How do you feel about pet names?

Justin - posted on 06/25/2010 ( 51 moms have responded )

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My day care provider uses a pet name for my 2 year old, I absolutely hate it, when I confronted her about it, she got offended.

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Aliska - posted on 06/28/2010

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How does your child feel about the name? If they like it then I think it is none of your business. This is between the two of them and is probably a good sign that they have an affectionate relationship. You have to step back and let your child have relationships with other people and for them to work out the terms of that relationship within reason. If you are happy with the standard of care your child is receiving and your child is happy with the carers and the pet name than it is a non-issue. You shouldn't need to talk to the carer and I can see why the carer might be offended. Isn't it the carer's job to provide a loving, caring environment for the children in her care? If using pet names is one of her ways of showing affection than so be it. We aren't all the same and it is good that children see that we are different, that we relate to others differently, show affection differently etc. Different isn't necessarily better or worse but just different. To me, making such an issue of the name indicates that maybe you are a little jealous of the relationship between your carer and the child or at least jealous of the time they spend together.

Now if your child didn't like the pet name and complained to you about it and when you mentioned it to the carer they didn't take your concerns seriously then that would be a totally different matter and you would want to question why you are using this day care option if the needs/feelings of your child mean so little to the people in charge.

Again, if this is not an issue for your child then it shouldn't be an issue for you either. Relax and don't be so possessive.

Carina - posted on 07/01/2010

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From a educational psychology perspective: Nicknames will come and go throughout her life - its the damaginging ones that need to be dealt with tho. Some kids come up with some nasty stuff. From an adult though - it is probably a form of enderarment and probably an inside joke [yes even with a 2 year old] that keeps a positive relationship and connection between them. The offence 'may' have come from the carer being told not to use the realtionship tools that help her to make your child more comfortable. Of course there are other ways to do this, but nicknames are a very effective tool and remind your child that she has a connection there. It is GOOD for your child to have a positive connection there. Ultimately, at this age especially, it is harmless and will have no lasting effects.
Educationally, it is teaching rhyming - a MAJOR positive for her to hear regularly.
Is it worth the hassle for you? I guess if you have posted this you obviously feel strongly about it. I chose my kids names according to the inability of people to create nicknames for them, so I do understand. But people are creative and they will find ways to do this. If it really means so much to you, then fine, but do you really want to disrupt the things that make your child and her carer feel more connected, thereby giving your child a better environment throughout the day? Is it worth that?

Esme - posted on 07/01/2010

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It is a term of endearment between your daughter and the stranger who cares for her. Sometimes a special link makes the day go easier when little ones are missing there family. My son was also in daycare and he was not happy to go at first , a special bond was what brought him around to understanding he was safe.
It's just like a verbal hug, if no affection is what you want , or singling her out , keep going down this track. Otherwise enjoy the fact that she is in a daycare with someone who isn't abusing her.
Seriously , pick your battles. Because if pet names bother you then your daughter needs to call you Justin and not 'Dad'.

Tabitha - posted on 07/01/2010

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I would think there are other things to worry about than what your provider is calling your child. Is she feeding your child? Taking care of her? Is your child happy? You cannot control what people say to your child each and every second of the day. If your child has no problem with it, then you shouldn't worry about it. There are WAY more important things to stress about! It sounds like they have a good relationship.

I am a daycare provider myself. If someone asked me not to call their child a pet name, it might offend me. I would feel like you are LOOKING for things to complain about. Just my opinion.

[deleted account]

i agree with Aliska!

your daughter is old enough to know her real name and to know that a pet/nick name is just that! its a special thing between friends... and obviously your daycare worker and your daughter have built a relationship where pet names are appropriate! you should feel happy that they have such a strong bond! i can understand why the worker got upset... wouldnt you if someone told you to stop calling your friend a special nick name?

if your daughter responds well to the names and likes it who cares!

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Daniela - posted on 12/09/2013

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i think people need to respect your decision and call him/her what you want afterall he/she is your child not hers! However sometimes its nice to have a pet name if its just a small one like amy shortened to aimes etc. when i was 12 most of my friends called me 'lella' when my names 'daniela'!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/24/2012

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Ok, so moms who have said “If I wanted him called something else, I’d have put that on his birth certificate”: What are you going to do when your baby gets to school, and the first thing the teacher asks is “what would you like me to call you”? Are you then going to get upset with the teacher for calling your kid something that you didn’t put on his BC, but he requested his teacher to call him?



A pet name indicates affection. It indicates that someone has taken a good look at a person, and chosen something that fits their personality. Maybe that provider simply gives every kid a “special” name. Some do that.



Every kid in my life has a nickname. My oldest is Sonny, Bubba, Bub, Slim, Deutsch, or RB. My younger is Hoss, Bubba, Sonny, Saturday Nite Live (his initials), or snively. The neighbor kid is Chanster, or Chancemeister. One of the other kids calls herself “chicken girl” after she and my kids got to joking around after dark one night. (I’m certain her mother wasn’t pleased, but she never actually said “don’t call my daughter that”) One of my nephews is RJ, the other CJ. Those are “aunt Shawnn” names for them, and they don’t allow anyone else (other than my hubby, their uncle) use them. My SIL got upset because her son Vincent wanted to be called Vin, but doesn’t mind shortening her daughter’s names...



Each person is different. Each parent, each caregiver, etc. If I couldn’t give the kids in my life pet names, I’d be hurt. Because that’s something special for that kid to know that I know they are different from the rest.

Gale - posted on 02/14/2012

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I'm a daycare worker too, you are suppose to be a profesonal, how would you feel if your doctor flip out at you if you confronted him? Or the cahsier or anybody eles that works? Your job is to care for the child the best you can, as a part of that is to respect parent wishes

Gale - posted on 02/14/2012

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I'm not against nicknames at all, but it fusterate me when people want to call my son Andy or Drew, those names are real Names and they can be stand on their own. if I wanted my son to be called Andy or Drew those names would have been on his birth citifcate. We call him by his real name all the time, but on line he is called Mousey. I think people should ask parents 1st what to call a child, it so disrespectful when people come up to me and call my son a name I didn't give him. It like me going up to them and call the meanface, really, they don't like it that I call them that,but they want me to like it that they can call my son whatever they want.

Esme - posted on 07/20/2010

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Bah-Bah ! Snoot ! Snacks! Pooh! Pooh-bear! Pooh-ness! Turkey-brains! Dude! Ky-Ky ! That's what I call my son.
Kujo ! That's what his coaches call him.
Bushwacker ! His friends and peers call him that.
His birth certificate says Kyle.
He is many things to many people, he knows he's Kyle.
He is absolutely secure in who he is. It's not the name but it's how it's used in my opinion.

Mariette - posted on 07/20/2010

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I think people need to respect your decision. I would confront her until she got tired of it. I remember growing up and having a nickname that I absolutely grew out of and hated. I remember at the age of 13 telling friends and family to call by my real name. I had had enough! Slowly but surely, everyone stopped using the nickname.

Annette - posted on 07/19/2010

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I like pet names it means the people that gave it to them have bonded in one way or another, I told my husband when my daughter was born he would eventually have one for her he didn't believe me. Her pet name is Babycake, I love it and I call her by it she know we are talking to her. Her real name is Ginger Lilly .

I would be mad if someone called her something in a way to offend her.

Angela - posted on 07/13/2010

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I'm just curious as to why you hate it so much? It really isn't that terrible. My sister had a similar nickname growing up. Her name is Melinda, but we call her Mindy, and that turned into Mindy lou who. But she is your child and if you ask some one not to call her a certain name they shouldn't be offended they should be respectful. My son's name is Brodie John McCoy. My family thought it was cute to call him BJ. I ABSOLUTELY put my foot down. They have never called him that since. But he does have other nicknames that I don't mind, like Brodster, Brosephus, and Bubba.

Christina - posted on 07/09/2010

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If you really hate it, put your foot down and tell the provider to stop using the nickname. Tell her you are sorry she's offended, but you really don't want her calling your daughter anything but her name.

My youngest child's name is Accalia (pronounced Uh-Kay-Lee-Ya). Because it is often difficult for some people to pronounce, she was often called Kaylee. After a year or so, the name Kaylee became very common and so I started calling my daughter Margaret, which is her middle name. She knew that her name was Accalia, but people called her Kaylee and that I called her Margaret. She knew who she was and that each of those names were hers. We still use all of them for her and she's nearly 9 now. One of my sons' name is Flint, which is also my husband's name. We've called him Junior since the day he was born. When he started 5th grade last year, he insisted that everyone call him Flint, which was really hard for his friends that he's been in school with since pre-school. We still call him Junior at home.

Mya - posted on 07/07/2010

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I do not believe that anyone but you, the parent, has a right to assign and use a pet name. You, the parent, spent a lot of time finding the right name for your child and you should expect everyone to respect your decision.

Allison - posted on 07/06/2010

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My name is Allison and people all my life have tried to call me Al or Alley, I hate it myself and I always correct them. I don't know if they get offended, but I didn't care, because I hated it. They will not know unless you tell them. I know if someone try's to call my son by anything other than his name I will let them know that's not his name and to call him by his name. I know that what your thinking but I really feel strongly about this. If my son allows it later in life, then thats up to him.

[deleted account]

You cannot control every conversation your child is involved in. Friends, siblings, school mates will probably come up with other nicknames. As long as they are not hurtfull. I know that my kid feels "special" when someone comes up with a cute nickname for him. My husband is someone who has a nickname for everyone he is close to. It's his thing, and shows the other person they mean a lot to him. Get over it, this will not be the last nickname your child will be called.

Rebekah - posted on 07/06/2010

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I have to confess that I too have pet names for my little girls and my grandchildren.I also have pet names for my two sisters children.I still call my eldest niece 'Pooky' and she's 21!,I do try not to do it in front of most of her friends though.My daughter's nickname is 'Bomp'.That originated from when she started walking and stomped rather than toddled and we nicknamed her 'Stompy',that then got lengthened to Stompy Bompy and the shortened to Bomp or Bompy.My middle niece used to get called 'Pumpkin when she was small but now she gets called 'Teff' as her name is Steff and my daughter couldn't pronounce her name properly.My youngest niece is called Georgia so she gets called George,Porgy(georgy porgy) and also 'Porgy Monster'.My nephew got off relatively lightly with the pet name of 'Fudge',I started that one cause he was so sweet,my sister is convinced it referred to the colour of his skin!!!!.I guess having pet names is down to personal choice,my elder sister wasn't too happy about it but she had her own pet names for her kids too so she couldn't really argue that one for long.If you don't like it,ask the childminder not to do it,it's your child after all.

Emily - posted on 07/05/2010

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I agree with Aliska.
My sisters and brothers in law, use different variations of the same nickname for my daughter, in our household we use her first given name, both her grandmas use her middle name and her grandpas, her first name. I have learnt that this is necessary for each one of us to create an independent bond with her. the bigger lesson i have learnt is that this is very good for her social development. she is creating bonds with other people besides her mother and father and this is vital, because we (my husband and I) cant give her everything she needs even emotionally.
Try and look at the nickname positively, it just might be good for your daughter's social and brain development.
I'm not judging you but I think you also need to trust that your caregiver knows what she is doing, a bond with your daughter fosters trust and understanding. this is important for the caregiving to be beneficial.

Nancy - posted on 07/04/2010

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I understand not liking it, but I wonder, does your daughter have a problem with it? It doesn't matter if it's a daycare or elder care or an in home care facility, after working with someone for a long time, nicknames are going to come whether intentional or not. I realize it's not always what you want to hear, but did you ask where the name came from or why she was calling your daughter that name? Maybe it's showing a specific bond they have? How many other kids does she take care of with a similar name, maybe she needs something to differentiate them so they don't all turn when she calls that one name? More than likely, she's not trying to take your place, she's just trying to provide care and with that comes an emotional attachment which usually leads to nicknames. I'd be happy that she was taking such care of my child and was willing to bond with my child instead of having a "professional wall" up which can really confuse a child.

Kerry - posted on 07/04/2010

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I have noticed in life if someone gives you a pet name they usually really like you so I would take it as a good sign and know she will be well taken care of until she moves out of that room.

Steph - posted on 07/03/2010

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I think the part that bothers me is the "confront" part of your question. Who wouldn't be offended if the are "confronted" with something they think is ok. If you dont like your child to have a nick name that's fine, but I would speak with the teacher and say you know what I know you use nicknames in the class but I really would prefer if you called my daughter by her real name. Then she won't feel like she's being attacted. If you did tell her this was and she was still offended, then that's a whole other story and it might be best to get the center director involved.

[deleted account]

I personally only have nicknames for people who are very dear to me. I agree with a lot of these ladies, if that is all your daycare provider is doing to irritate you then be glad!! I'm sorry but I think it's super controlling when people tell other people what to call their kids. Most kids I've known will speak up if they don't wish to be called something, even the younger ones. If it was bugging your daughter then you should speak up, but since your probably only at the daycare for a few minutes each day don't let it bother you.

Sharla - posted on 07/02/2010

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If you don't want them calling your child a name, I would just tell them nicely that you want your child called by their real name. Maybe it was how you told the person or the tone you told them in that made them get offended? I would just say nicely, I want my son/daughter to be called only by their real name. Could you please refrain from using any other names. I know my daycare calls my son by his real name, but at home his daddy calls him Boo Boo Man and I have called him Pumpkin Pie since the day we brought him home.

Sarah - posted on 07/02/2010

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Well, You Have Every Right To Confront Her. That's Your Child & If You Don't Want Any Pet Names Used, Then I Would Make It Known! (:

Ogheneruemu - posted on 07/02/2010

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I love pet names. the pet name for my daughter was actually from her care provider and i don"t mind.

Tristen - posted on 07/02/2010

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I don't mind pet names at all, as long as they are not a shortened version of my daughters name. Her name is Teagan and I don't want people calling her Teage or Teagers or any other version of it. If they want to make up a nickname for her that is different from her name, that's all good by me.

Nicola - posted on 07/02/2010

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Son no 2 became known as Christoffolus Lambypie whilst at nursery, and I liked it so much I started using it at home! But then we have a lot of silly pet names for our kids, or have done over the years.
If you don't like the name, then I guess it's your right to ask for it to stop. Son No 1 is Thomas, but NO-ONE calls him Tommy because we hate it - he's always Tom, and I've heard him tell people who call him Tommy that it's not his name.
However, dd gets called "Willow Pillow" by some of her class, and the TA picked it up too - she doesn't like it, but again, I think it's cute, and there are a LOT worse names she may yet get!

Rachael - posted on 07/01/2010

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She shouldn't be offended... Its your child if you don't like the name then she shouldn't call them that. its that simple i think anyways

Janey - posted on 07/01/2010

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I purposefully called my daughter Nevaeh thinking, foolishly, that uit couldnt be shortened, her sister calls her Nev-hoo-ha and her friends call her Veya .. not so bad I suppose!!
I think its endearing myself, but I can see your point too, shes your daughter afterall.

Cristina - posted on 07/01/2010

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i had the same i made it clear that she should use my daughters name most of the time only to comfort her possibly to use a pet name,it really hard with everything .the best thing is to arrange a time when you can both sit down and dicuss, i must admit i in the end move my daughter to other childcare.

Norine - posted on 07/01/2010

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I could care less about her offense this is my child and what I tell you to call her is what it is. That is a total respect issue. I do not do nick/pet names. I named my daughter Amanda Victoria which means "to be Love & to triumphant" So every time someone says her name it reminds her that she is loved and that she is a winner. So the pet/nick name would defiantely STOP!!!

Amy - posted on 07/01/2010

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It is a sign of affection. Be glad the enjoy your child enough to show affection and joke with them.

Rashmi - posted on 06/30/2010

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Pet names are inevitable! The older they grow, the more of them they'll get. Try ot worrying about it!

Jessi - posted on 06/30/2010

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may i ask what she is calling him?

my son's name is trevor james "tj" for short but my family (to include myself) calls him "spoon" & at 1yr old he responds to all 3 names. i only use his real name when he does something he shouldn't......got that habit from my parents, they only used mine & my brother's full names when we were in trouble!

Susan - posted on 06/30/2010

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I think the key questions are 1) does your child know their real name and 2) is your child bothered by the pet name?

My youngest is Aidan Parker. Most people call him Aidan. I call him Parker (as did my late Uncle), but sometimes I still will call him Doodle (short for Doodlesquat - which was a nickname from when he was about 1 years old). He knows his name. He responds to all three terms, but most people outside the family call him Aidan. Of course, he's nearly 11 years old now, so that also makes a big difference. However, at 2 he knew that Aidan, Parker, and Doodle all meant him.

Maggie - posted on 06/29/2010

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You want your child to learn his/her correct name! There's nothing wrong with that. I had to constantly correct people from calling my son (Oliver) Ollie...puke! I hated it and it's NOT his name. If they didn't like it that was just too bad. I didn't name him Ollie...and you didn't name your child whatever the provider was calling her. People get offended over the stupidest things!

[deleted account]

I would hate it! I picked a name because i liked it. My daughter is called Sophie and I like people to call her that. She's been called Soph and Sophster and I really don't like it, but I haven't said anything in case I offend the people who say it. I think that I should now after reading these posts!?

Hayley - posted on 06/28/2010

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Its your child Justin and you do what is right for her until she can decide for herself. I called my daughter 'bubba' for the first 3-4 days f her life even though we had a name. I stopped when she started responding to it!!!! Little H has loads of pet names, Boo, pop (short for poppet) and even, yep, little H!! I personnally am not really bothered what other people call her - so long as its friendly. We do what we feel is right for our own, they can't decide yet and if Hayden eventually tells me she doesn't like it it will stop. Silly childcare person for getting upset!!!!!

Sylvia - posted on 06/27/2010

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So, does this annoy your 2-year-old?

If not, then sorry, I'm really not seeing the problem here. Your daycare provider is showing her affection for your child; the nickname is like a little in-joke between them. It's cute, I think.

My DD's name is Shaina; her daycare teachers and friends used to call her Shaina Baina and, one teacher in particular, Shania Twain. Lots of the other kids had funny nicknames, too. I can't say it ever bothered me -- after all, we have tons of nicknames for her at home, too ...

Carolyn - posted on 06/27/2010

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I don't like nicknames but some people see it as an endearment. I have found that if you keep calling your child by the name you gave him or her, not making a fuss, that will win out in the end especially when they reach school age.

Tammy - posted on 06/27/2010

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My husbands family call my daughter Amy, Amos. I Hate it! I have asked them repeatedly to not call her that. They just laugh. I think if I hadn't said anything they wouldn't have kept calling her that. I think it's just to make me mad. I wouldn't mind if it was a cute nickmane. It's not. It's an old man's name. There's nothing cute about it.

Heather - posted on 06/27/2010

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I think it's cute. =) Personally, I don't think I'd make a big deal out of what they call her when you aren't around, but then again- it's not my kid and that kind of thing doesn't bother me. If it really bugs you, then they ought to respect your wishes. Maybe they just don't understand how much it bothers you, ya know? People like me who enjoy calling kids such things as terms of endearment, etc, just consider it part of relating to kids. So, be patient if you ask them to stop, too, as sometimes it becomes so habitual! (Seriously- my sister, Jen, decided one day she no longer wanted to be called Jenny, and it took me awhile to make the switch!)

User - posted on 06/26/2010

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Pet names are common an i dont like people callin my daughter Gabby an I let them know. Its your child. Who really cares if she got offended. I have pet names from my grandparents an I refuse to let any one but them use it.

Justin - posted on 06/26/2010

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She's been with them since she was 6 weeks, the pet name was more recent. I get pet names, don't get me wrong, I just don't expect someone to get offended because I asked them to use it with my child.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/25/2010

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That would irritate me. We call my daughter Buggy because shes mommy's little love bug and her grandpa trys calling her boogey so he has something that just he calls her and it irritates the crap out of me. How long has your little one been there? Do you use a nickname?

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