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Yes Ma'am, No Sir, Yeah, Whatever - Are you raising polite children? - Page 2

post #21 of 145
We teach manners but do talk about how it's all about really showing sincere respect, or basic human politeness.



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post #22 of 145

We've led by example, starting from when she was in the high chair. She's said please and thank you since she could form sentences - mainly because we say it and she mimics it. We do correct if she doesn't say it. (She's 4.5 now)  Also, when she does something that requires an apology we ask her to say "I'm sorry I (whatever she did)" That way she is actually taking responsibility for her actions. We do live in the South, so there are a lot of "Sirs and Ma'ams" around us, but since I was raised in California, that idea is just completely alien to me, although we do have her say "Miss/Mr./Mrs. (first name)" - So much of manners is a regional thing, I think the main thing that I find I need to correct is tone, as opposed to what she says - that is a little harder to teach what is right and what is wrong, but nonetheless so important.

post #23 of 145

We don't use "sir" and "ma'am" (well, dh still does, sometimes - he grew up in Knoxville), and around here it tends to sound odd, not polite, when people say it. I also don't like it when children are expected to say those things to adults, if they don't get the same "courtesy" in return.

 

With respect to addressing adults as "Mr. Last Name" or "Ms./Miss/Mrs. Last Name", that's not what I teach, either. I teach them to address people as those people introduce themselves. So, their dance teachers are "Miss First Name", because that's how they ask to be addressed by their students). DD1's piano teacher is just "First Name", as that's what she requested.

 

"Please" and "thank you" are taught here, mostly by example, but they're not really pushed (again, more by dh than by me - he has a different concept of manners than I do). DD1, in particular, has had a long, hard struggle with manners, and she's still having trouble. She's getting some of the rote stuff down now, but she has a lot of trouble grasping that she's being rude when she does certain other things. We just keep plugging away at it.

 

I don't require or force apologies. I don't feel like getting into that one again, but I hate forced apologies, and I don't consider them to be good manners. I've learned to tolerate them, but they're not something I have any interest in teaching my kids.


Edited by Storm Bride - 5/25/11 at 11:46am
post #24 of 145

we use please, thank you & excuse me on a regular basis and they know they must mean it or just because they say please doesn't mean they get what they want.  While we do not require our children to use ma'am or sir towards us they are encouraged to use it towards other people but I do not fault them if they do not.

post #25 of 145

We most definitely demonstrate & are teaching good manners. Please, thank-you, pardon me, excuse me & table manners. It will also extend to general polite behaviour in public places (not screaming inside, cleaning up after yourself, etc.) & one day to driving etiquette.

 

BUT in no way do I feel that this is a child must be polite to adults/authority thing. I firmly believe we should all be polite to one another regardless of relationship. My first job was a fast food restaurant where things were fast paced & often stressful but it was very much expected for each demand of each other to be accompanied by a please & thank you - honestly it made a big difference in how things went 'cause although we were harried & sometimes sounding a bit rude the please & thank you showed we were not trying to be rude (if that makes any sense) & reminded us to keep our manners up.

post #26 of 145

Absolutely!  In addition to the basics, things like "what?" "huh?" "uh-huh" "yeah" etc. are not acceptable answers when addressing adults.  It's "Yes, ma'am" "no ma'am" "what did you say?" things like that.  The biggest thing though is that they ASK for something instead of demand it.  If they demand something and then stick please at the end, it's still rude IMO.  I would rather them say, "May I have a snack?" as opposed to "Give me a snack please".  kwim?

 

ETA:  They're expected to use basic manners (please, thank you, excuse me, etc) with everyone.  But we don't expect them to call their friends sir and ma'am.  We also allow them to say "yeah" "huh", etc. when speaking to friends.

post #27 of 145

I was raised to call others ma'am and sir or miss, but not my parents. I think it's important to say please, thank you, etc. No thank you instead of NO! is a big deal to me too. 

post #28 of 145

First names are normal for adults here.  It would be weird to me to insist my child call someone anything else.  Except teachers, teachers are Mr./Mrs./Ms. Lastname.  Now if the person were to introduce themselves as "Miss Susie" or "Mr. Jones" or whatever, then yeah, I'd have my child call them that.  And yes, I teach please, thank you, you're welcome, I'm sorry, excuse me.  Also things like teaching my children that other than whispering to me that they want to know where the bathroom is or something, we don't sit and whisper secrets while sitting in a group of people.  (Kids started this as a goof-off dinner game earlier this week.)

And when you are at a family-style meal, you take a small portion, taste it, THEN take more if you like it.  You don't pile food on the plate and leave it.  you also don't reach across the table, we pass the food.

When you go to somebody's house, if they offer you something, you can say thank you and have some.  We don't ask/beg for stuff.  And if someone offers a candy bowl, for example, you take one or two, not handfuls!

 

Oh and, LOL, thanks to kindergarten I think, I have had to teach another wonderful bit of etiquette---appropriate dinner conversation does not include the words "butt", "fart" or references to anything that belongs in the bathroom. 

post #29 of 145

I take manners seriously and expect my daughter to say "please", "thank you", "excuse me" and even recently "no thank you" for a present she didn't want. 

 

I also take the time to write thank you cards with her when she receives a gift.  We make them ourselves and turn an art project into a way to talk about why it was nice for someone to think of her and that it's really nice to let them know that you like it when they think of her. 

 

We're also really serious about table manners.  DD has to help set the table (and often helps cook), we wait for everyone to sit down before eating, put napkins in our laps, use utensils :), wear underpants, etc... 

 

BUT, all of this has happened pretty organically.  I have good manners and table manners and my daughter picked it up.  I do sometimes have to remind her about her napkin or to say please but it's not drilled into her or made into a chore. 

 

I use "ma'am" and "sir" when encountering a stranger.  I don't use titles like "miss" "mr." "aunt" or "uncle".  My daughter doesn't either. 

 

I think one can be thoughtful of other people without being cowed to authority or convention. 

post #30 of 145

I think it is important to teach manners.  We use please, thank you, excuse me, etc. in our house and always have.  I'm from Savannah, GA; so, you better believe I grew up say ma'am and sir, and DS use's it to, and it was important for me to teach him that.  That is part of my culture, and there is nothing sweeter than a polite, Southern boy saying yes or no ma'am.  For me and my family, that is a sign of respect, and I do believe that we need to teach children to respect adults.

 

That being said, I would never force my kids to give a hug or make physical contact when they don't want to.  I think there is a line drawn between speaking in a polite way and being physical. 

post #31 of 145

In the raising of five boys....and in my past experience with dating myfair share of men who were less than.....gentlemen....well, I really want to raise my boys to be gentlemen.To give their seats to a lady,to open doors for girls, to say yes mam/sir and no mam/sir, to be aware of table manners. To me, its a pretty important issue. especially because down the line I hope they bcome involved in relationships with girls who are youg ladies and EXPECT a man to be a gentle men. I dont want my boys to attract the hoochie type...lol ;)

That being said, there are certain adults in their life whom they are close to and they are allowed to be on a first name basis with them but only as a "Mr Adam" or "Miss Lucy" type of way. There is still a diferentiation in the level of respect between kids/adults.

I see kids so often speaking utterly disrespectfully to their parents or teachers, with a sneer on their face and a mocking challenging tone to their words, espeially in the neighborhood we live in unfortunatly.So, it would be very easy for my boys to see that attitude every day (our next door neighbors 9 year old cusses at his parents and yells at thewhen they tell him its time to come in, etc) so I make it a pretty big issue.

 

post #32 of 145
I wont teach ma'am or sir, but my 14 month old says please and thank you. I dont want a demanding brat who cant stop to say thank you after she is given something she asked for. I cant stand it when kids say "gimmie that orange." grab it, and dont even say thank you. Or kids who just say "I want blah blah NOW" and their parents just give it to them, no please or thank you. It is so rude.


For me, ma'am and sir was something that was shoved down my throat from the time I was litttle to indicate that I was a lesser person than the adult I was talking to. I dont think I am any better than my child, nor do I feel like adults need a "title" to show respect. There are so many other ways to show respect. I will teach Miss first name, Miss Last name, or first name, depending on how comfortable the adult is with it. I want her to realize that you have to talk to different people in different ways. For example, if you are being pulled over, its more likely that you would say "sir" to a cop to "show respect" and hopefully not get a ticket. If you are going to church with grandma (yeah right) you should call people by "Mrs. Lastname" because all of those people are in their 70's and they were raised to think that was what manners were. If you call one of those women by their first name, they arent going to think its cute if you are over 4.
post #33 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothering View Post

Do you believe "sir" and ma'am" shows respect and should be used by children when they speak to adults? Do you require your children to say "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me"? Is "yeah" and "whatever" acceptable? What about calling adults by their first name? Oh - how about table manners?

 

One of the biggest complaints of older adults today is the decline of manners and respect for elders in children, young and older. Have we loosened up on teaching etiquette to our children? Or has etiquette changed with the times to a point that we have tossed aside much of what we grew up with and feel it is no longer necessary?

 

What do you expect from your children? What does "polite" and "well- mannered" mean to you?

 

I have not read any of the replies yet. But yes. I am trying to raise my ds with uber-manners, and I think we HAVE loosened up on teaching etiquette, and it HAS changed with the times, and I think that's sad. It is ALWAYS necessary to be mannerly because that means considering the feelings of others, and that is part of getting along with our fellow humans. Nix manners, nix etiquette, and we nix caring just a tad more each and every time we are lax.

 


 

 

post #34 of 145

there is absolutely no way whatsoever we'd expect our kids to say sir or ma'am to anybody.  and we're Southern!

we model good manners.  we're not going to prompt the kid to say please, thank you, or whatever, because hopefully, that will be a natural behavior.  if not, then we will discuss that other people expect that but we will not require it. 

we say please and thank you to each other, to strangers, and display consideration when we interact with others.  because we as humans are all equal.  we do not and will not say sir or ma'am because that implies a heirarchy that we do not believe in. 

post #35 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

there is absolutely no way whatsoever we'd expect our kids to say sir or ma'am to anybody.  and we're Southern!

we model good manners.  we're not going to prompt the kid to say please, thank you, or whatever, because hopefully, that will be a natural behavior.  if not, then we will discuss that other people expect that but we will not require it. 

we say please and thank you to each other, to strangers, and display consideration when we interact with others.  because we as humans are all equal.  we do not and will not say sir or ma'am because that implies a heirarchy that we do not believe in. 


:yeah:

 

I am not going to raise my child to think that he is "less than" because is his "less old!" And that is what I feel using sir/ma'am and other honorifics does.  

 

I do not think I could continue to have a social relationship with someone who insisted my child call them sir/ma'am (and DP is from VA and I lived in VA as a child and adult so it's not like I'm just some "stuck up Yankee"). 

 

We say, please, thank you, excuse me etc.  So of course ds does. We also say yeah, whatever, huh, wha? and other "informal" language, because that is how we talk.  (hell we also curse!) We will teach ds how to actively code switch as he gets older so that he can conform to situations when he chooses.

 

post #36 of 145


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothering View Post

Do you believe "sir" and ma'am" shows respect and should be used by children when they speak to adults? Do you require your children to say "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me"? Is "yeah" and "whatever" acceptable? What about calling adults by their first name? Oh - how about table manners?

 

One of the biggest complaints of older adults today is the decline of manners and respect for elders in children, young and older. Have we loosened up on teaching etiquette to our children? Or has etiquette changed with the times to a point that we have tossed aside much of what we grew up with and feel it is no longer necessary?

 

What do you expect from your children? What does "polite" and "well- mannered" mean to you?

 

I have not read any of the replies yet. But yes. I am trying to raise my ds with uber-manners, and I think we HAVE loosened up on teaching etiquette, and it HAS changed with the times, and I think that's sad. It is ALWAYS necessary to be mannerly because that means considering the feelings of others, and that is part of getting along with our fellow humans. Nix manners, nix etiquette, and we nix caring just a tad more each and every time we are lax.

 

 

Oh, and first names...I don't necessarily agree with it, but I live in an area where it's common, a part of western NC. When we eventually move up north, I will have a lot of re-training to do! I think people should be called what they want to be called. If an adult introduces themselves to a child by their first name, then that's what they want to be called. I introduce myself by my whole first name, which I prefer, and adults always nickname it down-- which exasperates me no end. If I wanted to be called that, I'd say "My name is 'nickname'"!


 

 

post #37 of 145

Oops. Did not mean to reply twice. Dunno what happened there!

post #38 of 145

Manners- yes, definately. Ma'am and Sir- no way. I can NOT stand being called ma'am or Mrs. I have a name, use it. I did not teach my children to say those things, either, but as they got older they automatically say it to elderly people and certain grandparents who are anal about it. If children call me ma'am I tell them not to. I have everyone, even children, call me by my name, not my husband's last name. Being forced to say "ma'am" and "sir" as a child felt like a power thing, as if we were reduced to little nothings because we were kids. We didn't get called those titles unless we were in trouble.

 

My children still get compliments on their manners and two of the kids are teenagers. There are some really rude teens in our family so I have seen how bad they can be. I am really proud of my children. We taught by example, and really, it is the easiest thing when you have toddlers handing you things and taking them back repeatedly to say "please" and "thank you" and it sticks with them.

 

What I hate when it comes to manners is seeing SO MANY people chewing with their mouths open. Food or gum...we are not cows, people!! Stop standing in the grocery store chewing gum with your mouth open. Mine learned as toddlers not to do this, but their cousins/friends/even other adults come over and you can HEAR them chewing their dinner. Don't blow your nose at the table, if you have a horrible snotty cough please don't go to a restaurant, things like that. Now as for table conversation, I have lived with medical professionals and learned quickly to get over yucky topics while eating. Barring a weak stomach while pregnant, anything that's allowed as conversation any other time is allowed at the table also. It seems silly to me to disallow certain subjects just because we are eating.

 

I also don't approve of kids answering "yeah" or "whatever" to everything but this hasn't been a problem for us. Very talkative family, people don't normally want to get away with a one-word answer.

post #39 of 145


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View PostOh and, LOL, thanks to kindergarten I think, I have had to teach another wonderful bit of etiquette---appropriate dinner conversation does not include the words "butt", "fart" or references to anything that belongs in the bathroom. 


Oh, gawd, this. How?? How do you stop this?

I have a 10yo boy who thinks this is the epitome of humor. And he sees nothing wrong with using the words "balls" or "nuts" to refer to his privates, in mixed company. He got called down for this by his baseball coach at a game the other day (in front of many ages of little kids, and women, and girls), and I did not know this till *I* called him on it (apparently again, after the game!) in the presence of this same coach! We both told him that it's (unfortunately...sigh) expected and fine just "with the boys" but NEVER in mixed company. DS thinks it's perfectly appropriate.

I ended up telling him that if other people are offended by it, and tell you so, then it's in no way appropriate, and he would just have to take my word for it. Ugh.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View PostThere are so many other ways to show respect. I will teach Miss first name, Miss Last name, or first name, depending on how comfortable the adult is with it. I want her to realize that you have to talk to different people in different ways. For example, if you are being pulled over, its more likely that you would say "sir" to a cop to "show respect" and hopefully not get a ticket. If you are going to church with grandma (yeah right) you should call people by "Mrs. Lastname" because all of those people are in their 70's and they were raised to think that was what manners were. If you call one of those women by their first name, they arent going to think its cute if you are over 4.


See, THIS. It's different depending on the company, and that's such a hard and subtle thing to teach. I guess it's just something that grows with you. DS once asked me, about a year or half year ago, when he was going to be allowed to swear. After some thought, I said that he could swear when he realized who was around, when it's appropriate, when he can catch himself in an inappropriate situation. Like, not in church, not in front of Nana or any other person (again, except "the boys", and not even then if he isn't sure or doesn't know how the boy was raised) or in front of girls or women or people of a certain age. If he stubs his toe and it's instinctual to blurt "Oh sh*t", he better be aware of who's around and catch himself if he needs to. That's such a hard thing to learn, discretion.

 

As for modeling-- I have an extremely "spirited" (I hate that word, really-- he's bloody difficult) child and he's always gone against the grain. He does not model. He models the opposite, just to be contrary, because it's in his nature. It's been a long, hard road, but one thing I have learned in the 10 year (so far) process is that gentle discipline just does not fly with some people of a certain personality. So yeah, much as I hate it, I'm extremely authoritarian a lot of the time, especially with social mores, and it gets the job done. I have tons of compliments on what a polite boy I have. Most of the time lol.gif

post #40 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View PostWhat I hate when it comes to manners is seeing SO MANY people chewing with their mouths open. Food or gum...we are not cows, people!! Stop standing in the grocery store chewing gum with your mouth open. Mine learned as toddlers not to do this, but their cousins/friends/even other adults come over and you can HEAR them chewing their dinner.


OMG, yes, this too! How do you tell other people not to do this? I get seriously grossed out to the point of not being able to eat (if we're at the table) or not being able to concentrate on the conversation. I have one friend who I really like but her kids are so gross about this! And my other friend, we are so close I call her dd on it all the time, but her? She's an adult. Whatever do I say? It's so vile! Not only can you hear her, you can SEE her, too. EW. The first family I mentioned, I have never seen the mom eat, so I don't know if they model her, but the kids are wide open smacky mouths, and the mom says nothing. Ew.

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