Tuesday, September 20, 2005

That's "Miss MP" to you

Our recent trip really helped illuminate a few things for me. The recycling issue, obviously, was a big one. Another area with which I have been struggling came into focus for me as well: titles. By titles I mean the whole "Mr." or "Mrs." thing when kids refer to adults.
Growing up, I referred to all my parents friends, and my friends parents, as "Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So". It was just how it was done. We, as kids, were NOT on a first-name basis with these adults, even though we knew what their first names were from our parents. They were not our peers. But today, now that WE'RE the parents, Mr. Chick and I have struggled with the title thing. It feels and sounds just plain ODD to be called "Mrs. Chick". Plus, most of our friends don't want to be referred to in this manner by our kids. "Just call me John", is what they say. But that doesn't seem right, either. I want to respect the preferences of our friends, but I also want there to be some sort of line separating them from the kids.

I have found myself, subconciously (?), refraining from calling the moms of my kids friends by their first names in the kids' presence, instead referring to them as "Joshua's mom" or whatever. As in, "you'll need to ask Hannah's mom is that is ok.". Only this has sort of backfired because now, most of the time, Nicholas calls these people "Elijah's mom" directly to their face. He doesn't know better. He'll say, "Anna's mom, can I have more milk please?"

In Virginia, our friends told the kids to refer to them as "Miss Nicole and Mr. Ken". First names, yet more. It's sort of a happy medium and solves my dilemma. I can totally handle being called "Miss MP" by kids and it doesn't weird me out like being called "Mrs. Chick" does. Less formal, yet respectful. Nicholas's teacher last year was Miss Nadine, so that's a phrasing he's already comfortable with. I've decided to go with this new plan of respectful yet casual titling of friends where the kids are concerned. I'm not sure how my friends will respond. I did a sly reference yesterday when I ran into a friend at Target. The kids were with me, and as she was leaving I told the kids to, "say good-bye to Miss Kimberly". I'm not sure if she heard me or not, but she didn't look at me oddly or say anything. I mean, how can you object to something like that??

I'm curious about how other parents tackle this issue. IS it even an issue with you? How would you feel about being called "Miss" or "Mr." first name? Any and all input is appreciated!

My mom grew up in the South, where children referred to grownups as Miss (firstname) and Mr. (firstname.) So that's what we did as kids.

That's what we do-- I just feel weird being referred to as Mrs. Fowler. That's my MIL, not me! LOL. It sounds too old. :P
I'm coming out of hiding to comment on your last two posts. First of all, I have read your diary on iP and was lucky enough to find your blog. To tell the truth, I read so many former iP blogs that I have no idea who led me to you lol. I used to write a diary, too, and am now contemplating a blog.

Anyhoo....on the recycling, I live in Ohio and good luck in finding an easy way to recycle around here! It used to be done and many towns/cities have stopped because it was too much of a hassle. What?! I used to live in Massachusetts and it was mandatory there. I think people on the coasts are more environmentally aware that the rest of us. I really think I am more aware because I lived in Mass. and would not be so hell bent on finding a source right now since we moved back home.

It's funny that you have an entry about names and titles. I just posted a comment on Jenn B.'s blog about this exact thing. I started to teach Alaina to call people Mr. and Miss or Mrs. but my friends thought that was so old-fashioned. I like your solution. I just feel that if a child calls you solely by your first name, it puts you on their level. And I don't agree with that. I think the trend started when parents wanted to be friends instead of parents to their children. I also think that respect was lost in that time.

Stick to your guns. Soon your friends will be talking about how well-behaved your children are. Then you can smile and know you are doing a great job.
After much thought, remember I wrote about this same thing on my blog, I think I'm just going to do the whole Mrs. Jane instead of Mrs.Smith thing. It's a compromise I can live with. I cannot let my kids call an adult by their first name; I believe in respecting adults. My kids don't call me Bev, and neither should another child. That's just me. Make that Mrs.Bev:)
That is always how we've referred to our friends or our children's friends' parents. At least around the kids. The only exceptions are our closest friends that are like family are referred to "aunt" and "uncle" - probably mainly because our kids don't actually have aunts or uncles around here. But in that case, there really are only 3 people who fit that bill. Everyone else is Miss Paige or Mr. Ben, etc. Nobody thinks we're weird, for that anyway.

And the point that this is how so many teachers are addressed these days (at least in preschool years), it makes it an easy distinction for the kids.
My children call most of our friends Mr. or Mrs. first name. There are a couple of friends who asked to only be called by thier first name. (They are both single.)
Like Holly, our very close friends are Aunt and Uncle so and so.(2- other couples.)

I just HAVE to leave a comment for this. Most of my good friends go by Aunt or Uncle whatever, but we have a really good friend who has watched our son overnight a few times (like when I was in the hospital giving birth to no 2) and he goes to daycare with the kids, too, so he calls their mom, Mama Kris, which I think is SO CUTE. I think it's because has heard her kids call her mom alot and he also knows her name. And, no, it doesn't bother me at all.
I'm from the South and it's always been Miss Jane or Mr. Greg. I'm continuing the tradition with my son. I also had a lot of aunts and uncles. Normally older people, that were very close to my parents or very involved with young people at church, etc.
My church friends all have their kids refer to adults as Mr or Mrs So and So. It sounded funny to me at first because I was used to something less formal, but we started doing that for Peter, too.
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