Five-Step Children’s Manners Makeover for the Holidays: Step 4 Greetings and Handshakes Hero Label

Five-Step Children’s Manners Makeover for the Holidays: Step 4 Greetings and Handshakes

photo: little girl shakes hands with a robot in a store display

Greetings and handshakes are social skills...and like every skill it takes practice to get them right and to feel comfortable using them. Also, it’s much easier to learn and practice with someone you know well so try out that greeting and handshake in familiar settings with friends and family.

Let me say it again! Practice with siblings, neighbors, and dolls and stuffed animals—every day!

Greetings

  • Look them in the eye and SMILE!
  • Speak clearly
  • Say the person’s name
  • Add a “Glad to see you” or “How’s it going?”
  • If it’s a relative or close friend, add a hug

Handshakes

  • Right hand to right hand—palm to palm; thumbs up
  • Firm grip—not too tight; not too limp
  • Two to three pumps then release

History of handshakes: In olden days, knights extended a hand to show it did not hold a weapon and they were approaching as friends not enemies. The other person responded showing he didn’t have a weapon either. The handshake was a gesture of friendship in the olden days and still is today.

Greetings and handshakes are skills that will serve your children well far beyond the holiday season, so take this opportunity to be intentional about teaching them. It’s really a gift for them from you!

And finally... Step Five: Giving and Receiving Gifts!