Luke, I am your father! An epic line from one of the biggest movies of all time. Now lets imagine that line was “Luke, I am Darth” or even “Luke, I am daddy”. Would it have been remembered so well? Would it matter? Let’s delve a little deeper…
A while back my eldest, Sarah, started calling me Paul instead of daddy which she had been calling me. Now, to me growing up in the eighties and nineties I always called my parents mum and dad and my relatives aunt and uncle etc… So uncle George instead of George.. This to me was a respect thing for my elders. So when Sarah calls me by my first name (yes i know she’s three years old) it alarms me slightly in that was this the start of a new generation,a new culture?
But it’s not just her,I see it quite a bit at playgroups, restaurants etc.. Where I would estimate that maybe half the children call their relatives by their first name. What this leads me to believe is that it’s a generational thing where we will see a gradual erosion of titles, persay, and more use of first names. Similar to the way historically children would have addressed their parents as father and mother, a term you rarely hear these days unless you move in certain affluent circles or maybe are in the Mafia!
When I reflect where I am in life now as a grown adult with all of the bills and responsibility etc..I must admit I find myself sometimes calling relatives by their first name rather than preceding it with a title such as aunt our uncle so maybe it is just a shift in culture. I would never refer to my parents by their first name as that, to me, would still be disrespectful. I also wonder is that because in my generation we saw the parenting role as a job, as such, as in our parent’s “role” was father/dad/daddy and mother/mum/mummy?!? Compare this to aunt’s or uncles and it becomes more blurred as to what exactly that “role” entails.
Where do I stand on this? Well I’m not particularly precious about what they call me in the future, although continuing to call me daddy or dad would be nice. I really just want them to be respectful to not just family but to everyone they meet and I’m certain they will be.
Notes 1. I haven’t intentionally mentioned our Northern Ireland colloquialisms where we refer to our parents as Ma and Da!
Is that just a Northern Ireland thing?
Notes 2. Uncle George is a fictional character, I really don’t know where the name came from. (Maybe too much peppa pig)