Is a child ever too old to use the term mummy and daddy?
Mum, mam, ma, mama, mummy and dad, da, dada, daddy are all ways to say mother and father. And kids will typically use one or more of these when referring to their own parents.
What they choose is usually dependent on the norm or tradition in their family.
Younger children, however, tend to say mummy and daddy, while older kids shorten it to mum and dad. Each to their own and there is certainly no right or wrong way to say it.
However, a mum has brought the topic to the limelight after posting on Mumsnet
that her ex-husband had asked the kids to stop calling him daddy.
At 10, nine and seven and a half, he felt they were too old to use that term and believed they would be bullied if they continued to say it.
The mum-of-three admitted that her children were upset by the request, and that she was angry by the whole thing.
“My kids 10, 9, 7.5 came home after the weekend (father just moved in with gf who wants a baby) and told me that their father had told them they were too old to refer to him as daddy and that other kids would make fun of them as they were too old,” the post reads.
“Cue automatic claws out reflex from me.
“This has come out of the blue - they’re very young for their age, he’s always been daddy but explained that they had to move to dad.
“They’re upset. AIBU by thinking... well it’s a bit unreasonable. Ex still refers to his own father as daddy!
“Kids are upset, I’m annoyed but don’t want to lose my temper if I’m being overly sensitive.”
The response to the post was fairly mixed; some commented that they still used mummy and daddy, even in their 30s, while others said that he was right and the kids are too old to still be saying daddy.
“I distinctly remember being in Y2 and a boy getting ripped into because he still called his mum ‘mummy’. It was one of those things that kids fixate on and lasted until about Y5 I think. Poor old Charles,” wrote one.
Others offered suggestions as to what the poster could do, including telling the dad that he had upset his children.
“How easy is it to communicate with your ex? Can you text him and tell him the children are very upset about his insistence to call him dad and they will continue to call him daddy?”
What you call your parents is something incredibly personal. In fact, calling them by their actual name is also a thing to do.
The father wanting to be called dad is perfectly fine – he may not like how daddy sounds and that’s OK. However, telling them that they are too old for the term is too far.
The kids have probably been calling him this name since they could talk and it is a big change for them, especially if it doesn't happen naturally.
Written by Mary Byrne, Content Executive at Family Friendly HQ. Follow her on Twitter: @marybyrne321