Making friends and maintaining relationships is a life-long challenge. Even people with lots of friends sometimes struggle. Helping your child understand healthy friendships and figure out what they are looking for in a friend is an important parenting task. We are pleased to share this adapted excerpt from the introduction and chapter 1 of The Friendship Book by Wendy L. Moss, PhD. This will give you a good feel for what kids will glean from the book:

What are you looking for in a good friend?
Many different factors contribute to having close friendships, and there are many different things you can do to maintain them.

Friendships can help you feel accepted, allow you to share experiences, give you a reason to laugh and smile, and help you feel connected. Friends can also be an important support system when you need to rely on people you can trust. Some people make friends easily while others sometimes struggle. Even if you are an interesting, kind, friendly person, you may still find you want more friends than you currently have.

In this book, you will read about

  • The definition of a good friend,
  • How you can be sure you are ready to be a good friend, and
  • The potential joys and complications of being a best friend.

In addition, you’ll have an opportunity to think about

  • Times when you may want to be alone,
  • Ways to compromise, survive disagreements, and navigate the challenges of friendships, and
  • The pros and cons of socializing over social media.

On your journey to knowing how to make and keep friends, take time to think about what makes you special and what you like about yourself. If you take pride in how you act, the things you do, or the talents you have, compliment yourself. As you start making new friends, consider what you want your friends to appreciate in you. Then think about what you value in friendship and how you can be a good friend to someone else.

Best of luck in finding, keeping, and enjoying your friendships!

Chapter 1; Seeking Friends

  • What do you want from a friendship?
  • How much of your time do you want to spend with friends, and
  • What kinds of things might you enjoy doing with others?

A quick quiz and profile of a kid and how he views friendship in Chapter 1 get you thinking about how you view friendship. Next you get to make a friendship checklist including activities you want your friends to enjoy and qualities that you seek in a friend.

No matter what interests or qualities you seek in a friend, there are a few key things everyone should keep in mind when making new friends.

  • Always make sure that they have the same major values as you, such as how they treat others and how they treat you.
  • Spend time thinking about whether they would make you comfortable or uncomfortable.
  • The friends you choose should respect you. Make sure you feel good about yourself when you’re with your friends and that your friends help you to feel more confident in yourself as they remind you of your talents, abilities, and accomplishments.
  • Think about whether you can respect that other person. Does that person care about other people? Do you feel good about being associated with this potential friend?
  • Another person’s personality can actually be more important than the person’s areas of interest when you pick someone to get to know better. A kind and respectful friend is easier to trust!

Now you know more about the kind of friend you are seeking! Next, how do you figure out if someone has the same interests or traits on your list if you don’t know each other very well? Watch, listen, and learn. Pay attention to how kids act when they are joking around. Are they making fun of others or just having fun and laughing? You can learn a lot about others by what they say to other kids or to their teacher. Are they polite in the way they speak? Or are they rude or self-absorbed? Be a detective. Every day, kids show who they are by how they act and how they treat friends as well as those who are not friends.

Chapter 1 goes on to explore how you socialize and the circles of people in your life. It closes with a call to action where you think about who you trust and enjoy spending time with.

Other chapters include making friends, being a good friend, surviving disagreements, best friends, friendship and peer pressure. feeling alone, friendship and social media, and change over time.


by Wendy L. Moss, Ph.D.

This Article's Author

Wendy L. Moss, PhD, ABPP, FAASP, has her doctorate in clinical psychology, is a licensed psychologist, and has a certification in school psychology. Dr. Moss has practiced in the field of psychology for more than 30 years and has worked in hospital, residential, private practice, clinic, and school settings. She has the distinction of being recognized as a diplomate in school psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology for her advanced level of competence in the field of school psychology. Dr. Moss has been appointed as a fellow in the American Academy of School Psychology. In addition, some of her published books include Bounce Back: How to Be a Resilient Kid, Being Me: A Kid's Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem, and Children Don't Come With an Instruction Manual: A Teacher's Guide to Problems That Affect Learners; coauthor, with Donald A. Moses, MD, of The Tween Book: A Growing-Up Guide for the Changing You; coauthor, with Robin A. DeLuca-Acconi, LCSW, of School Made Easier: A Kid's Guide to Study Strategies and Anxiety-Busting Tools; coauthor, with Susan A. Taddonio, DPT, of The Survival Guide for Kids With Physical Disabilities & Challenges. Dr. Moss has also written several articles.

Related Books from Magination Press

  • The Friendship Book

    Wendy L. Moss, PhD.

    Kids will figure out what they want out of their friendships, how to be a good friend, resolve conflicts, and much more in this upbeat book meant to help forge lasting relationships.

    Full of practical tips, insightful quizzes, and relatable examples, this is a unique resource to help kids understand friendships.