Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What are you called?

As a child I would never dream of calling an adult by their first name. They were Mr and Mrs Smith or our few close family friends who I had grown up with were Aunty X and Uncle Y.

You waited till your friends parent invited you to call them by their first name, generally after you left school. Even then it took me about two years to call U2's parents by their first name. We now joke about how I called them nothing for that two years, an absence of any name I felt comfortable addressing them by.

But when my friends started having children it sounded strange to be addressed as Mrs and no one else was being so called and so they all called me by my first name. MiniMe in turn calls our friends by their first name.

I had always thought that when she started school that she would start calling all the adults in her life by their proper title. Now we are here I am not so sure.

It would seem strange if she started calling our friends Mr and Mrs as she never has, so why would we change it now. I grew up not knowing my Aunts and Unlces so it didn't seem strange to call non-family that but now that my girls have Aunts and Unlces who are very much part of their lives I wonder if it is taking away from that special relationship to be using it in other relationships?

Then is it weird if she calls her school friends parents Mr and Mrs but not our family friends. Do I want MiniMe's school friends calling me by my first name or Mrs MiniMe? I suspect I will just be called MiniMe's Mum for awhile!

I like that Mr and Mrs teaches children about respecting adults but has the practice gone out the window? Is this a good or a bad thing? Is Mr and Mrs doomed to only be used on our mail?


  1. When I was a kid we always called close family friends and relatives by their first names but the parents of school friends were generally Mr & Mrs. I think this is fairly common with my friends, their kids call us all by our first names.

    I only get called Mrs at work and I am ok with that. I did work in schools while I lived in the UK where kids used their teacher's first name. That was too much for me to get my head around!

    * Also from a previous post... My siblings and I also spent hours pouring over the WW cookbook. First, short listing and then choosing the cake for that year. I think it is a wonderful tradition to carry on and they aren't OTT cakes by birthday cake (and party) standards of today. I'd keep it up if I was you :)

  2. It was first names for only a few adults (and my parents were horrified!). Uncle and Aunty for one or two choice besties of my folks.

    I couldn't imagine being 'Mrs', so I don't expect anyone else would either! It's first names for us all the way with a few choice besties as uncle and aunty... x

  3. We call some friends by their first name and some by surnames. But since my girls are not very confident using any names when talking to anyone it's really not an issue. Now that they are older I might use first and or last names when referring to someone ... Since I am a teacher I'm used to being called Mrs and I get a surprise when a child calls me by my first name!