Life Skills 101: Greetings!
Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – Teaching Kids Interpersonal Skills –
It was just hours before Meet the Teacher Night for the five-year-old sitting in my counseling office. He was excited about going to Kindergarten. I asked if he would like to really impress his teacher and got an eager Yes! I taught him how to walk up to his new teacher, make eye contact, say My name is Grant and I’m glad to be in your class, and shake her hand.
We rehearsed this at least eight times until he had strong eye contact and a firm hand shake. He was so proud of himself. Before he left my office, I held both hands up to give him a double high-five. He jumped high as he slapped both of my hands with his and somehow his energy propelled him on to his back on the floor. It was nice to see such enthusiasm and the pride in his parents” eyes.
This contrasts with kids who come into my office and sit in the waiting room using their I-pad, I-phone, I-whatever and ignore me when I enter the waiting room with Hi! How’re you doing? No reply, not even any recognition that I’m there. It’s not that the kids don’t like me, it’s just that they’ve not been taught the importance of the polite skill of greeting.
So I suggest that you teach your child how to greet others. You may even teach them how to give a proper hand shake. Then practice it–making it fun. Then suggest a place where they can use it. Hold them accountable for being polite. It’s the nice (and right) thing to do!
Copyright © 2011, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.
P.S. Please see my other column on peer group pressure.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.