I didn't grow up in the South, but was raised by a southern mom and dad whose roots sprouted from the South. The moral values of respect, compassion, dining etiquette, listening skills, service, etc. were taught to my siblings and me at a very early age. There wasn't a question when my husband, also from the South, and I had children that they would refer to us as "Ma'am" and “Sir.” We wouldn’t tolerate the "Yeah," "Huh," and "What."
Everyone isn't a fan of using those responses, but we believe that it shows a sign of respect to your elders. To this day, I refer to people that are older than me in this manner. I'm a firm believer that polite behavior will be rewarded. These terms are as important as "Thank You," "Please," and "You're Welcome." Instilling politeness and good manners at a young age are vital.