Kids Telephone Etiquette

Kids Telephone Etiquette

Girl yelling on the phoneI recently telephone my cousins home to receive a very faint “Hello”, followed by an extremely loud scream of “MOOOOMMMMM into the mouth piece. My cousin has decided to allow her four year old to answer the home phone, much to the unfortunate damage of my ear drum.

Please keep toddlers away from the phone, especially if you have a home based business. The little darlings are sooooo cute to You, but frustrating to the caller (unless it’s you or Grandma calling); bad for business too.

When they are old enough and can speak clearly, encourage them to hear you answer and end calls first. They will learn from your example; good or bad.

Let them make and receive a few “pretend” calls over a period of time. For an example, they should answer “The Smith’s residence, Tommy speaking”. Be right beside them the first few times that they are allowed to answer the phone until they consistently do it right.

For child safety reasons instruct kids to never disclose their own name or address; nor to advise if parents are not at home.

Always have pen and paper next to the phone for your older child to write down a brief message such as who called, when they called, and the action required if any, such as if a return call is requested.

To hear a kid on the phone with good telephone etiquette leaves a lasting impression.

Below are a few questions and answers to go over with your child:

When you call someone, and they say hello, what is the first thing you say?

“Hi, this is [name], may I please speak to [whoever the kid I want to play with is]?

When the person on the other line wants to talk to mommy, or someone else, what is a good thing to say before you pass the phone?

“One moment, please.”

What should you say if you need to put the phone down and ask me a question?

“One moment, please. (If you’re talking to someone fancy like the queen of England)”

If you’re talking to a friend, you say, “One second, please, I’ll ask my mom about that.”

When someone calls and says, “Can I talk to your mom,” what should you say first?

“May I ask who’s calling?”

Authored by: Constance Hoffman

Constance Hoffman is owner of Social and Business Graces based in Los Angeles County, a full range protocol training company, which focuses on business and social skills for professional adults and teaching children how to place their best foot forward. Often referred to as “The Modern Day Ms. Manners”, Constance has been featured on The Learning Channel, ABC News, in OK! Magazine and the Los Angeles Times Newspaper. Her first guidebook, “Tips on Tipping”, is now available on her website,

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