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On Facebook an article popped up and it talked about how children shouldn’t address adults by their first name but by Mr./Mrs. Last Name. Part of their reasoning was that it put a barrier between children and adults. That adults were more mature and they deserved that kind of respect. It provided that ‘mystery’ to adults and it was part of that rite of passage to becoming older. I quickly… if not a bit rudely replied to the comment. This was my hasty reply:

I disagree. We’re not equal? I’ve met many children who are more mature than their parents. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you passed any rite of passage. Respect for being old? Everyone should earn their respect and not because they aged. Addressing adults by their last names is just cold and formal. That’s not what I’d do for family or friends. It’s an excuse for adults to feel important and to distant themselves from children. If the children use your first name out of warmth and love what kind of adult will correct that? It’s ridiculous.

I do have to admit, I think that children who address other parents with Mr or Mrs are being polite but once they are friends and not merely strangers, why should they keep such formalities? Growing up amongst my parent’s friends they never asked me to call them Mr or Mrs something. What about those women who are not Mrs? The whole Mrs/Miss issue is another one of my pet peeves. I don’t understand why women have to be classified yet men are always Mr… not that it’s their fault.

What do you think about children calling adults by their first names? Is it bratty/rude? Should they speak to adults using Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr/Prof. etc? I think it’s an excuse for adults to feel special and superior. People are always talking about how adulthood is this and that and ‘superior’ because they’re old. But I think a lot of adults need to stop acting like children are inferior. Do you agree with me? Sorry, do you agree with me, Mr/Mrs/Miss Reader?

Ermisenda Alvarez