I've read my share of parenting books: 123 Magic, How to Potty Train your Child in Less than a Day, Parenting the Highly Spirited Child, Listen so Your Child will Speak and Speak so your Child will Listen. Parenting with Love and Logic, Playful Parenting, Connection Parenting, The Attachment Parenting Bible. On and on.
It's much more interesting to see how other parents do it, though.
As you know from this post, we were down south over the holiday weekend. There I observed one aspect of my SIL and BIL's parenting style during a large BBQ to celebrate my BIL's birthday.
A refresher: my nieces are 14 and 15. Their daughters' friends call them by their first names. It wasn't just the children of longtime family friends; it was all of the friends in their daughters' peer group. Not once during the weekend did I hear any reference to Dr. or Mrs. Conwisar.
I asked them about it.
Phil told me that their approach is to make their home a comfortable place where the girls want to hang out. Part of that is familiarity with the parents. They made a conscious decision to go this route and I applaud them for it.
Do we think this decision has geographic roots? I can hardly imagine my friend Kim, in Georgia, being called anything except for Mrs. Drew.
Dave and I are generally called Mr and Mrs. Morris. Unless the child is part of the European vacation clan, I've known their parents since before they were born or I've bathed them, I'm Mrs. Morris. We were up at Tahoe last summer at a restaurant with my brother's family and some of their friends. The friends' six-year-old addressed me by my first name. I said to her: Please call me Mrs. Morris. She gave me a funny look. C'est la vie.
The rabbi of the synagogue we have belonged to for the last eight years is my cousin. I went through a very short period of calling him by his first name. But then I reconsidered and went back to calling him rabbi as I think it's a sign of respect.
What do you think? Is it a personal decision? A geographically trended one?