Yes M’am No M’am

Do you tell your kids to say ‘Yes/No m’am/sir’? This is one parenting thing I don’t enforce too much, and here’s why:

As much as I love being respected by my daughter, I find it hard to enforce the “yes m’am, yes sir” rule (Oh and for short, I’m going to stick with “yes m’am”, and for even shorter, YM). My family taught my brother and me to say YM only with strangers, teachers, other adults etc. but not to Mom and Dad. Mom’s reason?

We are your parents, and I didn’t want you and your brother to feel like you couldn’t approach us.

And I agree with her here. I never felt fearful talking to my parents. I never worried too much about saying the wrong thing to them. They were always open and loving. With my family, we have a kind of mutual respect: do as your told- no ifs ands or buts about it. Whyyyyy? Because “I’m your parent! And you need to respect me.” With that I’ve grown to be a firm believer that words mean nothing if they aren’t followed by an equivalent action. I could say YM all day to Mom, but does that mean I respect her? No. Not at all. But they were strict about saying YM to others who were unfamiliar. And I never did stray from that. I need to respect people I don’t know, but I won’t interact with them enough to show them that respect, so the YM is more necessary.

Hmm… Maybe I could hear some thoughts on this subject. I would love to know all the sides to it and why YM is a good thing to enforce.

7 thoughts on “Yes M’am No M’am

  1. Oooohhh very good subject! I have recently started struggling with this because I’m not accustomed to saying YM because I wasn’t raised in the south. Growing up those words weren’t taught around me so I dismiss them often. I like your moms rule of when to use it and I think it’s a good compromise while I still have to live here! I’m gonna start teaching the girls that. Hmmm…you learn something new every day🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! I like that you’re talking about this topic. Nick and I have talked about this in the past. I don’t think I’ll ever make my kids say YM to me or anyone else. It doesn’t seem necessary to me. I always hated when people made me say it growing up. I think there are other ways to show respect besides saying YM. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s kind of degrading to children in a way. It’s like saying that if you’re a kid you’re underneath adult value, so you must give special regards to the adult. It feels like a power problem.


  3. Yes ma’am, no ma’am to strangers and acquaintances but never to close friends and family. I feel if you are really close formalities should be dropped.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was engrained in me from a very young age to always respond to everyone with yes ma’am or no ma’am. Including mom and dad, to show a sign of respect towards others. With us, just saying only yes or no was sometimes taken out of context so to avoid any confusion it was always used. I like your concept of not saying it to mom and dad in a familiar environment cause it can creat a more open environment without being so formal.

    Liked by 1 person

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