On Transforming Attitudes

Eldest (now 10) is entering into that oh-so-delightful stage of beginning to think he might know more than old mom and dad. As such, some of his responses and attitudes have teetered on the edge of disrespectful and are threatening to fall off. Hubby, having absolutely zero patience for same, has decided that henceforth, the only two words out of son's mouth after having been told to do something shall be either "Yes, Sir" (or Yes, Ma'am).

I'm guessing you can imagine just about how well that's going over.

Conversations are beginning to run something along the lines of:

T: Go clean your room, please.
Boy: Okay, but...
T: <glaring> What was that?
Boy: <utterly confused> Can I just...
T: CHILD! Yes, Sir?
Boy: Oh. Right.
T: Still not there.
Boy: Yes sir?
T: Good. Now go.
Boy: Okay, but...

Le sigh.

I'm not a huge fan of the yes sir/ma'am thing. I mean, I'm all for respect, but I'm also all for kids being allowed to ask questions and get explanations. Hubs' theory is that this can take place AFTER having responded respectfully. And sure, yes. On the flip side, he and I are sarcastic sorts who are not shy about expressing our opinions. It's not completely unreasonable to realize that the boy is simply behaving as he sees mom and dad do.

Yes, yes. Do as I say, not as I do. Except of course that I've never particularly liked THAT either.

As it falls to me, most of the time, to enforce said responses (seeing as how I'm around them most), let's just say that enforcement has been somewhat lacking. This may well come back to bite me in the rear down the road. But, well. I'd rather focus on teaching him to watch his tone and facial expressions than get him to parrot yes sir/ma'am without his heart being in it.

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