In the professional world, titles mean everything. People sign their emails with their job title, have it on their facebook page, use it for their LinkedIn account, wear it on their name tag. Titles are VERY important to people today.
Titles are very important everywhere, except where they matter most.
When I was a child, I was close to eight-years-old before I actually knew the first names of my parents. They were “Mommy” and “Daddy”. Mommy and Daddy only ever called each other that in my presence. I never heard my father holler for my mother by her name…It was always, “Mooooommmmmy!” I never thought it strange one bit that a 6’3″ former marine was hollering Mommy…but now I wonder if the neighbors ever did!
When David and I became parents, I noticed I followed my parents own model…almost imperceptibly at first…but over time, I rarely ever used my husband’s given name! At the same time, as my children grew, and began to address friends of ours, each friend also had a title of respect paired as a term of endearment. Some friends were aunts and uncles and others were “Ms. Kimberly,” or “Miss Debbie.” If as a wee one, one of my children mispronounced the name, it stuck. And soon, even Daddy and I were calling our friends Ms. Kimberly and Ms. Debbie in the presence of the children. These terms of endearment, titles of respect, are more than just names.
You know what I realized? It is hard to disrespect my husband when I’m addressing him as the father of my children.
[bctt tweet=”It is hard to disrespect my husband when I’m addressing him as the father of my children.”]
My friends rather enjoyed being respected and began to address me more formally in front of their children…which bred further respect.
When I spoke with moms, and in giving them an answer to a question, referred to our position as mother in the response, “When Mommy says….” I noticed they began to respect themselves and the title and position they held in the lives of their children in higher regard. Esteemed themselves more worthy of kindness and love. And they began to use their own terms of endearment in their marriages with the intended result of tenderness, respect, and love.
Let’s be intentional that at home and with friends we address each other with our titles and terms of love and affection in order to make sure the lines of authority vs. peers is not blurred.