How Do Your Kids Address Adults?

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 by 5 Comments
How Do Your Kids Address Adults?

When I was growing up, addressing adults was relatively easy. Relatives were addressed by relationship, as in Aunt, Uncle, or Mom. Other adults were always, and without fail, addressed as Miss, Mr. or Mrs.

My own kids follow these rules as well, except with one or two very close friends who they address by their first names.

Increasingly, I am meeting children that insist on calling me by my first name. I find it somewhat unnerving, and a lot irritating. I am not even sure why, other than it feels like the kids are encroaching on my territory – placing themselves on the same level as I am.

As an adult, that bothers me on many levels. To some extent, it feels like a lack of respect. Silly as it may sound, I am 53 years old and I dislike a child I barely know speaking to me as a peer. Children are not miniature adults.

I see so many children that are undisciplined and seem to walk around with a mantle of entitlement snugly around their shoulders.

When I was growing up, you could be corrected by any adult in the vicinity – whether you knew them or not. Now, children run amok in stores and everywhere else, but telling them to stop running or settle down can get you in real trouble with the parents.

I think because of that, some kids seem to think that they don’t have to listen to adults.

Maybe the two are not related, but I think they are. What are your thoughts? How do your kids address adults?

photo credit: USAG-Humphreys via photopin cc

Posted in: Parenting
Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. As a work at home mom she has a unique perspective that encompasses the overwhelming deadlines and commitments of the professional woman as well as the constantly changing needs of a homeschooling mom with a large family. She is the author of one cook book and the creator of Restless Chipotle Media, a network consisting of two food based blogs, a blog for “women of a certain age”, a video site on Youtube, and upcoming blog on kitchen decor, and downloadable eBooks. Marye also is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer.

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  • Living The Scream

    I feel a little differently I do not like being called Mrs, Or Aunt or especially Mam I think the most important manners are kindness and please and thank you which can definitely be done with out having a child use a title to address an adult.

  • marye

    That is a good point. :)

  • Pauline Hawkins

    I always ask the adult when introducing my children to him or her the preference, but at the minimum, they call adults by Mr. or Ms. and the adult’s first name. So my friends are Ms. Karen or Mr. Paul. I agree. Children don’t show respect and when a child refuses to address me as Ms. Pauline, it’s a sure sign of entitlement. I think we need to bring back some sort of formal address for adults. I love that you discussed this today!

  • J

    I’m right there with the author. I think it helps children understand the chain of command if they use titles. I think it’s important that kids not treat adults as peers. Not only is it irritating to me that many kids lack respect for adults but it also encourages kids to take on adult roles too soon and that’s just not fair. Let a kid be a kid. They need to recognize that they aren’t little grown ups.

  • Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks

    I completely agree with Living the Scream. I grew up to respect adults, but also grew up calling them by their first name. There are plenty of disrespectful kids out there using Mrs and Mr, just as there are plenty of kids who are very respectful of their elders while still calling them by their first names. Personally, I feel uncomfortable and far too formal (different from respect) using Mr and Mrs.