Friday, October 5, 2012

Front Door Etiquette

Little Guy loves to answer the front door.  No matter where he might be in the house, he starts sprinting whenever he hears a knock or the doorbell. 

And heaven help the family member who answers it first!

In spite of his eagerness to answer the door, Little Guy's awareness of what comes next is lacking.  Many times he just stands there, refusing to speak or acknowledge the visitor.  Or if he does speak, it's often something which could be interpreted as rude.

We work on door etiquette consistently, but still have awkward moments.  As an example of this, Sis had her wisdom teeth out a few weekends ago and had several visitors during the time she was down.  One individual in particular visited her several times...and Little Guy happened to be in fine form.

That Friday, this person stopped by for a few minutes on the way to a family get together.  Little Guy opened the door, stood there for a minute before blurting out, "Just who the heck are you?"  I hurriedly invited them in, reminding Little Guy to be polite to visitors. 

A few hours later, this friend returned.  Upon opening the door, Little Guy used his most annoyed tone to blurt out, "NOT AGAIN!"  I actually caught the door as he was shutting it on the person, ushered them in, and reminded my son that we invite our visitors inside when they have come to see a member of our family.

The following day, this individual came to our home again.  I hurried to get the door...but Little Guy was already there.  This time, he had his hands on his hips and asked, "What do you want this time?" 

"We don't say that, it's rude.  We say 'Come in' if someone is here to visit," I reminded Little Guy as I opened the door wider and admitted Sis' friend. 

Later, this person mentioned to Sis that he didn't think Little Guy liked him very much.

I think Little Guy likes this individual just fine; in fact, he sat next to him later that evening in our rocking chair.  The problem is, he doesn't recognize the social cues which signal our feelings about others - which include making them feel welcome at the door.  

We'll continue to work on this skill until Little Guy has grasped it; until then, if you come to our door and Little Guy answers it, please be patient.  We really do like visitors :)

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