Yes Ma’am

August 3, 2022 –

When our family lived in Chicago, my wife was a home mom and took care of our two children, a daughter, and a son. This was the first time we lived out of the south and had never experienced snow.

My wife had difficulty grocery shopping because we had only one car, and I used it to go to work. By the time I got home, it was after six o’clock. When we lived in Chicago, you could not purchase beef except ground hamburgers after 5:00. It was a rule in all the grocery stores. At five, an employee covered all the meat with a white cloth, signaling no more beef purchases.

One mid-morning, my wife took the kids to visit a lady friend. The lady asked the kids if they wanted a cookie during the conversation. Our two-year-old daughter answered, “yep!” Quickly my wife said to Natalie what are you supposed to say. She said, “yes, ma’am.”

The friend offering the cookies said, “We don’t say, ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no ma’am’ here in the north.” My wife corrected her by saying, “we are not planning on staying here long, and when the kids go back to the south, they have to know how to say, ‘yes mam’ and ‘no mam.’”

It seems we have lost a bit of respectfulness and politeness. Many children are not being taught manners at home. Parents can’t expect schoolteachers to fill the void. Teaching good manners is an opportunity to help your children learn to be respectful and polite. Do allow these two statements of respect, dating back to the 1700s, to be a part of your children’s vocabulary. “Yes, ma’am,” and “no ma’am” show respect for a lady.