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5 Step Children's Manners Makeover for the Holidays - Step 4 - Greetings and Handshakes

Written by Cindy Post Senning
Article Index
5 Step Children's Manners Makeover for the Holidays
Step 1 – Table Manners
Step 2 - Table Conversation
Step 3 - Gifts You Don’t Wrap
Step 4 - Greetings and Handshakes
Step 5 - Giving and Receiving Gifts:
All Pages

Greetings and handshakes are social skills...

...and like every skill it takes practice to get them right and to feel comfortable using them. Also, it’s much easier to learn and practice with someone you know well so try out that greeting and handshake in familiar settings with friends and family.

Let me say it again! Practice with siblings, neighbors, and dolls and stuffed animals – every day!


Look them in the eye and SMILE!

Speak clearly

Say the person’s name

Add a “Glad to see you” or “How’s it going?”

If it’s a relative or close friend, add a hug.


Right hand to right hand – palm to palm; thumbs up

Firm grip – not too tight; not too limp

Two to three pumps then release

History of handshake: In olden days, knights extended a hand to show it did not hold a weapon and they were approaching as friends not enemies. The other person responded showing he didn’t have a weapon either. The handshake was a gesture of friendship in the olden days and still is today.

Greetings and handshakes are skills that will serve your children well far beyond the holiday season so take this opportunity to be intentional about teaching them. It’s really a gift for them from you!


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