Is your child a little shy? Here are some easy ways to help them say hello and be social.
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Many kids are shy when it comes to saying hello to someone they don't know, but you can make them more comfortable by practicing at home. Here are three tips for encouraging your child to introduce themselves.

Try a few "dress rehearsals."

Role-play various greetings by showing your kid how to make eye contact with you and then asking them to give you a clear intro, such as, "Hello, my name is …" No need to instruct them how to shake hands—a wave or a smile is a great post-pandemic substitute. —Jennifer L. Scott, author of Connoisseur Kids: Etiquette, Manners, and Living Well for Parents and Their Little Ones

little girl walking in door waving and saying hi
Credit: Kativ/Getty Images

Get goofy.

Line up stuffed animals or toys and practice introducing yourselves to them while playing. "Can you say, 'Hi, I'm Lily!' in a silly voice? Can you do it like SpongeBob or Peppa Pig?" The more fun you can make it, the more at ease your kid will be when it comes to real life. —Ann Joseph-Douglas, director of education at Children's Theatre Company, in Minneapolis

Add a tiny step to classic games.

Repeating people's names can help your kid remember them. Before starting a match of "Rock, paper, scissors," or any game, have your kid use your name to ask you to join in. ("Ashley, would you like to play?" "Yes, Gabriel, count me in!") Urge your child to try this when they're at school, too, to keep track of new friends. —Kaylie Scott, a dual-language immersion teacher in Alpharetta, Georgia

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's November 2021 issue as "Teach Your Child To… Introduce Themselves." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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