No Greetings for you


Readers, I have a bit of a dilemma and I am hoping that you will be able to offer some advice.  If you are a regular reader around these parts then you will know that I have a 4 year old.  He is boisterous and cheeky but that’s not my issue.  He also sleep dodges with the best of them, and I have kind of resolved myself to the fact that maybe I have a child who just doesn’t need as much sleep as the rest of us (why me!?) so that’s not my issue either.  My problem is that he refuses to say hello or goodbye to people.

This isn’t about stranger danger, I don’t force him to talk to people if he doesn’t know them.  The message gets a little confused at this age if I tell him not to talk to strangers and then make him have a conversation with someone he doesn’t know.  He flat out refuses to say hello or goodbye to anyone, myself and and his father included.  I feel like hiding under a rock every time it happens, thinking that surely people must think that I am raising a rude child.

I lead by example and say hello and goodbye to people.  Mr 4 is very stubborn (can’t think where he got that from, must be his father), and the only way we got him to start using please and thank you is not by telling him what to say, but by using the question ‘what do you say’.  We have tried this with with greeting but unfortunately it hasn’t worked.  He refuses to say it to friends, his daycare teachers, family and anyone who he has regular contact with.

Does anyone have any suggestions for ways to coax him into saying hello and goodbye?  Is this something that anyone else has experienced with their own kids and they grew out of?  Am I doomed to always have a child that is a little bit of a snob?

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

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12 thoughts on “No Greetings for you

  1. Me

    I don’t know what to recommend as, we still now have to say to K – what do you say when people walk into the house. I have absolutely no idea what is going through her head that she doesn’t say hullo when someone walks in – she will reply to them but she very seldom initiates the hullo – IT DRIVES ME NUTS !!!!
    Sorry I’m not any help !
    Me xox

  2. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    That is quite interesting T – I’m not sure, but my son doesn’t do it without prompting either, nearly 4, but will do it if I coax him. I think it might just be a stage, a shy stage, I think they are becoming more aware of themselves as individuals at this age and so are just flexing their muscles a bit. xxx

  3. Susannah

    My sister is 5 and still does this. I’ve nannied many children and they have all done this. It’s rare for children under 7 to use formal greetings such as Good Morning etc. Often, when they start school they will learn that greeting/goodbye’s are appropriate and the ‘done-thing’. They will often practice saying Good Morning Teacher… every morning and ‘Good Afternoon’. I know my sister’s class when they do Show and Tell they say ‘Good Morning Prep’ and the class responds Good Morning (name)… This is a teacher driven exercise to teach and allow practice. This is the age when they start to mimic adults and learn socially accepted forms of communication. I wouldn’t worry, I think it is very common.

  4. Min@MinsMash

    I don’t think people will think your son is rude. Most kids I know of that age are the same. I would just keep prompting him to say hello and goodbye until eventually as he grows older it becomes ingrained and he will know it is good manners to do so. I seem to recall having to prompt my kids at that age and beyond! 🙂 xo

  5. Lydia c lee

    I think if you keep trying to encourage him, then he’ll get it eventually (school’s a great leveller). It’s a phase and he’ll grow out of it. Kids get all sorts of ideas into their heads. Who knows why.

  6. Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    I bet you Tegan that one day he’ll decide to start doing it unprompted, when it suits him, not you! We have this issue with Gilbert but that’s due to his legal blindness (so sometimes not seeing people properly or seeing them but not recognising them) and his autism. We ended up using a social story to simulate appropriate greetings – we even videoed him saying hello and goodbye to people to reinforce it – but we still need to prompt him most of the time. All you can do is continue to model appropriate greetings and hope that he will start copying you when he is ready. He sounds like my stubborn Miss 3 who has decided she doesn’t want to use the toilet after all…grr…

  7. Kylah

    Haha! Love it. Perhaps you have raised a snob 😉

    My son is only 17mo so I probably have no decent experience or advice to give. However I have found that when we do go through a phase, or have an issue, the more attention/energy I give it, the less it seems to right itself. It’s like little ones sense our anxiety and act up accordingly. Perhaps you could try not making a big deal out of it? Just go about being the role model you are and see if he decides to follow suit. Although it would definitely be awkward explaining the no reaction. I feel for you.

  8. Rhianna

    I was only having a conversation with a friend about this the other day as well. My children all do this from time to time. The most frustrating part being is that there are times where they do greet people appropriately. I guess we should all just take heart in the fact that we are not alone in this?

    I wonder if it is there way of exerting some kind of power so I try not to make a big deal about it, it just means they can’t be included in the conversation till they find their manners.


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