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Children addressing adults - explain the "Miss" thing to me - Page 4

post #61 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by karanyavel View Post

Mrs. Husbandsfirstname Husbandslastname is even worse, though. GRRRRRRR.

 



I go by this only on formal stationery, Dr. and Mrs. DHFirstName DhLastName.  I don't think it's used in general conversation at all in any social circles.  On informals (correspondence cards), I just have my first name.

 

Dd's friends use Mrs. LastName in general, but teachers here (midwest) often go by either FirstName or Miss FirstName.  I was *not* raised that way, so this is new to me, but I'll go with the flow.  I don't mind if people use Miss Velochic or Velochic or Mrs. LastName.  I'd like them to ask first, though, as I prefer Mrs. LastName.

 

We used to live in Germany.  They use EVERY title afforded a person.  Dh was Herr Doktor Professor LastName and I was formally Frau Doktor Professor LastName.  It always cracked me up.  There *is* a middle ground and I think just asking is the best course of action. 

post #62 of 102

Maybe it's just me, but I personally wouldn't correct another parent about what to address me.  Unless, obviously, they got my name wrong :)

 

I think it's their prerogative to decide what level of respect they want their kids to show adults, just like I can teach my kids the same.  So if they want their children to say Mrs. or Ms. or not use any title at all, I think that wish should be respected.  I do have to admit that I wince a little when I get called Miss Lach, because to me it sounds weird, but if that's the way another parent wants to teach a young child to address adults, I don't think it would actually accomplish anything worthwhile to correct them.  If another parent said "This is Miss Lach" to their young child, I think it would actually be somewhat rude of me to say "Oh, just call me Lach."  I wouldn't have a problem telling a teenager (who already understands social convention and won't get confused by the idea that they can use different levels of formality for different people) not to worry about formalities, but for a preschooler who is just learning social conventions, I would rather respect the parent's choice of what social conventions they're teaching.

 

As I said, obviously I would correct if they got my name wrong.  I guess I just see correcting another parent as kind of undermining them.  So long as it's not totally out there, I guess I just don't see what a little kid calls me as that big a deal and worth making an issue out of.

post #63 of 102

I live in the south and I'm pretty used to Miss firstname although I'm fine with just firstname too.  Miss lastname wouldn't work and neither would Mrs. lastname since I didn't take my husband's name.  I think that if I don't demand the formality it's up to the parent's preference for how much formality they require.  I might correct someone who used Mrs. lastname or Ms. lastname (around here both sound like Mizz) because that just isn't how I identify myself but I would offer up Miss firstname as a compromise.  If it was very important to them that their children use the lastname version I don't think I would be too irritated.  I have to admit it amuses me when people younger than grandparent age want the title and lastname.  I might involuntarily roll my eyes but I would comply.  FWIW Miss firstname is a sign of respect/formality but it does not connote marital status at all whereas Miss lastname would.  

post #64 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post


I think it's their prerogative to decide what level of respect they want their kids to show adults, just like I can teach my kids the same.  So if they want their children to say Mrs. or Ms. or not use any title at all, I think that wish should be respected.  I do have to admit that I wince a little when I get called Miss Lach, because to me it sounds weird, but if that's the way another parent wants to teach a young child to address adults, I don't think it would actually accomplish anything worthwhile to correct them.  If another parent said "This is Miss Lach" to their young child, I think it would actually be somewhat rude of me to say "Oh, just call me Lach."  I wouldn't have a problem telling a teenager (who already understands social convention and won't get confused by the idea that they can use different levels of formality for different people) not to worry about formalities, but for a preschooler who is just learning social conventions, I would rather respect the parent's choice of what social conventions they're teaching.

 

As I said, obviously I would correct if they got my name wrong.  I guess I just see correcting another parent as kind of undermining them.  So long as it's not totally out there, I guess I just don't see what a little kid calls me as that big a deal and worth making an issue out of.

 

You know, actually, this is kind of how I feel too, when it comes down to it. Personally, I would only correct if they said Mrs. Mylastname (since there is no person by that name at my house--again,  kept my maiden name). Even then, I might not. I get called Mrs. Mylastname all the time by doctors, teachers, etc and I virtually never say anything unless it's actually important somehow. I also gets called Mrs. Husbandslastname, which is also wrong. One of my closer friends thinks this is my name--I suppose I  should correct her at some point. ;) Heck, my husband gets called Mr. Mylastname sometimes and he doesn't always correct it. And then my kids have hyphenated names, so sometimes people think I have that name. Enh. The only time it truly bothers me is when the kids' own grandparents don't remember their last name correctly.
 

post #65 of 102

I forgot that I get 'Miss/Mizz dc's names mom' quite a bit.  It's a mouthful but I find it kinda cute.  

post #66 of 102

I was told as a little girl by my Southern Uncle that Miss. first name is kinda like saying Lady first name because in the south all women are Ladies, kinda like princesses.

 

I doubt that truly translates, but it kinda makes sense to me (and made me want to move south as a kid orngbiggrin.gif)

post #67 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post


I think it's their prerogative to decide what level of respect they want their kids to show adults, just like I can teach my kids the same.  So if they want their children to say Mrs. or Ms. or not use any title at all, I think that wish should be respected.  I do have to admit that I wince a little when I get called Miss Lach, because to me it sounds weird, but if that's the way another parent wants to teach a young child to address adults, I don't think it would actually accomplish anything worthwhile to correct them.  If another parent said "This is Miss Lach" to their young child, I think it would actually be somewhat rude of me to say "Oh, just call me Lach."  I wouldn't have a problem telling a teenager (who already understands social convention and won't get confused by the idea that they can use different levels of formality for different people) not to worry about formalities, but for a preschooler who is just learning social conventions, I would rather respect the parent's choice of what social conventions they're teaching.

 

As I said, obviously I would correct if they got my name wrong.  I guess I just see correcting another parent as kind of undermining them.  So long as it's not totally out there, I guess I just don't see what a little kid calls me as that big a deal and worth making an issue out of.

 

You know, actually, this is kind of how I feel too, when it comes down to it. Personally, I would only correct if they said Mrs. Mylastname (since there is no person by that name at my house--again,  kept my maiden name). Even then, I might not. I get called Mrs. Mylastname all the time by doctors, teachers, etc and I virtually never say anything unless it's actually important somehow. I also gets called Mrs. Husbandslastname, which is also wrong. One of my closer friends thinks this is my name--I suppose I  should correct her at some point. ;) Heck, my husband gets called Mr. Mylastname sometimes and he doesn't always correct it. And then my kids have hyphenated names, so sometimes people think I have that name. Enh. The only time it truly bothers me is when the kids' own grandparents don't remember their last name correctly.
 

 

LOL, actually now that you mention it, I get called the wrong name all the time too and only correct if it's important.  I kept my maiden name, but my kids have DHs name and unless it's someone that I'm going to be friends with and I want them to know my name I usually let it slide.  Like, the receptionists at the kids' pediatrician call me "Mrs. kidslastname" which makes sense, because that's the paperwork they have in front of them.  And I could correct them, but it's not like they really care, and it just kind of makes their life tougher to add a note that I have a different last name that they should use.  Things like that come up all the time, and I just let it go.

 

OTOH, maybe that's why I don't really care what kids call me... I also don't really care what adults call me!  (cue my dad, quite the comedian, saying "just don't call me late to dinner.")

post #68 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post

I live in the south and I'm pretty used to Miss firstname although I'm fine with just firstname too.  

 

 

FWIW Miss firstname is a sign of respect/formality but it does not connote marital status at all whereas Miss lastname would.  


 

This.

 

And a side note: It's just not something worth getting offended over. Honestly. As a Southerner, I feel like we're always having to explain our customs and our vernacular because people get all up in arms about being addressed a certain way. It's not meant as an insult, it's just how we talk.  I don't have a thick accent, but I pronounce Ms./Miss/Mrs. the same way.  And not all adults are comfortable with children using their first name, so we err on the side of formality until otherwise specified.  I use ma'am and sir, too.

post #69 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post

Maybe it's just me, but I personally wouldn't correct another parent about what to address me.  Unless, obviously, they got my name wrong :)

 

I think it's their prerogative to decide what level of respect they want their kids to show adults, just like I can teach my kids the same.  So if they want their children to say Mrs. or Ms. or not use any title at all, I think that wish should be respected.  I do have to admit that I wince a little when I get called Miss Lach, because to me it sounds weird, but if that's the way another parent wants to teach a young child to address adults, I don't think it would actually accomplish anything worthwhile to correct them.  If another parent said "This is Miss Lach" to their young child, I think it would actually be somewhat rude of me to say "Oh, just call me Lach."  I wouldn't have a problem telling a teenager (who already understands social convention and won't get confused by the idea that they can use different levels of formality for different people) not to worry about formalities, but for a preschooler who is just learning social conventions, I would rather respect the parent's choice of what social conventions they're teaching.

 

As I said, obviously I would correct if they got my name wrong.  I guess I just see correcting another parent as kind of undermining them.  So long as it's not totally out there, I guess I just don't see what a little kid calls me as that big a deal and worth making an issue out of.



What exactly its rude about standing up for yourself? They asked the OP what she wished to be called then ignored her wishes.

Frankly if you are teaching a child to respect people, then you need to respect them.
post #70 of 102

I think of the "Miss" thing as a kind of dialect.  I know of countries that have a few dialects and kids address elders in different ways.  Nobody expects kids to learn the dialect of every adult they meet.  In my dialect, "Miss" means "unmarried woman".  In the South... I have no idea, apparently, "woman who has graduated from high school" or just "woman older than you"?  I don't know.  But I'm not going to force a child from Florida to say "Ms." unless I get to know them well.  Then I'd take the time to explain it.  If I don't have time to explain it, it's probably not that big of a deal.

post #71 of 102

From the south here...

 

OK, I'm from the south (TN) so maybe my explanation is different than other southerners.  I've discovered in my travels that there are about 4 souths down here (Florida and Louisiana have their very own different souths than the western south and eastern south, I swear I've noticed this.)  OK so anyway, here is how we used it....

 

I knew a Mrs. Byrd, she was the very formal stuck up principal of our school

 

I knew a Mrs. Borens also very formal and kind of stuck up.

 

All the ones that were friendly and down to earth were Miss

 

If I would have called any adult by their first name, specifically female adults, I'd have gotten corrected quickly as that is disrespectful.  Children were to address adults with something other than their first name, to do otherwise would have been disrespectful. 

 

So in my experience, Mrs. was specifically for extremely formal and in my experience (no offense but this may explain the dirty looks you got) stuck up women.  Miss was for friendly women, and first names were if you were really brave and not afraid of punishment. 

post #72 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post

Maybe it's just me, but I personally wouldn't correct another parent about what to address me.  Unless, obviously, they got my name wrong :)

 

I think it's their prerogative to decide what level of respect they want their kids to show adults, just like I can teach my kids the same.  So if they want their children to say Mrs. or Ms. or not use any title at all, I think that wish should be respected.  I do have to admit that I wince a little when I get called Miss Lach, because to me it sounds weird, but if that's the way another parent wants to teach a young child to address adults, I don't think it would actually accomplish anything worthwhile to correct them.  If another parent said "This is Miss Lach" to their young child, I think it would actually be somewhat rude of me to say "Oh, just call me Lach."  I wouldn't have a problem telling a teenager (who already understands social convention and won't get confused by the idea that they can use different levels of formality for different people) not to worry about formalities, but for a preschooler who is just learning social conventions, I would rather respect the parent's choice of what social conventions they're teaching.

 

As I said, obviously I would correct if they got my name wrong.  I guess I just see correcting another parent as kind of undermining them.  So long as it's not totally out there, I guess I just don't see what a little kid calls me as that big a deal and worth making an issue out of.





What exactly its rude about standing up for yourself? They asked the OP what she wished to be called then ignored her wishes.

Frankly if you are teaching a child to respect people, then you need to respect them.


Well, my comment wasn't really about OP, but about some of the discussion after.  I agree that it was weird that OP was asked and then the woman didn't follow her preference.  If the other mother actually had a preference and was going to use it no matter what IMO she should have just done used it, and dealt accordingly if OP had  objected.  It was just weird and confusing for her to ask and then ignore what OP said.

post #73 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by karanyavel View Post

Mrs. Husbandsfirstname Husbandslastname is even worse, though. GRRRRRRR.

 



I go by this only on formal stationery, Dr. and Mrs. DHFirstName DhLastName.  I don't think it's used in general conversation at all in any social circles.  On informals (correspondence cards), I just have my first name.

 

Dd's friends use Mrs. LastName in general, but teachers here (midwest) often go by either FirstName or Miss FirstName.  I was *not* raised that way, so this is new to me, but I'll go with the flow.  I don't mind if people use Miss Velochic or Velochic or Mrs. LastName.  I'd like them to ask first, though, as I prefer Mrs. LastName.

 

We used to live in Germany.  They use EVERY title afforded a person.  Dh was Herr Doktor Professor LastName and I was formally Frau Doktor Professor LastName.  It always cracked me up.  There *is* a middle ground and I think just asking is the best course of action. 



My dad's side of the family is German (and still living in Germany) so my thought process immediately runs to my upbringing - one would never, never, never call someone Miss when they were married.  It would be a huge insult.  Further, one always addresses a new friend in the formal tense until told to do otherwise. 

 

The adults I knew growing up that I addressed by their first names were American families.  All German relatives were addressed formally.

 

It is interesting to learn about regional differences.  

 

post #74 of 102

Another Southerner here. In my neck of the woods, "Miss" and "Mrs." are basically pronounced the same way. "Ms." I guess. And I agree with pp who said it would be considered disrespectful for a child to call an adult by their first name. I was raised that teachers were Ms. Lastname.

 

With my son, if we are close personal friends with someone he calls them Ms. Firstname or Mr. Firstname. (Ex. Ms. Christy or Mr. Brad)  But if we don't know them, then it's Mr. or Mrs. Lastname until they say otherwise. This goes for anyone significantly older than him, regardless of whether they are married or not. His babysitter he calls Miss Firstname. But doesn't matter, Mrs or Miss would both be pronounced like Ms.

 

I guess it is totally foreign to me that anyone would be offended by being called Mrs. or Ma'am. However, I would probably do whatever the person requested, if they wanted to be called by their first name, etc. But I do think that might be confusing for my kid!  LOL

 

I certainly wouldn't be offended, myself. I think I was getting that from around 18 years old, and I looked young, and was definitely not married.

 

Very interesting to me that people would be offended.

post #75 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."


Yes! I'm a midwesterner by birth (and by parenting) so I felt really creepy moving to the south as a kid when I was suddenly expected to call people "Miss X", etc. I was also the only one of my peers to call my uncles and aunts by their first names only-not "Uncle X". 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post

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.


Yep-I'm either Kara or Ms. to my adult college students, though I prefer to be just Kara. At some point, I'll have a "Dr" title so this will all be a moot point...

post #76 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

I guess I was always taught that Miss equaled young, never-married women, Mrs. equaled married of any age, and Ms. was for divorced women, whether they kept their ex-husband's name or switched back. 

 

Ms was not intended as a designation for divorced women at all - it was supposed to be the female counterpart to Mr.

 

Men are Mr. no matter whether they are married or not. Before Ms. was "invented" in the 70s, a woman was Miss (unmarried) or Mrs (married) - completely defined by her marital status.

 

So Ms became the third option for women who did not wish to be defined by their marital status, whether they were never married, married, divorced, whatever.



There is more to this than just Ms. being invented in the '70s.

 

Back in the time of more formal English (a few hundred years ago) married and unmarried men did use separate titles.  

 

Married man = mister

Married woman = mistress

unmarried boy = master

unmarried girl = miss

 

Over time, master got forgotten as a simple title for unmarried boys and evolved into a title that implies authority and is rarely used with a name.  Mistress evolved into a euphamisism for the woman a married man had an affair with.  Simultaniously the title Mistress became contracted into the pronunciation mis-suss.  

post #77 of 102

I'm either called Mr. Mylastname or, more often by DD's friends just by my first name (it can get confusing since I took DH's last name when I married).

 

Miss Firstname sounds very much like gently scolding/reminding a young female. You know, like "excuse Miss. DD's first name, I do believe you've forgotten to put your dishes in the sink." To me it sounds very awkward coming from a child and directed at a woman.

post #78 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

Miss Firstname sounds very much like gently scolding/reminding a young female. You know, like "excuse Miss. DD's first name, I do believe you've forgotten to put your dishes in the sink." To me it sounds very awkward coming from a child and directed at a woman.



 Ooh, maybe this is part of it for me, too - it just doesn't feel respectful to me at all, it feels demeaning honestly to be called "Miss Firstname", a little condescending.  It feels awkward to me whether coming from a child or adult...the only time I ever use miss for my daughter is when she's "in trouble", so that's probaly a big part of it for me. 

 

I guess I could get behind the "pick a convention and stick to it until told otherwise" idea *IF* people were:

a) Straightforward and polite enough to request a change kindly (instead of bluster internally and get offended), and

b) Other people wouldn't take offfense at beign politely requested to change and actually listened to the request.

 

I don't get the "its too confusing for little kids" thing - I'm actually not putting this on kids at all, but on their parents.  It's the adults that usually do the introducing, and the calling for the first several years, so if you go around for a while calling a person by their first name that's what your kid is going to do, too. And if someone else goes by Miss Firstname, they'll get it.  Just like my kids got that jumping on the couch at home was okay, but at Nana's was not okay, they both got that before they were 3 years old.

 

I said that the Miss Firstname thing makes me cringe internally.....which it does - if it's someone I've just met I'll politely say that I prefer just my first name, and the first couple times they forget I'll gently remind them again.  I'm not offended by it though, or insulted.  And as for being insulted by being asked to call anyone something specific, that's just silly IMO - people should be allowed to be called by whatever name they want without worrying about what social conventions may be the norm in the area they are living.

post #79 of 102

Posting before reading so I'm honest in my reply - then going back to the thread.  The MIss Firstname was a thing my friends all agreed upon when we first had kids.  Nobody liked Mrs Lastname - we felt like our moms.  (FYI we live in New England)  Soooo MIss Firstname it became (solidified for me when a neighbor's child - 7 or so at the time, walked up upon first intros...."Nice to meet you Andrea"  I stood looking at this small person thinking " Huh?  That sounds weird coming out of her mouth.  And I'm uncomfortable"  (her parents and their belief systems - though so I respect and roll with

 

Granted I was brought up with Mrs Lastname to ANY adult - so I'm probably ingrained. And I don't think kids are small adults.  I love them and am the funny playful mom - but I've racked up some more time on this earth and with age comes some wisdom and that whole package should accord some respect vis-a-vie title. 

 

The kids who are very close with me - my friends litttles - who I adore - I'm Miss Andrea to them.  When I voluteer at the elementary school it's all Mrs Lastname

 

I've always gone by the wishes of the other parent, though, I respect what others want to teach to their children. The Miss First Name is what we're comfortable in our corner of Red Sox nation, though  ;)

post #80 of 102

It's part of the accepted vernacular for our group it has stopped being weird. My best friend's kids all me "Miss Andrea" and it's auto.  I like it beause it gives a level of close, special familiarity while maintaining boundaries.  It's their "in" title for me and my kids call a handful of mothers in our life "Miss Firstname."  Over time - it has come to be a sort of aunt.  It denotes a female in the "pack" (so to speak) without indicatng a blood/marriage relationship

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