What ever happened to raising polite hellions? Have parents either become so snooty or given up entirely such that there’s no longer room in our society for the “cram it, ma’am” or “Hell no, sir” mentality that once guided the formation of American youth?
This issue rose to the surface of my life like so much butterfat when my wife and I recently returned south after double digit years in the footloose Rocky Mountains. Was our two-year-old going to be taught to use ma’am and sir? “Hell yes, sir!” was my initial response. But my wife countered with a quandary. Will people think our son is weird when we inevitable wander back out into the larger American milieu?
“Cram it, Ma’am!” was my second response. But dang it all. My kids are going to have a hard enough time in life explaining their father’s behavior to their friends without using a bunch of folky platitudes and formal epithets. That’s when I realized this problem wasn’t my fault at all. It was everyone else’s.