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Where's the Respect?

Where's the Respect?

Why kids should not call adults by their first names.


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March 10, 2007

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Visitor Comments: 30

(30) Susan, March 20, 2008 10:18 PM

Stephen expressed it very well

I'm 44 years old, and when I was growing up, kids always used Mr. and Mrs. when addressing adults. Although the trend is changing, I still do think the title underscores to kids that we are not their peers and deserve to be respected since we've risen "through the ranks"-- as they will too.

(29) Stephen, October 25, 2007 12:49 AM



I have some theories on where calling by last name began to die. It seems to have started in the early 1990s. I personally beleive that the rise of the digital world was partly the reason.

For one, when a kid gets an e-mail message, there is a 90% percent chance that they will see an adults first name in their inbox. The same is true with web pages, MySpace, and instant messages. Also, from the digital world, it seems as if the younger generation is more tech savvy than the older generation, and this has created an "elder gap" in this regard. Just look at how young the CEOs are for some of the tech companies!

I personally beleive that in general, there has been an etiquette decline in the world. I feel that the "generation me" movement created a world in which the young are so empowered, narcisstic, and self focused.

I also feel that with some of these movements, it caused social norms to change, and people are less concerned with what their elders are doing.

I personally beleive that the trends in family structure change may have played a role too. If you look, unmarried is now the norm. We see a lot of alternative configurations with roommates living together, we see a lot more people cohabitating. I think with these changes, we are coming from a traditional family world, to a more diverse non-traditional family world, and with that change, social standing, and elder status is less important.

While you are right Lori, that adults deserve respect, I feel that some of these changes have changed the playing field, and therefore people are abandoning the old etiquette customs. It is sad, but it does reflect the current world we live in.

(28) Todd, August 8, 2007 9:11 PM

You are so right.

I have forwarded this clip on to many people. You expressed exactly how I've felt all along about this. I still to this day can't call my parents friends by their first name, yet my children's friends yell out to me like I'm another one of their schoolmates. I know I sound old and stuffy but I do think there is a lack of respect today and I think this does have something to do with it.

(27) Sara, March 20, 2007 1:52 PM

I share your sentiments

I would like to thank you for all of your video clips. I was raised to speak respectfully with adults and that has always stuck with me.
I think that it is wise to teach children the language or respect and that includes using appropriate titles. I have a few elders that I do call by their first names, but that privilege was earned. I think that's what some of the other viewers and your neighbor didn't understand-that children need that, they need to know that they have earned that privilege. Parents who insist on their children or children's frinds address them in an informal manner from the beginning of their relationship are doing their children a disservice.
I admire you for sticking to your decision to show your children how to address adults properly. And although some may not agree with your decision everyone will be able to see the difference that it will make in their lives. It's a beautiful thing.
Thanks again,
Ms. Sara

(26) Rivka, March 20, 2007 12:09 AM

disagree completely!

When I was growing up in the 90s, my mom always made sure that kids refered to her by her first name - she always hated being Mrs. Did the kids respect her? Absolutely. Why? Because they knew that she was kind and fair, they knew that she would look after them and respect them, and they did the same in return to her. I cannot recall one instance where anyone disrespected my mother - and she was never Mrs and she never raised her voice. Instead she became a confident, one of the adults we trusted. Lacking a title is lacking pretension; my mom showed that you can still be in control and be on the same level as your kids.

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