Sometimes parents are puzzled when their children refuse to do some simple things. For example, a 4-year-old child in our program refused to say "good morning" when the parents asked her to do so.
Instead of pressuring the child or showing disappointment, the parents took our suggestions and gave more space to the child so she could change when she felt comfortable to do so. To make sure the child felt supported, we coached the parents to understand the child by asking her for the reasons gently. It turned out the child felt fear when she was asked to say "good morning" to other people. We encouraged the parents to show empathy and acknowledged the child's feeling. We also encouraged the parents to share their own fears in other areas so the child knew that the parents could identify with her fear.
We reassured the child that this was a common issue among other children as well. She didn't need to feel shameful about it, and her parents would not love her any less because of it. We challenged her to suggest a day when she thought she would feel comfortable saying "good morning". It took a few months, but the child was finally able to say "good morning" to others, even without reminders from the parents. The child felt proud for conquering her fear and the parents were grateful at her progress.