A lesson in Greeting
As adults, many of us have the ‘greeting phobia’. Some of us get all clammy and nervous when we have to greet a stranger at a party. Imagine our young children – physically tiny in comparison to us adults and they are expected not only to greet strangers they have been introduced to, but also to do it with a smile!
As a Montessori center, we have helpful lessons in greeting for our young children. Our teachers help them overcome their fears and teach them to greet without fear. At home, you too can help you children just by using some simple tips.
If there is one thing children love, is to look older and more grown-up. At the preschool, we explain to children that when they meet someone in a friendly manner, they are showing respect to the person and this always makes them look all grown-up. This ‘grown-up’ feeling automatically gives them confidence and their fear is shed slightly, if not completely.
Sit with your child and make a list of the words and actions that constitute a complete greeting – a polite hello, eye contact, a smile and a simple greeting , a handshake and probably and introduction. Role-play this with your children with puppets or stuffed animals and turn it into a relaxing game. Once he has had fun doing it with you, ask him to practice with family members when they come into the house. In no time will he be a confident greeter!
When you plan to go for an event like a birthday party, a social gathering or a family wedding, prepare your child before the event. Tell him about what he should expect and go through the greeting process once more. Always instill into your preschooler that he should never be afraid and encourage him with positive words.