Skip to main content

He called me "Sir!"

I was cutting my grass yesterday. Tall blades were high from all of the recent rain that we had been getting. I decided to be a good neighbor and cut our neighbor’s yard as well. She was very appreciative. Well, she sent out a young man to come and sweep up the excess grass that had gathered on her walkway. I saw the young man as I usually do. He is probably no more than about 21 years old. For the sake of privacy, I’ll call him Bob. I said hello; he said, as he always does, “Hello sir!” I was taken aback as I always am when he calls me ‘sir’. He never has tried to get to know my name. He simply calls me ‘sir’. This day, I took notice of this. I began talking to him. We talked about careers and cars while we were sweeping up the grass. We talked about our professions; he thought I was a college professor. A college professor?!?!? Let that one slide. As I readied myself to go inside, I told him my full name. His response was, “My name is Bob, sir!” There goes that “sir” again.

Does he think I am older in age or does he have a level of respect that is somewhat lost? I have not heard our younger generation call anyone ‘sir’ or mam’ in a very long time. As I was growing up, not only were my elders called by those terms, but also my own parents. It was an expectation that was set early. It showed that you respected them. Now, I am not calling any of us to charge our children to do the same. I understand that times have changed. There are many different cultures that do very different things, so I get that as well. Yet, I do encourage us to foster in our kids a level of respect for those who are ‘over us’- whether in age or authority. I will leave that to you. But fostering that respect in our children helps them in life. It also gives them an idea of how they want to be respected.

Lend me your thoughts and tell me how you foster this type of respect in your children. And if you don’t, what can you do to help them along? There is no off season in our learning…


  1. I love it! My child HAS to call me "ma'am". That is the way I was raised. That is they way I am raising her. When I speak to anyone I refer to them as "ma'am" and "sir". It makes people uncomfortable at first, but when they realize its a habit they get used to it. While most kids do not use these "antiquated" terms, the new respect in my area is "mister" or "miss". Even my teenage clients and former students call me "miss". Took some getting used to but its cool. I think its hard to realize sometimes that we are older. LOL! I still get freaked out sometimes at parent teacher conferences or when talking to doctors offices and such, but it's life. I can see him thinking you are a professor!

  2. I DO use sir and ma'am and am teaching our kids to use them too... not to much avail--alas. The respect is the real issue!

  3. I can see him thinking of you as a college professor as well. Maybe he sees something that you don't. Think about it!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

You Need To Do Your Chores!

I got tired.  I really got tired.  Tired of coming to my house and seeing everything out of order.  I would straighten one thing up and another would get messed up.  So I would straighten that up, and then, the first thing I messed up again!

So the Lord touched.  Better yet, he smacked me upside the upper left side of my neck and reminded me that I had two boys sitting... on the couch... watching... TV.  Two additional helpers.  What a coincidence!  Why did I not think of this earlier?  They need to be helping!  So I devise this great scheme -- make them help me with the house! brilliant!

So I sit down at the kitchen/ breakfast/ homework/ mail collector/ pseudo business office/ conference table and devise a plan.  I then summoned the boys to the multi-purpose table and asked them what they thought would be some good chores for them to do.  I knew there would be some resistance.  They said some stuff like 'make up their bed' or 'straighten …

Do It Yourself -- Part 1 of Series, 'Parenting for Departure'

I would go to the basement to wash clothes and often smell this weird odor, like something had been burning, but could never figure out what it was.  Each time I used the washer I would smell it.  I thought it was the dryer.  Well, that wasn't it.

My son went to go wash clothes and noticed that the washer stopped working in the middle of the cycle.  I went down to see and saw the plug had COMPLETELY burned out in the socket, underneath some fabric.
Praise God it didn't spark and cause damage to the house.  So my next thought was, 'How am I going to fix this?'

I took a picture of the serial number, called Sears, put in an order for a new power cord, and waited for the arrival.  I'm not too sure why I thought I could put in a new power cord.  I've never done that before.  I figured I better figure it out; the laundromat was getting expensive.

I got some great advice from a friend at church.  He told me to make the boys help me do things around the house.  I to…

Down & Dirty- Having Serious Conversations with Your Children

I have two sons, 16 and 12.They truly keep my life moving. As I have told many people (as well as those who personally know us), my house stays live, never a dull moment.I can boldly say that since I have been married and with children, I have yet to be bored in over 18 years!God knows how to make life to the fullest!
Well, that brings me to this point.  A part of having an ever-exciting time in my home is due to talks.  You know…talks.  Yes, there are the talks about the birds and the bees.  But who are we really fooling, birds and the bees are really about sex!  Just say it…sex!  What I know of sex is often times completely different from what my boys know.  And it can be shocking about how much they know and how much they don’t know. Okay, we move on.
Then there are other real talks.  Talks about life, chores, responsibility, girls, friendships, money, family, school, and the list goes on and on.  I am reading a devotional series on ‘Being a Fulfilled Father’.  The devotional I read…