Parents calling their kids names, like brat and fattie

[deleted account] ( 35 moms have responded )

What do you all think about parents calling their kids names? I.E. Brat, Fattie etc..
I realize that they don't say it in a manner of truth but when you call them brat for years, don't you think the child is going to start to behave as one? I mean after all mom/dad already calls me a brat so why not act like one?

It bothers me when I read friends of mine of facebook saying "well the brat did this today" or I have one that calls their child a monster and another call theirs fattie.

I started to think about this when picking up my child and noticing he had gained a little weight and the words "your becoming a little fattie" almost slipped out of my mouth. Now he by no means is fat but in the 5th percentile. However, I would be afraid that if I continued over a period of time that he would start to believe it.

Your thoughts? Am I being too sensative?


Corena - posted on 08/20/2010




Words are extremely powerful. We CAN "speak things into being" without intending to. I try to be really careful of the nicknames I use for my kids, and how I speak to them in frustration or anger.
I was a child who lived up to the names my abusive stepfather called me...sometimes intentionally. Yuck. I will never do that to my kids.

Johnny - posted on 08/20/2010




No, I personally think you're right on track. My aunt and uncle called their daughter "sumo" when she was a baby because she had enormous rolls. But the moment that she turned 1, they forced themselves to stop and asked everyone else to refrain because they didn't want to saddle her with that sort of nickname & self-image for the rest of her life. I always thought that it was a very wise choice. I really hate hearing parents calling their children by nicknames with really negative connotations. Children have fragile egos & are just beginning to understand who they are and where they fit in. Why would anyone want to introduce that kind of negative self-image to a kid?

Heather - posted on 10/06/2010




I totally think you can use nicknames and they can come off in a loving tone, but I think there's a fine line between a nickname and a mean name. I've seen some really nasty moms call their kids retard, ass hole, little shit, etc. Granted, these are horrible moms and they should be reported for emotional abuse, but they all said it was just their "nickname" for their child....yeah right!

Brie - posted on 09/09/2010




i think it depends... if its something like fattie then you shouldn't do it but if its brat or monster as long as they aren't using it in a hateful tone then i don't think there is anything wrong with it!!!

[deleted account]

I think sometimes people put too much thought into words, sometimes words are just words and are not supposed to mean anything. I have called my son a whole host of things including fattie, I will explain what and why.

Fatty - my son was tiny born BUT put on soooo much weight in the first couple of months after birth, he is still small for age (he is 10 months and still in 6 month old clothes) BUT due to the dramatic increase in weight we started saying come on fatty (or fatty bum bum) this was NOT a nasty thing it was very affectionate - we have stopped callling him fatty though as we do not want him to think that we do feel he is fat.

Pigeon (I have no idea where this came from), stinker (usually after he has done a poo), monkey and monster (due to him being so active and getting into everything).

I would never call a child who was overweight fatty (or actually anybody) because it is wrong to diliberately try to hurt someones feelings like that!


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Norah - posted on 12/15/2016




Is calling your child 'a turd' right'? It so saddens me to hear a child being called this and other words:(

Norah - posted on 12/15/2016




Rita ... no you are not being sensitive.
It saddens me as a grandmother that my daughter would say words to my granddaughter that can change her authentic self. As saying negative words to a small child, he/she may grow up with a negative image of oneself. Children learn by example. Please mums/dad's respect your child, they are precious and innocent. Too much negativity in this world as it is.

[deleted account]

I call my oldest daughter a "Butthead" when she is being defiant. My youngest I call a turd bucket....All in good fun. I would never be mean & say things that would hurt their feelings, like ugly or fatty or brat...

Danielle - posted on 10/05/2010




If a word is used in a way that is derogiroty (sp?) then it shouldn't be used. However, I can see where Fattie could be used lovingly (if your YOUNGER child as a hard time gaining weight so when they do gain weight you say "Oh your such a little fattie" and laugh then its ok.I would NEVER say this to a kid starting in like the 1 or 2 grade). We call/called my son many things including "Tripp" (cuz he's a 3rd), "Squirrel" (he used to be "no bigger than a squirrel" and watched EVERYTHING), "monkey", "toot" and occassionally "Chuby cheeks" or use the word "thunder thighs" endearingly. Not that he is a fat baby, he is actually just right, we just use these words in a loving tone. Also, as far as "shut-up" goes. My brothers are 10 and 13 and they have to put their 2-cents in about everything (even things they don't know about) so yes we do tell them to "shut-up" (the whole phrase being "shut up, listen, and learn") occassionally.

Jayde - posted on 10/05/2010




I agree, you're not sensitive. Putting children down like that will definitely hurt their self-esteem. I will admit, though, i love playing this game with my 18month old daughter i say "you've got cute chunky fighs" whist giving little pinches on them- she giggles her head off. But when she starts talking i'll stop. I have to say though i love chubby bubbies :)

Ez - posted on 09/10/2010




I think a little bit of common sense goes a long way with things like this. Putting someone down because of their appearance is just not cool. My friend's husband used to call their baby 'Wock Eye' because he had a lazy eye. My Uncle called his son 'Box Head' because he had a big head. Those things have the potential to hurt a child's feelings. But calling children a 'name' as a term of endearment is not a big deal. I call mine a menace ('look at you, you lil menace'), because she is one! I've told her she's a pest when she's into everything and making a job that should take 5 mins take 20! I don't see any harm in that because it's just a general nickname with no ill intent.

And I think most babies get called pudgy, chubba, fattie etc at some point - also meant with love (everyone loves chubby babies!) and not a big deal. But calling a toddler fat? Nope, not on. I have this issue with my daughter. She's always been a big baby and, at 19 months, still hasn't lost her little fat tummy. I've had to tell family members to stop mentioning it because I don't want it in her head that she's fat. They aren't being mean, but it's just not acceptable to me.

Caitlin - posted on 09/09/2010




Oh boy I have some intersting nicknames for my girls, but all in fun, they are both under 2, and most wont be used past 2.. My mom called me stupid and fat all the time and I used to have serious issues with my self image.

My oldest (22 months) is my lilttle dynamo, my pumpkin, love bug - most of those are quite endearing, and the non endearing ones I just gradually stopped using them when she got older.
My younest is 6 months and she still has all the fun nicknames like rocket poo (from a diaper misshap), farty pants, pudgy princess etc.. those are great nicknames but stop around 1 year...

Amanda - posted on 09/09/2010




You are being way to sensative. My oldest 12 I have called my little brat since day one (even called her a fatty as a little one because she was one), she doesnt think shes fat now, nor does she think shes a brat. She even gets a little grin on her face when I or a family member mentions the brats, because she knows its a nickname, and has nothing to do with her behaviour. Now if parents are using the word brat in anger, I can understand where you are coming from. Words have no power, tone of voice has all the power!!

Meghan - posted on 09/07/2010




I would never in a million years call my son fattie...but if he is being a brat I will tell him he is. Its not in an angry way, but I use it the same way as monster and stinky butt. May not be "nice" but they are terms of affection and in no way meant to hurt him.

Kate CP - posted on 09/07/2010




I call my kid an imp because she's rather demonic at times. I've called her a brat but it's usually a joke. I don't believe in calling people names. If she calls some one a name we usually get onto her about how it hurts people's feelings. I've called her a goof ball before and she said "Mommy, that hurts my feelings" so I apologized and I haven't called her that since. I think you just have to be careful to not be cruel but at the same time not get too carried away with being "sensitive".

[deleted account]

My (almost) 3 year-old knows that when I call her a brat she's being bad and she stops being bad. For her, the word means she's being mean and it's the warning sign that she is thisclose to getting a time out.

Our 19 month-old's nickname when she was a baby was Princess Fatty Pants because she is in the 99th percentile in both weight and height. She is the same size as our middle daughter (who is 16 months older than her). We've stopped using the nickname mostly because she's lost all her rolls and baby fat, but I don't think it was harmful at all. We loved playing a game when she was about a year old where I would say "Who's my Princess Fatty Pants?" and she would yell "ME!!!" It was fun and she loved it. Now she has her other nicknames, but I will always love that one because it fit her perfectly and I think it was cute.

Like others have said, it's all about context. I made Princess Fatty Pants fun, not mean, so my daughter enjoyed it. I only call my middle daughter brat when she's being one and it warns her to stop that behavior right away.

However, I do not think that calling a child (any child, not just yours) a name with mean intentions is not right.

Amber - posted on 09/07/2010




In most cases, it probably comes back to the context. But I have seen a few parents who just take it over the line, and that's the only time that a real problem exists. As long as your child is well loved and doesn't get their feelings hurt by the name, it shouldn't be an issue.

Jennifer - posted on 09/07/2010




I think it does matter what you call your child and it depends if they understand what it means...I would call my soon my little poops. I would say it in a loving way, I would say I love my little poops....One day I asked him, do you know why your my little poops, and he said because Im brown...I was so hurt that he took it that way, like I was comparing him to #2...To me it was just a little pet name, but to him I was calling him that because hes brown...I no longer call him that, I felt so bad =(

Charlie - posted on 08/21/2010




I think its all about context and tone .

Most mothers are perceptive enough to see if it bothers a child most would know their child enough before saying it .

I dont see anything wrong with calling a child in a fun , loving way , i highly doubt if a child grew up being called monster in a fun way they would associate it as a bad word and use it to tease .

I dont know about overseas but in Australia most people have a nick name as what might be considered by others as a "not nice " name but its the larrikin in us Aussies , we really are laid back , we dont take offense to minor things , we often use " bad " words as a term of endearment , but then to us those words arent bad .

With children its the same i call my little one monkey bum , my lil monster , my lil rocker \m/ all in fun and love and he laughs when i chase him around saying " im coming to get you lil monster "

I think some people think WAY too hard about these things .

Its our job as parents to teach them what is acceptable in the family unit and what is acceptable with strangers .

If a person doesnt like it , dont say it , if they are sensitive dont say but if your all enjoying yourselves then there is no harm .

Karen - posted on 08/21/2010




I would be concerned about calling kids names out of love that may not sound so loving depending on the situation (brat, monster spazz etc). Wouldn't it confuse the kids when they're talking to you, or their friends/siblings. Would it be okay if your child jokingly called you a "brat" or a "monster"? What about if they weren't joking and just started calling their brother/sister names. I guess what I'm asking is will kids understand that their parent's can jokingly call them a name that might not be that nice but that they shouldn't meanly call another kid a name?
For the record I call my daughter sweetie, pumpkin, honeybun and monkey etc.

LaCi - posted on 08/21/2010




I call mine brat-brat all the time. It's just another nickname. I called him chunkmonster when he was a baby. But he's lost most of his chub so I can't anymore :(

Rosie - posted on 08/21/2010




i think most words, if said with love, are no big deal. there are some that could be potentially damaging like fattie, so that wouldn't be uttered after age 2 or 3. but the other ones like brat, or monster, or whatever (dorkus or cornpoop, lol, in my family) is a term of endearment in my family.

Jessica - posted on 08/21/2010




My daughter is called Munk (short for munkin) or Jellybean, or spazzbot, lol. She is only 3 months old. I do call my husband fatty, but jokingly because he has recently lost alot of weight and wasnt big to begin with,

[deleted account]

Jodi, my only concern is that we always called my sister names and it was in a joking good spirit, tone and context but it wasn't until years later that I found out that the term I was using really hurt her feelings. My goofy brother called me Rita the I by no means took that in a mean way because, well Im not! However my sister is short and it bothers her. Plus I called her Mooooorion (like a cow) and her name is stupid play on words. I seriously meant no more harm than my brother did however I found out that she hated being called that.

Jodi - posted on 08/20/2010




We always call our daughter "midget"..... (because she is little, and we say it endearingly).
My son gets "pig boy" because he eats so much at the moment, or sometimes "the human garbage bin", because he eats everyone's leftovers if he's still hungry. Maybe some people might think that is a bit mean, but it really is just a family joke, and he doesn't care, he finds it funny too.

Honestly, I think it all depends on the spirit, tone and context in which it is used.

[deleted account]

I agree it's all in the way you say it. I call my daughter silly and stinker some times, but never in a mean way. Fatty is mean no matter how you say it. That will cause problems. Another one that I love (

Jocelyn - posted on 08/20/2010




I also call my son Monster, but it's like Lyndsay already said, it's out of love and I don't say it in a negative way. On occasion he gets called Spaz, but only when he's being spazzy lol.
I think it depends both on the word and how you say it. Names like Fattie? That's just mean and wrong. Names like Brat I would find offensive if it was said in a derogatorily manner. Kids can tell when you are being mean, even if it is a "good" word, it can be twisted.
That being said, I call my little girl Squishy! But she's not quite a year, so I don't have to worry just yet about her getting a complex lol. But I know that I can't call her that forever :P

Johnny - posted on 08/20/2010




Okay, perhaps I'm a bit off here, but I sort of think of monster as a bit different. One of my friends calls her son "Turkey" which I think is a bit, mean, especially because she sort of means it that way. I call my daughter "monkey" mostly because she never sits still & loves Curious George beyond all reason. Brat (in a mean way), fattie, ugly, etc. are different IMO. I think my daughter kind of likes being called monkey. Not that it necessarily helps her behavior, lol.

[deleted account]

Lyndsay, I can TOTALLY understand the monster statement in the way in which you framed it.

However Brat and Fattie are two terms that I would never use when speaking of my child.

Lyndsay - posted on 08/20/2010




Well, to be honest, I am one of those people that calls my son a monster. Many of my facebook statuses have begun with "me and my monster...". Now, this is not to put him down in any way, it is an affectionate little nickname I have for him and its used kindly towards him. He will even put his hands up into "claws", make a face, and run around the room yelling "RAWR! I monster!" No harm done, in my opinion.

As for people calling their kids "fatty", or whatnot. Disgusting. What a way to ruin your child's self-esteem early on... HUGE issues revolving around self-image will come, for sure. All in all, I think its a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell your kid he's "bad" every day, then yes, he is going to be bad.

Abby - posted on 08/20/2010




I call my daughter a brat sometimes but only when she's being bratty. I'm not the type of parent that gets upset by her testing her boundaries so I don't say it in a negative way, and I usually say it in midst a giggle or a laugh while chasing her down. I call her a silly goose, a funny bum and a bubbly brat when she's being naughty. I do agree though that those words have a line that is very thin and easy to cross though.

Krista - posted on 08/20/2010




It's one thing when they're little babies and don't really understand -- they go more by tone of voice at that point anyway. But like Carol said, once they're a year old, you really want to get yourself out of that habit.

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