Do your kids refer to adults as "Miss Firstname" and "Mister Firstname"? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post
All of the kids do it here, and I think it's a lovely custom. It doesn't bother me if one of the kids occasionally calls me just by my first name, but quite honestly I like hearing "Miss Kristi?". It sounds so sweet coming from my friends' kids.
Yes! I don't know any kids here (Atlanta suburbs) that don't add Miss/Mr. to an adult's first name. Some kids call me Mrs. lastname until I ask them not to (Mrs. lastname is my MIL, not me ). All of the leaders of kids' activites, friends' parents, people at church-they're all Miss/Mr. and it is definetely done with intended respect.

I remember calling adults Miss/Mr. as a child and I think I've grown up OK.

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#62 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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We do while the kids are toddlers and just learning names. Sometime around the age of 3 or 4, we refer to other adults as Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Lastname. If they would like our kids to call them something else, we respect their wishes.
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#63 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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Wow.

i' live in NY. And here kids tend to call adults they know by their firstnames or with mr. and mrs. lastname. It would be super weird or retro here to call someone "miss firstname."

Also, ma'aming and sir'ing doesn't happen from kids here. It's just not done. I was raised in a very formal environment and we never used that form of address. However, it proliferates as a sort of canned formalism between adults in the commercial world ... or like with telemarketers.

Well, I should say that among black communities in NYc (where there are cultural roots to the south), many of the older folk call everyone Miss Firstname... My mom goes to church in the south Bronx and is known as Miss Ginger. It always sounds charming and loving to me in that context.

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#64 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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I am with the OP. I don't need to be referred to as "Miss Madskye"-that is weird. If they want to be formal, they can use my last name. I am all for addressing new acquaintances as Mrs. Jones or whatever until they direct us to call them by their first name or something else.

I find it extremely uncomfortable with people that I consider good friends. We have a close group of friends, and we all go by first names except one couple who refer to themselves and each other and us as Miss or Mr this or that. I find it forced.

At preschool, her teachers are Miss This or That, but they are teachers, and while we love them, they're not close friends that we have over our homes, or vacation with.
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#65 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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Do those of you who don't like "titles' tell your kids to call their healthcare providers, teachers, or other instructors by their first names?

IMO, we do kids a great disservice by not letting them experience the fact (in a gentle way like by using "Miss Amy" instead of plain "Amy") that adults and children are NOT social equals.

We call people what they want to be called. So our Dr is Dr. X. Our midwives go by first name. Some of the teachers at my kid's soon to be school go by first name, miss first name, or miss last name. All my kids' extracurricular instructors go by first names.

I have never, in my life, seen a child introduced to a parent's friends or family friends or other adults by a title. If I tried to introduce my friends to my kids by miss or mrs first or last name, they would fall over laughing.

I hate these threads because there is always this attitude that kids who don't use titles are being rude or having a "disservice" done to them, etc. when it is very cultural. I don't agree with children calling adults by titles, but I'm not going to say negative things to those who do.

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#66 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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But you know that the intent is to be respectful.
No, if you know the person doesn't like to be called that, the intent is conformity to some outside standard, not respect. It would be respectful to call people what they like to be called.
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#67 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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My daughter calls non-related adults what they introduce themselves as which around here is just the first name, no title. Her teacher at school is Mr. Lastname. I teach dance and I don't like being called Miss Firstname by my students. It just feels too Dolly Dinkle School of Toe Dancing and Baton to me, although some of the other teachers do go by Miss firstname and it suits them just fine. They all call me Teacher Firstname, or the older ones just call me Firstname. There is a male teacher who goes by just Lastname but everyone calls him that, kids and adults alike.
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#68 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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I find it really annoying and it freaks me out. But I wasn't raised that way and am not raising my children in an area were such a form of address is used ever if at all.

I have a friend (lives in the northern part of FL) whose children uses the title and who wants my children to refer to her as Miss (firstname) She thinks that my kids are being done a disservice because they don't use Miss etc. It has been a point of discussion on numerous occasions. (I do instruct my children to call her Miss (firstname) but I think her obsession is a bit odd and really isn't doing much to cultivate respect on either end)

I think it is completely up to the norm where you live.
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#69 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lingmom View Post
So I'd be very surprised if all children who addressed people with titles grew to be adults "incapable of participating in adult conversations".
I'm sure that's quite true. However, in my experience, the people who are hung up on having their children call people Mr. or Mrs. tend to be the type who think kids should be seen and not heard, and for whom respect should come from children without being extended to them . . . and the results are Not Good.

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How do you feel about socially "equal" titles, such as "sister <first name>" or "comrade <first name>"?
Don't really have an opinion . . . it sounds kind of silly to me, but I don't care if other people want to call each other that.

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What about diminuitive forms of names only given to children... Katie, Johnny, Robbie, etc...? What about nicknames like "sweet pea" or "baby" or "peanut" or whatever... Are those a sign of a class difference to you?
Maybe it's the field my partner works in, but all of the adults he works with go by childish nicknames . . . I use one myself, and many of our friends use them. Same with other nicknames like baby and sweet pea and snookums -- these are not exclusive to children, it's more like they're reserved for close relationships.

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How do you feel about other languages where register or formality is encoded in the grammar... so that you use a certain pronoun with older people and a different one for younger people (like du/Sie in German)... or use third person instead of second person for verb conjugation (like in Polish) with people who you want to show respect? What about Japanese honorifics where there is an elaborate system of titling and affixes to stratify different levels of society? Would you use these when traveling abroad? Would you allow your children to learn these languages?
How silly. I really don't care. I don't speak any other languages, but if I were to learn one, I'd be learning it so that I could communicate properly with the people who speak it. I'm not out to re-write people's languages . . . but I'm not going to have my children calling adults Mr. or Mrs. unless it's the only option those people are willing to give us, and my kids will/do know why I feel that way.

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#70 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I'm sure that's quite true. However, in my experience, the people who are hung up on having their children call people Mr. or Mrs. tend to be the type who think kids should be seen and not heard, and for whom respect should come from children without being extended to them . . . and the results are Not Good.
That is absolutely ridiculously silly. In some cultures, calling people Mr. or Mrs or Miss so and so is a cultural sign of respect. I did it, my friends did it and never, ever were we disrespected or treated as though we should be seen and not heard. That's such a leap to make - it's quite laughable.
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#71 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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That is absolutely ridiculously silly. In some cultures, calling people Mr. or Mrs or Miss so and so is a cultural sign of respect. I did it, my friends did it and never, ever were we disrespected or treated as though we should be seen and not heard. That's such a leap to make - it's quite laughable.
I so agree!! I actually laughed at that remark and i'm not trying to be rude or anything it's just, as amcal said, laughable, and silly.

My DD calls almost everyone Miss or Mr or Mrs, i think is a sign of respect, becuase i was raised like that and SO was raised like that, unless the person sayd "Oh no just call me by my first name" she'll use the first name or if DD asks "Can i call you first name?" and the person says "yes"
Where i was raised it's a sign of respect to speak in the "usted" fashion if not it's totally disrespectful, specially for older people.
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#72 of 137 Old 04-20-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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. I'm not out to re-write people's languages . .
Not even the English spoken in any dialect region where the use of titles such as "Mr." and "Mrs." is a culturally appropriate way to address another person?
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#73 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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Miss/Mr. Firstname is the norm here, and, no, I don't like it. See my user name? That's my real name. So, I'm "Miss Missy". How incredibly stupid is that? I deal with it from the few kids in the neighborhood whose parents have a real issue with just "Missy", but mostly I ask kids to drop the "Miss". I can't think of anyone who still calls me "Mrs. Lastname".
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#74 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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we do this and we are in the south. we have one friend the kids call mr "lastname" and that's b/c we call this guy by his last name.
we even call adult relatives by a title and first name "aunt firstname" "cousine firstname" etc
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#75 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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I am not a fan of the "Mrs. Firstname" either. Sounds odd to me, but that's probably because I've never really heard it (except DD's ballet teachers).

I teach my children to address adults as "Mr./Mrs. Lastname", unless/until the adult says otherwise. If DD and/or DS called an adult by their first name, I would be so embarrassed.

When it some to friends' parents, I'm sure they address most as "so-an-so's Mom" or "so-and-so's dad" or "Mr./Mrs. Lastname" if they don't know them well. Personally, I like when DD's and DS's friends call me "DD's mom" or "DS's mom". Makes me smile cause I'm proud to be reminded Actually DS's friend asked me what my name was the other day and I felt a little weird telling him. He couldn't remember it, twice, so I just winked and told him it was okay to call me "Ethan's mom". He thought it was cool.

Oh, and we also teach the "sir" and "ma'am".

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#76 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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Besides when I was teacher, the only time/place I have ever been called "Miss" anything was by the *dads* in the SAHD group I infiltrated for a couple of years...the kids would call me that on occasion, but the dads did it evry time. hated it.

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#77 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 06:11 AM
 
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That is absolutely ridiculously silly. In some cultures, calling people Mr. or Mrs or Miss so and so is a cultural sign of respect. I did it, my friends did it and never, ever were we disrespected or treated as though we should be seen and not heard. That's such a leap to make - it's quite laughable.
So your experience has been different than mine . . . is this supposed to be shocking news?

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Not even the English spoken in any dialect region where the use of titles such as "Mr." and "Mrs." is a culturally appropriate way to address another person?
Not even. Just explaining why it's not something I like for my own children and why I am skeptical about people who do it.

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#78 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 06:27 AM
 
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It would never occur to me to get my kid to call people "Ms." or "Mr." so and so... we just use first names as do all the kids around here.
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#79 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 08:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I'm sure that's quite true. However, in my experience, the people who are hung up on having their children call people Mr. or Mrs. tend to be the type who think kids should be seen and not heard, and for whom respect should come from children without being extended to them . . . and the results are Not Good.
That's simply not true. This statement is quite disrespectful judgment of parenting on quite a few participants in this discussion.

I don't feel disrespected if I'm talking to an elder while using a title (either in my first language, which demands it more strictly, or in English).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Native American culture made quite a distinction between the ages, and I think it is symbolic and beautiful. Does that mean that the whole culture treated children as something to be seen and not heard?

I think one can find offense in anything, if tried very hard. One can explain to their kids that they ought to feel inferior and unworthy when using a title.

I didn't feel that way growing up, nor do I see it in my kid. I'll ask her what she thinks on the topic when she gets home..

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#80 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 08:20 AM
 
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Where I'm originally from we don't do Mr/Miss/Mrs even between adults, so it would just seem silly to teach one's kids to use them. Teachers were either "teach" or just first name, parents of other kids were first name or _____'s mum, other adults usually first name. Call someone Mr. lastname and they'll think you're making fun of them. Aside from parents and grandparents, relatives are also generally just called by their first names (as in, no aunt this or uncle that, unless it's to differentiate between several people by the same name).

I've struggled with this whole thing since moving to the UK. It grates on my very last nerve to be called Miss Lastname. I can't stand being Auntie Firstname to my DP's niece and nephew. It just feels so contrived. I don't need a title, my name will do just fine on its own. It's one of the cultural differences I could really do without.
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#81 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 08:52 AM
 
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It seems that most people around here (Maryland) use Ms. First Name. I don't mind it, but I also don't mind if a child calls me by my first name only. I ask my kids to address people using Ms./Mr. First Name b/c I don't want to be perceived as rude.

My nieces and nephews just call me by my first name and my kids call my siblings by their first names. That's how I've always addressed my aunts and uncles. But anyone outside the family gets Ms./Mr. unless told otherwise.
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#82 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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One can explain to their kids that they ought to feel inferior and unworthy when using a title.
Why would anyone do that? I've simply explained to my daughter that it's not something I agree with *because* people who are older than her are not more worthy of respect than she is. As I said in my first post, we have one friend who demands this title, and she treats my children very well. Rylie just thinks having to call her Mrs. D is one of her (several) quirks -- she is quite old fashioned.

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#83 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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No, if you know the person doesn't like to be called that, the intent is conformity to some outside standard, not respect. It would be respectful to call people what they like to be called.
Really, really not trying to be argumentative BUT, the parent's intent is to teach their children a respectful form of address. The fact that you specifically do not find it respectful does not change the parent's intent. Are you suggesting that the parent is purposefully setting out to teach their children to disrespect you?

Honestly, our generation rebelled against ma'am and sir, so what we've come up with is Miss/Mr. Firstname. Obviously many people still feel that children should not address adults as they address their peers. It's not as stiff and authoritative as ma'am and sir, but still keeps things in perspective.

I expect my children to mind her friends' parents when she is playing with them. It seems to me that it is much easier for my daughter to remember "who is in charge" if she is not on a first name basis with her friends' parents, or my friends.

When she is an adult, she can then refer to adults on a first name basis. Until then she can call them Miss/Mr. Firstname.

And, just to inflame the issue a little more: :

For those of you who so viscerally object to the Miss/Mr. Firstname address, have you considered that when you insist that a child call you First Name only, you might be undermining that child's parents' efforts?

To put it another way: that's like another adult deciding that my rules that DD should not chew gum are just annoying and give her gum anyway. The message to the child is that "your parents' rules don't matter." Right?

Just trying to enliven the debate beyond "I like it" and "I hate it." No harm, no foul.
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#84 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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Isn't it most respectful to teach kids to call people by what they prefer? I would not tell my child to call someone by their first name if they objected, and likewise I don't think formal address should be forced on anyone.
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#85 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Isn't it most respectful to teach kids to call people by what they prefer? I would not tell my child to call someone by their first name if they objected, and likewise I don't think formal address should be forced on anyone.
Exactly.

I can't think of anything more rude than calling someone something they don't want to be called. I will always tell a kid to call me by my first name if it came up, and if someone told my kids to call them miss or mrs x, then I expect my kids to call them what they want to be called and not just go by what I want.

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#86 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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We use Miss/Mister here, too. I still call plenty of people Miss/Mister Firstname (anyone I've known since childhood).

Oh, yeah, born and bred in the deep south. I think that makes a big difference. Shoot, I still tell my mama, "yes, ma'am." LOL
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#87 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Really, really not trying to be argumentative BUT, the parent's intent is to teach their children a respectful form of address. The fact that you specifically do not find it respectful does not change the parent's intent. Are you suggesting that the parent is purposefully setting out to teach their children to disrespect you?
No, but it isn't about respect. Respect by definition involves me as a receiver. The word respect requires an object. If I don't feel respected by it, then it isn't respectful. If you *know* I wouldn't feel respected by it, and still insist on your kids calling me that, THEN it would be disrespectful. But if you don't know it's simply an external standard of conduct. If you think I might prefer it, then it is an attempt to be respectful. And that doesn't bother me. What I don't like is when someone knows that I don't like that and still insists I be called that regardless.

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Honestly, our generation rebelled against ma'am and sir, so what we've come up with is Miss/Mr. Firstname. Obviously many people still feel that children should not address adults as they address their peers. It's not as stiff and authoritative as ma'am and sir, but still keeps things in perspective.
What perspective?

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I expect my children to mind her friends' parents when she is playing with them. It seems to me that it is much easier for my daughter to remember "who is in charge" if she is not on a first name basis with her friends' parents, or my friends.
I've never had a problem with this with those kids who call me by my first name. Kids see that I'm an adult, and that isn't dependent upon what they call me. I can't imagine kids not knowing who the adult is based on that. Maybe a teenage babysitter, but I've always heard teenage babysitters called just by their first names anyway.

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When she is an adult, she can then refer to adults on a first name basis. Until then she can call them Miss/Mr. Firstname.

And, just to inflame the issue a little more: :

For those of you who so viscerally object to the Miss/Mr. Firstname address, have you considered that when you insist that a child call you First Name only, you might be undermining that child's parents' efforts?

To put it another way: that's like another adult deciding that my rules that DD should not chew gum are just annoying and give her gum anyway. The message to the child is that "your parents' rules don't matter." Right?

Just trying to enliven the debate beyond "I like it" and "I hate it." No harm, no foul.
Undermining the parents efforts to teach respect? When the concept of respect requires the object of respect find it respectful? This is exactly what bothers me about the whole thing. It's like there is this facade of respect overlying something that has nothing to do with respect.

And if rules matter, they matter for the reason the rules exist, not just because the parents have the rule. So, if it were indeed respectful, the rule would matter because the object of respect would feel respected by it. Rules don't exist just to have rules.
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#88 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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A separate class of people?

In my world, titles of respect can be in varied forms...Grandman, Boppa, Auntie, Miss (firstname), Ms. or Mrs. or Mr. (lastname), jobtitile (lastname).

I call my husband's boss "Chief >>>>" because I do think he deserves a separate level of respect. Even though I am no longer in the FD, I still think that level of respect is earned.

Do those of you who don't like "titles' tell your kids to call their healthcare providers, teachers, or other instructors by their first names?

IMO, we do kids a great disservice by not letting them experience the fact (in a gentle way like by using "Miss Amy" instead of plain "Amy") that adults and children are NOT social equals.

(Please don't jump on me and say that I'm implying that kids don't have inherent human rights just like adults. Of course they do! But kids are kids for a reason...and IMHO looking up to and showing respect for adults, mentors, instructors, etc., is an important part of growing up).

My 12 yo daughter is in a martial arts class, and she calls a 12 yo black belt "Ma'am" and "Yes, ma'am, Miss S...., Ma'am" because it is important to show that kind of respect.


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ITA!

Now, if an adult asks my children to refer to them in a different way ~ then it is respectful to follow that person's wishes.
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#89 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by twilight girl View Post
R\
For those of you who so viscerally object to the Miss/Mr. Firstname address, have you considered that when you insist that a child call you First Name only, you might be undermining that child's parents' efforts?
Not for a second. If it's about respect, then I expect other parents to have enough respect for me not to call me something I despise. I would rather be "hey you" than Ms. DelBalzo, and would tell both the child and parents that if I had to.

Proud Anti-Adoption, Atheist, Reproductive-Freedom Fighter Mama
Rylie is 7, Ronin is 3.5
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#90 of 137 Old 04-21-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Mine does call her teacher, and her health care provider, by first names. She goes to a little wee school, not public school, and the teacher is fine about the kids using her first name.

She calls my university professors Dr. So-and-so... or sometimes she uses their full names as I do that when I speak about them. Mostly any adult I use a title for, she does too. Adults for whom I use first names, she does the same.

It's not difficult.
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