So I have had this conflicting thought for a long time about the whole how-should-neighbor-kids-address-me... For what it's worth, add this to the lengthy list of Things I Didn't Know I Would Be Worrying About As A Stay At Home Mom. Apparently in my neighborhood, most neighbors have the custom of having their children address the other mothers by calling them Miss Firstname. How charming. As it turns out, I hate it. I begrudgingly accept it, because really what else can I do? However, I surreptitiously encourage the kids to just call me Karen, because honestly - what's the formality do for you when you're passing out popsicles?
But then I'm reminded that growing up, all the neighbor's moms were "Mrs. HisLastName." Heck, I still call my mom's next door neighbor "Mrs. Murphy." I know her first name, but *blush* wouldn't dare use it! But for whatever reason, probably another of ways I'm fighting growing up/growing old, I HATE the idea of being referred to as Mrs. Anybody. Of course being the rebel I am I'm not properly known as a Mrs. Anybody having retained my last name...I'm a Ms. which sounds even more ridiculous coming out of the mouth of a little kid!
Others have said that they're teaching their children this as a form of respect. Wellllll....OK. But honestly, is the way your child addresses adults the only way they show respect? I've seen many a little shit in my day who carefully uses the appropriate honorific, while being obnoxious. I'm also reminded of the client I worked at in the late 1990s who still insisted that you refer to them as Mr. LastName and whatnot. ICK! I hated working there, I felt like I was intentionally being subjugated. I was the consultant for crying out loud, I was there to tell them their business processes sucked but I had to couch it all with "Well, Mr. Blatherstein, your business processes are flawed..." Was that easier than "Well, Rodney..."?
So then I explored this idea further and thought about all the situations where I'd prefer kids call me by my first name, and realized I had a big NOT. In the classroom, not that I am a classroom teacher, but I can't imagine it'd be OK for kids to refer to their teachers on a first name basis. Something about that just seems WRONG. I felt really hypocritical about this realization until a teacher friend of mine commented that she didn't think the classroom was the place for first-name familiarity. And that did it for me! A neighbor kid, I would prefer that they have first-name familiarity with me. Phew, another crisis of conscience avoided.