Manners – Phone Manners

As I am updating our planner for the new school year, I am adding in manners that we will be working on. Particularly, we will be concentrating on one manner for two weeks. My daughter thought it would be great for other kids know the same information as she is learning. Therefore, I am sharing with you.

How someone “sees” us over the telephone is important, since they may never see us in person. So we should try to make a good impression. Saying the right things is very important in making that good impression.

“When the Phone Rings”

You say, “Hello.” Do not muffle your voice. Be sure to speak clearly.

If the caller is asking for someone else, just say, “Just a minute, please. May I ask who’scalling?” Put the phone down, and go find the person. Do not shout for the person.

Sometimes, your relatives might call and want to chat for a few minutes before speaking to the person they are calling for. Be sure to be friendly with all family and friends.

“When Taking a Message”

If the caller is looking for someone who isn’t home, then say, “May I take a message, please?” Write down the message on a piece of paper by the phone. Be sure to repeat the message back to the caller by saying, “May I repeat the message back to you?” By doing this, you are making sure there are no mistakes.

“When Making the Call”

Be sure to give the person you are calling enough time to answer the phone. Let the phone ring several times before hanging up.
Always identify yourself by saying, “Hello, Mr. Smith. This is Karen. How are you today? May I speak with ________?”
(wait for response)
Be sure to say, “Thank you. Nice to talk to you.”
“Things NOT to Do While on the Phone”
  • Tie up the phone line too long.
  • Secretly listen in on someone else’s call.
  • Answer by saying, “Yeah?”, “Hold on,” “Whoozit?” or “Whadaya want?”
  • Rattle dishes or papers while talking.
  • Eat while talking.
  • Talk to others in the room with us while on the phone with another person.
  • Being rude to a person who dialed you by mistake.

“Time Limits”

I remember having time limits when I was a child. We wasn’t allowed to use the phone anytime after 9PM or before 9AM on any given day. You are being considerate of others when you do this.

“Call Waiting”

If we are called to the phone and then put on “hold” for the convenience of the caller, we would probably consider this action to be rude. Good manners should be communicated over the phone as well as face-to-face.
Just remember, our voice reveals a lot about us – whether we are friendly and warm or abrupt and cold will come through the telephone lines. Let our voice “smile” for us!
Games to reinforce this lesson:
Items needed:
  • Play phone (or a couple of bananas)
  • Practice the above scripts until the child memorizes them.
  • You can take turns being the caller.
Once the child has “mastered” this skill, then have him/her answer the phone the next time it rings.
Recommended Resources:
The following book has to be the best book written on manners, in my humble opinion! I will actually lay in bed reading this some evenings. I love the variety of games and activities in this book. It gets my creative juices flowing to chose games and activities to be used in other areas.
  • “365 Manners Kids Should Know: Games, Activities, and Other Fun Ways to Help Children Learn Etiquette” by Sheryl Eberly
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