Mr. and Mrs. or….???

by Kerry on March 6, 2012

We had a great time at my good friend Kara’s house this past weekend (she is an amazing cook check her blog out at La Mia Tabella).  Her kids are just darling and Taryn had a great time! (this is the best we could do to get them all in one photo…ha!)

While we were there we got to talking about what people are teaching their children to call adults in today’s world.  When we grew up we were always taught to call adults by Mr. and Mrs. and then their last name (e.g., Mr. Smith).  However we all agreed (and keep in mind it could have been the wine) that sometimes that can feel a bit formal.  I know that some people have their kids still say Mr. and Mrs. but then use the first name (e.g., Mr. Mike or Mrs. Sara).

Maybe it is because Taryn is still so young but both options just feel weird to me.  I’m self admittedly a girl that values good manners, respect for our elders and tradition and that said am struggling with what adults should be called in today society.  What do you teach your children to say when addressing adults?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill De Quincey March 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm

It’s a tricky one.

I decided the best way to deal with this issue is, upon introduction simply say “This is (child name), how would you like to be addressed to the adult.

That way you get the right answer!!


Kerry March 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm

that is actually a really good suggestion Jill and one I had not thought of! thanks!


Keri March 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

We use “Mrs. Sara” or “Dr. Katie” or “Uncle Steve.” Last names are a bit too formal (and challenging for a younger child), but I think titles are important to let kids know that there is a difference between an adult (and a child and they need to be respectful of adults).


Kerry March 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I like your comment about how using a title teaches the differnece between adult and child!


Nicole March 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm

For now, we’re doing Mrs/Ms/Mr and first names (or aunt/uncle + first names). At daycare, that’s how they call themselves (I.e. Ms. Jenny). I’m thinking once he hits school age where he will call his teacher by their title/last name it might get to feel a little less awkward for him to call his friend’s parents by title/last name (unless it’s really good friends that we’ve known for awhile). I definitely think respect needs to be taught.


Kara March 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Hey Kerry! Wow…my kids look like angels in this pic…you should post the chaotic video and let people get the “full effect”…ha,ha,ha! Glad you posted this…I will be reading peoples responses. We tried the Mr. & Mrs. last name again a few days ago and it just seems so old and formal it sounded so weird. Interested to see others view on this. THanks!


Amy March 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I’m old fashion and still call my friends parents Mr. and Mrs. However I do like calling people with Ms. and Mr. and use their first name. Ms. Amy and so on, it reminds me of my ballet teachers growing up.


Maureen March 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Like Amy, I still call my friends parents Mr & Mrs with their last name. Where my husband grew up they all call the adults by their 1st name ONLY which boggled my mind when I met him! I felt so rude calling all the parents by their 1st name only when I talked to them, still feels strange sometimes. Good luck finding a happy medium!


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