A Question on Manners

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So the topic today has to do with manners!

I have been asking my mommy friends lately how they handle this question when I thought – this would make for a great blog discussion!

Up until now, my daughter has called our adult friends, which are mostly my close friends, by their first name.

But now that my daughter is approaching 5 and will be heading to kindergarten next year I am wondering if it is more appropriate for her to address adults as Mr. or Mrs.?

What does your family do?  Do your kids call adults by their first name or by Mr. or Mrs.?  Do you have “rules” as to who is addressed by what?  I am curious!

One of my friends has her kids call me “Miss Jen” – which is cute and my cousin told me she has her kids always start by addressing the adult as Mr. or Mrs. So and So and if they correct her child and tell them they can call them by their first name, then they are allowed to.  But only after giving permission.

So mamas, weigh in on this one!  What do you do?

Speaking of Manners!

Since we are on the topic of manners, I felt I should mention how much we loved the “Learn to be Fancy” class on etiquette and manners that my daughter took with a friend last month at the Dragonfly Shops and Gardens.

There are two more classes coming up this Saturday the 19th at 11am and 1pm in case you are interested in sending your little one!   It was a one hour class and the girls had the most delightful time!  They got to dress up in “fancy” clothes and learned all about how to introduce themselves, proper table manners, how to write thank you notes, and how to be gracious and help mommy clean up (THANK YOU VERY MUCH) and much more.

One night the week following the class, my husband started to take a bite of food at dinner and my daughter exclaimed, “Daddy!  I learned in manners class that it is not polite manners to start eating before everyone is sitting at the table.”


I grinned on the inside and thought – I have to do another post on this one because the things she learned about “sparkling from the inside out” made quite the impression!

Click here to read my previous post on this class and click here to go to the calendar at Dragonfly and see their upcoming events!

Cost is $30. To register, call the store at 714-289-4689.

So, again, would love your thoughts on the above question!  What is your family rule on this topic?  First name?  Mr.? Mrs.? Miss Jen?  Hey You?  Do tell! Comment below…


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  1. 1
    whoorl says:

    D and I were JUST talking about this. Up to this point, Wito has been calling our friends by their first names, but I’m thinking of starting with the Mr/Mrs soon. Love to hear what others have to say on the matter…

  2. 2
    Amy says:

    Anytime my kids address an adult they are to say Mr or Ms and the adults first name. We are also teaching them to answer with sir or mam. I think that is mostly from my husband. He is from the south and that is how he was taught.

  3. 3
    Pam says:

    This is such a dilemma because I grew up with my parents insisting that I call other parents Mr/Mrs last name. I’m kind of feeling this one out as they grow. I have been having my kids call friends parents Miss Jen, etc but now that my son is 8, I have started having him say the last name instead (however you will always be Miss Jen to him, like an aunt). Once they get older and can say big last names, I think it’s appropriate to say the last name. Kind of like how in preschool they say the first name of their teacher, then in elementary they say the last name.

  4. 4
    Jenni says:

    My boys (2 and 4) say Ms/Mr and then first name. I think it’s hard for them to remember last names at this age. But I’d imagine in the future when they get used to calling teachers by their last names, then we’ll work on that. It’s cute when a 4 year old calls his neighbor “Mr. Rob,” but it’s hard for me to imagine him doing the same at 15 years old. However, our adult family and friends from the south STILL call their elders by Miss/Mr and first name.

  5. 5
    elle says:

    we usually call my friends so-and-so’s mommy except for a few friends who are closer to me … they hear me calling them by their first names so often that that’s what they call them too (plus they are young) …. but w/older ppl we use the mr/mrs/miss and at school it’s always mr/mrs/miss or so-and-so’s mom …. preschool it was miss first name …. starting K it became miss/mrs last name ….

  6. 6
    Lo says:

    funny that you brought this up..was just speaking about this as well. i was raised by call elders Mr. & Mrs. but somehow missed that step with my children. now at ages 7 and 4 I am teaching them to call adults Mr. & Ms.. I think it’s a respect thing and something we seem to have lost along the way.

  7. 7
    Jen says:

    I think it makes sense to do the Miss Jen or Mr. First Name when they are little and through preschool. Sort of like how the preschool teachers are called Miss First Name. Then it makes sense in Kindergarten to progress to Mr. or Mrs. Last Name when the Kindergarten teacher is called that. Might make more sense to the kids too? Interesting. I love hearing all this feedback. Keep the comments coming!

    And, yes, I totally agree with the respect thing.

  8. 8
    Andrea says:

    My girls who have always respected others by saying sir/mam. If they are close friends they do call them by their first name. If they are just an acquaintance it is mr/mrs unless otherwise told.

  9. 9
    Katie Kohn says:

    I think it depends on the person they are addressing. If it is a close friend of mine then i think it’s fine for my kids (5 and 2) to call them by their first name. Obviously teachers, doctors etc we call by their last name ( even in preschool). I once had a FRIEND ask my kids to call her Mrs.—– and I thought it sounded really snooty! I was raised in a pretty stuffy British family but I always called my Mum’s friends by their first names. It’s very cultural too, here in Czech Rep it’s all about titles and Mr/ Mrs. Even if someone has a masters degree they have a special title!!!!!

  10. 10

    I like what Lo said about respect and that it\’s \"something we seem to have lost along the way.\" I believe that being respectful with adults by calling them Mr. or Mrs. or even \"Auntie\" or \"Uncle\" and then first name, gives a child a sense of boundaries which we all know they need.

  11. 11
    Michele says:

    We do what I was taught – Mr./Mrs. Last Name until the adult in question corrects them or gives permission to call them by another name. It\’s so funny, but I STILL call my best friend\’s parents by Mr./Mrs. Last Name because they never advised me to call them anything else (28 years later!).

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