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Would Calling Dad by First Name Instead Help?
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:19 AM
Joined: 9/15/2019
Posts: 96

Good Morning,

Last night when my Dad was yelling at me again, I started to wonder if I called him by his first name instead of Dad, would he listen better?   He doesn’t know who I am half the time, would I get more respect and would he listen better if I called him by his first name?  Has anyone tried this?  Was I crazy to even ask this question?

Eric L
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:28 AM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1288

Towards the end, my wife and her brother often called their Mom by her first name. We kind of had figured out that she had "time traveled" back to a time before she had kids. Sometimes, calling her Mom would confuse her (and make her angry) and she responded much better if they called her by name. It was weird of course because she usually knew who my wife and her brother were by name, but she had somehow lost the association that they were her kids.

It isn't a crazy question. Sometimes you have to find solutions like this to keep the peace (or whatever else).
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:04 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 1077

My mom, 92, in MC, late stages, had a pretty significant fall Sunday and is not doing so well brain-wise. She seemed yesterday evening to be referring to herself in third person. Bro and I at one point were calling her and ourselves by name in third person. Not sure if I have called her by name. If she's confused, I may not call her "Mom" until she calls me by name. But since I'm face to face with her, I don't have to holler for her down the stairs or anything.
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:47 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2307

My mom was much more responsive to her first name, I think she didn’t know I was her daughter, but somehow she knew I was “hers.”
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 4:18 PM
Joined: 2/6/2018
Posts: 287

My sister tried this when our Dad was not believing what she was telling him about his circumstances and changes that were necessary etc. He was disregarding her as if she was a foolish child and not a capable middle aged woman. Using his name instead of “Dad” made no difference at all. He didn’t even seem to notice the change. This was a few years ago and now we know how fruitless reasoning and explaining is. I will use my Dad’s first name now when I think he’s more confused or less alert and I need him to tune into what I’m saying and respond. If it’s ever needed one day I might also try calling him what his parents used to call him.
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 6:19 PM
Joined: 8/12/2017
Posts: 248

Not crazy at all.

Toward the end, my father lost recognition of me as his daughter.  He alternately thought I was my mother, his sister, or a girlfriend who predated my mother.

I found the best moniker then was Dear.  "Dear, can I pour you a cup of coffee?"  "You know Dear, that is certainly no way to speak to a lady!"  "Yes Dear, I ordered the part for the car, it will be here in two weeks."  "I love you with all my heart, Dear."

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