Do your kids refer to adults as "Miss Firstname" and "Mister Firstname"? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 137 Old 04-22-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Yes, we introduce adults by their first names, which is the cultural norm where I live. If a person said they would rather be called Miss whatever, we would obviously defer to that. Just as if someone introduced me by MIss whatever, I would instruct them to use my first name.
That's what we do, too, for the most part. We have one friend who started referring to herself as Mrs. D, so we've gone with that. We have another friend who started referring to himself as Uncle Carl, and we've not gone with that because he's not really an uncle. He refers to himself as Carl now; I think he went with Uncle first because that's who he is to his other friend's children.

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#122 of 137 Old 04-22-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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Gotcha. Glad to hear it. Though, I think you'd have to admit that so often the characterization that I'm complaining about is rampant.

Sorry if I cam off defensive.
I understand why you reacted that way. I just wanted to make clear that what seems weird about it is that it seems obviously Southern in origin, and I'd expect it if I lived there because I'm aware that it's the norm there, but it seems odd up here where it isn't historically used. It strikes my ear as being foreign or something, and I just don't like it. I imagine if I grew up in the south it would sound normal to me and I might very well have a different opinion.

Anyway, I've sometimes wondered how the use of it crept up here. Like, was it just a move away from Mrs. Lastname but for people not comfortable with just Firstname? Or did some people move from the south to up here and bring that custom with them and did it catch on neighborhood by neighborhood? It seems like it's becoming more and more popular and I don't think it'll go away anytime soon. In fact, I'm 40 now, and younger moms seem to take to it more than I do generally speaking, which I think is evidence that it's becoming more popular. It's something I've thought about before this thread popped up.
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#123 of 137 Old 04-22-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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It signals both familiarity and respect.
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#124 of 137 Old 04-22-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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My kids call adults by their first names except for teachers and those who we don't know well. I don't have any issues with it-in fact I think it's kind of ridiculous to see it as disrespectful for a child to call an adult by their first name-after all, it IS their name.

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#125 of 137 Old 04-22-2008, 11:11 PM
 
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We do it constantly. We're in Texas. I had no idea people "hated" it and that it "annoyed them terribly". Damn, that's some serious emotion about some kids trying to be polite. If an adult offers an alternative as a preference, then we always go with that. But wow...to be offended by a child calling you Miz Firstname when they first meet you? That's harsh.

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#126 of 137 Old 04-23-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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I had no idea people "hated" it and that it "annoyed them terribly". Damn, that's some serious emotion about some kids trying to be polite. wow...to be offended by a child calling you Miz Firstname when they first meet you? That's harsh.
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#127 of 137 Old 04-23-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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I would find it extremely awkward. I think there are regional differences operating here, and in this area being called Ms Firstname would be very odd. I have never seen a child in this generation not call adults simply by first names, that is how weird it would be to me.

That said, if you moved here and were my new friend I could totally understand your lil ones having different regional customs and I would be patient of course while they adjust.
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#128 of 137 Old 04-23-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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I agree it is a regional thing, at least in part. Where I grew up in the South there were definately parents that preferred Ms. or Mrs. or whatever. In Oregon, even the kids teachers go by their first names!
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#129 of 137 Old 04-24-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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My kids only call adults Ms. and Mr. (first name) at school. Other than that not at all. It would be weird if kids called me Ms. (first name). Oh and my family is from the south and I don't ever remember call adults by Ms. (first name) and Mr. (first name).
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#130 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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We do it constantly. We're in Texas. I had no idea people "hated" it and that it "annoyed them terribly". Damn, that's some serious emotion about some kids trying to be polite. If an adult offers an alternative as a preference, then we always go with that. But wow...to be offended by a child calling you Miz Firstname when they first meet you? That's harsh.
ITA.

Whoever said it's our generation's compromise between the formal Ma'am/Mrs. Lastname and the completely casual Firstname- I think you've hit the nail on the head. I know I grew up calling adults Mrs. Lastname, but it would feel so odd to hear a child call me that. I really just don't think of myself that way!

I also believe Miss Firstname intended as a sign of both familiarity and respect. I do agree with those of you who are saying that people should be addressed as they prefer, and I'd tell my kids it was all right to call you, and only you, by your first name if you asked. But on the flip side, I would find it very uncomfortable to correct an adult who introduced me to her children as "Kristi". I could not bring myself to say "Actually, I'd really like for you to call me Miss Kristi- that's the way we do it around here!" I'd feel rude for correcting them that way, and I guess I'd just hope that the local culture would rub off on them.

I guess I'm a little perplexed by the thought of people being offended or annoyed or really deeply disturbed by the Miss Firstname custom. I can understand that it would sound funny to your ear if you were not used to it, just as an adult being called Firstname by a child around here would sound 'off'. But it wouldn't be upsetting, just different. Not a big deal...

And I wouldn't assume the child had no manners whatsoever, without proof of that in other ways. Whereas it seems like some are making assumptions that children who do use Miss Firstname are in some way oppressed or not respected. Respect goes both ways, and around here, Miss Firstname is one of the ways kids show respect to adults.

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#131 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 08:43 AM
 
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I think you should really say what you preferred to be called, and not just ini these kinds of situations. It is odd to me to not say something.

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#132 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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I'm from the South orginally and perhaps my dislike for the practice stems from being forced as a child to show respect for anyone older than myself. And it's sort of hypocritical in a way, to my thinking, to use a first name but also a title.

Plus, I feel it's cutesy and I'm not a cutesy person

I don't care if anyone else does it but it's not something I encourage in my own child.
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#133 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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I'm in the South, and people here do it. I think it's fine: never bothered me, though I grew up with Ms/Mr. LastName.

For my daughter, we're teaching her Don/Doña FirstName: though I personally don't like being called Doña Heather, it's easier for DD to say, and her teachers think it's adorable. Once she's in school I imagine it will change to Mr./Ms. LastName. Aw heck, she's not even 2 yet, so who knows what we'll end up using! I guess it all depends on the context and what's common.

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#134 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 06:19 PM
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....Anyway, I've sometimes wondered how the use of it crept up here. Like, was it just a move away from Mrs. Lastname but for people not comfortable with just Firstname? ....
My guess is that the custom moved North through pre-school and kindergarten teachers. I'm in your same age group (42) and from Ohio. When I was a kid, we called teachers and other adults Mrs. Lastname. (And few of us went to pre-school.) Now that so many kids go to pre-school, I think parents pick it up in the pre-school culture, and then it keeps going from there. (Playgroup culture seems to be "Lisa's mom, Ellis's mom, etc.) Whatever the case, expect it to stay. PBSkids has "Miss Laurie." That means the custom will be heard nationally. Miss Laurie is actually a Mrs. Somebody, if I'm not mistaken...but that's not the point, now is it, LOL!

xoe
(....who prefers children call her Miss Firstname, Mrs. Lastname, "Aunt" Firstname, or Cousin Firstname. My image of a child who calls adults by their firstnames brings Bart Simpson to mind.)
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#135 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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At school dd calls the school nurse, aids and cafateria workers Mrs. Firstname. Out of school no I dont have them do it and I dont have them use Aunt Firstname or Uncle Firstname that drives me nuts personally.

This was new to me since as I was growing up we never said it that way for anyone. It was always Mr/Mrs lastname no matter who it was in school.

Outside school we always just called first names.

I am in East TN.

 
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#136 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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I had no idea people "hated" it and that it "annoyed them terribly". Damn, that's some serious emotion about some kids trying to be polite. wow...to be offended by a child calling you Miz Firstname when they first meet you? That's harsh.

right on. talk about looking for things to be irritated by.
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#137 of 137 Old 04-25-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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I am teaching ds to say "Mr.", "Mrs.", "Miss", just because that is how I was taught as a child. If the person has a rather hard last name, and they are ok with it, I will introduce them to ds as "Miss Susan" etc...

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