Growing up in the south, saying yes ma'am, no sir, please, thank you, Miss and Mr....is not preferred but expected. If a child does not include these manners when speaking with an adult it is a bit appalling. Even at the age of two my nephews are corrected each time they answer a question with yes or no...rather than yes maam or no maam. This is the way I was raised and it is the way of life in the south. RESPECT is HUGE and manners are part of that respect.
After moving to Houston...I began to see less of the yes maam and no maam....but it was still pretty prevalent. Now in LA, I don't think I have heard one child say yes maam. It is definitely not common in conversation here. I have to catch myself as a teacher because when a child curtly answers me with yes or no....something inside of me deep within my southern roots wants to look that child in the eye and say, "Excuse me?" To which I want their response to be "Yes Maam." But the truth is....it is not going to happen and I am getting very use to it.
I however can never get over the rudeness of some children. Today I was subbing in a 2nd grade classroom. While some of the girls were gathering outside of the classroom before class they were peering through the window to see their substitute. I could hear everything that they were saying...first I heard in a very mean snotty voice, "Oh, My Gosh....She's a teenager!" Then this student proceeded to tell every other student that came up to look at the little teenage sub. Here I am 4 times her age and allowed my feelings to get a bit hurt by her remark. Then I had several disrespectful students. After getting on to a little girl for being disrespectful, she walks up to me....looks me in the eye and says in such a sassy voice, "You are not any fun!" I don't think I could say that to anyone much less someone much older than me.
There are many reasons why I feel hesitant to ever move back to Mississippi.......but being in a place where respect and manners rank super high on the priority list would be nice!