The novice mommy tried to teach her little boy to say please and thank you and was constantly told that he didn't have to say that. She told him to say it anyway. She taught him to say yes ma'am and no ma'am and yes sir and no sir and she was constantly told that he shouldn't say that either. People told her that it was demeaning to children and repressive and stifling to their individuality. The new mommy ignored the naysayers and continued to try to teach her little boy good manners. It wasn't easy.
People told her, to her face, that her child seemed sad or unhappy.
She was told that she was too strict and that she was mean and that she was too rigid and had too many rules.
The mommy persevered. Her husband, even though he was a yankee, was supportive and wonderful. When someone told him that the mommy was going to break the little boy's spirit he laughed and told them that the little boy wasn't a horse and would be just fine. The mommy and the wonderful yankee daddy were a team and they loved their little boy.
Many years passed and they little boy grew. He learned many things and grew strong and tall. He giggled and laughed and played. He learned manners and always said please and thank you and sir and ma'am. He opened doors for ladies and (usually, almost always) took off his hat in the house. He was funny and charming. And he had spirit. He had a LOT of spirit. One could almost say that the little boy had an over abundance of spirit, in fact.
Break THAT spirit? I think not!!
If anyone ever needed further proof that the little boy's spirit had indeed not been broken, the mommy could point to The Boy's latest facebook status:
"I'm putting the stud back in studying."
As a matter of fact, if the new mommy (who is now an old mommy) wanted to be ugly about it she could waggle her finger at all the naysayers who said that teaching her boy to say ma'am and sir was repressive and would break his spirit and who tried to undermine her parenting and she could say, "I told you so!!"
But she would never do something like that.
That would be tacky.