Is it all right for her to call me by my first name?

It’s very common for a first-born child between the ages of eighteen months and three years to call her parents by their first names. She imitates what she hears and since her parents and their friends, neighbors, and relatives all use first names when talking to each other, she uses first names too. Even if her parents call each other “Mom” and “Dad,” she may still use first names because those are the ones she hears most often.

Many parents don’t mind if their child occasionally uses first names, although some consider anything other than “Mom” and “Dad” disrespectful. When a child uses her parents’ first names, however, she intends no disrespect – usually she’s just mimicking what other people say. Over time, this imitative behavior will diminish and the child will stop using her parents’ names.

If you’re bothered or embarrassed when your child calls you by your first name, remind her to say “Mom” and “Dad”. But remember that it will be hard for her, especially if she’s under two, to call you “Mom” and “Dad” consistently, since she doesn’t usually hear other people call you that. If you have a second child, you’ll notice that he or she rarely uses your first name. That’s because there’s an older sibling to copy, and because the second child is used to hearing “Mom” and “Dad.’

A common question related to first-name use is; “What should my child’s friends call me?” Some parents are most comfortable with first names and believe they’re easier for young children to remember and use. Other parents want to be called “Mrs.” or “Mr.” Choose whichever makes you comfortable and let your child’s playmates know what you’d like to be called.

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