in my case), not the word itself.

I get this is very different from the typical adoption form foster case.. just wanted to throw it out there
EdyDedd said...
Just curious if you've adopted an older child and if they call you "mom" or "dad".

LG's case is a little different due to his needs, but he's 7 and calls me mom...or at least mmmmm (LG is non verbal). When I explained to him that the adoption was final and he was stuck with me forever and I was now mom he got a big grin on this face. That night, he didn't want to go to bed. After being called in to check on him about 10 times (usually so he could giggle) I finally tried to "ignore" him. He yelled "mmmmmm!!! MMMMMM!! MMMMMMMMM!"....then I hear "Yaaaayeeeee" (his variation on my name). He definitely gets that I'm mom now and likes calling me "mom".
My oldest doesn't usually call me mum. She calls me by my first name alone. Mum has extremely bad associations for her. I don't find that disrespectful at all, and she is very respectful to me in general. In fact in my case I probably would find titles such as Ms. more disrespectful because they don't fit my role at all. I am her parent not her teacher after all. Although I appreciate foster care is very different to straight adoption, and in my country foster carers are not really allowed to be called mum and dad

My other child adopted at 8 does call me mum. She called me Mummy "Carmen" at first then dropped my first name. She calls her first mum Mum as well as me, which is completely fine
carmen90 said...
in my country foster carers are not really allowed to be called mum and dad

That's really sad......even in the UK some kids are in care a long time.
It took a long time for my youngest to call my DH and I 'mom and dad'. For her too the names had bad associations. I am glad we waited for her to be ready and make the switch in her own time.
I brought my first AS home when he was 9. A year later I brought home my other three adopted children, ages at that time 10, 5, and 14. The 5 & 14 yr olds are girls who had been together in their prior foster placement, they started calling me and husband mom and dad within a couple of months. A couple of months later the older boy followed suit, then after several more months, the boy I'd had a year before everyone else. They are all Biological sibs of same mother, different fathers. I think the oldest just really wanted a mom and stability, and to say "mom" and "dad" like all the other kids at school. The youngest likes to copy whatever her big sister does. Those two broke the ice. The older boy was ready for a mom's love. The youngest boy might never have called me mom routinely if we hadn't adopted his older sibs who called me mom, tho he had been referring to me as mom to others not long after coming home. I really wanted him to call me mom far earlier, but just didn't push it and told him he could call me mom, mama, mama xxxxx or xxxxx. I think he may have found it as a sign of being unloyal to his siblings if he called me mom and we didn't have them. But since they did, he could follow suit. He is a follower, not a leader. Maybe one day, he'll be ready to forge his own path.
A month in our 16 year old calls us by our first names to us but is trying out family terms, like parents and son. Recently while we where out in public I was called his mom and he went with it and then started referring to me as mom back to the person. I think he is experimenting with it all to figure out what he is comfortable with.
wcurry: thanks!! You're absolutely right - kinships makes a huge difference. Is the rest of the family supportive?
millie.. for the most part, yes
All times are GMT. The time now is 5:28 am.