Yes, Ma'am...

B came home from school yesterday at noon with a fever and a headache.  Our school's rule is the child must be fever free for 24 hours before going back to school.  So, even though he has had no fever since coming home, he was at home today.  Because he seemed to feel fine and he was fever- free, i took him along to run a few errands.

At one stop, he politely held the door for a young (mid 40'sish) lady.  She asked him a question and he responded, "Yes, ma'am."  She looked at me and said, "You know it's really old-fashioned and a little bit insulting to teach your son to say ma'am and sir.  It makes the child think he is not equal to adults."


Is this the current thinking?  I know saying ma'am/ sir is not held to the standard that it once was, but insulting to the child? 

So, I'm curious, do you say ma'am/sir?  Are you teaching your children to?  Do you think it's insulting to the child?  Is this some archaic tradition?

Really, I want to know. 


Mel said...

That is one crazy lady! You should be so proud that your children know their manners. They are NOT equal to adults. That is the problem with so many kids today - they back talk, do whatever they want, have no manners, and my opinion it leads them down a bad path. I was a first grade teacher for 6 years and I've seen first hand what it is like when you don't teach your kids manners or that adults are the ones in charge. Don't listen to her! Be proud of your accomplishments - go you!!

Krystle said...

Wow!! I have never heard that before!!

We don't say mam, but I think that's more because we are west coasters. I do have him use Miss or Mrs in front of a female's name. That's how our church does it with workers and things, so if your name is Julie we would call you Miss Julie.

I think it's great calling people mam.

It's manners! I bet she's one out of a hundred who would say that!

Unknown said...

mel- I so agree. Obviously, I have taught them o say ma'am/sir and spend many minutes of the day reminding! It's important to me that they know to show respect and saying yes ma'am is a very simpole way to do that! I so agree with you on everything you wrote nd thank you!

Krystal- I have noticed it's more of a southern thing, which is fine, my children are about as southern as they come- lol!

amanda said...

Children are equal to adults in value, but they are not equal in authority. We do ma'am and sir and for what it's worth, I say ma'am to people I don't know either-whether they're older or younger than I am. It's a matter of respect.

Katie @ Team Skelley said...

I say maam and sir and quite frankly, I think that her saying that to you and your son was much more insulting than him being respectful! What in the world!

Anonymous said...

I also teach my children to say maam and sir. I do believe it is southern thing. I live in the south and my northern co workers can't stand when I call them maam.


Anonymous said...

Oh, my! I have no idea where that lady got the idea that it was insulting to teach a child to show respect!

I am a freshman high school teacher in Texas and my students know that yes, ma'am and no, ma'am are expected responses to any instruction or question! I tell my students....and I truly believe this....Respect is not at all about the person to whom you are showing it. Respect is about who YOU are. Demonstrating the value of esteeming those in authority and those with more life experience is a wonderful thing. It is an important rite of passage for young people, and helps them to appreciate their elders. Good manners make the world a better place! I constantly get thanks from parents who are trying to instill manners in their children, but have few other adults who reinforce that behavior. Keep it up, Mom! You are to be applauded!