Just curious....Not really a debate :)

[deleted account] ( 60 moms have responded )

I'm a stickler for teaching my son manners. He says "please", "thank you", shakes hands with new people he meets, etc. He's just all around, very polite for his age. And yes, that was a brag :D One of my rules is that he not call adults by their first names. Everyone is either "Uncle, Aunt, Mister or Miss So-and-So". It's how I was raised also. I see it as a respect thing. It doesn't bother me to hear other children call adults by their first names, as long as they are being respectful. It's just not something I choose to allow my son to do. So what about you girls? Do you let your kids call adults by their first names?

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[deleted account]

Well Sherri, if you DO ever get to Hawaii and look me up.... please, please, please do NOT have your kid's call me Ms (it would be Ms., right?)____. I've never been referred to by Mrs. or Ms. and I hope to never be. ;)

Sherri - posted on 06/25/2011

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I would definitely try to abide by what the culture was where we resided (no matter how hard and unnatural personally for me). If it was a short visit I wouldn't bother and I am sure most would understand, we weren't from the area.

[deleted account]

That is an interesting point about the cultures. I am in the Southern US where we always use Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr First Name. I had a dear friend visit from Australia a couple summers ago. Her children (5 yr old twins, at the time) called adults only by their first name--no titles, but they still sounded very respectful. Not sure if it was the accent or what :P No one was offended, and I honestly didn't notice they weren't using the titles until she had been here for almost a month & confided in me that she was worried the boys were offending people by not using Ms/Mr--they just couldn't remember to do it b/c they were not used to it, but she noticed that all the other kids always used the titles. I told her it was fine, no one thought anything of it.
When she got home, after her 4 month visit, she called to tell me that her kids were finally remembering to use Mr/Mrs/Miss and it was weirding everyone out there! lol :)

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Kerrie - posted on 06/30/2011

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i do agree with you
children should have manners, so many of them nowadays DONT.... and their lack of respect for other people and the elders is shocking!!!
my daughter says please, thank u, hello and goodbye when we are leaving or someone leaves where we are. she is only 18 months so i think she is doing pretty well. im not sure on calling adults by their first names so far she does but is polite and repectful in every other way x

Merry - posted on 06/30/2011

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Eric calls his grandpa by his name Paul alot these days, but erics 2 and he just likes calling people what he hears us calling them! His grandma says Paul alot so Eric started saying it too, but we do correct him :) not a respect thing at this age, it's just pretty cute. Eric also calls daddy matt some times if he isn't answering when Eric calls out daddy! Lol

[deleted account]

I agree Cathy, that's bizarre to me too. But I guess, if I've learned anything from the replies here, it changes from region to region, culture to culture. Still seems so...off balance to me though lol Just the thought of calling my Grandaddy by his first name feels wrong! LOL

[deleted account]

Thanks for the replies! It's cool to hear how things are in different parts of the world. I never really looked at it as a cultural thing, more of a regional thing, I guess. I hope I didn't offend anyone in my OP by saying I see it as a respect thing. I'm from the south and that's just how I was raised. I understand that respect is earned, not automatic, even for adults. Again, thanks for the replies :)

Jenny - posted on 06/28/2011

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I think if I worked that hard to get a doctorate I'd make my kids call me Dr. too. The title would never get old.

Merry - posted on 06/28/2011

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I always say dr and the last name, idk, just how it sounds right I guess, also their name tag usually says Dr Moloney, Dr Irland etc, but my midwife is Ginny:) as a kid my mom called my first dr Dr White so I guess I just followed the pattern. Although I now call my aunts and uncles half and half using the titles or not.

Christina - posted on 06/28/2011

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Yes we do. I see no issues with children using the names of adults that are not in authority over them. They call their teachers by Mr or Ms, and that is pretty much it.

Stifler's - posted on 06/28/2011

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At work I always called them Doctor because whenever you were like "Ewan rang blah blah " they were like "Who?" nd I'd be like so and so's doctor. When I was in hospital having the babies and when I go to my GP we call them Dr. and then their first name rather than last.

Amber - posted on 06/28/2011

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Interesting. It feels awkward to call them Dr. so and so to me. They've always introduced themselves with their first names to me and not referred to themselves with their title.

I do call my son little Mr. McGuire sometimes. He gets an absolute kick out of it :)
Now that I'm really thinking about it, even his teachers are Ms Stephanie and Ms Sandy. They refer to their first names too.

Merry - posted on 06/28/2011

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Depends on the adult, my close friends and I have our kids call each other by first names, we just prefer it cuz we are so young, being called mrs just feels weird.
If the adult wants it I'd tell my kid to call them mr or mrs, but it depends on the adult.

LadyJane - posted on 06/28/2011

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In my family, it's always been aunty or uncle when referring to friends and family. Others are Mr. Mrs. Miss and either their first name or last name depending on their request. Teachers are usually Mr/Mrs last name while my sons Dance teacher goes by Miss First name, but the titles are required as part of respect and are only dismissed if the person requests to be called by their name by itself. It's just the way our family does things, no matter where we are. Most often than not the person would give "permission" to be called something else with or without the "Title".

Rosie - posted on 06/27/2011

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we never call doctors by their first name either. it's always dr so and so. i would think it'd be odd to call a doctor by his/her first name. not wrong, but odd, lol.

Jenny - posted on 06/27/2011

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@ Amber We do know her name and she is around the same age as me too. I never really thought about it, it's just a habit to use their title. I really don't think she would mind if the kids or I called her Angela. It just feels weird for some reason.

Jenn - posted on 06/27/2011

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My children say please, thank you and yes ma'am, no sir, etc. Mostly the ma'am and sir are for the elders who will whip up an eyebrow and consider it rude if children don't say it. No biggie. My kids call their friends' parents Ms/Mr. and their first name. I have good manners and through my example, my kids are learning proper manners as well. I have noticed that respectful children receive respect in return. Good to learn that early in life.

September - posted on 06/27/2011

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We do allow our son to call adults by their first names. Our son is very polite as well. We never really pushed the "manners" thing because being polite ourselves helped set the example we wanted our son to follow. Plus we are always sure to treat him kindly and with respect so it’s what he does in return. He’s a doll :)

Shannon - posted on 06/27/2011

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I am from central PA and my son (who just turned 3) is fairly polite. He says please, thank you, your welcome, excuse me, bless you when someone sneezes, and so on but the only ppl he addresses by Miss, Ms, ect were his teachers at his daycare. This tradition will continue on when he returns to daycare and when he starts school. I do feel that Drs (unless they are close personal friends) deserve the respect of the title they have earned as well as clergy ect. and we call aunts and uncles as well as close friends by the aunt/uncle title also. However, I also am in an area where it is the norm to address ppl by their first names in general. I do not see it as being disrespectful at all and feel that unless the title comes to you by a position that requires or encourages it the title is not necessary. I was brought up in the tail end of an era that preached respect your elders and honestly I always had an issue with that because I feel that you have to earn respect through actions not just because you are older than I am. I also feel that way regardless of whether the person is a child or an adult. I would not expect a child or anyone to show respect to someone who treated them poorly just because that person was their elder, that is just absurd. :-)

Amber - posted on 06/27/2011

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@ Jenny~ I find it interesting that you reserve it for doctors. Chad always asks his patients to call him by his first name. His scrubs and lab coats all have his first name on them for that reason. He says it gives you a better conversational tone with patients.

My docs and NPs have always been that way.
I'm just curious, do yours never tell you their first names?

Amber - posted on 06/27/2011

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@ Jenny~ I find it interesting that you reserve it for doctors. Chad always asks his patients to call him by his first name. His scrubs and lab coats all have his first name on them for that reason. He says it gives you a better conversational tone with patients.

My docs and NPs have always been that way.
I'm just curious, do yours never tell you their first names?

[deleted account]

We are teaching Ethan his manners - he says thank-you but that is about it at the moment, we are working on the rest as his speech is improving daily.

He only says grandad, grandma and nanny at the moment (other than mommy, daddy and Poppy) but we address all his aunties and uncles as such and we also address his guidance parents as auntie ... and uncle ... but everyone else gets frst names or doctor or lady/ man if I don't know their name (e.g. say thank-you to the lady) then if they want to be addressed a specific way they tell us. I expect my kids to respect what a person wants to be called be it their name or ma'am because to not do that would be rude. We generally use first names though in the UK.

On a side note I find it quite offensive when people refer to me as miss because I am a mrs I am married and I like being a mrs...although I prefer being called Toni :-)

Jenny - posted on 06/26/2011

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We are big on manners for sure. We get many compliments when the kids use "pardon". I can't stand What!?, it sounds rude. We also have all the standards.

With the names titles are reserved for teachers and doctors. I find the whole custom very archaic but would respect it if it was important to others. I feel very uncomfortable to be called anything but my first name unless it's my kids or partner. I don't feel superior to children and don't need to be addressed as such.

Stifler's - posted on 06/26/2011

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Depends. Most of our friends are "Aunty Mara" and Uncle Millzie and Uncle Greg and stuff. It would sound weird to hear Logan call someone Mrs. or Mr. unless we didn't know them well.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/26/2011

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I guess it depends on the adult. For most people my age we do first names. I think I would laugh if a little kid called me Ms. Livingstone. Ha. So all my friends are first name. Aunts and uncles get Auntie or Uncle first though because that's special and deserves a nod I think. I guess if we were meeting new people I'd do Mr. or Mrs. until they told me otherwise.



And now I've read some responses - I had no idea people ever used aunt or uncle for everybody! I know my cousins had a really close family friend that they called an Aunt, and we call my cousins aunties (for lack of a better term and because they are more like sisters than cousins) and one of my best friends, but that's it. Interesting!

Vicki - posted on 06/26/2011

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My daughter is 2 and already says please and thankyou! I was raised with manners and I think it is respectful to use them where appropriate! x

[deleted account]

I was brought up with first names and it was only my ex husband that insisted on the whole aunt and uncle thing. I personally hate it but i respect their wishes.

Charlie - posted on 06/26/2011

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I have never heard anyone call a person Mr or Mrs unless they were a school teacher I would say it is uncommen here in Aus and culturally it has nothing to do with manners here in Australia.

Cooper always gets compliments on his manners but really if someone called me Miss or Mrs I would say PLEASE call me Loureen ......And if someone called Madam I would giggle because it conjurs up thoughts of bordellos and whiskey haha .

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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LOL, I like being called by my first name too :) Mrs Adams is my mother in law :P

Johnny - posted on 06/25/2011

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I'm just thinking of people's reactions here when I introduced them as Mr./Mrs., etc was not at all favorable in the least. I think they were a tad freaked out by the whole thing. Pretty much across the board. One of my neighbors, who I don't know all that well said, "if she calls me Mr. O'Brien I won't know who the hell she's talking to, please don't. It's just Ed."

Like Kelly's Australian friends, I would definitely try to teach my children to use the formal terms if I visited a place where that was the norm. I just wonder if people who do can see that this really depends on local culture or if its an absolute regardless of local opinion.

Sherri - posted on 06/25/2011

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Hmmmm I don't know Johnny I guess I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it. At this point we have never encountered it. I have had a few of my friends that are like they can call me by my first name and I explained to them that they weren't allowed. They understood and didn't have a problem with it.

Although honestly I don't see how people would be offended by being addressed so formally. Odd for sure if they weren't used to it, certainly but rude doubtful. but I can see if the culture was children don't refer to adults by first names as it is here to be quite offended for not being addressed so formally.

Johnny - posted on 06/25/2011

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Sherri (and anyone else who insists on this), what would you do if you were visiting or living in a place where that was not the norm and people did not wish to be addressed so formally?

Sherri - posted on 06/25/2011

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NOPE everyone is either Auntie, Uncle, Mr, Miss or Mrs so and so. I also don't allow kids to call me by my first name either. I find it to be a huge sign of respect. All of our extremely close friends are all Auntie or Uncle but to us they are family and have been friends with us for longer than most of my children have been alive.

Katherine - posted on 06/25/2011

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NO ONE calls anyone Mrs, Mr, or Ms anymore. I am always Sydney's mom or Katherine. Well almost no one. Only teachers that I've seen, and important people. But as far as moms go we always go by first names.

Johnny - posted on 06/25/2011

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I know. I actually get rather annoyed by people on here saying that it is rude across the board. NO! It's rude where you live. If I come there, I will make sure we respect your rules. If you come here, try ours on for size.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2011

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No, that's the same here in my community Carol. And even when I was growing up. Which is why I think it has nothing to do with respect and manners and everything to do with culture.

Johnny - posted on 06/25/2011

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First names are the norm around here. My daughter is very polite and I insist upon it if she forgets. I think good manners are exceedingly important. After a previous chat on here, I suddenly though that maybe I should have her call her elders by their last name (Mr./Mrs./Ms. etc) because no one here uses Ma'am or Auntie & Uncle (except with people my grandmother's generation (90 +). It just isn't done. So I introduced her to people that way, and not a single one went with it. Every single person interrupted me and said, "no, please use my first name". From people I know well to people I barely know at all. So I've given up on it. It is just not the norm here for kids to call anyone but teachers and such by their last names anymore. No kids ever call me by my last name, so I guess I was swayed by the peer pressure here on COM, but the truth is, it is just not the same where I live.

Amber - posted on 06/25/2011

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If he knows their name and they are friends, he can use their name. If he does not know them, they are sir or ma'am. If he's in trouble it's also sir or ma'am, even if he knows their name.



We're sticklers for manners, but this isn't the one that's the most important to me unless they are strangers. I don't find a first name disrespectful. I personally prefer to be called Amber than ma'am (I don't feel old enough to be ma'am), and kids get confused on with the Mr/Mrs situation because Chad and I aren't married and several of our friends are long term, non marriage couples. Why add to the confusion?



I was very proud of my 4 year old at a party today. He needed something, but I was talking. He said "Excuse me." I held up a finger signalling for a minute. When I turned to him, he had taken a bite. So, he signaled me for a minute and pointed to his mouth.

I was one proud mama, and everybody noticed and commented on it! So, I'd say he's got good manners overall.

Ez - posted on 06/25/2011

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I haven't read the other replies, but yes I do. I have one very close friend who has a son older than my daughter. He started calling me 'Aunty Ez', so when my daughter was born, we reciprocated that respect and she calls my friend 'Aunty ____'. Otherwise, she refers to them by their first names. This is even the case at her daycare. The girls there don't go by 'Miss' or 'Mrs'. To me, it's more a cultural thing than a respect thing.



As she gets older and has school friends, I will likely introduce their parents as 'Mr' and 'Mrs' unless told otherwise. That's a different situation to it being family friends (which is all she's exposed to now as she's only 2). I would have no problem with my daughter's school friends calling me by my first name though, and neither do most people around here.



For not quite 2.5yo, my daughter is actually pretty good with her manners. She always says please, thankyou, you're welcome and usually remembers excuse me. I have no concern about her appearing impolite simply because she calls my friends by their first names.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2011

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I personally don't see children calling adults by first name as a lack of manners in any way at all. Maybe it is the Australian way, I don't know, but my kids generally call adults by their first name. They don't even call their aunts and uncles Aunt or Uncle, just by their first names. And this was because it is how we prefer it. I don't see it as a lack of respect.



I was always brought up calling the parents of my friends by first name, as were they. To be honest, I don't know any kids who don't call me by first name - and given I do a lot of work at the school, I know a lot of the kids. Of course they call their TEACHERS Mr and Mrs, etc, but that is because they are teachers, not because they are adults.

Mabel - posted on 06/25/2011

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Devin is 2.5 yrs old and No he has the same type of respect rules as your child.I think it shows a better boundary of the adult /child relationship.If they ask him to call them a certain thing then he is allowed .
The please and thank yous are mandatory with all the other manners he knows.

[deleted account]

My kids call their Aunt and Uncles Aunt so and so or Uncle so and so. They have 1 Aunt they want to see all the time and love dearly and another they were still getting to know but probably wont so much now.
When it comes to adults it depends on who they are referring to. I don't expect them to say sir or madam but they must be polite in addressing the person.

[deleted account]

J uses Dr/Mr/Mrs/Miss First Name for most adults. His aunts and uncles are Aunt/Uncle First Name. There is one exception that has us baffled at the moment. One of my best friends is an Academic Doctorate. His first name is Anderson, which sounds like a last name, and he is a rather imposing man to begin with, and the formal sounding name keeps him even more...."removed". Dr. Anderson just sounds so much more formal than Dr. Will, Dr.Bob, and Dr.Ed, which all sound so friendly. Of course Anderson is NOT very friendly (but I love him dearly) so it sort of fits, but he doesn't TRY to be unfriendly, and he would like a "friendlier name" for J to call him. Anderson prefers J call him just Anderson. I told J to just call him Anderson, but he keeps forgetting and saying Dr. Anderson.

Krista - posted on 06/25/2011

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@Sara: I noticed that. I recently went on a work conference, and some of my American colleagues were present, and the Southern ones used "Sir" and "Ma'am" a lot. I found it to be quite nice. :)

As far as my children go, it's a tough call. It's pretty common here for children to call adults by their first name IF they're a close friend. But how can I expect him to make that judgment call as to when to call someone by their name, and when to call them "Miss" or "Mister"? I might just decide to be the odd one out around here and insist that he use titles with everybody unless they themselves insist upon being called by their first name.

Shannintipton - posted on 06/25/2011

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Funny I was talking about this with my hubby. Neighbor boy very polite but really a monster behind your back. But like I said very polite. My kids have Please and Thank You down pat. But didn't know how to address the issue of call other adults. One neighbor we cant pronounce his last name so just call by his first. But I think I like the Miss Bonnie or Mr. Keishore. And shaking of hands and nice to meet you upon introductions. I think I will start teaching him that. Thanks you Mrs. Benson, this is a great post. LOL

[deleted account]

My kids call most family friends by their first name, teachers by mrs or mr, and family by aunt uncle grandma, they do answer questions with yes (not yeah) and say no thank you or no mam. Ive heard people say sir or mam and sound very rude and ive heard even my kids say no thank u and sound rude. Im not so sure it has to do with what is said but more so how it is said. Another thing is if someone said "lady" to me I would find it rude..of course not from a sweet child but not from an adult. I would prefer miss or even mam :)

[deleted account]

My two baby cakes are super polite.I get great feedback that makes me so proud of them.I let them call people they know by there first name.If they don't know somebody and want to ask them something they say sir or madam.My two year old calls all females ladies.We were at a party(family but with people they had not met before) my little girl said"Lady can i have a drink please"They just think its so cute.The first thing i get at school meetings before my oldest academic progress, she how great her manners are.That's fine with me.I don't over it.Half of it has to do with what they heard growing up from me and my other half.



I love that idea of aunt and uncle.(for close friends i presume?)Its very polite.They politer they better.It costs us nothing to teach which is wonderful.I wish many kids had even just half of what our kids seem to have from reading all the comments.

Rosie - posted on 06/25/2011

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no i'm not a stickler about it, it doesn't really bother me. i'd rather my child really respect them with their actions than by calling them a specific title. but, in iowa it's not really thought of that way as much as say the south does.
they do call their aunt, aunt whitney, but that's just what she is to them, lol. i don't know how to explain that one further, lol. they call our neighbor anthony, not mr olds, and anthony encourages it. it really is a cultural thing i suppose.

JuLeah - posted on 06/25/2011

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It depends on the adult ... I think it develops family ties to use titles like aunt and uncle ....

[deleted account]

Yes, it's always Ms./Mrs./Mr. first name. We're also sticklers for ma'am and sir. It's a regional thing. Even adults call each other ma'am and sir out of respect.

[deleted account]

@ Tania ~ Just wanted to clarify the aunt / uncle thing. He doesn't call every adult that. My husband's best friends that he's known his whole life and my best friends...they are aunts and uncles to him because we're the type of people that our friends are our family so that's why they are aunt and uncle. Everyone else is Mr Jack or Miss Paula, for example. Sorry I wasn't clearer in my OP :)

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