I love taking my children to the playground to see how they wind up connecting with other kids. Based on my various observations, what makes a good friend, according to kids, depends on who you ask. So, Romper asked 20 kids to share what qualities they have that makes them the best BFFs in town.
Many of the children Romper asked initially answered "I don't know," which, I mean, makes sense. Most of the time, if you ask a kid anything, the answer is going to be, "I don't know." They just don't think in the same terms us adults do, so our questions can strike them as confusing and, honestly, unnecessary. "What do you mean? We're just... friends." And, indeed, it seems that proximity, play, and just a tiny bit of kindness is often all it takes for a kid to make a friend. Kids don't really seem to be overthinking this one, or carefully contemplating the possible foundations of a friendship before introducing themselves to others. They just sort of, you know, go for it.
But a few kids Romper spoke to did have some thoughts on what makes them a good friend to others, and what makes a good friend in general. And, yes, their answers are as adorable as they are hilarious.
"Because I'm nice."
"Because I like to share and give them stuff."
"Well, three answers: having someone be my friend for a long time, friendship, and being there for when they need me".
"Being loyal, kind, considerate, and fun."
"I don't know... I play fairly?"
"I want to go to Disney World on Monday!"
Writer's Note: Julia didn't come here to make friends. She came here to win a trip to Disney World. There's no time for friendship when you're working to get to the Happiest Place on Earth.
"Because I play with my friends all the time."
Another Noah, 6
"Being nice, helping, and playing with them."
Another Aidan, 8
"I’m flexible. That means I make up games and I’m OK playing other people’s games."
"I sit next to them at lunch and play with them at recess."
"Keeping hands to myself."
Writer's Note: If you ever think children don't listen, please recognize that someone has clearly worked really hard to get this messaging to Gabriella and it shows.
"Being nice to each other."
"I’m trustworthy and I like to talk to people about stuff."
"I am kind. I think about other people. I'm respectful and I'm good at games. Oh! And I always have a science fact!"
Writer's Note: Trivial knowledge of science facts is literally the first thing I look for in a friend.
"I share my Legos, but not with [redacted]."
Writer's Note: I feel you, Gideon. [Redacted] has to earn the Legos.
"Sharing, helping people who are hurt, and talking about the things you both like."
"I make my friends happy."
Writer's Note: You've got to love the confidence of a child who's basically like "I'm a good friend because people adore me.
"I'm very helpful."
"I teach my friends skills. ... I show them how to do gymnastics skills."
"I sit with people at lunch who are alone, and ask them if they want to join my friendship club."
Writer's Note: Can I join your friendship club, please?