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Teens should be able to use adult’s first names

Sydney Bommersbach, Writer

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“Hi Mrs. Smith! It’s very nice to meet you,” is what teenagers are expected to respond when they meet an adult for the first time. However, using Mr./Mrs. last name is beginning to seem like a thing of the past. When applied appropriately, kids should be able to use adults first names.

Just because a formal title is used to address an adult doesn’t automatically convey respect, and not using one doesn’t indicate disrespect. The importance lies in the manner and tone someone uses while speaking to an adult. More emphasis should be placed on ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous,’ rather than thinking too much about titles.

However, according to Danielle Larkin from the Washington Post, calling an adult by their first name is a disgusting behavior that deserves a swat on the behind. She believes that “the act of addressing an adult by his or her last name is a necessary tradition with no expiration date… The way a child addresses an adult not only displays respect but an acknowledgment of authority, one that establishes boundaries.”

An issue with constantly use proper titles with a last name is that it draws a harsh line between children and adults. Although kids shouldn’t necessarily be seen as equal to adults, they should feel comfortable enough to go to an adult and talk to them about anything they need to. Kids also deserve to know that adults aren’t perfect; and that adults don’t have permanent authority over them just because they have a fancy title. Sometimes adults deserve to be challenged and questioned. The use of overly extravagant titles doesn’t allow that to get off the ground.

Since society is more relaxed today, older traditions almost feel out of place. Some agree that they feel more uncomfortable being called by their last name than they do respected. That also comes down to preference; if a teacher, adult, or coach announces that they would like a certain title, that is the way they should be addressed. Whether that title is synonymous with respect or not, it depends on the person and their actions.

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