I recently reviewed Dena Higley’s Momaholic. Like so many books, this title gave me a dozen post ideas. In the wind down pages, the author poses the question: Do you allow your kids’ friends to call you by your first name?
My one-year old daughter has no friends. I doubt this makes her a social leper.
If I jump into my magic time machine and fast forward a few years, my answer to the author’s question is obvious. Will my child’s B.F.F.s get to call me by first name? Heck no.
First off, I doubt if a child can have maximum respect for an adult they can refer to as Christina or Kate. It all sounds too much like we’re having wine after the art show instead of punch after the recital.
When I was in high school, there were only a few adults who allowed children to call them by their first name. They were the “cool” parents. Which brings me to my second point.
As a kid, calling someone’s mom Brenda made me feel sophisticated. The more diabolic side of me felt like I was getting away with something. I don’t need my child’s friends, or any other human, thinking that they are slipping one pass me.
Then there is the mystique of being called Ms. or Mrs.
In my youth, I loved to be called ma’am. It meant that I was respected. A few thousand ma’ams later, the word just makes me feel like an old, shriveled up dishrag. But Ms. and Mrs. Robinson never gets old. Not that Mrs. Robinson.
In the end, parents and adults are owed respect regardless of what they choose to let kids call them.
Just don’t let them call you heifer. While I use the term regularly with women I love, kids don’t know how to use heifer with care and sensitivity.
Do you allow kids to call you by your first name (nieces and nephews don’t count)? Does your child call other adults by first name (it counts even if they add a Ms. or Mr. First Name)? Do you like to be called ma’am?