Teaching Mister and Missus

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies

As a child, I was taught to call adults Mister and Missus. There were no exceptions: every adult over the age of...I don't know, thirteen, was addressed in the formal manner. This was so completely ingrained in me that I still have a hard time calling adults I've known since childhood by their first names.

My friend Carrie's Mom, a warm Welsh woman and Second Mom to me, implores me to call her Chris, like everyone else does. And I try but I slip because even though I'm 32, I still feel a tad impudent calling an elder by her first name.

Nolan adores his caretaker's father, and has taken to calling him by his first name -- even though Nolan is two and our Nanny's father is in his sixties.

"Hi Don!" Nolan yells as we pass his home off the highway,"Don's in der!"

I don't know if I can explain to Nolan that he should call Don Mister Don, nor if I should. Nolan calls him Don because that is what Don wants to be called. I'd really prefer that Nolan address adults formally, until he reaches adulthood himself. But I'm thinking I might be a little old-fashioned here, I hear other kids call adults by their first name all the time. And, quite honestly, I'm thinking I'd much rather be called Kristin than Miss Darguzas!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.