Thursday, November 06, 2008

My name is...

I have no idea what my children should call adults who are not related to them, like their friend's parents or my friends. I really don't like little kids calling adults by their first names probably because it was a sign of disrespect in our house when I was growing up. I called all adults by Mr. and Mrs. _____. Even now, I have a hard time calling anyone in the generation older that me or my friend's parents by their first names.

I am often asked by my friends what I want their children to call me. Am I Mrs. Peters? How did I go from wearing leggings last week to being Mrs. Peters to a 4 year old?

I need your insight and always great ideas. Leave a comment and vote on the pole. 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alysun,
We always had our kids call adults by Mr/Mrs. Just thought it taught respect. It was often undermined by our friends who said, "Oh please call me by my first name. It makes me feel so old when I hear Mr/Mrs." But we still had them call them Mr/Mrs and probably irritated our friends. Not sure what the "right" answer is but I still think it is a sign of respect.
"Great" Aunt Marlene (you don't have to emphasize the "great")

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

I have Russell call our friends, "Miss April" or "Mr. Mike." I, too, am not fond of first name greetings but Russell doesn't understand the last name thing yet. Maybe when he is school age. (Contrary to your slogan, the road to your house is long... with a toddler, anyway;-)

Annie said...

It's so funny that you should write about this. Paul and I were going through a Bible Study at church called "Growing Kids God's Way" by the authors of Babywise. In the last lesson they taught about respect for age - I had mixed feelings about the whole Mr. Mrs. thing. I think respect for adults is an attitude. BUT - it is an outward sign of respect and therefore I will probably teach my kids to use Mr / Mrs. Plus most kids in our church already do that so it won't be a big jump for them.

Lindsay said...

I guess I'm kinda the opposite. I personally cringe when someone calls me "mam" and I am only Mrs. Button to the kids at school. There are actually a couple close friends that our kids call "Aunt_____" even though they aren't related, to us, it just feels more natural and less formal. I think the compromise of Miss Susie (first name) is a good idea. I agree the Mr./Mrs. thing does teach respect, and definately should be used on a person of authority (like a teacher) or when my son's are dating and they meet the girls parents, for sure! I think another good way to teach repect is to talk to your child about looking adults in the eyes and anwering their questions (like at church or something, when you are with them) We have had to remind the boys of that. I guess for me it just depends on the situation.

Grace said...

Good question!! This is always a real struggle to know what to do. For the people that are a regular part of our lives, they are almost all "uncles" and "aunts". This can become confusing though as they already have thirteen real ones!

simplykersh said...

Well we're pretty much west coast hippie in this one. Heidi pretty much call everyone by there first name, unless it is a teacher (which she does very well with, she even switches from Auntie Kayla to Miss Rau most of the time at AWANA where my sister is her teacher), or a Pastor (which is "Pastor" than first name, and a few really close friends that we count as uncle and aunts. I have found in a lot of settings now the teachers are being asked to be called by Miss or Mr. then first name, that is what we were told to have the kids call us when I taught pre-school, they had them switch in Kindergarten.

I think a polite child will leave the sweetest lasting impression. We are focusing more on manners to show respect. Daily she is remembering more and more her please and thank yous, not screaming when she wants something and asking a hostess to be excused when she is finished with a meal. It (I think) already started rubbing off on Clara as she learned to sign please and thank you before more and all done.

I don't think in many cases it matters what a child calls an elder, just as long as they are polite in manner about it.

Cathy said...

I also think it depends on the situation. People they don't really know...Mr. & Mrs. or teachers; people in authority. If they do know them, I leave it up to the person they are addressing. On the other hand,some kids call me Aunt Cathy, some Mrs. Friesen, some Cathy. It usually has to do with THEIR parents and what they are comfortable with. I personally have never liked being called Mrs. Friesen. When some started calling me Aunt Cathy at church, I thought that was more of an honor!

Anonymous said...

Since I don't have kids I can only give the perspective of the adult. Most of my friends' kids call me Aunt Debbie when they are younger and as they get older they just call me Debbie. I do have a few friends that have their children address me as Miss Debbie and, honestly, that just makes me feel old! I agree that attitude makes the largest impact regarding respect regardless of how the kids address me.
Deb

The Brothers said...

If they don't know the person or know them very limitedly, it's "Sir" or "Ma'am".
If the person is a good friend of ours, it's "Uncle Scott" or "Auntie Lori".
I also require my children to respond to their parents' instructions or questions with, "Yes, Mom" or "Yes, Dad".
Same with Grandparents.
It sounds so polite!

Wanda said...

I really think some of the choice should be up to the adult and based on the relationship they have with the child and the child's parents. Our 16 y/o daughter calls my professors Uncle Bob, Uncle Dan, and so on. They literally are like family for us and she asked first. There are others who just naturally come under the Mr. / Mrs. title.

Katie Rose said...

This is a hard one, I definitely understand the whole aspect of respect, but I feel that our culture has changed a lot since we were kids and saying "Mr. and Mrs." can feel really odd... esp. since NONE of my peers seem to want my kids to call them that... so it comes down to a sort of "special" term, like Auntie or Uncle, or none at all. In some cultures (like Malaysia) everyone who is older than you is Uncle or Auntie... I tend to be less formal however, and our culture is less formal than it used to be, so I think that unless I have friends wanting to be called Mr. or Mrs._____ I will allow my kids to call them whatever comes naturally -as long as it is with a good attitude. :)