How should children address adults?
When I was growing up I would never have considered calling my friends parents anything but Mr and Mrs X it just wasn't done. Even now when I meet my friend Kathy’s mum, I still call her Mrs W and wouldn’t dream of calling her by her first name. I was brought up to call my teachers MR/MRS, likewise any friends of my parents. However I think this is changing as I have noticed an increase in teenagers calling their teachers by their first name (I had some teachers who I didn’t even know their first name) and calling me by my first name rather than Mrs XYZ — are first names ok these days or does it demonstrate a decline in respect for elders — and the separation between children and adults?
When my sons attended pre-school they were asked to call their teachers Miss Mary and Mrs Elizabeth — I do wonder if this (in their minds) gave them permission to continue on through school. My son doesn’t call all his teachers by their first names, only his favourites — they don't seem to mind. We live next door to an elderly lady and my children have always called her by her first name because that is how she introduced herself to them — and if this is what she wants, then it is fine with me.
I must admit I find that when I am called Mrs XYZ I feel like they are talking to my mother and it makes me feel sort of old — so in some respect I don’t mind being called by my first name. So perhaps my generation has encouraged the next generation to be less formal and more casual.
What are your views on this? What do you encourage your children to do?