Ring, ring – teaching good phone manners

Good phone manners mean knowing how to speak clearly, respectfully and confidently on the phone. Instil these in your child and you’ll get their communication skills off to a great start. Some important areas to work on are –

  • Give them the script when answering the phone. “Hello, Tamara speaking”. This is a lovely introduction and goes further than just hello.
  • Add what to say if they want to speak to someone who is not at home. “I’m sorry but Mum is unavailable at the moment, can I take a message for her?” (this teaches children not to tell the person that Mum is not at home.)
  • Your child will also need a script for what to say when asked to speak to someone else in the household. Teach them not to yell. It might sound something like, “One moment, please – I’ll just find them for you.”
  • Have an established routine where a child has a pen and paper by the phone to take down numbers or details to pass on. Insist they do this.
  • Keep this project in the realm of fun and goodwill by role playing phone conversations and by acknowledging your child with a thank you when they have done a good job.It’s great the way the phone keeps loved ones in touch with one another. Teach your children that talking to Nana or Grandpa is part of your expected routine, not an optional extra if they feel like it. You can prepare your children by writing down a few ideas of what to talk to their grandparents about so that the conversation has some direction.