For years now, I've been trying to make Z understand that saying yes ma'am and yes sir is what we expect. That sometimes means repeating it to him A LOT! Saturday morning we were tooling around Walmart trying to choose a suitable gift for a friend's birthday party. He was asking me if he could get this or that or whatever, for himself. I kept saying no, it's not your birthday; we are not buying you anything today. At some point I got a little frustrated with his pouting and whining about it and told him to straighten up...he said very whiney "Ohhhhhhhh Kayyyyyyyyy!" I said NO, what would be a better thing to say when I tell you to do something. He reluctantly, submissively said "yes ma'am." I smiled at him and then all the sudden a lady near us, probably in her mid 80s said to me "Oh it's so good to hear a mother teaching her child respect; I thought it had passed this generation by." I told her we still had a long way to go, but getting him to respond to adults this way would hopefully be something he ONE DAY does without prompting.
She's right though. When I was a little girl, we were expected to say Yes ma'am and no sir, etc. It wasn't an option. Not sure if it's more of a southern thing, but that's a moot point.