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Saying "yes ma'am/yes sir"


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Yes ma'am, we do.

I believe it's very important. It teaches respect and politeness from an early age. If taught young, this will stick with them throughout their life.

So many children today are horribly impolite, rude and self-centered. It really stands out when a child speaks politely.

For me, using these forms of respectful politeness is just as important as them saying please, thank-you and you're welcome.

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Maam and sir are not widely used in Australia. However we do require our children to use the person's name or title when responding to them ie Yes mum or yes dad or yes Mrs such and such. If they do not know their name then we instruct them to use sir and maam. Boy do they get some funny looks here. :lol::lol::lol: We have also instructed our kids to look people straight in the eye when they are talking to those in authority over them. I hate it when people and kids will not tlook at you when they are talking to you or visa-versa.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Only when we are talking to them very seriously or giving a serious command....also we try to teach them to reply in that way to other adults if the adults are talking to them directly...but not as an "all the time" response.

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I think it's a good idea. Of course, it's going to be difficult for a child to catch on to something like that in today's culture, since most kids don't have any respect for adults.... but it's definitely good to teach kids to respond to adults in respect.

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A lot of it has to do with culture. Up north, people don't typically use "yes ma'am" and "yes sir" but they will address people as Mr. or Mrs. Down south, they do use it but they call adults by their first name, which I find far more disrespectful, personally. We were taught both, the yes and no sir part after moving to NC. Since we've gotten older and moved back north, we don't use it much. Not sure whether I'll teach it to my kids or not. I'll certainly teach them respect, though. But, that's part of Korean culture, anyway, so it should be easy. :wink

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
A lot of it has to do with culture. Up north' date=' people don't typically use "yes ma'am" and "yes sir" but they will address people as Mr. or Mrs. Down south, they do use it but they call adults by their first name, which I find far more disrespectful, personally. We were taught both, the yes and no sir part after moving to NC. Since we've gotten older and moved back north, we don't use it much. Not sure whether I'll teach it to my kids or not. I'll certainly teach them respect, though. But, that's part of Korean culture, anyway, so it should be easy. :wink[/quote']

Yes down south everyone introduced themselves to my kids as "Miss Sally" or "Brother Jim". It wasn't how I was raised, but I had gotten used to it through several churches. Got some dirty looks when we moved back up here to PA, so quick changed that little habit. haha.
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Members

I totally agree,I was raised down south and grew up hearing that and it become natural to say.My boys are taught it as well.Kids now days answer"HUH,WHAT,That sends chills down my spine,No respect at all.Im thankful to my family and to parents that still teach and exspect manners to there children and teens.

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  • Lady Administrators

We taught our son to say "yes ma'am/yes sir" for the same reason - respect. And we live in the north. :lol But we felt that it was important for him to use that form of address when he was younger. It really does inculcate a certain amount of respect. And it takes longer to say than just "yes," "yeah," or "grunt," so a child has to speak. I remember a couple of years ago, we were in TN, and Josh said, "yes sir" to a preacher - and that preacher was very pleased to hear it - talked on and on about how kids today aren't respectful and that it was good to hear - Josh was 17 or 18 at the time. He doesn't always use that term now, but he is still very respectful when he's speaking to someone. Of course, now he says, "Yes Sergeant." :lol:

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Haha that's so true about the South thing. I live in Louisiana but I was taught that way when I lived up north too...but it is funny because not only do we say sir and ma'am down here but we also will just talk to strangers as if they've known them forever...my mom said up north you would get funny looks if you tried that! funny how different cultures are...

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Except for one year spent in TX at about age 9, I lived most of my life in IL. Mamm and Sir are not frequently used among the northerners. The result is some very impolite young people. It is nothing uncommon for northern young people to address adults by their first name. Being in the ministry I was seldom addressed by young people by my first name.

Now retired and living in the south it is refreshing to here even non-Christian young people using sir and mam. And although I am not actively serving in full time service anymore, none of the young people in my churchwould consider calling me Jim. I am always referred to as Bro. Hinton.

I think requiring courtesy from our young people to be definitely the right way for Christian parents to raise there children. If any reader is not currently requiring the use of mam and sir or allowing adults to be called by first name, I would encourage you to begin. Our testimony is greatly affected by the politeness of our children.

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  • 1 year later...
  • Advanced Member

I was raised to answer yes sir and yes ma'am. I do not think much about this except... This has taught me good Southern manners. It show's respect. Nothing wrong with manners! Plus, it is shocking to me when older people are so amazed and thankful. This come's as natural to me as using Mr. and Mrs., saying Thank you to a man holding a door open for me and asking a guest if they would care for ice tea, coffee, ice water or milk if a child! This is life in the South!

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HBG I hope that tea you offer is good ole southern sweet tea! :bleh:

Anyways as for manners, I agree with the posts about culture. I grew up in Wyoming saying Mr. and Mrs. (last name). When my dad became a pastor, and we moved to Nebraska it was culture shock to me. Everyone in the church sounded slightly offended when we said Mrs. (last name). They were quick to respond; that was my grandma's name, please call me Jane.

Also, I was a captain on the fire department and had a guy training under me. Because of growing up mainly in the north it through me off when he would say yes ma'am. I interpreted it as him sucking up to me. He said yes sir and yes ma'am to everything. I finally got it through my thick skull that he was from the boothill and that is how he grew up!

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IMO, the actual words with which a child answers his elders is not as important as the manner in which those words are spoken.

My children use ma'am and sir much of the time. But sometimes they just say yes or no. Never yeah, except in the most casual of conversations (like, Uncle John says, "Hey, kids, y'all wanna go for ice cream??" "YEAH!!!" Yes sir seems a bit goody-goody in that instance.) In short, I don't want to teach my kids that the words themselves make them polite; it is the spirit and attitude with which they answer. If they are speaking with a respectful heart, their words will be appropriate for the occasion.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Annie is correct that the attitude of the heart in being mannerful is what's most important.

The particular words or terms used can be somewhat cultural or societal based. Where certain words or terms are expected as a sign of good manners, and therefore seen as reflecting our heart, we should learn these and practice them...such as those places which do expect "yes, sir", or even such as in some other cultures which expect a bow or one to take off their shoes before entering their home, etc.

The heart is the most important aspect. The application should be recognizable to those around us.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I find this issue difficult. I want my children to address with last names so Mr ...... Culturally in Australia we don't use Sir/Madam usually. Sometimes when we don't know the person. However, we have people in our lives that insist on first name basis. I struggle with this because I can still feel my fathers reprimand when I hear kids using first names. Like Annie I believe it does have a lot to do with the attitude and manner in which it is spoken but I think it also serves another purpose. Children these days are too familiar with adults and this also adds to the environment that aids and exacerbates disrepect. I love kids, I enjoy teaching them, playing with them etc but they are not my friends. When the environment is "too" familiar kids confuse the boundaries. I think using last names is one way to delineate boundaries of adulthood and childhood.

Of course this is all opinion, I'm yet to find scripture that supports this other than the Lord had many titles but then again people still used his name.

Blossom

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  • Advanced Member

Sarah called her husband "Lord" If such a wise women of faith called her husband with such a honouring title then I believe we should have no issue with children addressing adult's by Mr. and Mrs. WiseGrown-up (name for a point!) In otherwords Blossom I think your doing a good thing encouraging even requiring adult's to be referred to as Mr. and Mrs.

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Yet would you agree or not? Sometimes it's even more respectful to call an adult Miss Ina? Now that would be real difficult to explain to someone not from the same part of the county! His by Grace




Yes we do. We live in a part of the country where such a thing is seen as a novelty and people are sometimes taken aback by it, but we still do.

We also teach them that they're not to call grown ups by their first name.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I find this issue difficult. I want my children to address with last names so Mr ...... Culturally in Australia we don't use Sir/Madam usually. Sometimes when we don't know the person. However, we have people in our lives that insist on first name basis. I struggle with this because I can still feel my fathers reprimand when I hear kids using first names. Like Annie I believe it does have a lot to do with the attitude and manner in which it is spoken but I think it also serves another purpose. Children these days are too familiar with adults and this also adds to the environment that aids and exacerbates disrepect. I love kids, I enjoy teaching them, playing with them etc but they are not my friends. When the environment is "too" familiar kids confuse the boundaries. I think using last names is one way to delineate boundaries of adulthood and childhood.

Of course this is all opinion, I'm yet to find scripture that supports this other than the Lord had many titles but then again people still used his name.

Blossom


You are very correct. There is very little respect for adults today among children and a major part of this is lack of proper boundaries. Children were once taught to respect their elders and a part of that was addressing them and speaking with them differently than they do with their friends. All of the nonsense that really took off in the 60s and 70s of breaking the boundaries, of pushing the idea that parents should be their childrens friends (to the exclusion of being their parents), and children should have "rights" like adults and adults should not enforce standards, use true correction or punishment.

I can't believe the way children speak to adults today, even to their own parents. I've heard children yelling the most crude of obsenities at their parents and either the parents cuss back at them or ignore them. I would have been knocked flat for such and I would have rightly deserved it.

Whatever is the most appropriate means of expressing politeness and respect in your area, that's what you should teach your children. We've encountered those who say to the kids they don't have to say "sir" or "ma'am" to them, but we tell the kids they are to speak like properly even if others don't or don't expect it.

So, whether it's "yes, sir", or "yes, Mr. Smith", or "yes, Mr. Jim", so long as it's appropriate for your area and the children learn the importance of manners, that's what we should teach.
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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I wouldn't think of saying yeah or no to my Mom or Dad. It's a little difficult when your spouse wasn't raised that way. My wife's Mom and Dad are from up North and taught their 8 kids to say" yeah and no" to them. I did it by being an example: I said yes sir and yes ma'am, even when addressing my kids. When they slipped up, I corrected them. I wouldn't allow them to say yes or no to their Mother either. I think it shows honor and respect for your parents.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I wouldn't think of saying yeah or no to my Mom or Dad. It's a little difficult when your spouse wasn't raised that way. My wife's Mom and Dad are from up North and taught their 8 kids to say" yeah and no" to them. I did it by being an example: I said yes sir and yes ma'am, even when addressing my kids. When they slipped up, I corrected them. I wouldn't allow them to say yes or no to their Mother either. I think it shows honor and respect for your parents.

:amen:
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Advanced Member

Here in England, the standards have fallen since I was a child. I first noticed it at work in the 70s when it became the norm to name superiors by their first name.

When my wife has an appointment at the health centre or hospital and they ask her first name, she says Mrs., and objects when the call her by her first name.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Way to go Mrs. Invicta! :)

What I dislike is organizations (and online forms) that insist on ranking all single women as 'Ms.'. I am a 'Miss,' NOT a 'Ms!'

That is an annoyance of mine as well, Salyan. Sometimes if there is not a "Miss" deignation available I simply add "Miss" as part of my first name.

I work as a secretary, and call all the managers, Vice Presidents and Officers in our company "Mr." or "Mrs." I'm sorry to say that it seems to cause offense to some of my peers. I cannot understand why it has become offensive to show each other a bit of respect. We have, in my opinion, grown much too casual in our interaction with each other.
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  • Lady Administrators

salyan, they don't just rank single women as Ms. Mailings are often labled as Ms no matter what. I called someone just the other day on it and they told me that they do it so as not to offend by calling someone a Mrs. who isn't, and Miss who isn't. (I'd rather be called Miss than Ms!). I let her know that I am not a Ms...I am a Mrs., and that is what is to be in front of my name from here on out....so she changed the computer. :th_popout:

I don't like it if someone calls me LuAnne if I have been introduced as Mrs. It's impertinent to me. Here on the forum, everyone knows me as LuAnne (also HappyChristian :clapping: ), so I have no problem being called that, even by younger members of the forum. However, there are still several (Crush, for instance, on facebook) who address me as Mrs. often. I appreciate that, but don't require it.

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I've noticed that too, HappyChristian. :verymad: (don't you just love that emoticon!)

It's funny how people respond that way, eh, Miss Linda?

A few years ago, we had a missionary couple from the South move up to our church. They stayed with us for a year while getting used to the culture, then set out on their own as church-planters. (Let me tell you, it's WEIRD having missionaries come to your province. Never really thought of us as being a mission field...) Anyways, they had taught their children to always say 'Yes Ma'am, Yes Sir.' I really liked that, so I started making myself use those titles in conversation too. Since doing so, I've found it very interesting to notice the variety of people who do not like being 'sir'! Whether it's the young guy on the business phone (who thinks it sounds too old), or my slightly-rough neighbor below me (who just says he's 'not a sir'), or even one of our county councillors (he's specifically asked me not to call him sir - says he's not any better than the rest of us because of his position. That's not exactly why I called him that, though... although it was a factor!) - there's a LOT of people nowadays who don't like the respectful titles!

I do find that using such terms of respect can really smooth over phone calls with disgruntled business associates! :D

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