Whether it’s returning a Good Morning, acknowledging a friend, or politely greeting an acquaintance, that spoken word is vital. It establishes a connection between two people… one starts, and the other affirms the relationship.
Don’t think so? Imagine cheerily saying hello to a friend, only to get a blank stare in return. It’s like getting splashed with cold water. On the other hand, a welcoming smile paired with a friendly hello warms the heart.
All it takes is practice.
Okay, it might require some prompting and some patience. Possibly even incentives and rewards. But you don’t have to start with intimidating, unapproachable people… start easy, with grandparents, cousins, relatives, friends next door. Don’t leave out parents, either. Make a point of always saying hello and goodbye, and of expecting a reply. It’s surprising how easily we fall out of the habit with our family members, especially when we’re in a hurry (and when aren’t we in a hurry?). And yet, it’s so important – we’re the people they see and interact with the most.
Now, I see other kids greet my son regularly. He smiles and returns with a hi. Socially, that’s normal. For us, that’s a win.