How old is too old for children to call their parents 'mummy' and ‘daddy’?

Should there be an age limit on children using the terms mummy and daddy? [Photo: Getty]
Should there be an age limit on children using the terms mummy and daddy? [Photo: Getty]

A mum has sparked a parenting debate online after being upset with her children’s father for telling their kids they were ‘too old’ to call him ‘daddy.’

‘Mummy’ and ‘daddy’ are how many little ones refer to their parents, but is there a cut off point at which they become too old to use the affectionate names?

That’s exactly the question one mum has turned to the Internet to ask.

Taking to parenting site Mumsnet the mum-of-three explained that her ex husband had asked their three children aged 10, nine and seven to stop calling him daddy because they are too old to say it.

She went on to add that he believed other kids would make fun of them if they continued to use the term.

The mum is particularly perplexed by the newly imposed name ruling as her ex still refers to his own father as daddy.

She concluded her post by asking fellow parents if she was being unreasonable to feel angered by his request.

“Kids are upset, I’m annoyed but don’t want to lose my temper if I’m being overly sensitive,” she wrote.

Unsurprisingly, her thread provoked a flurry of emotive responses from other users.

Some parents were in agreement that the mum’s ex was being a little unfair.

“What’s all this ‘too old?’ I’ve never realised there was a cut off point?” one user wrote. “I’m nearly 30 and still call my parents mummy and daddy, I would never use mum and dad even when we’re all old and crusty. I’d be so upset if DS decided he didn’t want to call me mummy anymore.”

“Well I’m 30 and still have a mummy and daddy!” agreed another. “I just don’t refer to them as such when speaking to others. My mum would hate it if I called her ‘mum’ so I just never have and she would never refer to herself as such. Your ExH sounds quite cruel.”

How old is too old for kids to call their parents mummy and daddy? [Photo: Getty]
How old is too old for kids to call their parents mummy and daddy? [Photo: Getty]

But others argued that he had every right to impose a ban on the term.

“Definitely too old for “Daddy”, he’s right,” one user wrote. “It has nothing to do with you though, it’s between him and them.”

“No they don’t have a “right” to call him whatever they like,” another user agreed.

“One of the major rights we all have as individuals, parents or not, is deciding what we want other people to address us as, and encouraging someone to address someone else against their wishes is a terrible idea. If he wants to be Dad, so be it.”

The posher you are, the longer you go on addressing your parents as ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’

Some users thought that it was more of a class or cultural thing to refer to your parents as ‘daddy’ or ‘mummy’.

Remember when Prince Charles, then aged 63, opened his post-concern encomium to the Queen with the word ‘Mummy’?

“In my experience, the more upper class someone is, the longer they call their parents mummy and daddy,” one user commented. “So I reckon you’re solid middle class if you have a son who’s still calling his father ‘daddy’ at age 10.”

“Almost all of the people I went to uni with who had been educated privately, called their parents mummy and daddy or mother and father,” agreed another. “If I’d done so at my state comp I would’ve been a laughing stock.”

“I also think that they’re a bit old for daddy and mummy, but I think it’s as much of a cultural thing as anything else,” another wrote. “It’d be very unusual, where I live, to hear a 10 year old refer to either of their parents as daddy or mummy.”

Despite the differing viewpoints, many were in agreement that what the children decided to call their father should ultimately be their choice.

“Surely it’s should be just whatever your kids prefer to call him?” one person wrote.

“Let your dc (dear children) decide what to call him,” agreed another user.

It isn’t the only debate that has been sparked online of late. Last week, a mum turned to the Internet to ask if her husband had the right to comment on her body hair.

While earlier this month another mum kicked off a heated discussion after asking if four was too young to get her daughter’s ears pierced.

Meanwhile back in April a thread about party bags went viral after a mum sent back her daughter’s with a note complaining about the contents.

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