Q: I have been friends with my neighbors for many years. I have known their children since they were born, as well. Their oldest child is now a preteen, and suddenly acts as though he doesn’t know me. It seems disrespectful that he doesn’t even say hello to me anymore. Should I address his actions?
A: He’s old enough to now how to greet others in a friendly way; he’s probably just going through a temporary age-related manners lapse. Don’t even think of correcting his behavior; that’s up to his parents, who should sit him down later on and remind him of the right way to welcome guests. In the meantime, your role is to rise above it. Offer him a kind, upbeat greeting: “Hi, Chris! I’m so glad to see you again!” After you’ve hugged each of his parents, you could add: “Is it OK if I give you a hug?” You’ll be setting a good example for him without giving him a lecture.