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kids

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by globetrotter, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    what do your kids call other adults? I am a little uncomfortable with my son calling adults by their first names, which seems to be the most common way now. I was raised calling adults by their tittle and last name.
     
  2. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Well-Known Member

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    Most of our friends kids, who are young, call me Mr. Chris, and I like that, only because it does not make me feel as old as being called by my last name. Leave that for my father.
     
  3. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    I was actually going to say something like that - I don't particularly like being called by my last name by kids, but I hate the sound of my son calling an adult by his or her first name.
     
  4. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    When it's people he doesn't know very well, he says "Monsieur", "Madame", "Dame" (Sir, Ma'am, lady), even to English speakers.  For friends, he usually uses their first name.  Even though he persists in calling one of our best friends and frequent visitor "Monsieur", which makes the monsieur in question a little sad for not having "graduated".

    This is America, though, where being informal is a national sport.  Your son is probably very perceptive.

    I find kids will typically use the name/title you introduce yourself as, isn't it so?
     
  5. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Well-Known Member

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    I find that parents in the US are as you say becoming increasingly "informal", because they are introducing their friends as Mr. Chris for example rather than allowing the adult to choose the option of adress. I think the way you have taught your kids is correct, however; I still prefer not to be addresses by my sir name.
     
  6. topcatny

    topcatny Well-Known Member

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    I have a number of friends who also teach their kids to refer to adults as Mr. or Mrs. and whatever their first name is. So Mr. Chris it would be. The reasoning is that the kids only hear their parents refer to their friends as their first name, often the kids do not even know the parent's friends last names. Therefore to avoid being too informal, they have them add the Mr. or Mrs. Our daycare does this as well for all the teachers.
     
  7. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Well-Known Member

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    sounds pretty smart, but is it not sad to have friends and not even know the sir names of those friends, that would almost be like aquaintenances more than anything
     
  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    F,
    do you speak french with your husband? My wife speaks spanish with my son, but it is very clearly as "forign" language for him - I think because he doesn't see enough adults speaking it. he has a great vocabulary, but an accent and his default is english. we will say to him "so and so speaks spanish" and he will then talk spanish, but it isn't natural. I want to get him into some type of framework to give him an opportunity to practice with more people.
     
  9. topcatny

    topcatny Well-Known Member

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    It's not the parents that do not know the surnames. It's the kids that can't remember. And, the parents rarely use the surnames with their friends so it is hard for the kids remember anything but the first names. This also depends on the age of the children as well.
     
  10. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm not yet to the age where this matters for me, but when that day comes, I am determined not to care what I am called (excluding vulgarities). The only reason the children of my friends would have to call me Mr., Dr., or sir is if their parents insist upon it.
     
  11. chorse123

    chorse123 Well-Known Member

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    I have to say, I think the Mr. Firstname thing is ridiculous, as if you're encouraging your children to make a childish mistake. That's not your name. It's Mr. Surname. That's what I always called adults, though it was less strict with the mothers, but not always.
     
  12. dah328

    dah328 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not suggesting you insist that all your friends' kids call you "Mr. or Mrs. [Surname]", but you do kids no favors if you encourage them to address you in the same manner they address their peers.  I'm not a big fan of the argument from  adults that being addressed as above makes them feel old.  You are old relative to the kid.  Our youth-obsessed culture goes overboard in this regard.

    dan
     
  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    it goes farther than the name thing and aesthetics- I want my son to understand at least a little bit the concept of authority, and being polite to adults.
     
  14. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    (Fabienne @ Feb. 18 2005,12:12) When it's people he doesn't know very well, he says "Monsieur", "Madame", "Dame" (Sir, Ma'am, lady), even to English speakers. Â For friends, he usually uses their first name. Â Even though he persists in calling one of our best friends and frequent visitor "Monsieur", which makes the monsieur in question a little sad for not having "graduated". This is America, though, where being informal is a national sport. Â Your son is probably very perceptive. I find kids will typically use the name/title you introduce yourself as, isn't it so?
    F, do you speak french with your husband? My wife speaks spanish with my son, but it is very clearly as "forign" language for him - I think because he doesn't see enough adults speaking it. he has a great vocabulary, but an accent and his default is english. we will say to him "so and so speaks spanish" and he will then talk spanish, but it isn't natural. I want to get him into some type of framework to give him an opportunity to practice with more people.
    My husband and I speak English to each other most of the time. Since our child was born, I have only spoken French to him, and my husband did a bit of both, which, I know, is not what experts advise (one language/one parent system). But it works, overall. My husband's French has improved greatly, and my son doesn't seem confused by the fact that his father speaks two languages to him. It's simple things like "Wait a minute", or "Are you hungry". Aside from our usage of language, we try to reinforce French through television (TV5, a francophone channel) and cartoons in French. My mother comes to visit for 3 weeks at a time when she has a vacation (she doesn't speak English). Books are read in French by me, in English by my husband. Our next holidays will be spent in Montreal, so he witnesses a French speaking environment (and so my husband can run errands on Peel street...) I introduce a little German to him when my German friend comes to visit (she and I speak German to each other), and he catches on, but it wouldn't be frequent enough for him to learn it (although his favorite book is a German children's book). I know all this won't be sufficient for him to be truly bilingual, but he tends to favor French for now, even though he hears English most of the day at the daycare. He plays in French by himself. Keep in mind he is only 2 1/2, so his language skills have yet to develop quite a bit more. We'll see. We hope to get him into an international school with a French track where English is gradually introduced through the grades, culminating with the International baccalaureate.
     
  15. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    I feel somewhat the same, but things are changing in the US (people are less and less formal), and you don't exactly want to be seen as an anachronism. I have been introduced by other parents as "Aunt Fabienne", which made me a little uncomfortable, as I had no family relation to the child in question. But it take it on the positive side, as though the parents considered me family (they are close).

    My further problem is the two cultures I have to be aware of. France does tend to demand that children be more respectful of adults.
     
  16. Sevcom

    Sevcom Well-Known Member

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    Growing up, I always called adults as "Mr./Ms. <Surname>" (and until eighth grade, "Mrs.") unless they specifically requested I call them by their first name. And even now, in my (almost.) mid-twenties, I still do that. I even use "sir" and "ma'am" unironically.

    Dan's right, I think, in that kids should learn to give due respect to their elders, and when I have tots of my own, I'll teach them what my parents taught me.
     
  17. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    (globetrotter @ Feb. 18 2005,15:45)
    When it's people he doesn't know very well, he says "Monsieur", "Madame", "Dame" (Sir, Ma'am, lady), even to English speakers. Â For friends, he usually uses their first name. Â Even though he persists in calling one of our best friends and frequent visitor "Monsieur", which makes the monsieur in question a little sad for not having "graduated". This is America, though, where being informal is a national sport. Â Your son is probably very perceptive. I find kids will typically use the name/title you introduce yourself as, isn't it so?
    F, do you speak french with your husband? My wife speaks spanish with my son, but it is very clearly as "forign" language for him - I think because he doesn't see enough adults speaking it. he has a great vocabulary, but an accent and his default is english. we will say to him "so and so speaks spanish" and he will then talk spanish, but it isn't natural. I want to get him into some type of framework to give him an opportunity to practice with more people.
    My husband and I speak English to each other most of the time. Â Since our child was born, I have only spoken French to him, and my husband did a bit of both, which, I know, is not what experts advise (one language/one parent system). Â But it works, overall. Â My husband's French has improved greatly, and my son doesn't seem confused by the fact that his father speaks two languages to him. Â It's simple things like "Wait a minute", or "Are you hungry". Â Aside from our usage of language, we try to reinforce French through television (TV5, a francophone channel) and cartoons in French. Â My mother comes to visit for 3 weeks at a time when she has a vacation (she doesn't speak English). Â Books are read in French by me, in English by my husband. Our next holidays will be spent in Montreal, so he witnesses a French speaking environment (and so my husband can run errands on Peel street...) I introduce a little German to him when my German friend comes to visit (she and I speak German to each other), and he catches on, but it wouldn't be frequent enough for him to learn it (although his favorite book is a German children's book). Â I know all this won't be sufficient for him to be truly bilingual, but he tends to favor French for now, even though he hears English most of the day at the daycare. He plays in French by himself. Â Keep in mind he is only 2 1/2, so his language skills have yet to develop quite a bit more. Â We'll see. Â We hope to get him into an international school with a French track where English is gradually introduced through the grades, culminating with the International baccalaureate.
    its not easy. for my sons first 2 years, he was in a truly trilingual enviroment - spanish with my wife, my mother in law who lived near us and our nanny, english with me, hebrew at day care and on the street. he understood everything that was said in all three, but he was very aprehensive about speaking. once we cut the hebrew out, almost immidiatly he started speaking better and constantly (although it coresponded with his second birthday, so it may have been a coincidence). he is very familiar with sounds of other languages, and understands that different people speak other langauges (for instance, he knows that elephants speak french due to babar, and that the japanese monkeys in the central park zoo eat sushi, or my friend vlad speaks russian and my friend rudiger speaks german) when he is a little older I want to sent him to spend summers with friends of mine in france, germany, india and egypt, and he spends time every year in latin america so I am hoping that his langauge skills will turn out to be pretty good. the hard part is teaching a language without the critical mass of adults- I think in the states spanish is easier to maintain than english because it is so common it is easy to find people for him to speak with - waitresses at the diner, one of his nursury school teachers, our cleaning lady, the mothers of several of his friends.
     
  18. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    I had a good friend whose father ended up working with me for a short time in my twenties as more or less an equal - it was very ahrd for me to get past calling him "Mr. so and so" and call him by his first name...
     
  19. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    GB, yes, it is not easy to maintain a second or especially a third language when one lives in the US. For me, I made the decision I would never do what my father did: even though he spoke Polish, he never allowed me to learn a single word. As a young child, I would beg and ask "How does one say "Cat" in Polish?" He would ignore the request. I felt so betrayed when we went to Poland and I realized he spoke it fluently. I snatched a few Polish words from my great-grandmother, I found other ways. I could feel she had been instructed not to speak it to me.

    I spent years and years on school benches learning English and German and a few other languages. If I can spare some of that to my son, I will do all I can so it may happen. We are not solely talking language aquisition, here. It is also about being multicultural and having greater understanding of code-switching and awareness of other cultures and ways of doing things. Moreover, several studies have shown that bilingual kids have better abilities (even in unrelated subjects like math) compared to monolingual kids. It is also far easier for those kids to learn a third or fourth language.

    With Spanish, your options are greater. I have a friend from Honduras who has three children. Two of them accepted their multiculturalism. One of them refused to speak Spanish, and to eat "Latino" dishes. He preferred the regular American fare. At age 20, a complete switch occured, and he somehow came to grips with the value of his father's culture. He is now taking Spanish classes to perfect his Spanish, and he eats empenadas again...

    My friend from Germany has one daughter in her late teens who adores everything German and seems to have decided to define her identity by espousing a "European" point of view. She excels in all subjects at school. Her other daughter refuses to speak German, and will do so only if she has no other option. She is 3 years younger and introverted.

    There might be a time that my son refuses to speak French and eat quiche. I will not stop to speak that language to him, but it will break my heart, and I won't let him know that it does.
     
  20. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

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    My children have been taught to address adults as Mr. Mrs. or Ms. (in conjunction with their surname)
     

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