A Greeting is not Just a Greeting
I teach all of my children to use their manners, and to be as polite as possible. In Cameron’s case, I have to remind him more frequently than I had to remind the other children at his age. It simply does not usually occur to him to observe the social expectations.
With this in mind, I place a reason why with the direction to say “Please” or “Thank you.” I say, “What should you say if someone does something nice for you?” He answers, “I should say, ‘Thank you.'”
When it comes to greeting someone, I direct him to take the time to say “Hello” to them, but also to go a step further. I tell him to use the person’s name. When he first asked why he should use their name, I said, “Because it lets them know that you think they’re important.”
We all try to teach our children to have manners. In Cameron’s case, I am teaching him a valuable skill for survival and functionality in the outside world.
The knowledge is slowly seeping in. For the past couple of days, he has greeted his van drivers as soon as he saw them. He also used their name! For a child who showed little or no awareness or interest in others just a couple of years ago, this is a huge milestone. I am quite proud.