A childs guide to friend keeping

My son Sam has been very interested in a wide variety of topics lately. A few weeks ago he wanted to talk about skin color, after that it was about a child’s view of fat-shaming, more recently it has been about what it means to be a good friend.

I wanted to tell him;

“Sam- you need to talk to your father about this. Your mother has an awful track record with friends. I just don’t have those friend-keeping skills. I think I missed that day in Kindergarten.”

Except, I want to save that ‘ask your father’ card for the day Sam comes up to me with something truly hideous to discuss, (like he thinks he wants to be a lawyer, or any question pertaining to his nether regions, or the equally as dreaded ‘So… I was born 6 months after you married daddy…?’)

So we sit down, and we talk about some traits that would be required in order to be a good friend, even though he probably knows more about being a good friend than me. My kid is a smart cookie. I did indeed learn a few things and I thought I would share them with you.

In order to be a good friend (according to a seven-year old boy) you must:

  • Never trade real Pokemon cards for ones printed on computer paper.
  • You must never blame your fart on the kid sitting next to you on the bus.
  • You must always be nice to the little sister/brother at a playdate.
  • You must never yuck someone elses yum.
  • It is imperative that you like Hockey.
  • It is not okay to wipe your booger on someone elses desk. Boogers must go on the desk of the booger owner.
  • You can’t always make your friend be ‘It’ during tag.
  • Don’t lie. Especially about ‘losing the real Pokemon card’ when your friend realizes you duped them with a printed paper one and wants the real one back.
  • Help your friends.
  • If someone is hurt, try to help them up. Especially if you are the reason they are splayed on the ground currently.
  • Do not take the last mystery color popsicle.

Having had such a great conversation with Sam, I decided to probe Marilyn a little bit to get her take on what friendships need in order to flourish. Marilyn is four.

  • Do not leave your friends in the house if it is on fire.
  • Share your crayons.
  • Do what your friends want you to do.
  • Give them money.
  • Always play My Little Ponies
  • Do not brush their hair if it is very knotty. It will hurt.
  • Bring them cookies.
  • Hug them if they cry.
  • Put on their makeup.
  • Give them your car.
  • Give them your house.

It is apparent to me that while Sam is on the right track for being a normal, reliable if not slightly over sensitive second grader, Marilyn is on track to be taken advantage of by a degenerate fellow four-year old with a drivers licence. Perfect.

The lists made me think about what it really takes to keep a friendship going. Mind you, I am probably the least qualified adult for this list. I didn’t write The Awkward Mom blog post (http://wordsfortrade.com/2012/11/17/awkward-mom/) for nothing, fools.

Here is a list of things I thought you might find useful for adults looking to keep friends.

  • Never send an edible arrangement. They are actually quite inedible. And they attract fruit flies.
  • Don’t be a face book stalker, because crack is whack, yo.
  • Don’t call your friend. No one likes the phone anymore, text instead. Believe me. They might answer the phone, but they’ll hate you secretly.
  • Don’t tell your friend about your Pinterest successes. They wont believe you, and if you prove it to them, they will hate you.
  • Don’t tell your friend that you pack your childs lunch everyday with sandwiches that look like they popped out of Le Gourmet. They will…. you guessed it.
  • When they text you that someone else did any of the above, offer copious amounts of wine and links to sites for children’s therapists.
  • Do complain about your spouse, sparingly. They will feel better about their own spouse who most likely leaves their dirty boxers right next to the hamper also.

So what do You think keeps friendships healthy and successful? Let us know!

This blog was written while three children tried to maim me. You’re welcome for my dedication.


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