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April 14th, 2008, 06:09 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
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I don't know if its due more to my time in the military, or from living down south for a while, or my grandfather (I grew up in Illinois, but he was a veteran... so again... miliary lol)... but my children are expected to use Sir and Ma'am (especially if they are being specifically addressed by an adult). I also tell them that they are to address adults as Mr. or Mrs. (first or last name, depending on the surroundings and the person... the Generals wife would be Mrs last name, but another spouse who's soldier works with my husband might be Mrs first name). They are expected to do this until that adult tells them to adress them in a way that is preferable to them (I can fully see the generals wife telling my daughter to call her by her first name... thats just the way she is), but until that time, they are to address the adult formally.

I think, beyond respect, it also shows self discipline on the part of the child and reflects positively on them. How many times have we parents heard "Your son/daughter is so polite".

When my daughter (so far only one is old enough to do it) is in trouble and dh and/or I are correcting her, she is expected to answer Yes Sir/Ma'am.


I also saw this discussion about a year or so ago on a forum I used to go to and there was one mom who posted an objection that I hadn't ever thought of to this debate. The title Sir/Ma'am/Mr./Mrs. denotes a position of authority over a child which can easily be abused. If its an automatic thing for ALL adults, it can be a bad thing. The child is automatically subjected to this adult stranger, and may be less likely to assert themselves when a bad situation arises.

While I can somewhat understand where she's coming from, I think it may be a bit of an overprotective objection. Regardless of how my children address an adult, there is always the risk of impropriety, it falls on us as parents to protect our children whether they are just "Coach Bob", "Coach Smith", "Mr. Bob", "Mr Smith" or just "Bob". I think the honorifics are simply polite common curtesy and I really wish more people used them (along with please, thank you, excuse me, etc).

Ok, thats my 43 cents worth lol Keep the change.


ETA.... Having said all that, I can't stand it when my husbands soldiers call me "Ma'am".... I'm not old enough to be called "Ma'am", and to me, thats what you call a female officer... I was enlisted, so its just doesn't sound right to me. When I introduce myself to kids (I coach a soccer team and a volleyball team) its either Coach Missi or Mrs Melissa.
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