What do your kids call your friends?

Christa - posted on 07/03/2010 ( 48 moms have responded )

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My oldest is 2.5 years now and old enough to start calling people different things. Obviously my siblings are Aunt and Uncle and the grandparents have their corresponding names, but what do you have your kids call your friends? Their first name? Mr/Mrs Last Name? Mr/Miss First name? What is appropriate? Right now I've just used their first names, but will that teach them to respect them or do we need to be more formal?

Thoughts??

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[deleted account]

Dana, I'm so offended. You better watch your report button! gqtm!



I totally get that some of you don't get the "ma'am" and "sir" and "Mr." and "Ms." thing. But here, in the Southern United States, that's just how it is. I would hate for someone to feel like my child is disrespecting them by not saying, "ma'am". I don't expect everyone in the world to do it. But when in Rome, do as the Romans, right?



Let me give an example. I lived in Canada for a few months in college. It took me a week to figure out that people thought I was incredibly rude when I walked into their homes without taking off my shoes. That is not done here. Here, if you take off your shoes, it's rude, because you are making yourself comfortable before being invited to. In Canada (or in Calgary anyway), it's rude not to take off your shoes because they don't want dirt tracked in their homes. So I adjusted to the culture. When I came home, I adjusted right back. I'd expect people to do the same with "ma'am" and "sir" and "Mr." and "Ms." if they come live here.



So, my child will be calling adults, "Mr." and "Ms." because it is a sign of respect. It's not the only way to show respect, but it's a big deal here. The 13 year old that helps in the church nursery is even referred to as "Ms. Keri" by the kids. That's just what we do. ;)

Stifler's - posted on 08/03/2010

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Um my kids won't be using my friends first names, at all, ever. Most of my friends are "aunty tamara and uncle millzie" even though Logan can't talk yet that's what we call them when we talk to him. If it's someone we don't know very well they'll be mr and mrs.

[deleted account]

Hopefully I don't offend anyone by saying this BUT I find it strange when children are encouraged to call close friends 'aunt' or 'uncle'....for me, it takes away that title for those that it's intended for!



I encourage Roxanne to call my friends/equals by their first names and anyone that I would call 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' I encourage Roxanne to do the same! I also believe that it's up to the individual to decide what they want to be called!



For example.....both Chad and I's parents chose their titles....my parents are Nona and Papa and Chad's parents requested Nannie and Poppy! My ex's son didn't know what to call my parents and my mom didn't wanna take the "Grandma" title away from anyone else so she asked Mason to call her, "Grand Mary".....it was cute because they chose it together!

Meghan - posted on 07/03/2010

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I am trying to get my son to call me mame...it's not working too well lol!!
I have a few close friends that he calls Auntie...he calls my siblings Auntie or Uncle. He calls one play group leader Miss Kim...I was raised to call someone Mrs or Mr until THEY tell you otherwise. I think that is the path I will take with him.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/04/2010

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First names I think are fine with close friends..but teachers, aquaintances, Dr. or any professional should be called accordingly.

[deleted account]

Another Aussie here - even when they were little my kids called our friends by their first name. They also called my and my husbands' siblings by their first name.

Our friends kids' always used our given names.

Maybe it's an Aussie thing.

Tah - posted on 08/03/2010

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my children call my friends Ms or Mrs. (insert first name here)...they are not my childrens peers they are mine so they dont addressthem the same way i do....it shows a respect and understanding of this imo and the same goes for my friend's children..they address me and our other friends in the same manner, we never talked about, it is just the way it is

Sunny - posted on 08/03/2010

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My son is 3 and calls all of our mates by their slang/nick names just like we do. The only exception being his dads best mate who he calls 'god daddy moz' and my best friend who is 'aunty gracie' he makes up his own little names for his own friends.

Isobel - posted on 08/03/2010

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yeah, my friends' kids call me Laura, and my kids call their parents by first name.



My boyfriend hates it, he prefers the good ole days when everybody was Mr. and Mrs. but I don't think that's really possible anymore cause half the kids out there have different names from one of their parents even IF they are married, let alone all the last names for blended families.



Political correctness (Mrs. Ms. Miss.) is difficult enough for the grown ups...leave the poor kids alone.

Sharon - posted on 08/03/2010

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I'm not sure about you guys - but I don't make the kids call me "miss or mrs" because I don't like the distance it makes. I like feeling as though we're all just extended family.

Work is the same. We recently got a new store manager. I had been talking with the assistant store manager - our store is run more like we're family rather than formal co-workers. We share food (we don't eat off the same sandwich but we'll split it!) I bring in donuts every sunday, I keep a supply of cheap tv dinners in the freezer for the kids who forget or can't afford to buy dinner/lunch. All I ask is that if you can afford it, please give me a dollar when you can. If someone has a crises (moms' boyfriend throws the family out) they can call any of us and we'll dig up a place for them to sleep. We chipped in and paid for 3 nights at a hotel until the courts tossed him out and they moved back in.

Anyway - when the new manager came in - we were talking about the store was shaping up for her and she said it was "ok." but "she was hoping to find her niche in our "whatever this is" crew of people." We're not co-workers - more like cousins rather than brothers or sisters. But I love it. We can talk to one another freely - rather than the stiff formality of higher corporate situations.

Anyway - I like that feeling at my house too with the kids and their friends and their families.

Brandy - posted on 08/03/2010

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Closer friends are aunty and uncle First name and not so close are just first name.

Sharon - posted on 08/03/2010

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My brother is called "uncle" with his first name, his girlfriend is called by her first name.

I'm all for "mr. & mrs. miss. ms." etc but I think I'm the only one.

[deleted account]

For most of our friends, we use Mr/Miss/Mrs First Name. For people who are our elders or that we are not close/informal friends with, we use Mr/Miss/Mrs Last Name.

Lea - posted on 07/05/2010

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He calls our friends by name. His grandparents go by grandma/grandpa. He calls me mama and his dad dada/daddy or Nick when hes being saucy.

[deleted account]

Ah, and the whole calling friends Aunt and Uncle, we do it because our close friends are really like family. My kids see my hubby's friends more than they see his sister and they see my friends more than they see either of my siblings. My hubby even calls his best friend his brother. :)

[deleted account]

Hee hee... as for taking your shoes off when you go into a house, I live in California, but we always take our shoes off because the majority of my hubby's friends are of Asian descent and they think it's rude to leave your shoes on. :)

Krista - posted on 07/05/2010

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We got very little snow as well. And yes, the taking-your-shoes-off thing is prevalent in my neck of the woods as well. Who wants all that outdoor schmutz tracked in through their house?

As far as names go, I think it'll really depend on the person. I'll probably let my kid call our close family friends by their first name. And my sister doesn't care if she gets called "Aunt" or not, so we'll probably just go with her name. But for strangers, I'd want them to use "Sir" or "Ma'am" until the adult in question says it's okay to call them by their first name.

[deleted account]

Dana, we got more snow than you?? It totally snowed 3 times this past winter in Louisiana!! It snowed once last winter and before that it was literally 21 years ago last time it snowed (by snowed, I mean the flakes stuck to the ground). I think the world is ending! More snow in Louisiana than Canada!

[deleted account]

Becky, where in Canada are you that you get snow 8 months out of the year? Not over here in my neck of the woods.....we didn't even see one flake this past winter. It was sad!

Jess - posted on 07/04/2010

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Its a bit hit and miss for us with how what we call friends. Sometimes I say "uncle" when I refer to John's best friend and other times I don't. I want Ava to be the one to make that decision.

I don't want her to feel that he has a level of authority over her when in fact he doesn't. If when she gets older she wants to address him as "Uncle" then I will have no issue with it, if she prefers to go simply by his first name than thats ok too.

For family though, its strictly their intended name, aunty, uncle, nanna, poppy etc.

Becky - posted on 07/04/2010

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I grew up calling everyone either aunt and uncle or Mr. and Mrs., so we are teaching our kids the same. Well, with aunt and uncle. Not so much the mr. and Mrs., but we do that with authority figures, like teachers and stuff. (their Sunday school teachers we call Miss or Mrs. first name) It doesn't offend me if other kids call me by my first name though.
We're Canadian, but my mom is American, and after having lived in Canada since she was in college and living in Africa, where you also take off your shoes when you go in someone's house, she still hasn't gotten the taking your shoes off in the house thing down! (insert rolled eyes here!) It really just makes sense when you live in a country where it snows 8 months of the year! Who wants all that water and mud tracked through their house?

Johnny - posted on 07/04/2010

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IMO little kids calling people sir or ma'am is just adorably cute. You never here it here, but I see it on TV and always think, "Aww!"

[deleted account]

Amie, I thought it might be, but I specified Calgary in case it wasn't! I promise if I ever visit any of you Canadians I'll take my shoes off in your house! Just don't be offended if my daughter calls you, "ma'am" before I can explain that it's not done there!

Amie - posted on 07/04/2010

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Sara, I think that's pretty much Canada wide, unless it's different in the maritimes. I haven't been to anyone's home where it's ok to walk in with your shoes on. I find it weird that people are ok with anyone walking into their home with their shoes on. My kids make enough of a mess, I don't need others adding to it. LOL!

[deleted account]

I thought I'd throw this in here too... My daughter's school friends call me "Sasha's Mom" since they all can't remember my name. :)

On the same note, one of my daughter's best friend's mom has an odd name and I can never remember it, so I always refer to her as "Kelly's Mom" or "Mrs. (last name)".

It seems when the kids are in school we get more and more used to being called "_____'s mom". It really doesn't bug me, and in no way do I find it disrespectful. Gorwing up, my parents were pretty prominent members in our close knit community and I was always "Pastor Pete's daughter" or "Miss Cathy's daughter" (my dad is the Methodist pastor and my mom owns/runs/teaches at a dance studio in town). I am also known as "Miss Holly" because of the fact that I taught classes to little kids when I was 18-20 and that is what they called me. When I go back to visit, most of the parents (an a great number of the students, even the ones I didn't teach!) still call me "Miss Holly" and I love it! :D

[deleted account]

Although my son is not old enough to use peoples names (he has only just said daddy and mommy) he will address my brother and his girl-friend and my BIL's and SIL's uncle *first name* and auntie *first name* . My mom and dad are Nanny and Grandad Deca, my MIL and FIL are Grandma and Grandad Alan.



Close friends are uncle *first name* and auntie *first name*, other friends are just first name. Unknown adults will be asked their name and then refered to as whatever they tell me/ my son. My son will only address teachers as mr/ mrs/ miss because it is just far too formal, I agree with the AUS ladies I think it is cultural - in the UK we don't use ma'am/ sir/ mr/ mrs unless in a formal situation (i.e. waiter in restaurant speaking to customers).



Respect is about using their manners and how they act and being polite (not calling strange adults stinky etc) not about refering to mates as mr/ mrs etc.

Charlie - posted on 07/04/2010

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Madam makes me think of bordellos and corsets LOL and miss makes me think of being called to the principals office :D

[deleted account]

I'm an Aussie too and it's the same for us as for Loureen. My son isn't old enough to call people by name yet, but my friends kids call me by my first name and I am sure my friends would rather be called by their first name than Mr, Mrs, Miss etc. Family are called by their titles or first names also. I am one of the strange ones who won't even mind if my children choose to call me by my name instead of mum, but it remains to be seen what they use/choose. With strangers, I will probably encourage my kids to use Sir/Madam until the person specifies how they would like to be addressed. *no, edit that* when I say it out loud, Madam sounds a bit strange, maybe Sir/Miss or Mr/Miss at first meeting with strangers.



I would feel a little strange being called Miss Fiona by children, it is quaint and cute, but feels a bit formal and stiff for where I live (some of my teachers in a small town school went by Miss/Mr first name). It evokes stories I read about southern states in America. I am not a Mrs so don't like being called one and Miss Ford just makes me feel like I am talking to the police or other authority, not a child.

Charlie - posted on 07/04/2010

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Im an Aussie and its pretty rare to call people sir , Ma'am , Mr or Mrs unless in a formal situation such as school , court or addressing a letter , its just not done and would be quiet strange to hear to tell you the truth , i certainly wouldnt be comfortable being called Ma'am or Mrs ......

Friends are called by their first names , family are called by their family title or first names .

Calling random people Ma'am conjures up thoughts of men laying jackets over puddles for women to walk over as horse drawn carts roll by hehe .

C. - posted on 07/03/2010

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Well, with our close friends (the ones that are so close they're like family) we just tell our son it's Aunt/Uncle *Insert first name here*.



With our not so close friends, we just say Mr/Miss *first name here*.

Amie - posted on 07/03/2010

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Oh forgot to add, for elderly family friends. They are honorary Gramma/Grampas too. My kids, in total, have 10 Gramma and Grampas.

Amie - posted on 07/03/2010

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Depends on how close the friends are. My close friends are Auntie/Uncle as well. Ones who are not close they use their manners, Mr./Mrs./Ms. Children are never too young to learn how to properly address their elders. It may take them some time to remember who's who but it can be done.

I know a few people who are not as rigid as we are about it but most around us are.

Jodi - posted on 07/03/2010

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@ Sara
I heard not long ago of young woman who got offended when a man held the door open for her!!! I couldn't believe it! She was offended because she felt she was quite capable of holding it open herself.

Johnny - posted on 07/03/2010

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Sara, I think you're right, it is really cultural. Here, many many women get offended if they are called ma'am. I don't agree, I think it is just respectful, but the consensus against it seems to hold that it is an age related insult. I was not raised to ever call people ma'am, and I know better than to do so around here, but I actually don't really understand why so many are so sensitive. I always consider it to be something that people from other places (mostly southern US) use as a title of respect to someone their senior. And many men also don't seem to like being called sir, although I'm not sure if it is the same "age-sensitivity" thing that it is for women. But I've heard men in retail stores upbraiding young clerks for calling them sir. So yes, definitely cultural.

Lindsay - posted on 07/03/2010

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My kids call our friends by first name. That's what we always did as kids as well. While the yes ma'am or no sir was always enforced, the titles on names weren't so much. Aunts and Uncles are either called Aunt *first name* or Uncle *first name*.

[deleted account]

My son calls friends by first name if they are close friends. Their kids also call me by first name.

Grandmas & Grandpas with their name

Weird, but he calls my brother and sister, his aunt & uncle by first name, and my nephews also call me & hubby by first name

People are more casual out here in AZ versus when I grrew up in NJ. It was much more formal to address an elder by Mr. or Ms. ______. My parents live in a 55+ community and everyone really goes by first name only. So when my dad shows off his grandsons, they are usually always refered to by first name + original state. It's so strange, but the other day at their pool, I was introduced to "Greg & Joan from Ohio". Oh, and they also introduce each other by former profession, so my son knows my parent's neighbor Al, the chemistry teacher. He's a cool guy actually-taught me a few kitchen chemistry experiments to do at home with Matt!

Joanna - posted on 07/03/2010

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She calls my friends by first name. We haven't yet encountered a situation where she's had to use Mr. or Mrs., but I'm sure when it arrives we'll go with the more polite option if I'm unsure. If it's an aquaintance I will just ask them whether they prefer the use of their first name or Mr./Mrs./Miss.

[deleted account]

From the posts so far, it seems to be cultural. I would die of embarrasment if Eliza ever called an adult by their first name without Mr. or Ms. in front. Around here, it's considered highly disrespectful.

I think the same goes for ma'am and sir. It's cultural. Here it is a respect thing. Anyone older, or anyone you don't know, you refer to as sir or ma'am. I have a friend not from here and to her it's bizarre. She said it's demeaning when one of her students calls her ma'am, so she doesn't enforce it like I did when I taught, and like I do with my daughter.

Johnny - posted on 07/03/2010

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My daughter calls my friends by their first names and their kids do the same with us. For older people, of my parent's generation, they may use Auntie and Uncle. I really don't hear young kids around here calling adults aside from teachers Mr, Mrs, or Miss.

[deleted account]

Jodi i think it may be an Aussie thing.
I have taught me children to use our friends first names and most of them prefer that. And for the aunts and uncles thing, my husbands family are big on the whole Aunty and Uncle where as my side isn't so we are sticking with Aunty and uncle. Seen as though they don't see my brother and we don't speak to my husbands brother either we only have one aunty they see and she prefers them to use it so for respect to her we do.

Rosie - posted on 07/03/2010

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my kids just call my friend by their first name. it seems weird to me that they would call then mrs, or miss. occassionally my friends had referered to themselves as aunt leslie, or whatever, but as soon as they got older it didn't stick.

ME - posted on 07/03/2010

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My parents friends are MR or MRS...my friends are called by their first name, close friends are auntie _____....I don't really think the title does much for teaching respect. Miles says please and thank you, and is asked to wait his turn, be patient, share, etc....I think that's much more important!

Sarah - posted on 07/03/2010

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My best friend is referred to as "Auntie" everyone else is called by their first names.
I think my friends would freak out if my kids referred to them as Mr or Mrs!!

Jodi - posted on 07/03/2010

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I don't know if it is an Aussie thing or not, but my kids call my friends by first name, and their kids call me first name. I prefer people call me first name, Mrs Adams is just too formal, and it's my mother-in-law's name, LOL.



And they also only call their Aunts and Uncles by first name - my brothers have never wanted to be known as "Uncle", they are happier with first name. My nieces and nephews call me by my first name too.

[deleted account]

My kids call our friends "Aunt" or "Uncle" with their first name after it (for example, they call my best friend "Aunt Katie").

We don't really have any friends that we see on a regular basis that we aren't close to, but if we do see someone we know the kids call them Mr. or Mrs. with their first name.

[deleted account]

Auntie/Uncle First Name. It's cultural here though. Pretty much anyone/everyone is Auntie/Uncle except doctors, teachers, etc.. even people you don't know. Then you just don't use the first name. ;)

[deleted account]

Aunt or Uncle (first name) if they are very close.



Ms. or Mr. (first name) if they are an acquaintance.

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