Childrearing

Rage Against The Minivan: 7 Simple Things To Teach Kids About Being A Good Friend

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Dear kids,

I’m writing this as the new school year gets underway. A new school year means seeing a lot of your friends again after a long summer, and that’s always fun. But it also means interacting with your friends and making new one. There will be kids in your class this year who weren’t there last year. There will be friends you already know. And as important as it is to master your academic pursuits at school, I also want you to take this time to learn to be a good friend.

 1) Have fun.

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 Don’t make fun. A new class is always scary for one reason or another, even if you are at the same school as you were last year. Almost everyone is a little bit nervous—even the kids you don’t expect to be worried about anything. Remember to laugh and have fun instead of making fun of any insecurities. Poking fun at differences in appearance or ability is something cruel people do, and you strive to be kind.

2) Be positive.

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If you see a kid who looks sad or scared or overwhelmed, give them a hug or high-five. Say something like, “We got this.” Encourage the people around you. Seek to make others feel good.

3) Be aware.

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Listen to what others are saying around you. If someone is being ugly about another kid—the way he looks, the way she dresses, or something that happened at lunch—do not participate. Even better, stand up to them and counter their negative words with something positive.

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