(Closed) How Do You Feel About "Sir/Ma'am"?

posted 8 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: Respectful? Insincere?



    Have never thought about it.


  • Post # 47
    813 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I`ve never heard of anyone calling their own parents sir or ma’am. Is that common? Where are you from? I’m Canadian, so that may explain it!

    Post # 48
    11324 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2011

    I wasn’t raised to call anyone sir/ma’am (grew up in Ohio). I do like the idea of doing it for non-family members and might enact that with my (hypothetical) kids… but I don’t like it for family. It feels far too formal to me. I feel like family should be much more relaxed around each other, and I don’t really want my kids to fear me/my husband or feel like they’re living in a regimented house. I think they can be respectful without rote instructions on this kind of thing.

    Post # 49
    11506 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    I find it to be very respectful. I was raised to speak this way, and, as an adult, I STILL sometimes find myself saying “Sir” and “Ma’am,” depending on the person to whom I am speaking, and the situation.

    Post # 50
    1663 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’m all for using sir and ma’am, but not for a parent-child relationship. It just seems way too cold.  Now, I was raised to say sir and ma’am, or Mr., Mrs., Miss to my elders and I still do that to this day. I couldn’t imagine calling my mom and dad “ma’am” and “sir,” I think they’d send me to get help if I did.

    Post # 51
    1085 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Sir and Ma’am are words used to respect others, heck I say it to teenagers on rare occassions and I’m 25. I’m from the south though, it’s part of what we do down here. “Yeah” is not acceptable, not polite. Even my 4 year old is learning sir and ma’am. But at my work, we had a woman from up north one day who came in and she had the biggest hissy fit “When I called, the girl on the phone kept calling me ma’am! I am so offended! That is rediculous! I take offence to that!!!” She was screaming over it. Really? It’s not like saying ma’am is saying “Yes old lady” no, not at all. But women, mostly the ones who are afraid of aging, seem to have the biggest problem with it. Eck, it’s aggrivating. It’s not offensive at all, I would get it if it was “Yes hag” or something but really?


    My daughter doesn’t call us sir or ma’am, but other adults may I add

    Post # 52
    11231 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I’m an Army brat, so I definitely so the ma’am/sir thing (still), especially with strangers. I usually answer questions from family/at work with “yes/no ma’am/sir” (that sounds a little weird, but it’s usually the answer to the end-of-the-day question of “Everyone have their info?”).  

    Post # 53
    834 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Absolutely not. I expect my daughter to say “yes mommy/daddy”. I was not raised like that and will not raise my daughter up like that either. My husband is AA and his parents never used it and said to never call them that. They explained that back in slavery times AA were expected to say that to their slave masters (yes’m/yessir) and therefore do not use it within their own family. It reminds them of someone else who had control over them. Luckily, I wasn’t raised using it so neither of us plan on raising our daughter to say that. 

    Post # 54
    329 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    I voted respectful, because I think it is, but I don’t really want to teach my kids to say it. I grew up in New England and we didn’t use it. My husband is southern and wants our future kids to say it, so we’ll see!

    Post # 55
    5107 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Ma’am makes me feel old, but I still do call males sir. I will teach my kids to call people sir and ma’am though.

    Post # 56
    4464 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    I didn’t grow up saying sir or ma’am to anyone. I was born in a small town in Illinois and then moved to South Florida, Miami area. I have no problem if anyone wants to refer to me in that way, but I probably won’t raise my kids to say that since it’s just not a part of my life in any way and I hardly ever hear it down here.

    However, one thing that was very strong in my home was that we were taught to say “yes” instead of “yeah” so I’ll carry that on with my children. We also always used titles, Mr. and Mrs. Last Name for friend’s parents and any adults and all of my aunts and uncles are Aunt and Uncle with the title before their first name. The only adults we were allowed to call by their first name only were my mom’s very best friend who was like a second mother to me – and step-parents. 

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