How Should Kids Address Adults? First Name or Formal Mrs., Mr.?

how should kids address adults
How should kids address adults?

Do your kids’ friends call you by your first name or do you like to be addressed more formally? How do your kids address other adults?

How should kids address adults?

I’ve always found this an interesting discussion and it seems it boils down to personal preference – I prefer that my kids’ friends call me by my first name.

When I volunteered in my son’s kindergarten class, I asked the kids call me Mrs. Michaels, a decision I almost immediately regretted. It just didn’t “fit” me, made me feel too old, and wasn’t my style.

My kids’ friends typically call me by my first name or the always adorable “Sophie’s mom,” but I have instructed my kids to address adults formally and then leave it up to the parent to inform them of what they prefer to be called.

When my kids were in preschool, teachers were called Miss or Mr. FirstName, which I always thought was a nice compromise – a little bit formal, a little bit casual. By elementary school, the kids were used to addressing teachers formally by Miss/Mrs./Ms./Mr. LastName.

I realize some parents believe that addressing adults by their first name somehow diminishes the respect the kids have for the grown-ups, but I think it’s good practice to have your kids in the habit of saying Mr. or Mrs. just to cover the bases.

Of course, there is often the confusion of a parent with a different last name from the child! But that’s a discussion for another day.

Interestingly, my kids’ friends have no problem calling me by my first name, but I don’t think any of them have ever addressed my husband by his first name!

What’s your preference? Do your kids address adults formally or use their first names?

Beyond the manner of speaking: How to raise a well-behaved preschooler

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