Children's Friend Factory (2)

(You're a friend.)

What does the friend factory boss do? I have a few tips for you. You can think about them. You decide if you want to use them. You're the boss. It's up to you.

The first tip is this. 'To make a friend, you have to be a friend.' What do you think about that? Are you a friend? Let's think about that.

Are you a friend? If so, you do the things friends do. Here are four things that friends do. You can decide if you want to do them.

1. Friends are consistent. They treat you the same way every time you see them. They always speak to you when they see you. They don't ignore people. Of course, they aren't friendly with strangers but they are always nice to people they know. They follow this rule. 'I always treat everyone the way I would like them to treat me.' Are you consistent? Do you treat everyone the way you would like to be treated?

'I want to make friends.' Is that you talking? Did you say that you want to make friends? Good for you. That is totally terrific. Are you ready to get started making friends? If so, here we go.

Think of someone who you might like to have as a friend. It can be someone at your school or in your neighborhood. It's someone who you think might be a good friend. Did you think of someone? If so, they have to pass a little test.

Is that person consistent? Does that person treat everyone the way you want to be treated? Is that person always nice to other people? If so, that is someone who might be a good friend. If not, you can do a lot better than making friends with that person. You can spend your time talking with people who are consistent. They are like you. They are the best friends. Your friend factory works best when you spend your time making friends with people who are consistent.

2. Friends are positive. Positive means you are very sure. 'I'm positive I like ice cream.' Get ready. There's another kind of positive.

I'll whisper again, if that's okay with you. Lean down so no one can read over your shoulder. This secret is just for the friend factory boss. Are you checking to be sure that no one is trying to read this? Okay, here it is.

Some people get upset over nothing. They pout and call people names. They yell at people and are angry a lot. They argue with everyone. Do you like the word 'sourpuss' to describe people like that? I'll use sourpuss. You can use a different word if you have one you like better. You are the boss.

Positive people are the opposite of sourpusses. It's easy to have fun when positive people are around.

Positive people get upset sometimes but they get over it quickly. They don't pout or call people names. They don't yell at people either. They get angry sometimes but don't stay angry very long. If they get into an argument, they say what they think and then stop arguing.

Are you getting the idea? Positive people are fun to be around. They don't make fun of anyone. They follow this rule. 'If I don't have something nice to say about someone, I'll keep quiet. I'm a positive person. I'm not a sourpuss.'

Think about the person who you might like as a friend. You decided that they are consistent. They have to pass another important test.

Is that person positive? Is that person fun to be around? Does that person quickly get over being upset or angry? Does that person keep quiet instead of calling people names or getting into big arguments? If so, they might be a good friend. If not, you can do a lot better than making friends with a sourpuss. You can spend your time talking with positive people. They are like you. They also make the best friends. Your friend factory works best when you spend your time making friends with positive people.

3. Friends always do their best. I know that you always do your best but some people don't. They haven't figured out the secret.

You'll keep the secret to yourself, won't you? We don't want everyone to know. It's just between us. Here it is.

Let's think about how you do your best. Each time you do your best, you are the winner.

When you brush your teeth, do you make sure you get them really clean? Sure you do. You always do your best.

When you do your homework, do you make an extra effort to do it right? Sure you do. You always do your best.

When you play a game, do you try hard to win? Sure you do. You always do your best.

At school, do you pay attention to your teacher? Sure you do. You always do your best.

When you write, do you always try to write neatly? Sure you do. You always do your best.

Why do you always do your best? You do your best because you're special. You deserve the best. You try to be the best person you can be. That means you need to always do your best.

The next time you do something, ask yourself if you did your best. If you did your best, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Say, 'Thank you. I'm happy I did my best for me.'

Some people don't always do their best. They could do better but don't. They don't know how important it is to do their best. They are satisfied with just doing good enough.

Think about the person who you might like as a friend. You decided that they are consistent. You also decided that they are positive. They aren't a sourpuss. Now, they have to pass another little test.

Do they always do their best? Do they pay attention at school? If they are playing a game, do they try hard to win? Do they do their homework every day? Do they keep their teeth nice and clean? Do they always do their best? If so, they might make a good friend. If not, you can do better.

You can spend your time talking with people who always do their best. They are like you. They make the best friends. Your friend factory works best when you spend your time making friends with people who always do their best.

4. Friends make good choices. This is a little bit complicated. You can handle complicated stuff because you're soooo smart. What do you think? It's fun being smart, isn't it?

You need to know about values. Do you know what values are?

Values are what you think are important. You believe that it's better to be right than to be wrong. That means that you value being right. Being right is one of your values. What other kinds of things do you value?

Do you have time for a short quiz? If you're not too busy, here are ten questions you can answer. Read the question. After you read a question, decide what your answer is. You don't have to write anything. You can just think about your answer for each question.

! Do you value taking care of your stuff?

! Do you value keeping clean and taking care of yourself?

! Do you value doing your best in school?

! Do you value being nice to other people?

! Do you value being honest?

! Do you value being someone people can trust?

! Do you value being cooperative?

! Do you value being helpful?

! Do you value being someone who people like to spend time with?

! Do you value being the best person you can be?

I know another little secret. You answered, 'Yes,' to each of the ten questions. How do I know that? I know it because I know something special about you. You're soooo smart. Smart people like you always answer, 'Yes,' to those questions.

Think about the person you might want to have as a friend. Please think about this carefully. How would that person answer the ten questions.

If you think they would give the same answers you did, you and that person have the same values. If not, you and that person have different values.

You know that friends make good choices. What does that have to do with values? That's a totally terrific question. I'm not surprised you asked it. You're soooo smart.

This is the deal. You use your values to make choices. Here's how it works.

You value taking good care of your stuff. That means that you'll choose to be careful with your things and put them away when you're finished. Do you see how your value causes you to make good choices?

You value keeping clean and taking care of yourself. That means that you'll choose to brush your teeth. You'll take your bath and eat balanced meals. You won't do things that are dangerous or that could hurt you. Do you see how your values cause you to make good choices?

Let's do one more. You value doing your best in school? What choices does this value cause you to make? Of course you know the answer because you're soooo smart. Your value causes you to pay attention in school. It causes you to do your homework neatly and completely. It causes you to work hard to do your best in school.

You make good choices because you have good values. If someone else makes good choices too, that means that they have values like yours. You and that person value the same things.

If someone else makes bad choices, they don't have values like yours. That's why they make bad choices.

Think about the person you might like to have as a friend. Does that person have values like yours? Does that person make good choices? If they answered the questions on the quiz, would their answers be the same as yours?

If their answers would be the same as yours, they might make a good friend. If not, you would do better spending your time with someone else. They won't make a very good friend. Your friend factory works best when you spend your time making friends with people who make good choices.

That's the four things I promised to tell you about making friends. Friends are consistent. Friends are positive. Friends always do their best. Friends make good choices.

What do you think? Is that some good stuff to know about friends? You can use that stuff when you want to decide if someone would be a good friend.

Do you want to know some more stuff about making friends? If so, turn the page and read the next chapter. Before you do that, I'll give you a little hint about reading this book.

The things I've told you about friends are worth thinking about. Take some time to think about them. Instead of reading the next chapter right now, you deserve a break. Put the book down. Go do something really fun for a while. After that, you can come back and read another chapter. I'll wait here for you.

When you come back, we'll think about some more stuff. It'll help you be the best friend factory boss you can be. It's a big job but you can handle it. You know why. Go ahead and say it. 'Because I'm soooo smart.'
By Gary Crow & Marissa Crow June 28, 2017