When will my niece call me mom?

Angela - posted on 01/30/2015 ( 6 moms have responded )




I am the mother of 2 little girls. My one year olds father died while I was pregnant. And his pre- deceased older brother's 6 year old daughter was abandoned by her mother after my husband died. So now I have 2 little girls with no fathers. I love them so much but how will I explain this later to them?? My niece still calls me aunt. She is painfully attached to me. Major separation issues. They are full-time jobs. And I need to start working. How will it work??


Jodi - posted on 01/30/2015




She's old enough to know you aren't actually her mother. It won't cause confusion with your 1 year old if she is calling you aunt. Because even though you have legal guardianship, you ARE her aunt. Kids are amazingly resilient and we often don't give enough credit to them for that. My daughter grew up listening to her brother call her dad by his first name, because he isn't her brother's dad. She was never confused about that.

With regard to the separation issues, have you sought counselling of any kind for her?

Raye - posted on 01/30/2015




Have you formally adopted your niece? If not, there are some MAJOR issues that could come up that could result in her being taken away from you.

How to explain it to them? You explain it as simply as you can. As they get older, they may ask more questions, and you should answer them honestly. If you need to work, then go to work. Help comfort her, but don't over do it because that could just increase her anxiety. You might want to talk to a family counselor to get more personalized help.


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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/02/2015




As the others have said, yes, you are being mother to her, but she knows that the correct relationship is "Aunt", therefore she calls you "Aunt". Since she is your daughter's cousin, and you will explain to each of them age appropriately as they grow up, it will not "confuse" your other child at all.

Wanda - posted on 01/30/2015




Just give her sometime when the time is right she'll come around and when they get a little other it might be better or when they ask.

Angela - posted on 01/30/2015




Hi rate, I have permanent guardianship of her that the Ministry of Children petitioned the court to do. As her paternal grandmother (my husbands mother) tried to get custody and is documented as being unbalanced and abusive, the courts wanted me to have control over her well being. So she can never be taken from me. I am bringing her up as my daughter. She refers to me as her mom to her friends at school. But when i am there, she calls me aunt. I feel like this is going to be confusing and cause more stress when my little one starts talking and calling me "mom"

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