Uncles and Aunties and all things polite

If your life was anything like mine growing up you spent a LOT of time saying ‘Oom’ (Uncle) this and ‘Tannie’ (Aunt) that and kissing older people on the mouth and having your cheeks pinched by those very same Tannies reeking of lavender and spice.

Etienne and I make the kids call older people Tannie/Oom and it has never bothered me that other people’s kids might not call me Tannie.

Tannie Tania. The thought alone makes me squirm. And then puke a little in my mouth. How’s that for double standards?

Over the weekend we were with English friends and it came up in conversation. They aren’t too fussed about the whole thing, but asked me to ask everyone on the interwebs what they do.

So. Do you expect your kids to call people Aunt/Uncle or are you comfortable with first names?

8 thoughts on “Uncles and Aunties and all things polite”

  1. Im pretty much comfortable with first names.  I reserve Aunt and Uncle for actual aunts and uncles and very close friends.

  2. Uncle and Aunt are for “real” relatives and anyone else is Mr or Mrs or some on a first name basis. Poor Jess has to remember Oom and Tannie when she goes to her father and his family as they expect everyone to be addressed as such.
    We have always discouraged mouth kissing and in fact Jess will only kiss me, my Mom and Dad, everyone else just get hugs. xx

  3. We don’t insist on Uncle and Auntie as a general rule, but those people in our lives who expect to be addressed as such we’ve just called that from the beginning i.e. the elderly lady down the road is Auntiedot – I think my girls think that’s her full name!

  4. Funny enough, we have for certain friends and others not. Because they are in an English school I think. In general Afrikaans friends with kids are Oom en Tannie, friends without kids, first names, English friends with kids – depends. As to the kissing – my kids really do nto have to kiss people. Really not. I hate it myself in fact.

  5. I prefer that my kids address everyone as aunty or uncle, but I am not fussed if other kids call me by my first name. I do prefer aunty and uncle. I just find it more polite. Am v old school in that way.

  6. It depends on the people – most of our close friends are english and its not a big thing so the kids call them by their first names. But there are adults who make it clear they want the oom/tannie etc – so the kids use it for them.

    I dont make them kiss anyone – I loathe it. I was the only one in our extended family who wouldnt get a kiss because I just do not like it at all. So I dont force them – they can choose. Kiara will sometimes but Cameron just wont!

  7. I am very old school about this and insist that my kids use Aunty and Uncle and Ma’am or Sir for strangers. It’s just more polite.

  8. I prefer that my kids address people as Aunty or Uncle,although I cringe when people call me Aunty….it sound worse when they just blurt out my name.

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