I was recently hosting a play date for my 4 year old son and one of his best buddies from preschool. The play date went great and they played very well together. The entire time, though, my son's friend was calling me "Meg". "Meg this", "Meg that". And he would also use that when he was talking about me to my son: "Meg is not going to like you doing that...."
When I grew up, I don't recall using the first names for my teachers, parents of friends, or really any adults for that matter. It was always considered good manners to call them "Mr. Smith" or "Ms. Hansen" or "Dr. Meecham". If I saw my old teachers today, I probably still would call them by these proper names!
When did the trend start to call everyone by their first name? It seems like most kids do that these days. I'm trying to pinpoint why exactly this bothers me ever-so-slightly. I think it might be because it's just too casual. I think it's important that children understand who their superiors are, who is in charge in a given situation, and frankly, who has had more life experience. I think addressing adults with a title and surname helps them see these lines.
Using such "proper talk" is a sign of respect, too. Now, plenty of children could use these titles, yet still be disrespectful. But I think for most, it makes them much more aware of being respectful by addressing those in a leadership role.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you make sure your children use "Mr." and "Mrs."? Does it matter to you? Do you even have an opinion either way? Is it really that important?
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