Who would have ever guessed a bunny and a carrot would become friends, let alone best friends! At first glance, it does not seem like they would have much in common, but when Bunny met Carrot, he followed the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Sometimes, making friends can feel easy. Other times, making friends can feel kind of hard, so here are a few tips from Bunny and Carrot to help you make new friends and keep them.
Friendship Is Like a Garden
Have you ever watched a plant grow? Some plants seem to blossom and grow big right away. Other plants grow slowly and get bigger over time. Friendships can be like this, too.
When you meet a new friend at a playground, for example, you quickly learn your new friend's name, how old they are, and what they like to do, such as sliding, climbing or swinging. If you like those same things, you may feel like you became friends right away. That type of friendship is like the fast-growing plant. It just springs up quickly.
Slow-growing friendships can be terrific, too, but they require time and patience. Why is that? Well, imagine that a new family moved into a house across the street from where you live, and they have a child about your age. Now imagine that when you see the new boy or girl, you wave to say hello. They wave back, but they are so busy moving in, that they do not have time to talk just yet. Then, in a day or two, you take a walk with your mom or dad past their house. Maybe the new family is outside, and you get a chance to say hello and introduce yourselves. They might share how busy they have been with unpacking all their things, but they hope to get to know you when they get settled in. This means that it may be a few more days or even weeks before you get a chance to spend time together. Unlike the friendship at the playground that grew quickly, the friendship with the new neighbor might take a bit more time to blossom, and that's okay.
Friendships, Like Gardens, Require Tending
Something a gardener does regularly, is check on the plants growing in their garden. The gardener enjoys seeing the plants and flowers blossom and grow. They also want to see their plants get just what they need, whether that is enough sunlight or shade, water and care. In other words, if a plant looks thirsty, the gardener waters it.
In the same way, a friend enjoys seeing their friend thriving and doing well; they do not envy their friend or wish for them to have a difficult time. When a friend sees another friend in need of something, they offer to do what they can; they do not ignore their friend's troubles.
Weeding Out Friendship Troubles
A good gardener is quick to remove any pests or weeds taking away water, sunlight, or nutrients from the other plants. You can think of a weed in a garden as a disagreement with your friend. Just like a weed, a disagreement can take away the good things your friendship needs to grow, and so it is best to get rid of those disagreements before more crop up. After you remove any pesky disagreement weeds, be sure to apologize to your friend, and forgive them, too.
Please note: If a disagreement with a friend becomes really big or even a bit scary, please talk to a parent or adult family member. Grownups have lots of experience tending to friendships and can offer you some helpful direction and advice.