Mumsnet user BananasAreTheSourceOfEvil is not happy with her ex-husband. According to her post on the popular parenting message board, her ex-husband told their three young children that they aren’t allowed to call him “daddy” anymore.

That didn’t fly to well with BananasAreTheSourceOfEvil, but now she’s wondering if she has the right to be angry with her ex. 

Jude Beck/Unsplash

She wrote:

My kids 10, 9, 7.5 came home after the weekend (father just moved in with [girlfriend] 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.

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. [Am I being unreasonable] 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.

Nearly 170 people responded to the mom’s post and a lot of them had different opinions on the matter.

Some agreed with her ex, saying that age 10, nine, and seven is a little too old to be calling a parent “mommy” or “daddy”:

Personally, I would say they are a bit too old for daddy and mummy, but if they prefer it there’s no harm is there? Maybe they should ask their dad(dy) why it’s ok for him, but not for them? 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.

I also think that they’re a bit old for daddy and mummy, but I think it’s as much of a cultural thing as anything else. It’d be very unusual, where I live, to hear a 10 year old refer to either of their parents as daddy or mummy. But of course it should be up to your children. I don’t know what you can do about it though. You can’t make him accept them calling him daddy.

Definitely too old for “Daddy”, he’s right. It has nothing to do with you though, it’s between him and them.

I think all of them are several years too old to be using mummy and daddy. If they’re young for their age that’s probably because you’re babying them in this way.

And some thought his new girlfriend had something to do with his change of heart:

When I speak to my faher I call him Daddy (I am 45) but when I refer to him I call him “my dad” or “Dad did….Dad said…” and have done for as long as I can remember. So they can still call him Daddy without getting teased for it. As a woman who’s ex husbands new wife had MAOR issues with me and our kids I realize I am projecting but….I smell GF kicking off. She wants him to be Daddy to their kid but not to yours and has invented this to convince him they must call him Dad.

What your children call your ex isn’t really your business, is it? It’s between him and his children. Yes his girlfriend might have had a say, so what? He’s an adult, if he chooses to be swayed by someone else’s opinion, that’s his choice to make. You will probably have issues that are actual issues to deal with. Don’t make a big deal out of things that are irrelevant, like this. Life will be much easier for you all if you don’t.

And I agree with Pyongyang, the GF’s hand is in this. I actually think this is quite cruel of them, Dad sounds quite distant and unaffectionate to my ears and probably to your DC too. At this stage with a new baby potentially in play, this is the last thing they need. I have no advice on how to play this, it depends on how easy it would be to talk to your ex about their feelings. If you can’t get him to see this, I suppose you are going to have to try and put a positive spin on it. It stinks though.

There’s no bloody age limit on it! What an arsehole. I bet his gf has said this. It probably irritates her….often people without children can think of young kids as being immature when they’re just normal!

Some commenters suggested that the kids stick to calling their father “daddy” to his face, but refer to him as dad when in public:

I’m 23 and call my parents mummy and daddy to their face, around friends i refer to them as mum and dad. It’s what I’ve always done so why would I change it?

However, the majority believes that their is no age limit to calling a parent “mommy” or “daddy”:

I find this such a sad request. My four kids range in age from 18 to 6, they all call me Mum/Mummy/Mama. It tends to be more Mum from the older ones and more Mama from the youngest it’s completely their choice.

What’s all this ‘too old?’ I’ve never realized there was a cut off point? I’m nearly 30 and still call my parents mummy and daddy, I would never use mum and dad even when we’re all old and crusty. I’d be so upset if DS decided he didn’t want to call me mummy anymore

Well I’m 30 and still have a mummy and daddy! I just don’t refer to them as such when speaking to others. My mum would hate it if I called her ‘mum’ so I just never have and she would never refer to herself as such. I call my dad, dad/daddy, or a joke version of his first name. Your ExH sounds quite cruel.

I know plenty of people who still call their parents Mummy and Daddy at 50.

My parents are Mother and daddy and I’m nearly 40.

I don’t think the parent gets to decide. I think the child moves to it gradually in their own time. Its mean when a parent tries to enforce things like this, it looks like THEY are the ones that are embarrassed by their own children.

In fact, President Trump revealed last September that Ivanka still calls him “daddy.”

What side of the discussion do you stand on?

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