Hello and welcome. What happens when we say, “Hello” to someone? Well, a couple of things actually. Number one; we stop “our life” for just a moment to take the time to say to another through a little word (hello, hi), that are life is not so busy, not so crazy, or that I’m not so self-absorbed, that I can’t take a moment to recognize you. That’s all, just a moment. But in that moment, we relay a very important message. A message that tells another, “You are important and I see you”. Simple, right? Number two; we begin a conversation with “well wishes”. That’s the definition for a greeting; well wishes. Beginning a conversation or a meeting with others with an appropriate greeting helps put others at ease and encourages feelings of deference with one another. Another way to show deference (polite respect) to others is to stand when we greet one other. Discuss with your children why we greet one another and when good times to greet someone are (like greeting their teacher when walking into class in the mornings and when grandparents or other adults enter into a room). Wouldn’t it be marvelous to witness our children as they stopped playing their video game, stood and walked over to Grandma as she entered the room and said, “Hi Grandma. I’m so glad you’re here. Come sit by me.” What feelings of love and appreciation Grandma would feel with such a welcome. I’ve found that the best way to help children learn this and most techniques is to role play. Role play the “right way” to greet someone and have some laughs as you role play the “wrong way”. Let your child play both the Grandma, Dad, teacher, etc. and then let them play the child. This actually can be a lot of fun and let your children come up with different situations that might be fun. For instance, have you ever walked into a restaurant and no one ever speaks to you or what about the “horror” of going to a party and walking in and no one saying “hello”. Yikes, that makes all of us weak in the knees. Just remember, learning proper etiquette is important but if kids are going to remember a new skill, they must practice it. Enjoy those children and have fun saying, “Hello”.
CEO/The Etiquette Factory