Today we feature a guest post from Jean Blackmer, author of Boy-sterous Living: Celebrating Your Loud and Rowdy Life with Sons. Click over to 5 Minutes for Books to read Lisa’s review of the book (and enter to win one of two copies!).
Mr. and Mrs. … or Not?
My husband Zane and I feel it’s important to raise polite children. As parents of three boys this has been challenging to say the least.
When they were young we were trying to decide how they should address adults. Should we teach them to say Mr. and Mrs.? Or is it okay to use first names? We decided we would go the more formal route and speak to adults using titles such as Mr. and Mrs., until the Wieners moved in next door.
When the boys first heard their last name, after fits of laughter, our middle son, Jordan, asked, “Do we have to call them Mr. and Mrs. Wiener, or can we please just call them Dan and Nancy?” Again, uncontrolled giggles erupted from all the boys, including Zane.
This was a tough one. Do we break our rule on how to address adults or do we force our boys to try to keep a straight face every time they say “hello” to our new neighbors? This, by the way, would be practically impossible.
We decided we could bend the rules on this one. It would be fine to call them Dan and Nancy. In fact, we determined it would be more polite to call them by their first names rather than stifle a laugh every time our boys encountered them.
Teaching children manners is an important aspect of life, but teaching children to behave in a way that is most respectful to those they encounter is what really matters and is what we hope to instill in our boys.
Jean is currently the Publishing Manager for MOPS International and she’s been free-lance writing for 16 years. She has been published in a variety of local and national publications, including: Guideposts, MomSense, Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Parenting Today, and many more. Her first book, Where Women Walked: Powerful True Stories of Women’s Perseverance and God’s Provision was nominated for a Gold Medallion Award.
Jean lives in Boulder with her husband Zane; three boys, Josh, Jordan, and Jake. Find out more about Jean at her website.