Recently, I had a conversation with my sister about what our kids call adults.
She was saying that she believes children should address adults as ‘thio’ or ‘thia’ -auntie or uncle. Which is generally the consensus here in Cyprus. It’s a more endearing and culturally acceptable way for kids to call adults instead of using their first name or Mr or Mrs. It’s also because we’re all one big happy family here on this island.
But seriously, it got me thinking about the diverse way our children address adults (after asking around there was a healthy mixture of replies), the way we were raised to address adults and how things are only just starting to change. Also by allowing them to use first names are we teaching our kids disrespect?
We have a number of close friends we hang out with regularly. Sometimes Georgie calls them by their first name and other times we use ‘thia’ or ‘thio’. Age is a factor, of course if I’m being honest. But most times I have noticed, even younger friends actually introduce themselves as Thia or Thio. We’ve never had a conversation with Georgie about what he should call adults. He’s never felt confused enough to ask so we kind of leave it up to him.
When I was growing up in London, we used to call our friends’ parents Mr X or Mrs Y. Today, as a parent myself, I rarely do the same with Georgie. Why is that? Because all of a sudden we are now in the Mr or Mrs group? And can you just imagine the look on my face if I were to be called Mrs Antoniou by a six-year old? I know alot of fellow parents who would be hurt too.
So what do your kids call your friends or adults in general?