How To Introduce Children To Adults

How To Introduce Children To Adults

I'm asked quite often the best way to introduce children to adults in formal and casual settings. I love this question and spending the time to talk to families about this very important element of etiquette.

As I say time and again, manners aren't a strict set of rules designed to intimidate, rather a learning process to help those around you feel comfortable in your presence. Making others feel at ease is the foundation of etiquette and leading a charming life. 

Click through to learn the easy and stress-free way to introduce children to adults | It's not easy if you have a shy child or even an outgoing one sometimes to help kids to connect with meeting new adults | Etiquette for families | Kids manners | #manners #etiquette #businessetiquette

The How To of 'How Do?'

The year presents so many opportunities to introduce our children to adults in new settings. Consider holiday gatherings, significant birthday parties and special events that combine multiple generations.

When prepping your children to meet new adults there are a few ways to start. First, give them information that they can use. Practice introductions by DOING them.

Play a game of Simon/Simone DOES! Have them mimic you to learn as they do.

  • Stand with your back straight and head up.
  • Have them do the same.
  • Stand face to face with your child.
  • Put out your right hand to shake.
  • Have them do the same.
  • Look them in the eyes.
  • Have them do the same.
  • Say your name, first and last, and say, 'It's nice to meet you!'
  • Have them do the same making sure to encourage them to use an adult's prefix: Mrs., Ms., Mr. or Dr. (If an adult would like a child to call them by their first name or other, it's up to the adult to offer that directly to the child. Never assume.)
  • Smile!
  • Make sure you do something to make them smile and relax too!
  • Go your separate ways and try it again with another family member or willing friend.

Perfect Prep

Tell children who they are meeting for the first time. Give them background and context. For example, "this Sunday at brunch we'll be with Grandma and Grandpa along with some of their neighbors that they have known for 30 years. I grew up playing with their children and we had the best summers making forts together."

Alternatively, if you run into an acquaintance and introduce your children follow up by explaining how you know the person to whom they were just introduced. This adds clarity and an extra layer of interest for most kids. It's fun to know that Mom and Dad have their own friends too!

Perfect Practice...Makes Good to Great in Real Life

Practice the mechanics of an introduction with your child, but don't stress them out by requiring them to use certain words. Instead focus on the tone, eye contact, confidence and friendliness. All of those tools will show great respect to the newly met adult. 

Keep It Light!

Please never scold or correct your child for a mis-pronounced name. Believe me that the recipient will find it absolutely charming to have their name mis-pronounce, but an attempt made!


If you have a child who shies away from meeting new people - young or old - let them grow into the interaction. Please do not let it bother you and internalize it as some type of failing.

Our society places what I think to be too much importance on the 'right' way rather than attempt at etiquette. If your child can simple smile or make eye contact with a new adult - that is plenty.

This gives you a chance to work on something together. Remember to praise your shy child for any effort - big or small - to encourage and communicate pride in them.

It's not too late. Older children who might have regressed should try to employ these tips to help with teacher and adult relationships.

Introductions | Best Practices

When introducing yourself or children to others, err on the formal side. Use Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. etc.

Put all phones and electronic devices down and in a pocket or purse while you are making introductions.

Create moments to practice happy and relaxed introductions, which will inspire confidence.

Be consistent in your own behavior, which is by far the best way to teach through modeling. 



Let's Be Social

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Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash 

Click through to learn the easy and stress-free way to introduce children to adults | It's not easy if you have a shy child or even an outgoing one sometimes to help kids to connect with meeting new adults | Etiquette for families | Kids manners | #manners #etiquette #businessetiquette


Today is a gift. Let's put a bow on it!
Find creative and sustainable ways to make family life a delight! Sharing modern etiquette that kids will enjoy.
💕 jennifer

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