Children's Friend Factory (3)

(You're soooo smart.)

Hello. Did you take a break? I hope so. Thanks for choosing to read some more.

Let's do a short quiz. Can you handle that? Of course you can. You know why, don't you? Go ahead and say it. 'Because I'm soooo smart.'

Here are five statements. Are they true or false?

! To make a friend, you have to be a friend.

! Friends are consistent.

! Friends are positive.

! Friends always do their best.

! Friends make good choices.

I know a secret. You decided that the statements are all true. You read the last chapter. You remembered what you learned. How did I know that? You know, don't you? It's because you're....

Did you finish the sentence for me? Okay, I'll finish it too. 'Because you're soooo smart.'

Are you ready for some more new ideas? That's spectacular. Let's squeeze eight into this chapter. That's a lot. Will that work? Will eight new ideas fit?

I hope they fit. Maybe they will all fit, if we go really fast. Let's give it a try. Here we go.

1. Friends know what's really important. Taking care of your stuff is important. Doing well in school is important. Cooperating is important. Following your family's rules is important. Being honest is important. Doing your best is important.

You have a lot of important stuff on your list. What else goes on your list? Your list is pretty long. It's not as long as a million miles of string but it's pretty long.

Pick someone you might want as a friend. What's on their list? What do they think is really important?

Do you and that person agree about what's really important? If so, they might make a good friend. If not, you can do better. Spend your time with people who agree with you about what's important. They make the best friends.

2. Friends are assertive. Wow, there's a new word. Can you handle that? Sure you can because you're....

Assertive means that you stick up for yourself. You don't let people talk you into doing things you shouldn't do. You're the boss. You don't let people boss you around. You say what you think. If you think something is wrong, you say so. You're in charge of what you think and what you do. You're assertive.

Think about the person you might want to be your friend. Is that person assertive? If not, you can do better. Your friend factory works best when you spend your time with assertive people.

3. Friends don't try to boss people around. This is a tricky idea. That's no problem. You can handle tricky ideas, because....

You already know that friends are assertive. They don't let people boss them around. Here's the tricky part. They also do not try to boss people around. They stick up for themselves. They say what they think but they aren't bossy.

Think about the person who you might want to be your friend. Do they try to tell people what to do? Are they bossy? If so, you can do better. Spend your time with people who don't try to boss people around.

4. Friends are in your commercial. Pretend that you have your own commercial. Your commercial is about you.

People watch your commercial and learn stuff about you. What would you want in a commercial about you?

Pretend that people are watching your commercial. They learn about who you are. They are deciding if you're a nice person or not.

People are learning stuff about you. They learn if you're someone they want to hang around with. They are learning about what's important to you.

Here's the secret. They think you're just like the people in your commercial. Your friends are in your commercial, so people think that you're just like them.

When people watch your commercial, they see everyone you hang around with. Do you want people to think that you're just like them? Do you hang around with anyone you don't want in your commercial? If so, get them out of your commercial. Stop hanging around with them.

Your commercial is about you. People watch your commercial and decide who you are. Only hang around with people who you want to be in your commercial.

5. Friends don't make demands. What on Earth does that mean? Do you think we can figure it out? I believe we can, because....

People who make demands say stuff like this.

! 'If you don't do what I want you to do, I won't be your friend.'

! 'If you talk with that person, I won't like you anymore.'

! 'If you hang around with those people, you can't hang around with me.'

What do you think? Do you know someone who goes around making demands?

Here's a little secret. They don't really want to be friends. They don't care about you. They just want to control you. They only care about themselves.

People who make demands only care about themselves. You can do better. Spend your time with people who don't make demands.

6. Friends are dependable. If they make a promise, they try to keep it. They treat you the way you like to be treated. You can depend on them to tell the truth and to be honest. If you have a problem, they will try to help. They care about what you think and how you feel. They will stick up for you.

What do you think? Is it important for your friends to be dependable? Sure it is. You're depending on them. They are depending on you too. Stick with dependable people. Your friend factory works best when you only make friends with dependable people.

7. Friends are interested in people. Isn't everyone interested in people? Here's a little secret. Some people are only interested in themselves.

They are only interested in what they want to talk about. They are only interested in what they are doing. They are only interested in their ideas. They are only interested in doing what they want to do.

They aren't interested in what other people have to say. They aren't interested in what other people are doing. They aren't interested in other people's ideas. They aren't interested in what other people want to do.

Do you know people like that? They aren't interested in you. They don't care what you think. They don't care what you want to do. They don't care how you feel. They are only interested in themselves.

They aren't good friends either. You can do better. Pick your friends from people who care about people.

8. Friends are a good influence. There's another one of those new words. This one is 'influence.' What does it mean to be a good influence?

Imagine that you see someone eating popcorn. What would you want to do? You might want some popcorn too. Why would you want some popcorn?

You can say this. 'I was influenced by the person who was eating popcorn. That made me want some popcorn.'

Do you see how it works? People can influence you to do things. You see them doing something. You want to do it too. They don't make you do it. They influenced you.

What happens if you hang around with people who do well in school? You want to do well in school too. Those people are a good influence.

What happens if you hang around with people who are nice? You want to be nice too. People who are nice are a good influence.

What would happen if you hang around people who don't care how they do in school? It would be harder for you to do well in school. Those people are a bad influence.

What would happen if you hang around with people who are always getting into trouble? It would be harder for you to stay out of trouble. Those people are a bad influence.

You have a choice. You can pick your friends from people who are a good influence. You can pick your friends from people who are a bad influence. It's your choice.

Here's an important secret. Sometimes it's hard to decide. How can you tell? Who is a good influence? Who is a bad influence?

Ask yourself this question. 'Do I want that person in my commercial? Do I want people to think I'm just like that person?' If so, they are a good influence. If not, they are a bad influence.

You'll choose your friends from people who are a good influence. How do I know that? I know because you're soooo smart.

You did it. You finished this chapter. Stand up and turn around. Woops, don't forget to sit back down.

Stretch your arms. Go ahead. Say it. 'I'm soooo smart.' You're also becoming a great friend factory boss.

Are you ready for the next chapter? Here's some spectacular news. It's the last chapter.

Do you need a little break? If so, this is a good time to take it. If not, read on. There is some really good stuff waiting for you in the last chapter.
By Gary Crow & Marissa Crow June 28, 2017