Do Your Kids Say "Yes, Ma'am" and "Yes, Sir"?

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manners and etiquette

Photo by kristina.a2

Friends from Texas visited us a few weeks ago with their sweetest, most adorable little toddler girls, ages 2 and 4. I was particularly struck by how polite these Southern kiddos were -- compared to my Northern maniacs, who still have to be reminded to say "hello," "please," and "thank-you" over and over and over again.

Not only did these little girls remember their "pleases" and "thank-yous" without (much) prompting, but I was struck by their exceptionally good manners in general. They walked around saying, "Yes, sir," and "Yes, ma'am." How do you make kids like that?

Teaching toddlers good manners seems to get short shrift today, pushed aside for the zillions of other things we moms have to worry about, like squeezing in three servings of veggies and picking the right preschool. And that's not a good thing -- social skills are equally important to a child's future health and happiness. But that's just my opinion from way up here in Yankee territory.

What do you feel about the state of toddler manners in this day and age? Does geography make a difference?

And, I'm curious, how do you teach your toddlers to address other adults (who are non-relatives)? Are you a "ma'am and sir," "Mr. or Mrs.," or "first name" type of mom?

discipline, girls, learning