How to be a Great Friend

Best Seller Book Award Bookfest Award children's book classic literature first edition Notable Book

Toofer & The Giblet share their advice on how to teach your children about friendships. 

“What if I never see him again?”
“Then there will always be one more friend you have out in the world somewhere.”
“He is my friend isn’t he, Toof?”
“Yes, Gib.”
“You’re not going anywhere are you, Toof?”
“I’ll be right here chum,” said Toofer. “I’ll always be right here.”


As adults, we are all aware of how important friendships are. However, they are far more critical in a child's social and emotional development. Their ability to be a good friend is developed over time. As your child grows, they learn more about friendship from others. There are a few things that you can do with your child to teach them how to be a friend and how to foster friendships. Let's see what Toof and Gib have to say.

Ways to Teach Friendship

Be a Good Role Model: Like you didn't already know – our children learn by watching. So be a good friend yourself. Let them see that you enjoy positive, healthy relationships with your friends—model positive behaviors like kindness, empathy, and good communication skills. Then, get your friends together and let your child be a part of it. This will demonstrate how much fun you can have with your friend group.

Talk about Friendship: Have open and honest conversations with your child. Ask your child what they think a friend is and what it means to be a good friend. Listen to their answers and then share your definition of friendship. Talk about topics like sharing, listening, and compromising. If you find your child struggling to get started, use prompts like, "do friends share things?" or "Do friends help one another?"

Once you have a list, read through those things together. Then, discuss how certain behaviors make you feel and which ones are most friend-like. Then, please encourage your child to do those things when they are with their friends.

Read Books About Friendship: So many children's books focus on friendship. It is one of the most common themes. Read these books with your child and talk about the characters' actions. Our very own Toofer & The Giblet would make an excellent choice. It spans several age groups, from non-readers to early chapter book readers. Toof and Gib will teach your children to value friendship, prize honesty, and act with integrity.

When you finish reading a book, have your child draw connections to their own life. Ask if they have experienced something similar. Then, let them talk about it.

Practice Friendly Character Traits: Reading about friendship is one thing. Practicing being a good friend is another! Good friends have common character traits. Your child can learn to be a better friend when you intentionally practice those qualities. Some of those traits are:

  • Taking turns
  • Offering encouragement
  • Sharing
  • Listening
  • Being patient
  • Including others

Choose a trait to focus on. If your child needs help with a particular social skill, start there. Discuss why it's important for friends to have this quality. Role-play friendship scenarios in which the trait would be helpful. This will help your child learn to connect their actions with the emotions of others.

Encourage Socialization: Making new friends is a skill in itself. Give your child opportunities to socialize with other children. Take them to new activities or social situations to meet new friends and practice their social skills. Set up playdates or get involved in extracurricular activities. Make sure to be on hand to help them if necessary. Remember, they learn by watching.

Practice Conflict Resolution: Teach your child how to resolve conflicts with their friends. Children often have the answers to arguments within them, but they struggle to handle their emotions. First, encourage them to use "I" statements to express their feelings. Then, help them calm down and ask them how they could solve the problem. You will be surprised at how well they can problem-solve and work together to resolve the issue.

Celebrate Friendships: Help your child celebrate their friendships by creating special traditions or activities they can do with friends. For example, sleepovers, fancy dinners, pizza parties, or spa days are great ways to celebrate being friends. 

Toofer & The Giblet have some great advice on fostering friendships. I guess being friends makes them "experts" in the field. They would love for you to join them in Nimblewood and keep learning to meet new friends and be good friends.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

If you would like to learn to be a great friend or go on adventures with Toof and Gib, visit and get your books TODAY! What are you waiting for? Let's go have some fun. 

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