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kids

globetrotter

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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.
 

nightowl6261a

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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.
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.
 

globetrotter

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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.
 

Fabienne

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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?
 

nightowl6261a

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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.
 

topcatny

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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.
 

nightowl6261a

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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
 

globetrotter

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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?
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.
 

topcatny

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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
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.
 

hopkins_student

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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.
 

chorse123

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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.
 

dah328

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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
 

globetrotter

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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.
 

Fabienne

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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.
 

Fabienne

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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.
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.
 

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