There will come a time when your child will have to use a phone. Teaching your child how to answer the telephone correctly not only leaves a lasting impression on the caller but can keep them safe.
How to answer a telephone call
First, explain to your child what you want them to say when they pick up the phone. Something like this works well:
"Hello this is Name, may I ask who is calling?"
Be beside them the first few times until they consistently do it right. Remember, teaching phone etiquette is a process.
If your child is home alone, they should never reveal this information to the caller. The caller may know your address and could be looking for such an opportunity. In this situation, have your child say:
"My parents can't come to the phone right now. May I take a message?"
If the caller continues to probe your child with questions, have your child say the following then tell them to hang up the phone:
"Please call back later. Thank you"
It's always a good idea to tape some emergency numbers on the phone which they can use just in case.
How to make a telephone call
When your child calls their friends home phone, they should start by introducing themself using their friendliest voice
"Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening, this is Name. May I speak with... ?"
They can be a bit more casual when calling other family members, but should always introduce themself.
Good telephone skills require practice so it's important to start as soon as you think your child is ready.