Children Need to Always Acknowledge Adults

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I read your post about a reader who said her children act shy and awkward when around adults. My kids seem to ignore adults who they know all together. Do you have any tips for that? Thanks.

Dear Laurie,
I have noticed this a lot with children and young adults as well. I tell parents who have this issue to seek out situations that put your child out of his comfort zone. I have suggested to clients to take their child to a local Starbucks, or someplace where they know they will run into an adult acquaintance or friend. Tell your child to go up to the adult, shake his hand, and make small talk. You can stay back in the line while before you join them.

Flat out tell your child that it is not acceptable to avoid saying hello to adults. If you give your child the confidence of what to say or how to behave in interactions with adults, he should not feel the need to avoid them as much.