Manners Monday: Say Hello
It’s been a couple of weeks, sorry about that! We had a holiday and then school started and I’m sure your lives were equally as hectic as ours. It’s a miracle that any posting happened last these last two weeks. But! We’re ready to get back on track and kick off this week with a back-to-school friendly Manners Monday where we talk to our kids about how and when to say hello. I feel like so many kids just show up and don’t greet grown ups or each other. Instead, they just stand or sit there awkwardly or jump right into playing. But, it’s never to soon to get into the practice of greeting people when you meet them. It’s a skill that will be necessary all through life for making and keeping friends and acquaintances, and for keeping in their family’s good graces. So, here we go!
This week’s rule
Put it into practice
Toddlers 1 – 3 years old:
Start off the youngest little ladies and gentlemen by teaching them to wave when someone enters the room or meets them at the park, restaurant or daycare. It can be made into a game where you hide behind a wall and when you pop around the corner you wave at each other and you say, “Hello!”. As language develops you can encourage your little one to say it back to you as you play this game and when you come across people you know in various situations like the playground, grocery store, etc. Little ones generally get a kick out of getting other people to do stuff, or to repeat what they do so this is a pretty fun and easy game to play for most. Eventually, you can just say that so and so is here and ask what they should say to them. I know other parents who have their kids say hi and wave to everything on the street and in their houses and the kids love it. So, you can go bananas with it and it will be even more of a success. The goal is to have them start adding the word of what/who they’re greeting after saying hello or hi so start working that in once you feel like your little munchkin has a handle on the concept. Have fun with it. Waving is fun!
Kids 3 – 9 years old:
Most likely, kids this age who aren’t already saying hello are a little bit on the shy side or haven’t quite gotten the language skills down, yet. If that’s not the case, then they are ready to jump in! Either way you can go through a similar exercise as above. Start by talking to you kids about all of the situations when you would say hello. For the older kids, get out a big piece of paper or poster board and write all of the places, people and things that you can brainstorm together. I always think that some sort of challenge or reward is a great way to get kids in the habit. Eventually they get bored of the rewards but by then the habit is cemented and everyone wins. So have a pizza party for dinner on Friday if they greet their teachers at school every day, or say hello everyone at home when they see them in the morning all week-long or to say hello to all of their toys when they take them out to play with them. You decide what a fair challenge is for your kid(s) based on their personality. Have the kids decide on a fair reward with you so that they’re more motivated to practice.
Read all of the Monday Manners posts and teach your kids to be better people one week at a time.