Many parents reading this would probably agree with me that good manners are a sign of being “civilized,” and that showing respect and consideration towards other people is a crucial social skill that children should learn.
Marian Wright Edelman, an American activist for the rights of children, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, and author of several books, including I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children, even said: “Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.”
Truly, when it comes to teaching our kids manners and respect, we parents have an important role to play. The way our children behave when they are at home or visiting other people’s homes, and yes, even “simple” things like using the phone, can be an indicator of how they will be as adults.
To help all the parents out there (including me), here are a few tips for teaching phone manners to children:
Homeschool mom Sim Casalme Dumlao, says she teaches her kids — Mark, 11, and Monica, 10 — how to be courteous on the phone by setting a good example for them. “Kids will only do what they see and hear from the adults at home,” she shares. “Especially (when it comes to) answering phone calls, including on cellphones. This is one of their favorite ‘mimic play’ activities, so make sure you demonstrate how to take calls during playtime.”
Marge Aberásturi, an independent virtual assistant and owner of VASupportPro.com, says her kids Xia, 12; Bea, 8; and Jude, 7 answer the phone for her most of the time. She always reminds them to “use po and opo and ask who the caller is politely.”
“If the caller refuses to identify himself or herself, I tell them to just put down the phone without any fuss,” Marge continues. “If the caller does identify himself or herself though, the kids ask who he or she wants to talk to politely, then ask him or her to wait for a minute while they get Mommy.”
Marge says she also taught her kids to never give other information, such as what people in the house are doing. “Dati kasi nakikipagkwentuhan pa sila sa caller,” she explains.