My daughter calls me by new girlfriends name!!

Karyn - posted on 05/30/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Has anyone ever experienced this???? My 2 1/2 year old daughter has been calling me by her fathers new girlfriends name!! She does it more when she is angry with me, which has been alot lately. We've been having several tantrums a day for last couple of weeks. It is like being stabbed in the heart. I've talked to her about it and so has her father but she still continues to do it. Can she possibly be lashing out at this young age about us not being together?? Do they understand?? Its so hurtful. Her father and I dont get along at all and we do not interact together with her ever, not since she was an infant. I'm sure thats not healthy either. I've offered to him to do things with her but he is pretty much a court ordered father and only sees her 8 hours a week. He doesnt call ever to just talk to her or say goodnight or to check on her. I do everything I can to make her happy and keep her happy. I just dont know what to do anymore!!

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Medic - posted on 05/30/2012

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She is apparently getting a reaction out of it. Stop reacting. Just ignore it. Do not answer when she calls you that, do not show any emotion either way. When she does call you mom, or mommy or whatever she calls you just turn around and answer her sweetly.

Joy - posted on 06/01/2012

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I agree with the others and her trying to get a reaction out of you. Ignore it like the others have advised. My 2 year old tries to get reactions out of me by calling me by my name instead of 'Mommy.' I've corrected her a couple of times and now I ignore her when she calls me anything but 'Mommy' 'Mom' or 'Mama.' She hates that more.

Michelle - posted on 05/30/2012

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She is 2 and is trying to manipulate you. You say no she gets mad calls you by the gf name now you get mad it is a circle and she is learning how to push your buttons. You need to step back and basically filter out the words instead of hearing the gf name go ok she's mad let her cool off ignore it and when she has calmed down she will use the appropriate name. Make sure that you don't correct her or even acknowledge that it has been said. She has found that one button to push to hurt you because she is feeling hurt, she is 2 so being told no hurts her feelings. So she is doing it to you.

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Amy - posted on 06/01/2012

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I agree with what Medic Mommy said: she is getting a reaction out of you. For a kid that age (and, for what it's worth, I have a 2 year old son and I work at a children's psychiatric facility), any attention is positive attention. Whether it's negative or positive to us...it's getting their need for ANY attention met. Again, as Medic Mommy said, ignore it completely, but respond positively when she calls you Mom (or whatever her name for you may be). In my opinion, this is just like with whining--it gets our attention. But when my son whines, I simply say "I'll listen when you use your words" and walk away. Then we don't get into a power struggle over it, he doesn't get attention/positive reinforcement for a negative behavior and he knows I'll be there and will meet his needs when he is appropriate.

Your issue is different in that it's loaded with emotional baggage with your ex and now, his new girlfriend--ugh. That would sting SO BAD, hearing that from your child, so I definitely understand your frustration! Hang in there, and know that she's not deliberately trying to hurt you--she probably did it once by accident and learned that it certainly got your attention!

Best of luck!

Bernadette - posted on 06/01/2012

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Sounds like the more of an issue you make of it, the more she does it. Hard as it might be, try not to take it to heart and don't react. Or, if she is really doing it to get you angry, pretend that you love the name, and say you think it's a great idea to change your name to that. If you get excited about it rather than upset, she won't get the desired reaction and might give up. Tell her that's you think it' such a great name that maybe she would like to be called that too! Anyway, however you decide to handle it, I'm sure that, as long as she's not getting the desired reaction, she'll get over it before too long.

Carlie - posted on 06/01/2012

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I've never experienced nor witnessed anything of this nature. However, the first question that comes to my mind is: I wonder is your daughter is either being told to call you this or if you remind your daughter of the stepmother somehow? Perhaps in tone of voice when disciplining? Or perhaps when your child is being disciplined by the stepmother and says something along the lines of, "You're not my mother!" the stepmother replies with something like, "You're right...your mama's not here. I'm your mama now, or right now!".....

I don't know what is being explained to your daughter, and neither do you, since neither of us is there. If your daughter is too young to provide you with the answer to your question, then it is up to you to explain, ensure, and constantly reiterate to your daughter that you are indeed her mother and that she does not need to call her stepmother "mother" unless she chooses to do so. She is NOT to young to understand that...you just have to use her language.

:)

Michelle - posted on 06/01/2012

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Just ignore it, if it seems deliberate, when she does it just explain to her thats not what she calls you and tell her that you are called mum (or if your comfortable with the idea let her call you by your name) My daughter is 2 and calls all women mum. Bugs me but she isnt really getting the idea, although I will keep trying to explain it to her

Jenny - posted on 05/30/2012

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I would focus on not taking it so serious. When you first hear it, it's going to grate on your nerves (which is a normal reaction), but it's very much possible to separate yourself and own personal feelings/concerns and fears from that of your dd. You don't want to react from that place. It often escalates the situation and every ones feelings. Plus she is only a toddler and your the adult. She very much loves you and wants to please you, in fact her very existence demands it for her survival and overall well being- now and as an adult. In this particular situation I would not react as if I even heard the other name. I would continue business as usual. I wouldn't say she is lashing out either. She is young, cannot express herself/feelings/fears/frustrations very well and it will come out in a seemingly dysfunctional way through behavior, if an adult does not know how to figure out how to meet those needs in a loving/empathetic and gentle manner. It's absolutely possible for a 21/2 yr old to have built up feelings ( a backlog) over the experiences she has had so far in life. Kids are most happy and thriving when they feel connected to their caregiver. Connection is disrupted frequently or less frequently depending on how the child perceives the parent is treating them and how safe they feel in their environment. So depending on how a parent responds and treats their child, it will affect the connection at that moment, and over time if the same things that break that connection keep occurring, feelings/emotions/unmet needs become backlogged and there is no other option for a child but to act them out, in an attempt to get help, understanding and that connection back, that they need in order to survive/thrive/feel safe and good about themselves, and who they are. This does mean to shower a child in unwarranted praises, gifts, food or permissive, no boundaries/limits type of behavior/parenting, as a child even this young will ultimately not react kindly to this because kids need boundaries, and they can feel sincerity or lack of. Which makes them feel unsafe and not heard, or understood-again. If you can imagine right now that, she does not even understand how to tell you verbally or express in a respectful manner, what she is really feeling, what she might be experiencing in her little undeveloped brain and heart? So it's very important right now that you don't get angry ( at her or in front of her anyway), make her feel guilty, punish or do things that might make her feel bad for the the mistakes she is making, and her feelings- that she does not quite understand how to express in a healthy way ( and won't for a long time, in the ultimate fashion most parents dream of). Children cannot share when they don't feel safe/connected, and that their feelings will not be respected, and at worst minimized and explained away in a fashion that tries to convince them otherwise then what they know and feel in that moment. You are at a delicate stage- the beginning of your child's life, which will have great impact on her future abilities and your relationship together, yet also, it seems a rather painful/hurtful section of yours. You need some tlc also with your pain/hurt. There are a lot of things we do in many aspects of parenting that come from our own unresolved issues. So taking care of yourself is just as vital and important. Don't ignore your feelings, honor and respect them. If the tantrums are frequent and you need help in assisting her through this without using punitive measurements/anger/frustrations/exasperation's at this delicate time,you can check out ahhaparenting.com. I would also suggest the book, " The Whole Brain Child", by Dan Seigal, MD. and Dr. Tina Bryson, PhD. It's a short book with an incredible education packed into it that relieves so much for so many parents. I'm sorry this post was so long and got so deep, but I'm rather partial to parents with young children because I believe in prevention- and it starts early. I can feel the pain/fear in your post and I'm sorry that this is happening. I'm sorry that dd has a dad who doesn't know/understand the importance of the foundation of life- which is relationships. It's obvious he was not taught or shown this himself in a nurturing and healthy way. What's most important though, right now more than anything- is her relationship with you. She is close to you and obviously loves you very much. Purple, single, gay, dwarf, black, blue, handicapped, whatever- it doesn't matter as long as that child/being has a strong connection, feeling of love/acceptance- when they are perfect and not being perfect (especially),so they can have that confidence in who they are, and over time as they develop- that their feelings do not define them, that they come and go like everything in life and they are normal- that they can shine, be who they are, no matter what life throws at them. I wish you and your dd the best Karyn!!

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