Q: My children are 15 and 11. Their uncle feels when the say hi that they should say Hi uncle His name. The older one occasionally does, the younger one who is generally on with few words, simply says hi. Is this poor etiquette?
A: It’s thoughtful of you to want to get this right. We are inclined to agree with your children’s uncle – when a person’s name is known, it’s always best to say the person’s name when greeting: “Hello, Mrs. Jacobs,” or “Hi, Uncle Joe.”
Some greetings are very casual, such as when a young person says “hi” to a neighbor. In places where a spoken greeting will disturb others, a wave is enough. Since adolescents are often self-conscious about attracting attention to themselves, parents may need to review meeting and greeting manners and remind older children that failing to acknowledge another person’s presence is a sign of disrespect.