In the South we pride ourselves on our hospitality. We say our Yes Ma'ams and No Sirs when called for and our Thank You and Pleases can't be forgotten.
I haven't always been a southern girl. I 'transplanted' into this great state when I was 11. The concept of ma'ams and sirs was completely foreign to me. We greeted people by Lori, not Miss Lori. I prefer for people to call me Lori and I don't get offended (much) when kids just say yes or no to me.
HOWEVER, I was back in Oklahoma for the Thanksgiving weekend. We had just finished eating and were still sitting around the dining room table when my cousin's child (who is the first grade) started throwing/hitting a ball into the air. She had already been told at least three times before to not do this. So, in my best mother's polite tone I asked her please not throw the ball in the house. Her reply to me?
I think I got whiplash from popping my head around to her direction.
I thought, 'Did she just really tell me 'I know'?' I was completely ready to tell her to say yes/no ma'am when it hit me.
I wasn't in the south anymore.
And that's when my views on southern hospitality changed. You see, I used to view it as just a thing the southerners do. Now I see it as a sign of respect. It tells those around you that you recognize them as your elders and respect their position.
So, my pride in my southern upbringing shown through. My child will be respectful and will know that it's not okay to tell adults 'I know' or say 'what?' when they are addressed. It's just a matter of respect.
There's nothing better than that southern hospitality.