You did not address adults by their first name. It was always Mr. Smith or Miss Jones, or if you grew up in the church, as I did, you called them Sister or Brother. You also always answered questions to an adult by ending with "Yes, Sir," or "No, Ma'am." I miss hearing that!
I also learned there are things you should never say to your mother.
First, you should never tell your mother no. My father was the disciplinarian and Mom was sure to let him know if I had been obstinate. In my world today, I see toddlers telling their mothers no in Wal-Mart almost every time I'm there. I want so badly for those moms to turn those kids over their knee and school them in the correct way to speak to your parents. (What I really wish is for their dads to do it. A father's responsibility is to protect the mother of his children.)
Secondly, do not cuss in front of your mother. One of my earliest memories is baking in the kitchen with my Mom. I had a tiny pie pan and she let me make "piecrust" for my pan. I even got to put the pan in the oven. As I did so, my little fingers touched the rack of the oven and got burned. I yelled "piss" and jabbed my fingers into my mouth. My Mom immediately swatted my bottom. Crying, I asked why she did that. She told me that word was a cuss word and we don't say cuss words. I replied, "Daddy says it," to which she informed me we don't talk like Daddy.
My mother had to teach my brother not to talk like Daddy as well. He didn't learn as quickly, and had his mouth washed out with soap several times.
Thirdly, you would not say, "I'm not going to church." She would not stand for that; and, my Dad would always back her up. At that time in his life, Dad didn't attend church, but he made sure we went and behaved in church.
Another thing you did not do was to be a "smart-aleck." In other words, you don't back-talk your parents. Now, I was not necessarily a rebellious child. Although my parents did believe, "spare the rod, spoil the child," I really did not receive that many spankings. But, if I did need correction, it was almost always for being a "smart-aleck."
The worst thing I ever said to my mother, and it is something I regret with a vengeance, was telling her when asked to clean up the kitchen, "Well, you asked to be a mother, and so it is your job to do it, not mine."
I should have been punished in the worst way for having an attitude like that! Somehow, she never told my father I said such a thing.
Something worse happened to me. My sweet little grandmother was visiting one time and overheard me. I adored my grandmother and was devastated when I discovered that she said that she was surprised at how badly I treated my mother. Let me tell you, when someone you admire is disappointed in you, it will wake you up.
The book of James in the bible has a lot to say about controlling the tongue. Here is one verse that convicted me:
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. (James 1:26 New Living Translation)
So believe me, I have learned to keep my mouth shut!
I hope my readers are not too disappointed in me, but we are all sinners and there is no use hiding the bad stuff. The good news is that I have seen the error of my smart-alecky ways! This little trip down memory lane was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 4.) 5 things you should never say to your mother. You can link up at Kathy's blog, Mama's Losin' It.