Today I thought I’d interview my kids on the best way to use the phone. Though they are pretty good with some phone manners, they need reminding every so often. And since the best to learn something is to teach it, I thought it would be fun to help them master their telephone skills by having them tell me what they should do. (I suppose this is a little more like just quizzing them, rather than their teaching me, but whatever. You get the idea)

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.”

What happens if you’re home alone and someone calls?

“I should check the caller ID to make sure it’s mommy or someone I know very good like Daddy or my preschool teacher. Then I can answer it.”

What if you’re home alone, and you didn’t have caller ID and you answer the phone?

If it’s someone we don’t know that well, we say, “She can’t talk right now, can I take a message?”

If it’s someone I don’t know, I just say, “Bye!” and hang up.

Do you ever tell a person on the other line that you are home alone?

No. Unless it’s our grandmother.

What if a babysitter is there with you? Do you ever say the babysitter is with you?


Do you ever say mommy isn’t home?


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

“Who’s this?”

What’s a better way to say that?

“May I ask who’s calling?”

When someone calls and says they want to talk to so-and-so, and you’re that person, what do you say, “This is her (him)?” or “This is she (he)?”

“This is he.”

Is it polite to yell across the house for me when the phone is for mommy?


What should you do?

I should go and find you, but I’ll talk to the person while I’m looking for you so they won’t get bored.

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