Best Behavior: Greet Nicely
Although kids often hide their eyes from strangers, saying hi and goodbye -- and answering a simple question -- are essential social graces.
Make it Happen: Rather than merely coaxing a dutiful hello from your child, challenge her to tell you some detail about the person too, suggests Judi Vankevich, a children's entertainer and recording artist better known as Judi The Manners Lady. You might say, "Can you see what color Mrs. Johnson's eyes are?" This will help her learn to look adults in the eye.
Once your child has mastered a proper "hello," move on to a handshake. Start by teaching her the difference between a weak "dead-fish" handshake and a nice, firm one, says Vankevich. Then practice introductions at home -- perhaps by pretending to be different characters or friends.