It Was Cute–Once: Kids Calling Their Parents by their First Names

Lisa Cherry —  November 7, 2014

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My kids all tried it: Shouting my first name above the noisy crowd in order to get my attention.

Maybe it was kind of cute, the first time. But what if my kids and I were on a first name basis...every day? That is what is being proposed by a growing number of young parents.

We are living in a culture when all issues of authority are suspect. And so we should not be surprised when the idea of "should anyone be in charge here?" come right into our own living rooms.

Something is lost when a child calls his parents by their first names. Instead of honoring his parents, the child holds them on the same level as his peers. So why should he obey them?

Is the traditional biblical view that children should honor their parents (Exodus 20:12) and obey them (Ephesians 6:1) outdated...or oppressive...or even dangerous?

Surely we can take a lesson from both God's word here and from common sense.

Our children are no different than children of other times. They need the security of loving parents who allow them to be kids while they are still kids! They need to know someone older and wiser than them is in charge.

And yes, they need to learn about the relationship between obeying a human parent that they can see and a Heavenly Father who they will one day see.

I know some Christian parents may have blown it be being legalistic and overly authoritarian.

I know some parents may have even abused their children and misused their trust.

And obviously, that is horribly wrong!

But throwing out the whole parental model of leadership in favor of a more "progressive" approach is not going to fix those problems....and in the end, it will trade one problem for another.

We are parents to our children, not peers.

So I suggest we hold fast to “Mom” and “Dad,” and not let our children use our first names.

Image Credit: Ehsan Khakbaz H. “Saba-III” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic