Manners maketh the man
Today James (not his real name!) who is seven and has been coming to us for a few months walked through the door. "Hello!" I said. No response. "Hello" I said again. James headed for the bookshelf and ignored me. Rather than ignore the incident, I knelt down next to him and started talking to him about the book he had chosen. He joined in. After a few minutes I said; "James, we still haven't said hello to each other have we? Shall we start again?" "Hello" he said. We had a talk about how it makes people feel better when other people are friendly to them and James decided that next week he would try to find me first to say "hello".
This story may sound trivial but I think that it illustrates a greater problem. If we don't learn basic courtesy and communication skills when we are little, we risk growing into awkward adults. By helping our children to learn how to respond to others, we can prevent them experiencing problems later on in life. It takes a village to raise a child and we can all help.