Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kids Addressing Adults

I spent some fun time this week doing some girl-shopping (more on that in another post).

One stop included a nifty little dress shop with a fun little bonus: the owner's 3 year old son.  His name was Max (he told me so) but after just spending a little time with him, I get the feeling Max could also go by 'Ring-tailed Tooter'.

Not that Max (or RT, for short) was a bad kid, or anything, but what are you going to do with a 3 year old boy in a dress shop with a bunch of women?

I'll just say this, and move on: although I'm sure his mom had a fantastic stash of toys in the back room, RT had found a bungee cord to play with and it was The. Best. Thing.

RT seemed to take a shining to me (I guess I reek of Little Boy) and at one point asked my name.

I was a bit at a loss for how to answer.  Not that this is usually a difficult question, mind you.  At least, not coming from an adult.  But coming from a child... well... what do you say?

We teach our kids to call non-family adults by Mr. or Miss and their first name.  They see Miss Danielle at the library, and Miss Christy at church, and address their friends' Dad as 'Mr. Bill'.  There are some exceptions: some people,  because of age or formality or other reasons do end up getting called by Mr. or Miss and their last name, and most of the men at church are 'Brother' this or that.

In general, last names all the time seems too formal, and first names only seems too informal, so we go for somewhere in between.

How do you teach your kids to address adults?


Suzanne said...

Just exactly like you! (And we have a RT too!)

Michelle said...

Family friends and most people at church are Miss Teresa and Mr. Robert. There are some that are Mr. Wolf or Mrs. Knepp because of their age. They were only allowed to do first names when they were very small and learning to say the names, and were always prompted or reminded with the Miss or Mr. Much like you!

Karen said...

We aim pretty much like you: Mr. or Miss and first name / Mr. or Miss and last name for more formal people or older folks.

I find the culture up here much more casual than what I grew up with in TN and I do not like it. I very much dislike being called by my first name by a child (or even a teenager in some instances).

We even encourage our girls to use family titles (Aunt, Uncle) for their actual aunts and uncles. They don't always, but I think it shows a special relationship that I want to encourage, as in: "She's not just any old Lisa, she's AUNT Lisa."

*Mirage* said...

I introduce myself to children as Mrs. (insertlastname). I teach my children to address my siblings and my close friends as Aunt/Uncle (insertfirstname) and other adults as Mr./Mrs. (insertlastname). It really grates on me when little kids presumptively use my first name. I know they don't know any better because nobody taught them. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in teaching my kids to properly address adults with respect.

Jozana said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that is teaching their children to refer to adults as Mr./Miss ____. I grew up referring to ALL adults as Mr./Miss, Aunt/Uncle, or Brother/Sister if I called an adult by their first name I was corrected. My husbands family is more relaxed, however he supports me in teaching our children to use titles when addressing adults (hey, I still do!!!). Sometimes people correct my children and say just call me "Sally" and I have to step in and let them know that this is how they were taught to show respect.

Sometimes for really close friends when Mr. or Miss seems to formal we make them a "special" Aunt or Uncle.

Keri Mae said...

Oh, Mr. and Mrs. or Aunt or Uncle, or Grammy or Grandpa....etc. To me it is a matter of respect, and just a reasonable way for a child to humbly acknowledge that he/she is NOT on the same level as an experienced and (hopefully) wiser adult. We generally don't allow "Miss (first name)" as most of those women are not unmarried, and our children call ALL of our friends "Mr." and "Mrs". But I allow their children to call me whatever their parents feel is right.