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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Wants Mom and Dad All to Herself

DEAR ABBY: My brother got married a year ago after dating for less than a year. His wife started calling my parents Mom and Dad from the get-go. I didn't realize how much it would bother me, but it does and, frankly, I resent her for it.

I'm very close to my parents, and I view our bond as sacred. To me, Mom and Dad aren't names you use lightly, to be cute or as a term of endearment. The relationship is earned and unique.

I would never think of calling my husband's parents Mom and Dad, and I don't feel that I'm offending them by not doing so. Is there a proper way to discuss this with my brother and sister-in-law without hurting feelings or creating tension? -- ANNOYED SISTER-IN-LAW

DEAR ANNOYED: Calm down and curb the attitude, because if you say anything you will appear to be jealous and petty. What your sister-in-law is doing is very common. Regardless of what she calls your parents, you are still their daughter and she is not. If they didn't like her calling them Mom and Dad, I'm sure they would let her know they preferred she choose something else.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics