One of the best ways to teach your child how to use the phone with proper etiquette is to practice using the phone with them. Children of various ages love to play pretend, and they also love to role play, which gives you as a parent plenty of opportunities to teach your child how to use the phone with proper etiquette. The best way to go about it is to sit down and carry on pretend conversations with your child, using real phones that have been unplugged or toy phones. Allow your children the opportunity to carry on both sides of the conversation, and when role playing or pretending with your child, be sure to use proper phone etiquette since children learn a lot of behavior by example.
Here are some tips on how to teach your child to use the phone with proper etiquette.
When you are teaching your child etiquette it is important that you teach them the proper things to say on the telephone. All too often as parents you have probably answered the phone when your child’s friends have called only to encounter children who have no idea what to say when talking on the telephone. Teach your child the proper responses such as “Hello”, “May I ask who is calling please”, and “That person isn’t available right now”. A helpful hint is that good manners go a long way in telephone etiquette.
Not only is the beginning and middle part of the conversation important but so is the ending. Rather than teaching your child to simply hang up the phone after they are done talking, you need to teach your child that the proper way to end the conversation is to say “Good-Bye” or “Bye”. This will signal to the other person that you are done talking, but remember to tell your child to wait for a response from the other person before hanging up.
When teaching your child etiquette you also need to teach your child about the more common rules of using the phone. You want to teach them not to make phone calls after a certain time and not to call other parent’s cell phones. But probably one of the most important things in teaching your child telephone etiquette is teaching them how to leave a message on an answering machine. You should also explain to them what leaving a message does and that once they leave a message they should wait for the person to call back.
If your child answers the phone, you must teach them what they should do. If the person the caller wishes to speak to is home, the rest is simple. All that is needed is to tell the caller to hold on one second while you get them. It can be complicated for your child if the person the caller is wishing to speak with is not at home. In this case you will need to teach your children what kind of information they should give out to friends and strangers alike. A good rule of thumb to follow in this kind of situation is to teach your child to tell the caller that you are busy and can’t come to the phone right now.
Just remember that the best way to teach your child how to use the phone with proper etiquette is to allow them to practice as often as possible and give out tips and pointers on how they are doing; don’t only correct the mistakes, but praise them for what they are doing right. Other family members are a great tool to use when teaching your child how to use the phone with proper etiquette too, so give older more experienced family members the opportunity to call home for the younger children to practice, or have your child call grandparents regularly. They won’t mind!