Learning and Sharing

A Kid’s Guide to Being a Friend

on November 2, 2013

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My secret informants keep me posted on how my students are doing outside of the therapy room.  I received intell that some Lunch Buddies (in first grade) are struggling when it comes to being a friend.  It seems that each one is having a different issue so I pulled out my stash of visuals to see if I could cover all the bases.

First, I thought it was important to find out just what can be expected in the social and emotional development of a first grader.  I discovered in my research that for the first grade student, oneself is extremely important.  First graders love to have a “best friend” and they may decide to tattle on that friend at any given time.  First graders may have some extreme behaviors that need to be understood , but not always tolerated: tantrums, teasing, bossing, complaining, and tattling.  Spending time with friends becomes increasingly important to the first grade student.  I found this to be very interesting-First graders are still developing reverse process thoughts, therefore they might have problems understanding the consequences of their actions.

So, for the student who is hitting others, I used this great visual from


Everyone discussed being a safe friend vs a not safe friend.  When one has that impulse to hit:  stop, think about what a safe friend would do, and walk away.

For the student who gets too close and follows on the heels of others who don’t like it, the same visual shows them that a safe friend stops when a friend says “stop”.



This princess knows how to think with her eyes to look at friend’s faces to understand how they feel.  This princess also knows that if she makes a sour face at a friend, they might have an uncomfortable feeling/thought about her.  Having your brain and body in the group is something this princess understands will let her friends know that she is interested in them and what they have to say.  Showing interest makes friends feel happy. The Princess Social Skills packet created by CC of is available for purchase at



We read this book as we ate our lunch.  Everyone had their brain and body in the group.

I made this visual reminder for the students to take with them back out into the world.


I learned at the Social Thinking® Providers Conference that learning social is a long process because it requires deep understanding.  I think that practice makes progress so,  I expect this lesson to help the girls to be better friends

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

My Best,


2 responses to “A Kid’s Guide to Being a Friend

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Robin,
    I just discovered your site and I am working my way through the Incredible, Flexible you curriculum also with Kindergarteners. I was wondering how you made all those wonderful visuals and charts you have posted?


    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope your kindergartners are enjoying The Incredible Flexible You as much as we are. I use a Smarty Ears app called Custom Boards to make those scripts that I think you are referring too. It is a bit expensive but worth every penny. I use it every week to make something useful for my students.


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