When it comes to teaching your kids basic manners, you probably already work hard teaching your kids the basics such as saying please and thank you. However, you also need to teach your kids the proper way to introduce themselves to other people. Not only is it polite, it’s a habit they will use for the rest of their lives, whether at school or in their future career. Good manners not only teach your children respect, they reflect your parenting abilities.
Discuss with your child the importance of introductions. Focus on teaching him how to introduce himself to other people and let him know that this displays good manners. It is important for your child to learn to properly introduce himself to other because it is a good way to help shy people feel more comfortable, whether the shy person in question is your child or someone else. Additionally, learning the art of a proper introduction is a social skill he will use for the rest of his life in both his personal and professional lives, according to Renee Gilbert Ph.D., Washington-based licensed clinical psychologist.
Instruct your child to say hello and offer her name when introducing herself. She should smile and say something along the lines of, “Hello, my name is Susie and it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Tell her it is okay to wait to tell someone what a pleasure it is to meet them until after they offer her their name in return, as well.
Teach your child how to appropriately shake a person’s hand. If he is unsure how to do it the right way, practice with him. Have him extend his right hand out -- it’s always the right hand, even if someone is left-handed -- and offer it to others. He should pump his hand two to three times and hold on with medium strength. He doesn’t want to hold on too softly and seem weak but he doesn’t want to hold on too tight and hurt anyone.
Encourage your child to make eye contact and smile when she is introducing herself to others, advises Dr. Laura Markham, Ph.D. and psychologist. This is a critical part of making an appropriate introduction because it sets the tone and shows new people that your child is open, bright and friendly.
Practice letting your child introduce himself, advises Markham. You can pretend to be a new teacher or one of your own work colleagues and let him approach you to introduce himself. Help him work on problem areas, such as shaking hands. Praise him for his strengths when it comes to introducing himself. If he maintains eye contact and smiles while introducing himself to others, compliment him on his ability to look people in the eye because it makes him seem more confident. Additionally, his smile helps people recognize that he is friendly and kind.