Kids debating how to address adults



My lovely daughter had a play date with two of her friends a few days ago. One was Caucasian of Irish descent, while the other was African of Ghanaian decent.

As l went into the kitchen to get them some food, the Irish girl came over to me to ask for something.

She said “Franca, can l...”

Before she could finish her question or request, my daughter interrupted her.

“You cannot call my mum by her name” she said very loud and with such seriousness.

I was so surprised at my daughter’s reaction that l burst out laughing uncontrollably. It cracked me up. 🤣🤣

“Why not” asked her Irish friend

“Because my mum is an African mum. You cannot call an African mum by her name” Answered my daughter.

Her Ghanaian friend hearing the raised voices joined us in the kitchen.

“But you call my mum by her name” argued her Irish friend.

“Yes because she asked me to” answered my daughter.

Her Ghanaian friend confirmed it. “You cannot call an African mum by her first name”.

“Yes, you have to say auntie Franca” added my daughter.

“But your mum is not my auntie” argued the Irish girl once more.

She was right about that. I am not a sister to either of her parents. I stood there laughing as I listened to their argument. They were just 9 years old, having a debate about how to address parents or adults. I just love listening to children.😃

The lrish girl looked at me for clarification on the issue. So l explained it to her.

“In Africa, it is a sign of respect for children to address adults or parents as aunts and uncles and they do not have to be related. Calling adults by their first names is not allowed in the African culture”.

The two African kids standing in front of me nodded, but the Irish girl still didn’t get.

“But l call my aunts and uncles by their first names too” She said

“Because they are not African”, said my daughter with such seriousness, that l tried to hold back the giggles once more. 🤣 .

When did she become so passionate about African culture, l wondered. It’s amazing! I will definitely ask her about it later. For now l must focus on this debate.

l realised l wasn’t getting through to the Irish girl, so l tried a different tack.

“What do you call your teachers at school” l asked her

“Miss Johnson” she answered

“Are you allowed to call her by her first name?” I continued

‘No’ she answered,

“Oh ok” she said, finally getting it.

“So l can call you Ms Franca?”

“Yes darling”. I smiled, giving her a hug.

That’s settled then.

“Who wants pizza?” I asked

“We do”. They chorused. The debate already forgotten. 😃 Bless them!

It is African culture for kids to address adults this way. l like it because It is a sign of respect. I think it is also recognised as a form of respect in the West too, which is why Teachers are never addressed by their first names in the UK.

Do you agree? Comments please. Like l mentioned, l do love a good debate. 😃

Enjoy the rest of your day people. ❤️❤️

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Latest comments

07.04 | 17:03

Hi Franca, its pleasure to read your new release - the Carriage Full Of Laughs. Entertaining in the first place,also opening topics about co existence of peops

02.01 | 11:50

Thanks a lot Jo. That means so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

28.12 | 11:28

Well done Franca. I've enjoyed reading your books and I'm super proud of you not just as a fellow woman but as an ex banking colleague. Looking forward to more

16.11 | 16:36

The next book will be out next month.

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