Home parenting My child doesn’t call me mom, the best way to deal with it

My child doesn’t call me mom, the best way to deal with it

by ines.wurbs@icloud.com

A problem that often occurs in our children’s adolescence. It is an effect of the detachment of our children from us as parents. On the one hand, that’s good because that’s the goal of adolescence; on the other hand, your child has chosen a path that hurts you.

Read more about the backgrounds and how to change them here.

Why refuse my child to call me mom?

Especially during puberty and adolescence, there are many points of contention with our children. The biggest problem is the different expectations of our children and us. 


When they are teens, our children want and need to become more and more independent.

The biggest point of contention is the time for self-determined action. Our children usually want to decide this or that much earlier than we think it is right.

Depending on how much freedom we give them and how independent our children are in reality, the stronger or weaker their rebellion will be.

And this is precisely the reason why your child no longer calls you mom.

  1. It is strongly tied to you.
  2. Your child is still dependent and 
  3. It needs your support on many things.
  4. Your child overestimates their own ability to act independently.
  5. It has reached an age at which it wants to break away from the previously dependent parent-child relationship.


Your child certainly tries to establish an independent identity.

Is calling parents by their first name disrespectful?

Theoretically, it is not a problem if your child calls you by your first name unless it offends you. In numerous consultations, I have found that some parents don’t care, but many also feel they are being treated disrespectfully. They are also often offended. After all, we mothers are usually just proud of being the mother of our children and want to be “honored” for it.

There is also a bit of a fear of losing our children. Or at least control of them. Even if many of you think that you don’t control your child at all or that you exercise great power, this feeling still frightens us. “My child slips away from me, and who knows what will happen then.” 

We notice that the replacement process has begun, or is perhaps already well advanced. But we don’t trust our children, or we don’t want it. Maybe both. That may sound harsh, but in my experience, that’s often the reason behind it.

It’s not unnatural, either. We love our children and want to protect them. Just be careful not to be overprotective and hold your child back. Don’t underestimate it. But here we are at the next point.

What to do if your child calls you by your first name

  • If it hurts you, tell your child.
  • Don’t assume malicious intent in your child.
  • Try to have a calm conversation at eye level with your child.
  • Clarify with your child what expectations they have of you and what their needs are.
  • Think about your expectations of your child
  • Formulate your expectations clearly and unequivocally in requests and make sure you do not blame your child in this conversation, but express your feelings.
  • Let your child be independent and let him/her make his/her own mistakes.
  • You may also want to talk to your child about mutual respect and how you feel about the change in calling your name.
  • Clarify this in a one-to-one conversation and not in front of others.
  • Really listen to your child, allow their perspectives and points of view, and try to understand your child’s point of view.
  • If you’re okay with it, set out to find a compromise that’s okay with both of you. (For example: that he/she only calls you by your first name outside the family, or you make other concessions “in exchange”)


It may not be easy for us parents to accompany our children through puberty and adolescence. However, it is difficult, turbulent, and exhausting for them too. In terms of finding their own identity, it is advisable to offer our children as many experiences and freedoms as possible.

Nevertheless, we should be there to support them and offer them help when they need and want it. Working out goals, paths or alternatives together promotes the parent-child relationship and supports the change to which it is now subject.

If you want to read more about youth and identity finding, I have found extensive information for you in a manuscript from the national library of medicine.

You may also like