I’ve been volunteering at my daughter’s school recently and I’ve come to a little conundrum: by which name should I get the kids to address me? Right now they greet me as “E1’s mom” which really isn’t sufficient. (Gotta educate them early that there is more to a person than being merely defined by her relationship to someone else.)
Having the kids call me by my first name would be pretty easy, it’s the name I’ve grown up responding to. However, there is a part of me that thinks that as a parent, I’m not here to be friends, I’m part of the community of adults helping to raise these children. With that hat on, a level of formality helps establish and maintain a level of respect, especially if I’m going to be calling them out on improper behaviour. Mrs. Toh or Ms. Toh accomplishes that.
But Jen, you say, isn’t the name “Mrs. Toh” also defining yourself via your relationship to your husband? Didn’t you just say above you didn’t want to do that? Yes fine, technically it is, but I’m complicated that way. I’m of a mind that it’s up to each person to determine how they want to be referred to. I chose willingly to adopt my husbands last name, it’s on all my ID, so Mrs. Toh it is. I do not have “E1’s mom” on my ID.
This leads me to then think: how should I teach my daughters to address other adults, as a default? Continue reading By which name should kids address me?