Safe and Secure – Phone Manners and Safety
Safe and Secure is a series that can be used as guidelines when teaching your children how to stay safe in everyday life.
Ring, ring, ring, ring…Your child answers, “Buddy Elf, what’s your favorite color?”
Funny? Yes. The desired way for your kids to answer the phone? Not so much. There are a few basic things we can teach our children about answering the phone to keep the conversation polite and most importantly, safe. Have a conversation with your kids about phone manners and phone safety… here are a few basic guidelines we recommend.
- Don’t recognize the caller ID, don’t answer. Even as adults we often don’t answer the phone when we don’t recognize the name or the number calling. Kid’s safety is number one. This also will keep your kids from having to deal with telemarketers.
- If Mom and Dad aren’t home don’t answer at all. This keeps the chance of your kids telling whoever is on the other line that no one, or only their babysitter is home.
+ Go over what a polite tone of voice sounds like.
+ Answering with a simple, “Hello” or “Hi, this is Amy speaking.”
- Who is Calling?
+ Keep it simple, teach your children to ask who is calling right after the caller makes their request to talk to someone. “May I ask who is calling?”
+ If you’re busy and can’t take the call, instruct them to say “I’m sorry, Steve, but they’re not available right now”. It’s a better option over an abrupt,“They’re busy” , an over sharing “They’re not home.”, or the ever confusing silence some child phone users love to demonstrate.
+Depending on the age of the child, they can ask if the caller would like them to take a message. It can be helpful to have a special notepad where messages and numbers are jotted down.
+ If you are available , have your children say “Yes, she is. I’ll get her, one moment please.”
- Outgoing Calls
+ Depending on the age and experience of your child you probably want to supervise their outgoing calls.
+Have them introduce themselves and then ask to speak to who they are calling, “Hi this is Amy, may I talk to Jill?”
- Child to Child Conversations
+ Remind your kids that it is impolite to ask to have a play date while their friend on the other line can hear them.
+ When kids talk on the phone a lot of stuff can become lost in translation, it’s a good idea to allow the kids to have the initial conversation then talk with the other parent to clarify any plans.
Go over these things with your kids! Get out the cell phone and call the house and have your children answer. Practice, practice, practice!