A few weeks ago, The Washington Post published an article on what today's trends are about teaching kids manners when addressing adults. They interviewed a local family, the Koudjetis of Potomac, MD and other families randomly. The Koudjetis have taught their two daughters that when addressing adults, they should call them "Ms., Mr. or Mrs." followed by their first name. Later, when they get a bit older, they will have them switch to "Mrs." or "Mr." and the last name. This seems the new trend today in addressing adults. Although there are still parents who teach their kids since little that adults are addressed as "Mrs. or Mr" and then their last names, this rule has softened and is less formal these days.
Although children and adults are not at the same level, and there should be an expression of respect when addressing adults, it all depends who the adults is. For example, my kids address all of our friends as "aunt" and "uncles" because they are very close and familiar to them. My friends would actually feel strange if there were addressed by my kids "Mrs/Mr. friend of my parents". On the other hand, they are adults who rather be addressed by their first name always. I have a neighbor who told me, "they can just call me by my first name." Another thing that may cause confusion to kids is that in some preschools teachers are addressed as "Ms. or Mrs." followed by their first name, which is probably why the Koudjetis are teaching their daughters to address adults first by their first names and later when they get older, by their lastnames.
Regarless of the cultural background and upbringing, I think we all agree that children and adults are not at the same level, and therefore, kids should be taught to acknowledge that, in one way or another, as an expression of respect. That chore belongs to the parents to teach - yes another one to our "short" list of to-do's!
Anyway, read the full articleas it is quite interesing.
P.S. By the way, Teresa Koudjeti is a proud reader of Moms' Buzz!