Is the "new uncle" being kind of a prick? or what?

Took my sons over to my (their) aunt’s house yesterday.

Kids have always referred to their aunt as “Aunt Krissy”. Krissy has just recently married. Kids have met Frank before but they haven’t spent a lot of time with him. Still getting to know him basically.

Last night I guess the kids started to feel a little more comfortable around Frank. So by default, the kids started to refer to Frank as “Uncle Frank” (common in my family)

Apparently, Frank didn’t like this and he told my kids that he’d prefer if they refer to him as “Mr. ‘Name’” or “Sir”

I guess I can kind of empathize how having some strange kids refer to you as “uncle” might be a little awkward, but still, I think he’s being a little uptight about it.

What do you guys think?

How old are the kids?

If they’re little, yes, he’s being a jerk. If they’re older (like 9) then not so much. They know he’s not their uncle and he knows it. So he’d like a less familiar name.

Good. Then they can call him by his first name. I bet he doesn’t call them Master Shakesreallastname and Miss SRLN.

He’s being a prick, unless he’s also offered to call them “Young Master Shakes” as well. Do you get to call him by his first name?

And Chessic Sense, I don’t know why you say he’s “not really their Uncle” - he’s married to their aunt, which is one definition of an uncle. Because he married her after they were born? So if Shakes has another kid, that one can call him Uncle, but the others have to stick with Sir?

I have an idea what Terrance and Phillip would say.

Not everyone is comfortable with familiar casual names, and some are fairly anal about the specificity of titles. IE “If I am not X don’t call me X”. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy, if anything he’s probably a stickler for propriety.

So yes, he’s probably rigid, but it doesn’t necessarily ping the PrickoMeter TM

I call my MIL and FIL by their first names. My brother in law has to call his in-laws Mr and Mrs whatever. Seems strange to me.

I’ve been an uncle for about 13 years. I would just assume that they just call me by my first name. But I really don’t care. These ‘kids’ are now full adults with careers and kids of their own. I don’t need ‘Uncle’ in front of my name. But it’s OK. I suspect they will grow out of it.

And I would never allow them to call me Sir or Mr. Enipla. This is family. Stuffed shirts are down the hall on your left.

I’ve always referred to the spouse of my parents’ siblings as uncle or aunt (as appropriate). Loan exception was one uncle and his wife with whom I was on a first name basis because he is only a few years older than I and is more like a brother than an uncle.

I think the guy described in the OP is being a jerk. You’ve been welcomed into a family and you ask the kids to call you Sir? Piss off.

If he’s really their uncle then there is a misunderstanding or maybe he is a prick. Is this her second marriage? Is there previous “uncle” they associated with this aunt? If so then his discomfort might be a bit more understandable.

He doesn’t want the kids to get personal with him at this time. It’s normal for some adults. He may or may not change after a time. I wouldn’t make this an issue at this time. As a kid I probably would only talk directly to him and never construct a sentence where I had to use a term like Uncle Frank, Sir or Mr. Shadle. I would refer to him as your husband when talking to my aunt. The purposeful exclusion of the terms at all times would be conspicuous by their absence. I did have to interact with a few adults like this as a kid.

Whether he likes it or not, he’s their uncle via marriage, like any other non-blood aunt/uncle married into that family.

I have an aunt (my dad’s sister) who had three boys with her husband, my uncle. He died when the boys were teens. Many years later, my aunt remarried a man who had been a bachelor all his life. He wasn’t quite a stepfather since the boys were grown, but he was all of a sudden a new uncle to many younger nieces and nephews, and a new grandpa for his wife’s boys’ families! Fortunately he warmly took to the role and became a favorite uncle for all of us, and his ‘stepsons’ have a good relationship with him as well.

I just don’t get how he isn’t their uncle.

Being from Texas I often saw other kids who were required to call their parents Sir or Ma’am. My parents didn’t care what I called them but it was somewhat of a cultural thing that children referred to ALL adults as Sir or Ma’am and doing otherwise got you chastised by strangers in public. Could he be from the south where this might be a cultural thing?

I usually get around this whole thing by avoiding name use in conversation altogether. Unless I’m trying to get their attention from behind or perhaps from across the room, I will not use a person’s name in speaking to them. This is such an ingrained habit for me, that I actually feel a tiny bit creepy using someone’s name to their face.

This may explain why I have trouble connecting with people.

If he were to say “Hey, don’t call me ‘Uncle Frank’, just call me Frank.” I wouldn’t bat an eye. But this Mr/Sir really bothers me if the guy is from the North. It always make me think that it’s someone demanding for respect when they probably couldn’t otherwise earn it. (The culture in the South can be judged with a different yard stick).

The best reply for the kids to learn? “Lighten up, Francis.”

Ha! It’s funny you say that. We all happen to be Texans over here.:slight_smile: But I thought the opposite was true. I’ve always thought it was standard for Texan kids to refer to their uncle as “Uncle bob, Uncle Joe or Unlce whatever.”

The sir or mam thing never came into play unless you were talking to adult non family members or if you were being scolded by a family member. Mostly Mom or Dad.

Kind of a prick.

Specifically, he (from the given data) appears to be the “I wish these little kids would just leave me the hell alone” kind of prick, which is to say my kind of prick. More power to him.

Well the sister of your mother/father is your aunt. The spouse of this aunt is your uncle by marriage.

So it is correct to refer to him as “Uncle Frank”

However I was raised, that young people (under 18) never call anyone not related to them by their first name. This rule isn’t really observed now.

So I think he is being difficult as he is a relation and you don’t call relatives by their last name.

But being an adult I think he is entitled to be called whatever he likes.

I have seen young children refer to a step-mother by their last name for whatever reason so the traditional rules seem to have been modified.

Is she an aunt by blood or marriage? If it is blood, he IS their uncle, no matter what the jackass thinks. If it is by marriage only, she is their aunt, and technically he is not their uncle, but in general uncle is an honoriffic of people who are close friends to a relative of a kid if they are going to be in contact frequently enough.

I just think he is being a jackass.

I married my wife after three of her brother’s children were born. I know this, because I have pictures of them at our wedding. But I’ve always been their “Uncle Giles”, unless they just call me “Giles” since they are now grown up. So that wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be the rule.