Hello! Good morning! Good afternoon! Howdy! Hey there! Making a good first impression with an appropriate Greeting is an important skill to have. A positive greeting that makes someone else feel connected is how most friendships and relationships get started, so it’s important to learn how to make a strong greeting. Learning and practicing how to greet peers or adults is worth your time to practice and have a plan for making a good Greeting.
“A positive greeting that makes someone else feel connected is how most friendships and relationships get started”
Soft skills, even communication skills, can be learned in an I Do – We Do – You Do format! We use this format at Superpowers Academy, where we guide you through how to team up with your kids and learn these life skills.
During the “I Do” part of the skill-building, you as the parent/adult tell your child what the skill is that they are learning quite explicitly, and model the skill.
There are three types of greetings to practice with your child:
- The first time you see someone during the day, you say “Hi, how are you?” After the other person responds, it’s your turn again to talk. They will probably ask how you are, too. This is when you respond with “I’m fine, thanks for asking.”
- If you are passing someone you know in the hallway or at a store, it’s okay to give a shorter greeting and just say “Hi” with a smile and eye contact.
- If you or someone with you is leaving to go somewhere else, you say “Goodbye” or “Have a nice day.”
During the “We Do” part of the skill-building, take some time to practice with your child, by coming up with role-playing situations that you might find yourselves in.
- Pretend you are at Arrival at your child’s school or summer school. Roleplay where you as the adult are the adult, and role play when you are the child! Take turns saying Hello or Hi, and asking how you are.
- Pretend you are in a hotel and you are registering with the front desk for your room. Practice saying hello, making eye contact, and waving.
- Pretend it’s the end of a play date or sports practice. Role-play the correct way in which you say goodbye.
When you are doing the “We Do” part of the practice, it’s fun, and effective, to practice “non-examples,” or ways that you should NOT greet or say goodbye. Children always find this downright entertaining, and like to practice the wrong way, which helps them see why not saying hello or giving a greeting can appear rude or uninterested.
During the “You do” part of the role-playing, your child is on their own without your assistance. You can have your child demonstrate the skill with you, or ask them who they want to practice with in real life.
“Wow, you did a great job with me practicing Greetings! Do you want to try a Greeting with Mom now, or a waiter?”
This encourages the child to think about using the skill. Once you know who they want to practice with, be sure to follow up after they have practiced with that individual, to see how it went, what happened, and how this made them feel. If children do not make a greeting (walk right by someone without acknowledging them, or ignore them when they say hello), be sure to provide specific feedback on what they can do next time and practice the skill some more in the “We Do” format with role-playing. “I noticed that when your friend said hello, you did not look her in the eye and say “Hello” back. Let’s practice again.”