I tend to not let society or scientific findings sway my mothering instincts too much. I, of course, accept certain social norms, only to make it easier on Abbi growing up, but I rely mostly on my own judgment and sense of right and wrong. Ultimately, I, NOT SOCIETY, am responsible for the human being I am raising in my home. She has never been any less than a developing adult human…one that needs me to love, accept, set an example for and teach her.
So when preparing to write this I decided to google “children calling parents by first name”. What came up were several opinion based articles and blogs…most of which were very hard on the idea of a child calling their parent by their first name. I skimmed through a few but most of the arguments were ones that I find close-minded and foolish so I decided not to waste too much time with it.
Here’s the thing, lovies. Abbi calls me by my first name, “Tamara”. Only it sounds more like, “Gambra” when she says it. It started out as a cutsie little thing she did because she CONSTANTLY heard her exceptionally needy father CONSTANTLY calling out for “Gambra’s” assistance. We chuckled at it and moved along. Thinking nothing of it. And then, she continued calling me Gambra. She started doing this at about a year old, and I didn’t feel that a 1 year old would be able to understand me if I said, “No, call me Mommy…my name’s mommy…Daddy calls me Tamara…but you can’t.” Abbi can’t even sit through 15 minutes of Spongebob let alone that kind of one-sided conversation.
So…I’ve let it be. And you know what? I like it. I like it A LOT actually. It adds something to our relationship…more for me than her of course because she doesn’t know the difference. And I’ve decided that if Abbi so chooses, she may remain calling me Gambra for as long as she likes. She also calls me “Momma” when the mood strikes so it’s not like she doesn’t know who I am and my role in her life.
A lot of the “arguments” I hear are from parents who abhor the idea of their children calling them by their first name because their child will lose respect for them. I heartily disagree with this line of thinking. My word is bond. Abbi knows this. I am a slow burning fuse, but she knows that once I’m burn out…she better run. I even jokingly say, “Hey honey…you better chill out…Mommy’s the queen of this household so you better get used to it.” I’m blessed that despite our problems Joseph and I have ALWAYS been a team when it comes to Abbi. He doesn’t mind the first name thing either. In a way, I think he’s jealous she doesn’t call him by his.
Abbi respects us. Why? Because we’ve purposefully taught her cause and effect, i.e. “you disobey Mommy or Daddy, you get a pop on the hand” or “you throw a fit, you get put down for a nap early.” Cause….effect. Each time we’ve done so with firm, but loving correction. Even now, when I have to punish her for ill behavior, I always tell her that the only reason I make rules are to protect her — that Mommy and Daddy love her so much we will do all we can to keep her safe. She won’t always agree or always like it, but as long as she lives in our house, this is the way it MUST be.
Now, considering all I’ve told you (and if you ever met Abbi you’d think she was the most well-behaved, friendliest child in the world), do you REALLY think her calling me by my first name ALONE is going to rewrite all the other work we’ve done and will continue to do?
I think not. Some will disagree, but I just don’t feel that a title makes a man or woman. The character inside defines them. What are your thoughts? Do you (or would you) allow your child to call you by your first name?