students calling teachers mom?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by lexilla, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. lexilla

    lexilla Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I work with 2yr olds and of the many years I've worked with this age group have never had this problem before. I had a new group of 2yr olds move up to my class from the toddler class recently. 4 of the 5 children call the toddler teacher "mom" or "mommy". Its really not a problem for me because once they get to my class and I hear them call the other teacher this, I correct them everytime, They usually catch on within a week or so. I'm concerned though is it acceptable for the other teacher to LET the children call her mom? When they call her this, she answers them without correcting them. I understand alot of toddlers will call their teacher "mom" just because its someone close to them like their mom and its alot easier for them to say, but should they be corrected or just leave it alone?

    I know this age is so young and these kids won't call her mom forever but I'm more concerned
    #1 how it makes the parents of these kids feel. If it were my child, and I wasn't a teacher, I'd feel hurt and guilty about having to work and think that my child considers someone else besides me "mom". BUT since I AM a teacher, I know its not the case and I'd be glad my child has someone special he/she feels so close to and trusts..
    #2 are the kids really understanding who "mom" really is?
    any opinions?
     
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  3. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2005

    Don't worry about it! My Third Graders call me mom all the time. They're just comfortable with you.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 17, 2005

    lexilla - I think I know what you are getting at here. It's really about boundaries, isn't it? Part of the maturation process is becoming aware of appropriate interaction and boundaries is one part of that. While I don't think the specific act of calling the teacher Mom will hurt the child, it certainly is not realistic, nor does it help the child grow in terms of roles and appropriateness. As part of the teaching of boundaries and acceptable behavior, correcting this as you would any other behavior seems quite right.
     
  5. luvmykids

    luvmykids Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    As a mom and a teacher, I always correct my students when they call me mom. I do it in a joking tone so they don't feel that they have upset me or made a mistake, but I am not their mother. As a mom, I hope my children are corrected when they are in preschool. The teachers there are just that, teachers, not mothers. JMO
     
  6. lowrie

    lowrie Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I'd tend to agree with luvmykids, gentle correction. Sometimes the child isn't aware that he or she has made the error, they are so used to saying "mom" that it comes out without realizing it.

    As a mom, I would hope my children were corrected any time they might have done this, and as a teacher, I would correct children if they inadvertently called me "mom."
     
  7. sdhudgins

    sdhudgins Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I have high schoolers that call me mom occassionally! These kids spend a huge chunk of their time with their teachers.
    I have a child who started calling his sitter mamma. It didn't really bother me.. When he sees her now (dad stays at home with them) she's mamma janet. I think it just shows we made a good choice in a sitter!
     
  8. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I didn't mean that I don't correct them. I do. but in a gentle way. I've even had kids call me Dad. I really believe it's a comfort thing, they outgrow it.
     
  9. lowrie

    lowrie Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I think you're right, lovelabs, and I'm sorry if I appear to have misunderstood :)

    I think it is a comfort thing or even a situation where they don't realize they are doing it... :D
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I had one 1st grader call me mom by mistake a few times. I too would say, Wait...am I your mom?( With a big smile). Then the whole class would laugh and know I was joking. This child would sometimes say well your my teacher, but your kinda like a school mom. By the end of the year she would just call me that as a joke.

    I'm still pretty young and had them call me grandma...I would just laugh it off and ask what kind of cookies would they like me to bake. The whole class would laugh again.

    I agree I think some of the students get so focused on what they are doing and when they need help the ask for the person who usually helps them their mom.
     
  11. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I have had children who called me mom and once even grandma. Like diznee I say "Hey am I your mom?" They laugh and I laugh. When the child called me grandma he laughed so hard he was crying! Make light of it. I have parents who say their child calls them me Miss....

    Like sdhugins said kids spend so much time with us and it is understandable.
     
  12. lexilla

    lexilla Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I understand alot of you mentioned older kids. The older kids I can understand where some would call their teacher "mom". They know in reality that you aren't really their mother or maybe its by mistake or even a joke but 1 and 2yr olds? Sometimes the kids start crying for mom for whatever reason and I'm thinking they're crying for their mothers and I'm trying to soothe them and telling them mom will be back soon after naptime and they continue crying I want to go see mommy, and its not until I use my brain and realize.. its not their mother they want, its the other teacher ack! I really think they think her name is mom! lol

    When I say I correct them.. its in a manner of when they say something like "I want to go see mom" I'll just say, you want to go see Ms. ___? ok lets open the door and see if she can see us (she's across the hall). A few times of this and they stop with calling her mom. I have one left that still calls her mom but then in a month or 2 I'll have 2 more kids coming in my class from hers that I'll have to correct.
     
  13. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Jun 17, 2005

    Two of my 3 year olds call me mom on occassion. They are so use to calling for mom that they don't even realize it when it happens. Sometimes they will correct themselves when they do it and then laugh about it, other times they don't even notice until I say something. Once in awhile if I am in a hurry doing something and I just need to tend to them I wont say anything, but most of the time I will politely joke around and say "who am I". And then they'll all laugh. None of the kids think I am their mother, except my own, who now calls me Ms. Mommy. I think it's something that is a force of habit as well. They are always calling for their mommy's, so it's natural to say it when they are at my house as well.

    If my son did have a teacher that didn't correct him, I would be a little upset. I don't even tell the parents that they sometimes call me mommy for fear they will see further into it than needs be. I don't need the conflict and what they don't know wont hurt them, especially when I KNOW that they know the difference between myself and their parents.

    It's kind of like when a parent goes down the list of family members before getting to your name when he/she is calling for you or yelling at you. My mother always would say my brothers name, the dogs name, then my own when she was trying to get my attention. It's a mom thing I think.
     
  14. LisaD

    LisaD New Member

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    Jun 17, 2005

    It's never a problem when my second graders call me Mom. I just gently tell them that I am their school mom. But what I hate is accidentally being called Grandma, and I am only 42 years old!!! It's all good though. They could call me a lot worse than Mom or Grandma. :
     
  15. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    My opinion, lexilla, is that the caregiver of the 2 and 3 year olds should help the children know her name. "Mom" should be reserved for the mother of the child. To correct, or not correct may be on the per case basis, however. Sometimes a very young child just says mom and really thinks that means "fix this for me" or "pick me up", or "I hurt myself" or " look at me" something like that it's not really an endearing name... it is a word that a child uses to get his or her caregiver's attention. I would be a more concerned if the caregiver called herself mom as in, "Come to mom now so I can wash your face." or, "Bring that here so mom can fix it" I agree that that would be confusing to the child and unfair to the parent.
     
  16. sbtellmann

    sbtellmann Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I dont really see this as a problem. My kids call me Mom sometimes and I dont correct them. They arent confusing me for their Mom, they're just used to asking Mom questions and it slips! It seems that if you correct them, it would embarrass them even more. Sometimes my kids correct themselves, and sometimes they don't notice. I dont mind either way.
     
  17. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Jun 17, 2005

    My Kindergarten class 2 years ago several students called me Mom, and with my second graders this year the same thing happened. It was a stability factor for them they felt safe and secure like they did with their Mom. I would just look @ them and raise my eyebrows and they would go I mean Miss ...., it wasn't a big deal. I felt honored that they felt safe enough and secure enough in my class to call me "Mom". I am sure my new class will do so on occasion also when we start back in July. The parents normally think that it's funny I had one that said she felt very good that her child would feel like she could call me Mom because that meant that her child felt safe.
     
  18. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jun 17, 2005

    The 2 1/2 year old that I nanny for called me mom a lot when he was younger, mostly because it's only been in the last month or two that his vocabulary has blossomed. My name is hard for little kids to say (geez, most adults say it wrong!) and mom is just an easy word for a toddler with a small vocab. Now its a joke when he calls me mom, he laughs and laughs. Also, I've gotten so used to talking to him about his mother (who happens to be one of my closest friends) that I frequently slip up and call her mommy myself. And since the baby calls my mom auntie, I find myself doing the same thing...so I think if an adult can slip up and call someone mom, teachers shouldn't worry if a toddler does the same thing. Just my opinion though.
     
  19. Seich30

    Seich30 Comrade

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    Jun 19, 2005

    I have come across this alot, especially from my kids who are lower and don't have alot of vocabulary. I usually don't correct my little ones--especially at first. I may deal with it, by doing a name game at circle time. They usually do it until they feel more comfortable in the classroom. You do provide that "mom" figure for them. I don't think the parents will feel bad, because you are probably not the only person the child calls this name. I usually just respond with "I'll be your mom at school" if they say it infront of the parent. I explain the the parent that this is typical because they feel safe with me, just like they to with them at home. It is always temporary.
     
  20. Lumana

    Lumana New Member

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    Jun 26, 2005

    I remember the first time one of my students called me "mom." I was a little shocked because they didnt tell me that might happen when I was in school, anyway, I just gently corrected her, we laughed and we moved on.

    I dont think harping on it would be a good idea, I also don't think letting the children continue to call you mom would be appropriate.
     
  21. Seich30

    Seich30 Comrade

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    Jun 27, 2005

    Lumana, I agree with you. I don't correct some of mine--because I work with ESE Pre-K. My low ones who are 3, are probably developmentaly 1 or 2--thus the difference. :)
     

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