My question is regarding a name that my mother-in-law uses very loosely toward my 22 month old. When my daughter does typical toddler things my mother-in-law calles her a "little devil." I feel that this is not an appropriate term to use at all, especially toward my daughter and directly to her. I have told my husband that I do not want her saying this and have asked him to speak with her. He thinks that it's not a big deal; I think he just doesn't want to address this with her. I am a little out spoken but I feel I should not be the one to address this topic.
From: CJW, Providence, RI
I agree that this is not appropriate, even if your MIL means it as a term of endearment. Here are two reasons why your husband may want to rethink his position:
Nicknames have a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. At 22-months, your daughter may not understand what "little devil" means, but it won't be too long before she does. Somewhere along the line, when she wants to do something naughty -- age 4, 6, 10? -- she may say to herself, "Well, they think I'm a Little Devil, anyway, might as well live up to it....."
Nicknames have a way of sticking. Down the road, your daughter may well wonder, "What awful thing did I do to deserve that name?" and resent grandma for giving it to her.
Anybody got stories of nicknames like this that have turned out to be mistakes?
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