Don’t call me Mum’ initiative was set up as a call to all professionals working with families of children with additional needs, to demonstrate their respect of parents as partners. Many parents feel undermined when they are called ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ in meetings and appointments.
When practitioners introduce themselves we ask this is followed by “And your name is?”. In taking the time to know a parents name a professional is making a simple step toward acknowledging the valuable participation parents make in providing the best service, product, assessment or plan for a child.
- We see parents as partners.
- We recognise that every consultation, assessment and provision has the best outcome when the views and opinions of parents are shared and respected.
- We see parents as experts in their children, with specific skills, knowledge and perspective.
- We acknowledge that effective communication between professionals and parents is essential in ensuring the best outcome for families.
Recognising Parents as Partners
To become a supporter of ‘Don’t call me Mum’ and show that your company, department or school acknowledges the essential contribution parents make, order your badgesand contact us to add our logo to your website.
‘Don’t call me Mum’
The Don’t call me Mum is a brand new, parent-lead initiative asking practitioners and professionals to use parents names, not ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’. In a blog post shared several hundred times, Rachel Wright, the author of ‘The Skies I’m Under’, asks professionals to stop calling parents ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ in meetings and appointments. The ‘Don’t call me Mum’ is a call from parents to professionals that they demonstrate their respect for the valuable contribution parents make, and treat them as partners.
Follow on from the widely used campaign #Himynameis, ‘Don’t call me Mum’ follows with #andyournameis? It highlights the need for all professionals working with children, to address parents appropriately. It is common for parent’s of children, especially those with additional needs, to find themselves being referred to as ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’. For some parents this is patronising and impersonal. By using a parent’s name, a professional makes a small step towards showing they recognise the important role a parent holds as a key-professional in their child’s treatment and care. The campaign has a website, Facebook and Twitter page. Parents, professionals and companies can order support packs with badges or rights to our logo to show support to our values of making care family-centred.
Rachel, author of The Skies I’m Under and mum of a son with severe disabilities, said, “Don’t call me Mum awareness day started because I hate being called ‘Mum’ by anyone other than my kids. When I spoke to other parents I realised I’m not alone. As a nurse I know how simple things can make a big difference and as I parent I have felt the negative impact of being referred to as ‘Mum’. I’m simply trying to show practitioners how important it is for us parents that we are treated as equal partners within our child’s care. Using my name is a simple step towards showing me that you respect me as an equal around the table. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference.”
Sarah, CEO of Simple Stuff Works and parent to a daughter with additional needs added, “When Rachel approached us with the idea for ‘Don’t call me Mum’ it really struck a chord with me. I have a job with a great deal of responsibility, I travel the world speaking about therapeutic positioning and lead an award winning organisation. However, when I attend meetings with my daughter my role is relegated simply to ‘mum’ – the person that will do the vast majority of the work arising from the meeting but doesn’t warrant a name. Knowing my name and using it lets everyone know that I too am valued and that my contribution is recognised, a fundamental when it comes to any partnership.”
Notes to Editors
About Rachel Wright
Rachel is a nurse, wife to a GP, mum of three and author, living in Southend, Essex. She recently self-published her 5* memoir ‘The Skies I’m Under’. She blogs at www.bornatttherighttime.co.uk and is passionate about families of children with complex needs. She enjoys speaking at events, leading workshops for other parents and training professionals who care for complex families. Rachel is available for photographs and interviews.
About Sarah Clayton
Sarah is a mother of 4 and currently leads a talented team at Simple Stuff Works. Originally trained as a biologist she began working with families of children and adults with complex healthcare needs in the late 1990s. As a fully qualified teacher she has developed 5 nationally recognised qualifications in the use of therapeutic positioning. Sarah loves nothing better than training parents and practitioners alongside one another and is passionate about the recognition of individuals and their families.
For more information, visit
Don’t call me mum is a parent lead campaign that asks doctors, nurses, teachers, physiotherapists and many more medical and educational professionals, to treat parents as equal partners in a child’s care and education.
Simple Stuff Works is a multi-award winning company that supplies therapeutic positioning equipment and nationally recognised accredited training in protection of body shape.