Say Hello When Someone Says Hello to You

When someone says ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ to you it seems pretty natural to return the greeting.  That is if you have been taught to do so.  Kindergarten children have to be taught to say ‘good morning’ to their teacher.  I stand at my door as the children come into my classroom and purposefully say ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’ to each child as they enter the room.  Sounds easy, right?  The trick is getting these 5 year olds to return the greeting to me.  Not one of my current kindergartners says ‘hello’ back to me without some prodding.  Some children just stare and say nothing while most just continue walking as if they have heard nothing from me. Every day we go through this ritual and every day I have to remind the children when someone (i.e., your teacher!) says hello to you it is polite to say ‘hello’ back.  Parents, please help your child with this skill.  Do not let them just walk away from you as you say ‘hello’, or ‘hi’, or ‘good morning’, or ‘good afternoon’.  Once again I go back to the thought that 5 year olds live in their own ME world and that they think that the world revolves around them.  Since this is not so, it is our job, as the adults in their lives to teach children that in polite society, when others greet you, it is considered polite to answer back.  This is a polite way of recognizing others when they have taken the time to recognize you.  Take a moment to observe your child when a greeting is given to him/her, see how he/she responds to the greeting  and then decide what you need to work on at home.  I am doing my best at school, but I can’t do it alone.


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