Friday, July 12, 2013

Friendship Friday - what do your kids call your friends?

these are a few photos from my 2013 friends folder :) (just for you, Shayne!)

One of my most precious memories about my trip to the USA last year was when Mandy's little ladies called me Miss Marcia.

Oh, how I love it!

To be fair, her hubby, J, also called me Miss Marcia and that was a bit weird but from the kids, it was so cute!

The other day Jess wrote on her blog about how "Mellow" says "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir" to them.

So Southern :)

It reminds me of how (most) Afrikaans people in South Africa train their kids to say Oom and Tannie (Uncle and Aunty) even when the person in question is not an actual uncle or aunt, just as a sign of respect.

D and I have trained our kids to say Uncle and Aunty. I feel it's a sign of respect. And also I was raised that way. However, don't get me started on the kissing everybody hello thing which is (I think) very coloured :)

Occasionally, I'll be saying something to D and I'll say, "oh, Roz was saying such-and-such" and the kids will say "Roz" and I'll say, "that's Aunty Roz to you" just to nip it in the bud :)

So far we've gotten away with "in our family, WE do this or say this" when we get the questioning looks from the kids.

Tell me - what do your kids call your friends? And how did you decide on your approach? Or did you just "fall" into it?


  1. Hee hee!!!

    On the husband note, it cracks me up that he -- without fail -- calls his teaching colleagues "Mr. X" or "Mrs. Y"...never by their first names. He prides himself on being super polite and respectful. :)

    You know our girls call my friends "Miss D" or "Aunt K". That's what I did growing up, and I didn't think much about

  2. it until our sitter asked me, "How many sisters do you have?" Hahaha! She said the girls kept naming all these "aunts". Funny, as you know I don't have even one! ;)

    The other funny thing I've run into recently is that our girls have always called Demara by "Miss". Now, though, our friendship has grown much closer, she should be "Aunt" by that standard. :) Do we change? Kinda silly, I know.

    I love seeing the pics of your friends! I seriously feel like I should know them all! :)

  3. I remember my mind being BLOWN when I learned my 'Uncle', my FAVORITE UNCLE, was just my dad's best friend. BLOWN! His dad was Poppy Len, we were family!

    Not that anything changed after finding this out, and we are all still family, but it blew my mind. So my kids stick with the Miss and Mr. We don't really have anyone involved enough in their lives to be Aunts and Uncles, save for cousin and her husband who are still family.

  4. Western US here and REALLY struggling with this. I grew up in an Indian family in the US, so all Indian adults were Aunty and Uncle in English (unless they were actual relatives, in which case it was whatever the correct Tamil word for that relationship, and that gets very specific!).

    But that just seems weird to me now as we don't hang out with many Indians (though my Chinese-American friend does have her son call us Aunty FirstName and Uncle FirstName, which totally surprised me).

    Another friend is REALLY BIG on politeness and respect so ALL ADULTS are Mr or Mrs LastName to her daughter. Personally, I'm fine w/ kids calling me by first name only, but she wants her child to learn this, so I'm cool with Mrs. MyLastNameIsReallyLongPoorKid.

    For adults we don't know well, it's usually Mr or Ms LastName. If we know them a little better, I try for Ms/Mr Firstname but that seems to be hard to maintain (except at school) and my friends think it's weird anyway so we just end up with FirstName. But it seems kind of disrespectful to me, though where we live in the US is SUPER informal, even compared to the East Coast where I grew up.

    I'm just not sure about what to do here.

  5. We do the Oom and Tannie thing too.

  6. My kids call everyone Aunty and uncle and will generally kiss everyone we are familiar with in greeting and farewell. I also grew up like this! They even call the ladies at the till in PnP Aunty! I don't insist on the hugs and kisses but I insist on calling an adult SOMeTHInG... Be it Aunty or uncle or miss / mister. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I think it's respectable. They don't call any adults by first name.

  7. Depends on the culture/context. My white friends are called on their first names. I'm talking specifically of my English speaking white friends. That's how they prefer it. Afrikaans speaking white friends are all about the Oom and Tannie which is kind of what they (and I) prefer. Everyone else (i.e. everyone else that is not English speaking and white) is called Aunty or Uncle, whether or not they are an Aunty or Uncle. Child2's teachers prefer to be called on their first names. It felt weird for me but that's how they do it. I'm probably old-fashioned too (or maybe it's a coloured thing) but it's not my preference that adults be called by their first names.

  8. We are first names - I don't want other kids calling me aunty Laura - it just doesn't sit right with me for some reason even though I grew up with it.

    At the school Kiara is going to the teachers are called Teacher Marcia not Mr/Mrs.

    As long as the child is respectful when speaking to an adult I am not sure it matters to be honest.

  9. Just like you said - the Miss and the Mr for everyone, either first name or last. For our closest friends we refer to them as "Aunt Tricia and Mr. Cameron" - maybe not to make them feel odd :)

  10. We use first names... even for their aunts and uncles.

  11. We also use first names, even for their real aunts and uncles. I will sometimes say "uncle... " or "aunt....." just because that is how we did it at kids and I still call some people like that (usually to tease them), but I don't expect to have little OL call them that. My siblings prefer to be called just by their first names.

    At Little OL's school the teachers go by first name basis only.

    The kissing hello thing really gets me - I HATE it! I do not insist that Little OL does it, and I generally don't but my mom's boyfriend kisses everyone hello. It is a very English thing to do. Urgh - i try and be polite but it is hard.

  12. I grew up calling all adults Aunty or Uncle. I wanted my kids to do the same but I have found that I actually don't mind being called Sam by other people's kids whetehr family or friends, so I am telling Kade it's Aunty Moz or Aunty Nix or whatever but he oft times just calls Moz or Nix. And it's not that big a trainsmash to me. Like Laura said if they are respectful when talking to them, what does it really matter?

  13. We follow Mandy's example, since we're in Texas, and most adult friends are Miss FirstName or Mr. FirstName. School teachers are Mr. LastName or Ms LastName, but preschool teachers were all Miss FirstName. Once close friend is Auntie K, but her husband is plain old FirstName, as are a couple of my coworkers. It really depends on what the person prefers. We're close friends with the woman who will be the girls' teacher next year. They call her Mrs. Harrell and her husband Derek!!

  14. Relatives on my side are referred to with the appropriate Bengali word. To illustrate the specificity, your father's older brother's wife is your Chachi will his younger brother's wife is a Kaki. My ex's family calls cousins by their first name and everyone else is Uncle or Aunt. The girls distinguish their great grandmothers. One of them is Great Grandma, the other Grandma Great.

  15. We do the Oom and Tannie thing. Very Afrikaans...the kissing thing is also very Afrikaans.

  16. :) LOVE LOVE LOVE this! my husband grew up in southern US, so he grew up calling people mr and miss, so that is what our kids do. it is usually mr firstnam and miss firstname unless we really don't know them. having said that, our best friends (who i call "chosen family") are aunt h and uncle e to the kids. and, like mandy, the kids will probably be blown away when they realize that they are not "actual" family!!

    the weird thing in my family is grandparents!! i grew up calling my OWN grandparents by grandma/grandpa lastname. b grew up calling them grandma/grandpa firstname. our kids? they call MY parents drumming grandma and grandpa since my dad plays percussion and b's parents bearded grandma and grandpa since his dad has a beard. it makes me laugh!

  17. Mr./Miss first name generally. Then there's all of our divorced parents and their new spouses, so there's tons of grandparents to confuse the kids... LOL


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