As soon as she said this I thought, "Oh great! My kid's gonna be the bridge kid that every parent lectures his or her kid about!" You know what I'm talking about. The "If Mags jumped off a bridge would you?" kid. Awww, man! So how do I explain this one to her? I have to do it right now while she has it in her brain and before she opens her lunch bag I brought her. As soon as she takes a bite of that turkey and cheese roll up, POOF!, we'll be on to today's scuttlebutt in the block center. (That area in a preschool always has the juiciest gossip.)
I decided to keep it short, sweet and relate it to a situation she knows well. For her, this is always best. I started by agreeing with her that it does feel good when people do what you say or what you ask them to do. I love that feeling too.
<ahem> Especiallyahardheadedfouryearold. <ahem>
However, in life, that is not what makes a good friend. I told her that it's like helping me with the laundry. She pairs all the socks while I do the big stuff, we are a team. I continued on with some other examples like how she gathers the cheese and bologna *gag* for lunch, while I pour her milk. She gathers all the cups around the house while I fill the dishwasher. She helps me and I help her. It makes us both feel good to help each other and listen to what we both need. When we work together and combine our strengths, we can accomplish great things! You can't always be in charge. You are going to need help.
Then I reminded her that if you are always busy telling people what to do, that doesn't give you much time to listen and learn. I told her it is always so much fun to hear about other people's adventures. It feels good to give your friend a hug and know you are making his/her day a little bit better. You can learn and grow from friends. You just have to remember to take the time to stop what you are doing and listen to them, too.
Well, maybe not ALL of them!
After all, just because my friend Eric told me to eat my boogers
doesn't mean I am gonna do it!