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by Abigail Van Buren

Aunt Lost Her Title When Nieces and Nephews Grew Up

DEAR ABBY: I am a senior citizen who lives alone. I was married many years ago, but it ended in divorce. I was unable to conceive a child.

My brothers and sisters all have spouses and children. I am an aunt to many. My problem? The children don't call me "Aunt" anymore. When they were little, it gave me such warm feelings to be called Aunt or Auntie. It made me feel loved and respected. Now that they are grown with kids of their own, they call me by my first name.

Am I silly to be bothered by this? These same nieces and nephews still call their parents "Mom" and "Dad." I called my own aunts by the title well into my 50s until they died. Abby, am I old-fashioned to want to keep my title in a world where respect seems to be a thing of the past? -- FOREVER AUNTIE IN MINNESOTA

DEAR AUNTIE: I don't think you are silly, and whether you are old-fashioned (or not) is beside the point. Tell your nieces and nephews how much you appreciated being called "Aunt," and ask them to resume using the title. If you had a close relationship with them while they were growing up, I am sure they will respect your wish -- especially when you tell them why.

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