I grew up in Washington. We weren’t taught to say Mrs. or Mr. when addressing someone. We weren’t made to say ma’am or sir. calling someone by their first name was respect enough. You called Teachers Mr. or Mrs. and you called pastors Pastor ____ and things like that…. I had never heard of anyone demanding their kids say yes ma’am when their kid spoke to them until I moved here to Texas.
Now I was a wild child. I partied hard, skipped school. You name it I did it. One thing I NEVER did was disrespect an elder. Anyone older than me… I opened and held open door for people. I said please and thank you and excuse me. I could have just smoked a bowl and I would still hold the door open for grandma. I always showed respect to everyone.
People here (no offense my sweet lovely Texan friends) think that you are disrespectful if you don’t say ma’am or sir. When your dad says something and you say yes, they say excuse me and you say Yes Sir. Its crazy to me!
I feel like it doesn’t teach the child respect. it teaches the child to remember to say sir or ma’am so they don’t get in trouble.
If any southerner reads this they will probably jump my butt and tell my why im wrong but that’s ok. I’m right in my mind. My northerner mind 😉
All of the trouble I got into was not because my mom and did didn’t make me say ma’am and sir, it was because I grew up in a broken home with little rules. No matter what I did I never lacked respect though.
Here at Wal-Mart (is the most typical place) people lack so much respect and common decency. People will stand in front of you and not let you by, they will block the aisle, they will cut you off, the cart guy almost hit me with a load of carts when I was pregnant…. we got flipped off the other day because we honked at someone in front of us ON HER PHONE when the light was green….not going…forever….we toot the horn and she flips the bird! Good loving respectful decent Texans huh.
My point is this. respect is something instilled in you through example by those around you. Not by the ma’ams and sirs and Mr.’s and Mrs.’s
Respect is something all people deserve.
People in the south are by far, BY FAR no more or less respectful than people up north where I am from. People here can be real ass hats sometimes!
Now…… people in the south are also amazing too. We have had people take us in to their home when we were homeless for 10 days, people that just about paid for us to move into a new place, people have helped babysit for free, people have gone above and beyond to show us love here….
So, I guess just remember that no matter where you live you can instill respect in your kids by example. You can instill giving, gracious, loving ways by SHOWING them to others in front of your kids. It has nothing to do with where you live.