Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Case of Ms.-taken Identity

I was at dinner the other night with my BFF and her daughter when LLB interrupted us chatting adults by saying, "KAT! KAT!" Kat is the name of my BFF whom we were dining with. This was one of the first times that my daughter had shown an interest in talking to an adult. I interrupted her and told her to say "Ms. Kat", and then was surprised that I had done that.

I'm not one of those people who feels that all children should address adults as Mr., Mrs., or Ms. I'm all for showing respect and some formal conventions, but this isn't one I thought I subscribed to, until now. I'm torn -- I didn't like that she was interrupting our conversation and it felt odd having my three year old using an adult's first name. But I'm not sure I want her to have to address all adults as Mr. or Ms. I certainly don't want her friends calling me Ms. anything.

I'd love to hear what others do with this problem ... do you make your kids use formal titles? Do you even go one step further and do titles with last names, versus first names? I have friends who are very into formal titles and I feel it would be odd for her to have refer to some people with a title and not with others. Who'd have thought a three or two letter word could cause so much dilemma?

She Shoots, She Ms.-es,


El Cheese said...

I tell Hadley to say Ms. or Mr. and if it's a close friend then first name. Like Mr. Kevin or Ms. Melonie. Just makes it appropriate for a kid. My parents always taught me to say Mr. or Mrs. and I still do it to this day. I can't call my inlaws by their first name, i find it disrespectful since they are older. I don't know, I'm weird like that :-)

Cari said...

Hey Bronwyn! Just came across your blog. It definitely strikes me as a Southern thing to use an identifier with a first name. When I was a kid, we called our parents' friends "Aunt" "Firstname" and everyone else Mrs. "Lastname," etc. I never heard the "Ms. Firstname" thing until I moved to DC.