1.10.2008

Name calling

When I was a kid, we called people by their last names. My neighbors were Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Carter. Seriously. Somewhere along the way people switched to calling adults Ms. Jane or Ms. Sarah. So, when my kids were little we used the first name, preceded by the necessary Ms. or Mr. to make it polite.

Now that my kids are getting older and their teachers are called by their last names, do we enter into that agreement with friends' moms and dads as well? Do we go back to Mrs. Fox or Mrs. Smith after they were previously something else? Are there certain people that need to be identified by their last name instead of their first?

I noticed this when my friend came over this week, and she called me Mrs. Kerr. I looked around and thought, 'who is that?' Even my son looked a bit taken aback by that. That was when I realized, perhaps she preferred to be Mrs. Smith.

What is the proper way for preschool-aged children to identify adults these days?

6 comments:

bmk said...

I too struggle with this. I think mine should say Mr. and Mrs. but don't care what I am called, but also don't want to offend the other mother either way...what to do?

tricia said...

I had to ask myself some similar questions not too long ago...I posted my opinion on the subject, you can click on my name if you care to read it.

Anonymous said...

okay, apparently that didn't work - here's the post :
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7613113213749639426&postID=6508066038072701754

Boom said...

I'm mixed on it, too...but I think we can't go wrong with a Mr. or Mrs. Lastname salutation. The Mrs. Lastname could always comfortably say "please call me Suzy"...right??

Robin said...

While I don't obect to parents being called Mr. and Mrs. it seems so formal to me. If you go to somones house to play, yes, you should certainly be respectful to their parents, but doesn't by default of having a significant relationship with the kids mean you have a relationship with the parents and leave the Mr. and Mrs. to people you really don't know?

In my neighborhood I'm known to the kids by my first name. So are a couple of other Moms. There are more Moms that go by Mr. and Mrs. It does make me wonder if the kids wonder why some moms are first name, and others are not....

purplemommy said...

You know it also varies by region of the country. Where David grew up all adults were "M'am" or "Sir" In the mid-west it is so much more informal. But here it seems like such a mixed bag of people. I guess you go by what you want your own kids to call other adults and perhaps that depends on the role that adult plays in your childs life.