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Name Game

February 17th, 2009

I’m currently in a bit of a quandary, and I need some advice.

Right now Kenny calls about 50% of our adult friends “Mr.” or “Mrs.” So-and-So, and the other 50% are “Mr+first name” and Miss+first name.”   I am a bit confused as to how we got into this mess, but so it goes.   I think that it started because the first significant adults in his life (other than family) were his gymnastics teachers and Sunday School teachers, all who chose to introduce themselves as “Miss Martina” and the like.   Then there were close friends who are not family, who are nonetheless called “Aunt Jana and Uncle Kimo” – we’ve got a few sets of those – then the remainder who got a little mixed in here and there.   So going to our Friday night homegroup, Kenny knows most of the adults by the Mr. and Mrs. moniker, and a few by the Miss+first name title.

My quandary is that I’d prefer that he call all adults by the more formal Mr. & Mrs – though as far as gymnastics and Sunday school goes, I don’t think I can change that one.   One of my friends, whom Kenny calls “Miss Jody,” instructs her kids to call us Mr. & Mrs, which I think is lovely, and which Kenny thinks is comical.     Casey is a little more casual than I, and often introduces Kenny to his friends by Mr.+first name.   I think that most men think this is cute,  while most women think this verges on disrespect.   None of my friends have called me out on it, but I’ve gotten a sense from more than one that they would prefer being known as the Mrs.

I talked to Kenny about it today, and suggested that we switch to Mr. & Mrs. for Mommy and Daddy’s friends, and keep only the “Miss” for his teachers.   He, of course, got downright confused.   Hm.    It does bring up that he will need to remember a whole new set of names, but I don’t think that inconvenience is a good reason to not do it.

I’d like to hear the popular opinion on this from all you readers out there.   Obviously I can use on the Mr. & Mrs. with anyone new he meets, but how to change the ones he already calls “Miss?”   It is an area where Casey and I differ, too, so of course we need to come to an agreement on this one.   I’d love to hear your thoughts!

kenny-and-goat.jpg

(PS – Doesn’t this goat look like Dudley?!?)

7 Comments »

  1. Crisanne says

    I remember being taught that I was to use Mr./Mrs. Last Name until that adult told me to do otherwise. I think most of life is more casual now, so I usually ask the adult if I’m not certain of the answer. As for Kenny learning the new names, I’d grab photos of said friends and talk about how everybody has two names-include yourself and Casey-and maybe it could be more like a game that way. Also, if you leave the first name vs last name choice up to the adult, it takes the pressure off you and Casey to come to an agreement. Who can argue over what another adult chooses to be called?

    February 17th, 2009 | #

  2. grammy says

    I think the Miss plus name came from people who have really hard to pronounce last names. I don’t think of it as disrespectful because of the Miss or Mr.as long as the person introduces themselves that way.

    February 17th, 2009 | #

  3. LeAnne says

    We are more casual with it. I talk to Josh about Miss Amanda or Miss Nancy etc. For us, if he says Miss before the name, it’s respectful. As long as he doesn’t just say “Amanda” or “Nancy.”

    February 17th, 2009 | #

  4. Debbie says

    I have the same issue with my 4 1/2 year old. We live out West where I think things are more casual. I grew up on the East Coast where I would NEVER dream of saying Miss Mary, it was always Mrs. Smith. We came to a compromise with our friends. All of our closest friends are actually Aunt and Uncle. The friends that are just beyong that are Miss/Mr and first name. This group is mainly her gym teacher and my moms club friends. Beyond that, it is Mr/Mrs. Last name. To me it is just important that she understands that adults are not peers and there needs to be a sign of respect. I have had many people say to her, you can call me so and so and she usually will do that. I think that you are instilling the right values of respect. Good luck with working it out. I do like the idea of explaining that everyone has two names, it might help the idea become clear. Hope all these ideas are helping!

    February 18th, 2009 | #

  5. warriorlady says

    I feel it is respectful as long as there is a Mr/Mrs/Miss in front of name. I have taught 2 yr olds at church for a very long time and go by Mrs. initials. It is easier for them then my first or last name. I know growing up at church we had a lot adults that we called Mr/Mrs first name since there were so many of them with the same last name. Way too confusing. I agree to with Crisanne that as long as the adult introduces themselves with Mr/Mrs/Miss first name, it is fine. We have close friends that are “Aunt” and “Uncle” too. Have had to explain that one to my 7 yr old who has started to understand about relations. Good luck!

    February 19th, 2009 | #

  6. Kristen says

    My good friends (close in age to me), and teachers- Miss first name, Mr. first name
    Older friends, people at church, people we are not as close with- Mrs. or Mr. Last name

    I personally don’t want to be called Mrs. Last name, it makes me feel too old!

    Things have changed though. When I was younger, everybody was Mrs. Mr. Last name- now most of my friends would not dream of it.

    February 19th, 2009 | #

  7. Dana says

    I just found your blog and love your thoughts! I personally think using Mr./Mrs. and the first name show respect. However, I do ask the person being named what they prefer. Some people prefer to not be called by their last name because it makes them feel old. lol

    February 21st, 2009 | #

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