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Children addressing adults - explain the "Miss" thing to me - Page 3

post #41 of 102

You know, actually, people in my grandmother's generation (like say, 75+) I will not call by their first name, unles they very, VERY specifically tell me not to call them by Mr./Mrs/Ms Lastname.  As informal as I am with myself, I am very concerned with being respectful of older people on this topic. 

 

I'm trying to think if my kids know anyone my parents' age they talk to directly (so the same generational gap as the above)....yes, one set of my parents' friends they have been specifically told they can call by their first names.  They don't really talk to many other adults my parents' age or older unless it's a teacher or activity leader, and they use Title. Lastname for them.   

post #42 of 102

The4ofUs: ME TOO! i can not stand the whole "miss first name" thing. either call me Heather (my name too! lol) or call me mrs. last name. but i am not miss heather. it is weird and i don't like it. 

 

h

post #43 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelson View Post

I am from the midwest, so maybe that is why I am really surprised how many people would actually feel "offended" if a child used there first name to address them.  I think it makes a child feel more comfortable, an equal, if they are able to call you by your first name, we don't call kids "Little Boy Billy" or "Toddler Girl Suzi."



I am from the south, but I feel this way as well. Conversely, I am also very surprised how many people feel offended by being called Miss, Mrs., or Ms.  They're just titles people use to show respect. I have nothing against that. If someone wants their child to use a title to address me as a way of showing respect, that's fine with me.  It would never occur to me to be offended.  I always address other adults with Mr. or Ms. in professional settings, until I'm asked to do otherwise. I hope I'm not offending people!

post #44 of 102

I grew up in the midwest too and never addressed adults this way. I found it very odd when I saw it in the south. Never got it, it was so odd. I actually did not even like it.

 

Now years later, I find myself doing it. It seems enduring to me, not rude like it did when we first moved here. Don't know why my feelings have changed, they just have.

post #45 of 102



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdie B. View Post

I am from the south, but I feel this way as well. Conversely, I am also very surprised how many people feel offended by being called Miss, Mrs., or Ms.  They're just titles people use to show respect. I have nothing against that. If someone wants their child to use a title to address me as a way of showing respect, that's fine with me.  It would never occur to me to be offended.  I always address other adults with Mr. or Ms. in professional settings, until I'm asked to do otherwise. I hope I'm not offending people!



 I think a professional atmosphere is really, really differnet than a friendly encounter, and I conduct myself WAY differently in a professional place than with friends or out socially. 

post #46 of 102

I've always lived in the NW. When I was a kid I adressed the adults as Mr. and Mrs. lastname. Now that I'm a gownup I never really hear anyone using titles anymore. People usually have there kids call me by my first name or "Momma Kara" (which I really like.) I don't like the sound of miss firstname at all! I wouldn't be offended but I just don't like it. I would much rather be Mrs lastname. I am married and I think miss sounds like a young girl.

post #47 of 102

I grew up in the SE where Miss was commonly used. I always disliked & was confused by it, for it sounds demeaning. It has roots in slavery & the Southern Belle era.

 

Now that I live in the NW, I've found the term Ms. is used most commonly. It's really no one's business if you're married or single, and we definitely don't differentiate marital status via Mr., so Ms. makes sense. I don't even know if my son's teacher is married, since she goes by Ms. When I volunteer in my child's classroom, they call me Ms. X. I would be fine w/ just my first name (since that's also common here), but the school uses "Ms." and "Mr." for volunteers.

post #48 of 102



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karamom View Post

 People usually have there kids call me by my first name or "Momma Kara" (which I really like.)

 I actually think this is really sweet, too - to have friend's kids call you that strikes just the right mood IMO.  I wonder if I can start that trend around here?  ;)

post #49 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nola79 View Post

Well, I'm from the south and it would never occur to me to use Mrs. It's always Miss firstname whether the person is married, single, divorced, whatever.

One of ds's friends calls me by my fristname only and it drives me crazy.



Yep. Kids better call me "Miss Firstname" because I find kids yelling out my firstname seems WRONG to me. And yes, I'm from the South.

post #50 of 102

I think it's because most women go by Ms. these days. I know I would be uncomfortable if someone called me Mrs. last name even though I am married. Ick. I've been a "Ms." forever. It's the standard in my world. I don't care whether kids call me "Ms. first name" or "Ms. last name" but I would not want to be called "Mrs. first name" "Mrs. last name" or "first name." I'm not sure if my kids have ever called anyone "Mrs." It's probably something that only exists in books for them. And their teachers, friends' parents, etc. are mostly married. 

 

And when I receive things addressed to Mrs. husband's name, I get a little enraged. It's 2010 for goodness sake. 

post #51 of 102

Okay, so in this thread we have people who hate Miss, people who hate Mrs., people who don't like Firstname. What's a parent to do? I say just pick a convention. If someone doesn't like it, they should speak up. We use "Miss/Ms. Firstname" but DD doesn't use it with everyone--I think her best friends' mom has said "No Miss, please." One could argue that one should ask every time, but that seems a lot to ask and sort of overly fussy to me.

 

Personally, if you called me Mrs. anything, it would be wrong. I kept my maiden name.

post #52 of 102

I hate Miss First name too. I don't get offended by it, but it rubs me the wrong way.

 

I was Miss/Ms. Abbie when I was a preschool teacher and a swim coach, then Mrs./Ms. Last name as an elementary school teacher (would have rather been Ms. First name with my kindergartners but than was not the school's culture.) I think a title goes along with the formal position of authority.

 

On the playground or in the back yard I am not in a formal position of authority over anybody else there so it seems inappropriate. My kids are the only ones that I am an authority over and I already have a title, Mama. As for others, if I've just met you, you are not in any position of authority over my kids and I'm not comfortable being an authority over your kids so no need for a title. If you are a friend, then you are a friend, again, no need for a title. If it's a respect thing, than please respect me and call me Abbie or Ms. Last name.

 

Of course having said all of that, I live in Florida and depending on where you are it can be the deep south or a pocket of the northeast or some other mix of regional differences. I just go with the flow. I find that my relationships with other "Miss" moms tend to fizzle out over other differences anyway (at least so far) so it has never really been a huge issue.

 

 

 

OP, I think it was rude for the other parent to ask you what you preferred and then to immediately ignore your response and just go ahead and call you what they wanted to call you. That is not showing respect, which was the whole point of giving you a title in the first place.

post #53 of 102

To my teenage students, I'm Ms. Lastname. They actually do pronounce it Mizz. I feel weird being called Mrs., but that's just me. My mom kind of drilled 1970s feminism into my head.

 

But, I'll have to get on board with Heather about the Miss Firstname thing. It drives me INSANE. When my friends instruct their kids to call me Miss Stacey, it drives me batty!!

 

Edited to remove something that could potentially offends SAHMs because of wording. I would looove to be a SAHM, so seriously, I meant no offense if you read it before I clicked edit.

post #54 of 102



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post

 One could argue that one should ask every time, but that seems a lot to ask and sort of overly fussy to me.

 

 

I have to respectfully disagree, I don't think it's fussy at all. 

 

Mom1:  "Hi, I'm Heather.  Nice to meet you."

Mom2:  "Hi Heather, I'm Jen.  Should my kids call you Heather, or use your last name instead?"

Mom1:  "Heather is just fine, thanks for asking!"    OR  "I'd prefer Mrs. Jones, thanks for asking" 

Mom2:  "Jen is fine with me, too."  OR, " I usually go by Ms. Smith."

Mom1:  "Sooo, what do you guys like to do for fun?..........."

 

Done!  That's what, 30 seconds?  I've asked many friends outright, as our kids got to be 2-3 yrs old, what they prefer my kids to call them, and told them I am totally fine with their kids calling me Heather.

 

 

If it's not that familiar a situation, I would default to the more formal title lastname until told otherwise.  The main problem in the OP is that they asked, and then ignored her request. 

post #55 of 102

Miss Firstname grates on my nerves, as does being called "hon", "honey", "sweetie", etc by strangers (e.g., female cashiers/waitresses in the South). Mrs. Husbandsfirstname Husbandslastname is even worse, though. GRRRRRRR... oh and "Aunt Firstname" by anyone other than nieces and nephews annoys me, too.

 

Just Firstname is best (even though I don't like my first name), although people close to me usually refer to me by the nickname my family uses, and I don't mind Ms. or Mrs. Lastname. My kids call people whatever they prefer to be called, but unless it's a relative I *personally* prefer they call the person Firstname. I don't really see why children should have to use a title to address adults unless it's a teacher or doctor or something.

 

--K

 

post #56 of 102

I haven't really seen it because my kids aren't school aged yet... But I don't think I'd like it. It's fine for say... Daycare/Preschool workers who are unmarried and/or like a more informal environment. I think people are trying to get their kids to be respectful of the fact that you are not peers, without making it too formal. I, however, am not comfortable with that. I don't want children who are not related to me using my first name. And I'm not a "miss." So my neices and nephews (biological and honorary) can call me Aunt Bri, but I will expect my kids' friends to call me Mrs. Music. Or KidName'sMom. My mom was always "Brianna's Mom" and that was pretty funny.

post #57 of 102

I still find it fussy to ask every time. I don't know. My kids meet so many people. Also, I think it's a lot to ask for a 2yo to remember all the different preferences (I'm not even likely to remember). There's a reason we look for a general rule in these situations. I mean, that isn't to say I don't try to remember if someone specifically requests a certain mode of address. I do. But I think all this anger on this subject is a little odd, especially given that very few people here have said THEY ask every time. It seems like most people think their custom is the "right" one and all the others are wrong!

 

[quote]If it's not that familiar a situation, I would default to the more formal title lastname until told otherwise.[/quote]

 

But why? What we see here is that people don't agree on what the default is or should be. Also, to be perfectly, honest, I often don't remember the last names of people I am only somewhat familiar with. For instance, I know all the first names of the parents of DD's classmates, but last names? Oy. No.

 

[quote]If it's a respect thing, than please respect me and call me Abbie or Ms. Last name.[/quote]

 

How do we know that that's what you prefer unless you say so?

 

Obviously, part of this is regional. I'm a Northerner, but I live in the South, and around here Miz Firstname is common.

post #58 of 102

I don't think you have to ask.  If your child introduces himself/herself, the person will introduce himself/herself in the way he/she wants to be called.  And if you can handle remembering individual names, I don't see why you can't also remember how that person likes to be addressed.  It might be difficult for a 2-year-old, but then remembering names at all is difficult for that age.  Neighbor kids were much older than that and still calling me "Sophia's Mom".

 

Though I will say that while I am not a fan of "Miss Suzanne", I've gotten used to it since I've lived in Southern Ill. long enough and it seems pretty common here.  It did irritate me at first but I don't really notice it anymore.

post #59 of 102

I guess I feel like formal introductions don't happen that much in my life? I don't know. I feel like it's more like DD refers to someone in my hearing as "Kid's Mom" and I say "Her name is X." The person well may not even be in hearing range. DD uses the "Miss" convention (also calls men Mr. Firstname) so she would then call her that. I am going to try to pay a little more attention to this, and ask if the moment arises naturally, but it's hard for me to imagine getting really invested in it, and I certainly hope people will give my 2yo a bye if he gets it wrong! I still feel that if it's really important to people, they should speak up. It wouldn't bother me at all if they did. A simple, "Oh, you can call me Firstname" is certainly okay.

post #60 of 102

We are from the north and I refuse to respond to Mrs. Lastname if i have explained my name is Ms.Lastname, Mrs. Lastname is my grandmother (because my mother is Dr.Lastname and my Lastname never changed when I got married.)  That's because people should be called what they ask to be called. Seriously. But that's only with unfamiliar adults and unfamiliar children.  With children that I'm watching I prefer Firstname only.

 

You  gave 2 options neither of which were respected so you very politely corrected them. I think you were perfectly within the realm of reason.

 

I don't know if you are looking for ways you could have dealt with it differently that might have gone over smoother. If you are I'd say that since you offered your firstname as the first option it conveyed that you were comfortable with being addressed in a more informal manner. When you were called by Ms.Fisrtname, by correcting it to Mrs.Lastname as opposed to just Firstname you were retracting the familiar nature of your relationship. In my culture going from telling someone you can use familiar speech to taking that away usually means you are really angry. It a pretty big insult.  I'm doubting that that's the case here but it was my first thought.  Anyway that's only if you were looking to change things from your own perspective honestly what you did was fine.

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