It’s amazing just how many big thoughts can be boiled down to a simple idea. Take the topic of friendship. Ask an adult what friendship is, and you’ll probably get a rather detailed and (possibly) dull answer. Maybe a laugh and an embarrassing story. Ask one of the younger set, and you’ll discover that friendship is as straightforward as a smile.
How can you tell if someone is a friend?
Mu’aadh (8 years old): If you ask them, they say so.
Alex C. (7 years old): They are nice to you and you have fun with them.
Brianna (9 years old): They play with you.
Katie (5 1/2 years old): If they’re very friendly.
What does it mean to have a best friend?
Max (7 years old): Something really important.
Alex S. (7 years old): She copies me sometimes.
Isaac (7 years old): They are your closest friend. If you had a list of friends, your best friend would be at the top.
Maryam (6 years old): It means that you’re nice to people if you’re a best friend, because if you’re mean to them they won’t want to be your friend.
Do your friends have to be just like you, or can they be different from you and from each other?
Maryam: They can be different from each other – it’s nice to have it different because otherwise no one would know who was who.
Katie: They can be different. They talk different, and Ava has black hair and I have light brown.
Mu’aadh: They can be different. It’s nice for them to be different because then they aren’t like you, so you can have someone who likes you who isn’t LIKE you.
Do you sometimes get mad at your friends?
Isaac: No! I never get mad at my friends. Well, sometimes I get mad.
Alex C.: Yes, because they boss me around.
Brianna: Yeah. Sometimes they don’t want to play the game that I’m playing, but I don’t stay mad a long time.
Katie: Not really. Sometimes. They kicked me accidentally, but I got over it pretty fast.
Alex S.: Sometimes. My friend said that I said a bad word, but I really didn’t. That made me mad.
Maryam: Sometimes I get mad at them if they beat up on me or if they get me in trouble.
Where are places that you might meet new friends?
Isaac: All over the whole United States! Let’s see, Iowa, Missouri, hmm. Swimming lessons…on my baseball team…church.
Mu’aadh: At the masjid, and at the library, and even at the Walmart. You can make friends anywhere.
Brianna: In fourth grade, because I’m going into fourth grade.
Maryam: At the park, at the library – I did already meet a friend there, and I bet you could at the zoo too, because there’s a lot of people at the zoo.
Katie: McDonald’s, my favorite place in the entire world.
Is it better to have lots of “okay” friends, or just a few really good friends?
Max: I think it is good to have lots of really good friends.
Alex S. I’d rather have a lot of good friends.
Isaac: I already have a whole lot of friends, so I will go with the second one. The second one, to have a few good friends.
Alex C.: I like to have a few really good friends, but I have a lot of okay friends too.
Mu’aadh: A few really good friends, because then you don’t have so many people that when you get something to eat and share you don’t have to get so much of it so they all get to have some.
Reprinted with permission from Little Pickle Press.
Audrey Sillett Lintner is a homeschooling mom and contributor at Little Pickle Press.