Wednesday, 23 February 2011

What does your child call you?

In my non-humble opinion there is a fine line in the relationship between being your child’s parent, and being their friend.

It is my strong belief that there is room for you to be both and that if you can demonstrate being a good parent and a good friend at the same time this has to be a good thing.

My boy has taken to calling me ‘mate’ quite a lot recently.

“You okay mate?”

“Come on mate.”

“Fancy a lightsaber fight mate?”

I know exactly where he got it from, as it is a term I use with him a lot.

Fortunately he doesn’t mimic all my language.

Thing is when he first started referring to me this way, I was cringing a smidge, and asking him to call me daddy instead.

“But you are my mate, mate,” he protested.

I countered with the ‘I’m your daddy too’ argument but to no avail.

My language can become incredibly habitual and repetitive, my language can become incredibly habitual and repetitive.

Since this change in reference I have become more aware when I am using the word ‘mate’ but as my brain always lags my speech it is not something I feel I can correct.

But do I need to?

‘Dude’ is also a word I commonly use when generically referring to folk, and my son, though in his specific case he is actually a proper dude.

Mind not sure I’d like him sounding like Jessie J.

Other children I know, and spend time in the company of, clearly use language that I have introduced to them. And a two-year-old calling me ‘dude’ is actually more than a little giggle worthy and cute.

So I am really not so sure why I took an initial exception to being called ‘mate’.

It’s a hell of a lot better than ‘china’. A term I carried as an irritating tic for a time.

And the most important thing is my boy knows precisely who and what I am.

His chum, and also his parent.

Perhaps I should just get him to stick to calling me Socrates.