In writing a story, when a kid phones his mother and she answers, should he say Hi Mom, or Hi...
In other words, should mom be spelled all in lower case or be capitalized?
In this instance 'mom' should be capitalized, because it is used as a specific name, not a general name. The basic rule is, if you could insert a person's name into the sentence, then capitalize it.
1. "Hi, Mom, I'm home," Pete yelled, as he came through the front door.
2. Joe's mom handed him a letter.
Mom should be capitalised because the male character is using it as her name. If it wasn't being used as a name, it would be capitalised.
Some moms are very kind.
As an answer to form, rather than to actual syntax, my answer is this: allow the character's arc to determine whether you should deviate from the accepted typography or to maintain a sense of uncertainty as to how the two characters will later relate in the book/story.
I think it should be capitalized sin Mom and Dad are names for children.
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