Happy National Best Friends Day, friends!

Thank you to all the people who helped us learn how to be a good friend.

Do you remember when you made your first friend?

It probably happened earlier than you think—long before exchanging friendship bracelets or bonding during four square on the playground and proclaiming them your first BFF.

Maybe it happened during a parent-organized play date when you were a toddler? Or when you first willingly (though perhaps grudgingly) shared your Legos with a classmate in preschool?

Turns out, we start learning how to be a good friend very early on. During the first five years of life, young children develop important social-emotional skills, including the ability to control their emotions and behavior, and learn how to get along with and depend on others. This is when children first learn how to share, play and learn together—and when they figure out the always-handy skill of how to solve problems using their words. All of these skills help them forge and maintain friendships throughout their lives.

So, today on National Best Friends Day, we want to thank all of the people who taught us how to friend.

  • To the parents who encouraged us to share and showed us how to control our emotions when we didn’t get our way.
  • To the early learning teachers who introduced us to fellow youngsters and taught us to use our words to express our feelings.
  • To our first buddies who let us join their game and didn’t bite us when we asked to play with their favorite toy for a minute.

And for all the parents out there wondering how you can help your children learn to be a good friend, check out our Parent Resources. We have tips and activities that will help young children build essential-social-emotional skills—the foundation for friendship.