I recently saw a great piece on Cup of Jo about kids calling adults by their first names, and it got me thinking…what do my kids call their friends’ moms and dads? What do their friends call me? What should they be calling other parents?
When I was growing up, we strictly addressed everyone’s parents using Mr. or Mrs. and their last name. No exceptions, and that’s how we all did it. To this day (I’m 37) I still call my Mom’s friends by their last names, even in conversation with my mom, like “Oh how is Mrs. So and So doing?”. These are people I have known literally my entire life and I still don’t call them by their first names. At this point it’s probably mostly habit, but it just feels weird to use their first names, almost like calling a teacher by their first name.
With my kids, I have been “Finn’s Mom” for a while now, but as they are getting older they will usually try to remember to use my last name and now it’s the younger kids that will call me Jack’s Mom, which is adorable like “Um, Jack’s Mom? Can I have an ice pop too?”. Some moms also have their kids use “Miss” like “Miss Jenny”, which has a certain charm to it, and some just use first names, all of which are cool with me.
The thing is, if you scroll through my phone you’re gonna see a LOT of entries like “Alex’s mom” or “Claire’s dad”. What can I say, it happens. You’re in the middle of a birthday party pickup and your kids want to set up a playdate so you exchange numbers without doing the “I know I know you, but what’s your first name again?”. So I am also guilty of not learning someone’s actual name, and should probably start being a better example of doing just that.
Which brings me back to my first question: what do your kids call other parents? Do you have a preference in what kids call you? Do you think there’s a special etiquette with addressing parents that kids should be taught?