Teaching Phone Manners – A Series on Good Manners 2

“Hello…Who is Speaking?” And I wonder, “you are asking me who is speaking when you have called me on my phone!”

This is a common scenario that plays out often in our phone conversations with people, and it just goes a long way to show how important it is to teach our kids how to use the telephone in a polite way.

Our phones take up a whole lot of our time nowadays, and most of us practically spend most of our waking hours doing one thing or the other on our phones. How can we help our kids use the telephone appropriately?

  • Politely greet the other person. If it’s a friend, you can say hello, or if you’re not sure who it is, “Good Morning or afternoon” may be more appropriate.
  • When you are the caller, introduce yourself before any further conversation. For instance, you say “Hello, this is Oluseye calling…”. This helps the other person to identify you immediately, and makes the conversation smoother from there.
  • If you’re not the caller, you greet the person first, then ask “May I know who is calling please?” For safety, a child should be taught never to say who they are or their location until the other person has been verified to be a friend or family member.
  • If the phone belongs to the parent, a child should be taught how to ask the other person to hold the line while the parent is yet to get to the phone. For instance, she can say, “Just a Moment Please”.
  • If the parent is not able to come to the phone, the child should be taught to say that the parent is not able to come to the phone as opposed to saying the parent is not home. This helps in two ways, for safety of the child, and also to help your child not to have to lie for you if you’re indeed home.
  • A child should be taught not to call others at odd hours – either too early or too late – except in the case of an emergency.

Using the telephone appropriately is a matter of respect and safety for your child and family. Let’s teach them, and they’ll get better as they practice often.

Oluseye Ashiru

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