How to make friends, 6-year-old style

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2011

She slid over to me Risky Business-style on sock-clad feet, with a very serious expression on her face.

I’m in for it, I thought.

“Momma, I nee’ some a’vice,” she said, dropping her consonants in that 6-year-old way.

“OK. Lay it on me. Whatcha got?”

I could tell that whatever it was, it’d been weighing on her mind for quite some time, and it’d taken a bit of mulling it over in her brain before she decided to seek outside input on her predicament.

“You tell me, how I make new friends?”

I got it then. Anyone who goes from a kindergarten filled with friends from pre-k to a brand-new, humongous elementary school is bound to be nervous. Guess it didn’t matter that her new one had a great playground – inside, too, mind you – that she got to play on twice before the weekend.

She’s always been a very loving, giving and considerate child. She shares without having to be asked. She gives because she wants to, not because she’s expected to. If there were one word to describe her, it would be “sweet.” Course, it could also be “funny,” because she is.

However, she does have a dark side, like everyone else does. She fights like a she-devil with her sisters.

“I need to know how you make new friends,” she reiterated when my response wasn’t quick enough to suit her.

“Well, it’s very simple,” I said. “When you see someone that you think might make a good friend, you go up and say, ‘Hey. My name is Dianna-Grace. What’s yours?’ And it will go from there.”

Deadpanned, she looked at me and said, “That’s lame.”

I was taken aback, because on one front, I didn’t know that she knew what the word lame meant, and two, it most definitely wasn’t lame advice. It had worked for me on many occasions.

“Well, Missy Moo, how do you think you make new friends?”

She pursed her lips and said, “You hit them with a stick.”

I couldn’t help myself. I laughed.

“I don’t think you’re going to get many new friends if you take that approach,” I told her. “That’s really not going to work. It doesn’t make you want to play with your sister when she hits you with a stick and you love her. What makes you think that someone who doesn’t love you would want to play with you, if you all of a sudden come up and whop ‘em with a stick?”

She pauses, cocking her head to the side like I do when I’m thinking really hard.

“Good point.” And that was the end of that.

I guess she must of come up with a strategy all her own, because I didn’t get a call from the new school and she didn’t come home with any bruises.

Thank you, God.