“Hello! Nice to see you. Please come in!” You might hear these phrases of greeting quite often during holidays, celebrations or family gatherings.
These social interactions can be difficult for young children, especially if their usual routine has been disrupted or you find yourself in a brand new environment.
If you practice greetings ahead of time however, your child will be comfortable in each new setting and happy to show of their grace and courtesy skills!
Here are a few tips for practicing greetings ahead of time.
A nice handshake, eye to eye, is a great skill for a child to learn and practice. To get started, look your child straight in the eye and say “Hello (name)”. Wait for your child to repeat back what you said, or prompt them with “What’s your name?” Let your child know they can initiate a handshake at any time by walking up to a friend and putting their hand out!
Welcome to our home
A child is constantly navigating what to say and when. If you are hosting guests at your home, ease the transition by giving your child the vocabulary they need to greet guests. Practice walking in the door like a guest, and teach your child that “Welcome to our home” is an appropriate greeting!
Would you like to see my room?
Children LOVE showing off their space, favorite toy, or newest acquisition. This can be a great ice-breaker with guests! Practice this phrase with your child: “Would you like to see my room?” or “Would you like to see my toy?” Just remind your child that it’s ok for your guests to politely decline as well.
No, thank you.
Having guests in your home often increases excitement and energy in an otherwise calm environment. Letting your child know that they have some decision making power, whether it’s about their attire or dinner choices, helps them feel in control. Give them appropriate choices like “Would you like to have a dinner roll or a pita wedge?” And it’s ok to say “No, thank you” in a calm voice too.
Your child is there to enjoy social gatherings! Establishing a few ground rules will go a long way towards making them feel comfortable with any new experience.
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