Monday, June 04, 2007

The Proper Address...

This blog is dedicated to Wendy, who is struggling with "address issues".

So, my questions are:

1) How do you think children should address adults?
2) How did you address adults when you were a child?
3) Is it ever okay for a child to address an adult by first name, if so when?
4) How should children address close family friends/neighbors.
5) How do you prefer to be addressed (by children)
6) Why is American culture changing in regard to these standards?

Here are my answers (and 2 of my 3 kids):

1) With a Mr, Miss, Ms, in front of their first name, or a Mr, Ms, or Mrs in front of their last name.
2) By their first name (except for teachers)
3) Only if they are a step-parent, or insist on being called by their first name.
4) See #1.
5) "Mrs. Moore". ..or "Ms. Erin" if the child is very young.
6) Because American culture is moving away from biblical principles, and it's jacked up.

Please post a comment with your answers, so my dear SIL can sleep again at night. Also, once you finish posting, check out this article that Wendy sent me. ...oh, and don't cheat, post your thoughts, THEN read the article. (Remember, God is watching - and if you don't believe in God, then Santa Clause is watching).
(Oh, and the picture has nothing to do with the blog, but posting two picture-less blogs in a row just didn't sit well).


MaineMomKC5 said...


BLOG HOG!!!!!!!!!!!

T5M said...

Oh, sorry - I can delete, I was trying to hook you up.

Believe me, I can come up with something else...lots on my mind!

T5M said...

...or maybe I was getting your husband back for the Easter incident! ha ha!

MaineMomKC5 said...

I agree with all of your answers (sans, of course, the biblical jack up).

Kristy & John said...

Just to play the "devil's advocate", does it say in the bible the proper way for children to address adults? I think sometimes we can be too formal. I do believe that children do not respect adults like they used to, but as far as what they call them either by their first name or Mr. or Mrs. I don't think it is a big deal (nor contributes to the disrespect). I like the Mr or Miss with the person's first name. It allows for cute, but respectful introduction of adults. Sometimes people go to overboard with the Mr & Mrs thing. Like my MIL wanted me to call her Mrs. Quinn. I had to let her know that as someone in her late 20s, who will also be a Mrs. Quinn soon I feel very weird addressing her by that. I think it is a very touchy thing.

Kristy & John said...

Erin, by the way for your previous entry, I just read it and know that you don't want any comments, but I can't help myself.
Here goes - I think that you should not evaluate your motherhood on what someone or something else thinks you should be, but what you think that you should be. You should not feel guilty or bad because of a bible passage - you need to do things for yourself and your kids!! I think that you are a great mom, wife and HR professional and even when you think that you are at your wit's end with any one of those things take a look at how each of them (individually) make you feel, and then you will know what you need to do! Who cares what other people say about how busy you are, they probably just wish they had as much joy in their lives as you do!
Sorry again for commenting, but I couldn't help myself!

KC5 said...

Regarding the last post...

"Amen" Kristy-well said.

Erin-where is your apron?...and who told you to come out of the kitchen because that apparently is where the bible is suggesting you should be...while your at it why don't you renounce your right to vote...oh yeah that degree you got, give it back...driver's license? I don't think so...expressing your opinions for the whole world to see? not a good woman's get me a beer and make me a sandwich the game is about to start.

KC5 said...

Mrs. Casey and I had a healthy debate about the proper way to address adults. In the past 10 years I promise you that I have been called Mr. Casey 1 time. ONCE.. and don't feel I was disrespected by any of the 100 kids who called me by my first name. In fact, the one who called me Mr. Casey is one of the more unpleasant kids I have come across.

We simply are not as formal today as we once were. As far as biblical goes...I am no less biblical then I was when I was a kid either.

Having said that I support the movement to give the adult the option of what they want to be called. Start with a Mr. or Mrs. and take it from there...

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

1) I like the Mr./Ms. with the first name. I think it's hard when they're little and don't hear the person's last name said! Plus with divorce/remarriage/not taking the guy's last name, you adults might not even now what last name to use!
2) Everyone at church was Mr./Mrs. last name. We had a few people that were close to the family and it was Aunt/Uncle.
3) When they start to get older it's probably OK.
4) I like the Mr./Ms. with the 1st name...or if they're really close I like the Auntie/Uncle.
5) see above
6) DISRESPECT!!! along with the name thing people aren't teaching manners anymore.

MaineMomKC5 said...

Kristy, I like your 2nd post to Erin. I read it and felt the same thing. The fact, Erin, that you almost had to leave church b/c you felt so bad about minding (or lack of) your "house" is wrong to me. I see what you do - you do a lot. You work b/c 1) you need to and 2) you like to (okay, not every day, but you are a worker and a damn great one at that.

This is the part of religion I don't understand, and I know this post is not a religious one. It's great your pastor and Joel interpreted it the same, but I don't interpret it like that. I think in life, especially as working mothers, we do our best.

Say you did stay home and not work. Do you think that you still wouldn't stress out about not being the best mother you could be? You would find other things to stress/worry over. Do you think mothers who stay home with their children are completely fulfilled and stress-free? Perhaps some, but I'd guess a small percentage.

You've said it yourself - you are a perfectionist. I read a line somewhere that said: Perfectionism is the highest form of self abuse.

Again, as working mothers it's stressful to find time for our children, our husbands, our selves, our house, our jobs, our friends, etc.. How do we fit it all in? What piece(s) of that puzzle get more/less attention? It's a balancing act and WE DO THE BEST WE CAN.

Stop beating yourself up and start loving who you are and what you do.

With that said, I'll move back to this post. I agree with what everyone is saying. I think we should teach our children the polite thing to do is call an adult by a Miss/Mrs/Mr and last/first name depending on the situation. Like Erin pointed out, some married adults have different last names which can be confusing to a child. In that case, I think using a "Miss Debbie" or "Mr. Rick" works. It still gives a sense of courtesy to it.

If the adult says, "Oh, you can just call me Rick" then the child knows the proper way to address them. Or, another tactic can be that we as the adult take charge and ask the other adult, "How would you like my child to address you?"

-Mrs. Casey

TheKeyRing said...

I agree with the adding of Mr., Miss or Mrs. in front of the first name, particularly for the very young children. There does come a point where the children are older, teenagers, where I believe that it is appropriate for the child (teenager) to address the adult by Mr., Miss or Ms. and/or ask them how they would like to be addressed.

I know that my older children have asked me how they should address certain adults, particularly ones that they have an abundance of contact with, and it has always been my suggestion that they ask the adult themselves. I have found that the more comfortable they are with an adult, the more questions come in to play about how they should be addressed. Some adults they will always refer to as Mr/Mrs/Miss (lastname) and some they interact with so much it seems odd not to call them by their first names.

It is tricky. You want your children to be respectful, but as they become young adults and are interacting with people of all ages it seems almost silly for them to refer to some adults as Mr/Ms/Mrs (first name) but they are too familiar to refer to as Mr/Mrs/Ms (last name). Then you get in to a whole new arena when you are looking at first jobs and so forth, UGH!!! It never gets easy.

The Gawel's said...

Erin- I like it when my kids use Mrs./Mr. and the first name. I feel old when someone calls me Mrs. Gawel!
Being a stay at home mom most of the time, I enjoy when I go to school and work the few hours I get to. As you know kids can cause stress and housework brings about its own problems. I do feel very grateful that I have got the chance to spend the time with my kids!

barbarakuhn said...

Silly me, I want my sons-in-law to call me Mom? What's PC for "married" couples; Seriously I was addressing a parental letter to Jan & Kelly Jones - is it Mr./Mrs. Mr./Mr. or Ms./Ms.?

Did mainemomkc5 say "say you did stay home & not work" meaning full-time homemakers don't work? Interesting

Kristy & John said...

I think she meant work as in work outside the home, so moms who do work outside the home actually have 2 full-time jobs. Where's the Overtime!?!
I know a lot of people who call their in-laws "mom" & "dad", but I think for me it would be awkward because I think mom is such a strong word, and represents a title that only one person in your life should have. Whether it be the grandparent or aunt or anyone who who raised you and deserves the credit for one of the most important jobs (next to being a father or grandparent)in this world. I also once made the mistake of telling my mom that someone at work was like my "other mom" (Erin/Nancy, talking about Chris Rocks) and she was like "Excuse me, you only have one mother!" And I was just kidding!
I guess it is to each his (or her) own. Erin, you and your blog entries, look what you start!

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

looks like your "no comment" for the previous post didn't quite work! ;-) prayin' for ya...

MaineMomKC5 said...

Obviously I know that staying at home raising children equals work!! It's that simple fact that makes me want to work outside of my house (it's the toughest JOB in the world). I'm lucky enough to be able to work three days in the office and two days at home. For me, it's the perfect balance.

I remember when my first MIL told me to call her "Mom." In my head I was like, "no thanks." I wasn't particularly keen on her to begin with, but I also feel like I have a mother and she keeps that title. I do refer to my MIL now as "Ma", but that's more in fun (and I do love her dearly).

Florida/MaineMom said...

mainemomkc5----just call me momzie!

As for you my darling daughter, you are perfect in my eyes. Don't think you need to change because you don't!