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Just like Janet Jackson, please call me Ms. Karen or Mrs. Taylor-Bass, but certainly not Karen. We don’t roll like that if you are a child and under 25.

Is there something in the water or have children become too familiar with grown folks–thinking it’s okay to call us by the first name? Stop the madness; can a momma get a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Respect is the notion of understanding that a high or special regard should be deferred to someone older.  There are times when I feel that some kids are simply BeBe Kids dressed in nice gear with no manners.

As a Caribbean born momma of two and Chief Mom at The Brand New Mommy, I am around children (mine and others) every day. How you raise children sets the tone on what type of adults they (possibly) might become and their view/perception of authority figures and yes, value of self.

You see, if you never understand the principle of manners/respect, then there is no one you will fear and (actually) understand that a hierarchy of power is important in the game of life. I grew up saying yes or no Ma’am or Sir and that’s what I have taught my children.

It seems that respect has taken a hiatus for some households.  Perhaps it’s the lifestyle of a relaxed generation of parenting, empowering children to feel free to express self, equipping them with gadgets like video games and cell phones to become totally tech-savvy, however, forgetting to teach them the importance of personal interaction and manners is well, simply bad parenting.

I did a post on Facebook asking folks how they would prefer to be addressed by children?  The feedback was loud and clear: 99% of women and men felt that adding a Mr. And Mrs. was appropriate.

Kimberly Thomas of Valley Stream Moms says, “All my girls and their friends call me Ms. Kim. It’s a sign of respect and I would not have it any other way. It’s important that children understand that adults matter and deserve respect upon first introduction.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Brandi Williams says, “I am cool regardless; the title really doesn’t matter as long as I am treated with respect and the tone is set from the parents.”

Gilda Brown summed it up by saying, “Being older is not easy and kids need to realize that we have earned our stripes as parents and grown folks. I would never think of calling Cicely Tyson by her first name and I don’t even know her. Respect must be given.”

Real simple. It’s our job as parents to invest and teach our children the necessary tools to navigate, master and have access to the game of life. Manners, respect and etiquette are high on the list to secure the internship, job, invitation and promotion. Think about it—as you get older, perception, networking and relationships are pivotal to sealing the deal.

I still believe that children want to be taught right from wrong—that’s our job. Lets prepare our babies for the real world and let them know manners and etiquette really do matter.

Karen Taylor Bass is the Chief Mom at The Brand New Mommy, a destination site all about women reinventing their personal brand post childbirth. Love and follow her @thebrandnewmom.

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