We’ve started allowing our kids to answer the phone and make phone calls to relatives and friends.

Their recent display of phone etiquette or, lack thereof, isn’t entirely their fault. In fact, it’s not their fault at all. We haven’t taught them how to answer a phone properly or how to be a polite caller, but it has been funny to listen and observe the following don’ts when it comes to talking on the phone.

  1. Answering, “Who’s this?”
  2. Nodding for an affirmative answer as though the person on the other end has a camera and they can see your actions.
  3. Determining how loud they should speak based on how far away the person lives, escalating to a full-on shouting match to an unsuspecting Grandma and Grandpa answering from Florida.
  4. Calling a friend and never stating your name or purpose of your call just hounding the person who answers first with, “Who is this?” followed by, “Where’s my friend? Not home? Where is she?”
  5. Looking to me for answers when the person on the other end is being unclear and stating aloud, “I don’t understand what he means?”
  6. Answering the phone and responding, “No, she’s in the bathroom and the door’s closed so…..My Dad? He’s in the other bathroom.”


I think the best one I’ve heard to date was when one of our girls asked if they could return a call from a friend about a play date and the friend’s answering machine picked up. After a series of, “Ashley, are you there? Is this Ashley’s house? There was a beep but it didn’t sound like Ashley,” and me explaining they should leave a message I heard the following, “My Mom said she doesn’t like me to play with you because you’re always sick. Okay?”

Luckily, no names were mentioned.