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June 07, 2010


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Philip France

I agree with Selwyn.

One of the most blatant differences that I noticed after I moved to Northern California from Selwyn's neck of the woods is that children called adults by their first name alone and not with the prerequisite "Aunt" Sonjia or "Mr." Levine.

In fact, I have only one local friend that stands with me on this subject and insists that a child address an adult as either "Mr. Levine" or "Miss Nancy" or, in the case of a family member, the title prescribed (e.g. "Uncle Jim").

In addition to Selwyn's "buddy" analysis, this is also tenuous ground in that it may have the effect of disoriented authority recognition and commensurate respect for a given authority figure.

Come to think of it, is not this characteristic of the modern liberal/leftist?


Your premise is good but the absent minded focus on a mere word that parents use to address their child is near sighted. Effective parenting has more to do with how you address your children than what you say when you address them. It is no different than raising a dog when they are at a young age. I call my dog "buddy", does that mean he is my equal? My dog eats when I allow him, sits when I tell him, won't walk out a door without my permission, and obeys my command voice without question. I could call the dog "stupid", "master", "Lord Almighty", or any number of names that might indicate his linguistically based superiority to me but it still knows I am the alpha in the house because I make it so through my actions.

Same goes for my child, it doesn't matter what I call him, I am his father and my actions are what is important. You place too much emphasis on words, which mean nothing in and of themselves. We could invert the military hierarchy and make "private" the highest rank, would that change the way an effective "private" leads his "generals" on the battlefield? Good premise, flawed starting analogy that ruins it for me.

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