Where has respect gone? My kids have given me nicknames…

When I grew up (in the 70s & 80s), we were taught to always call adults by Mr. and Mrs. Whomever. I never would dream of calling a friend’s parent by his or her first name even if told that I could.

This formal upbringing has continued into my adulthood. I still cannot call my childhood friends’ parents by their first name. I have difficulty calling my college professor by his first name even though I’ve now known him for nearly (gasp) 25 years and we’ve kept in touch on and off all this time. My high school teachers are still Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. so-n-so.

Perhaps it’s just how entrenched I am in paying proper respect, but really, I am in my early 40s and need to get over it.

In my day-to-day, I’m pretty laid back overall, but there are certain things that just get under my skin and proper titles is a big one for me.

All of this makes it incredibly ironic to me that my kids call me by my first name. Not always, but frequently. And the way they say it cracks me up. They say it with a lilt in their voices, almost sing-songing. I can’t find myself to be bothered by it except when I’m already worked up about something else. My first name has lent itself to a variety of nicknames that just make me laugh. One of my nicknames from my kids is “Dubs.” Don’t ask, just go with it.

I am thrilled that my kids are comfortable with me and can joke, laugh and talk with me.



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Patricia J Grace

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