On Teaching Our Girls Strong Friendship Skills

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Emmy started going to a new school a couple weeks ago. As we drove her to her first day, we asked what she was most excited for, and it came as no surprise to Pete and I that she said making new friends. Our girl LOVES her friends.

She is the kid that walks into the room and sees the possibility of a new friend in every person she sees, which I think is the coolest thing ever!

When we picked her up from school later that day, my first question(s) to her was “how was school and did you make any new friends?” She squealed with delight that she not only loved her new school and teacher but that she also made tons of new friends! That made us all so happy to hear.

We decided to talk more about what makes a new good friend, and her insight was so inspiring. I think that as we become adults and get farther away from childhood, we forget how wonderful childhood friendships are and the core components of being a good friend. Talking to Emmy about this made me smile!

Here are her five tips for being a good friend:

  1. Be a good listener. Friends care about what the other friend is saying. Even if you need to tie your shoe, you should listen while you are doing it.
  2. Always say “hi” and share your name and age, so that your new friend knows who you are and what classroom you will be coming out of at lunch time.  
  3. Ask if the other person wants to play. Sometimes they might be feeling shy so it is good to ask.
  4. Help your new friend if they get hurt or are sad. Sitting together is good too.
  5. Everyone can be a friend! It is good to have a lot of friends to play with and it is fun to play with them all together so they can be friends too!

I agreed with everything she said. I have decided that I am going to work on number 2 more. It is always nice to say hi! I just might not share my age right away


After we drove home, I surprised Emmy with something very special… a WellieWishers™ doll from our sponsored post partner, American Girl®. This is their brand-new offering for girls ages 5 to 7. Emmy is 6 and she loved the doll from the second she saw her. American Girl provided the product to me for free for my review.

WellieWishers are five characters, Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson, and Camille that teach girls the important skills of empathy, kindness, and how to be a good friend.  The line includes 14½ -inch character dolls, illustrated early chapter books, garden-themed accessories, and dress like your doll clothing.

Emmy has Camille and she is so excited about the other characters, the books, and of course the dress like your doll clothing and has asked us for all of it for Christmas and her birthday. I have a feeling her wish is going to come true! I too love everything about these dolls!


To add to the experience, girls can further explore the WellieWishers’ world via a free app and online play available on The WellieWishers’ adventures will also be coming to life through American Girl’s first-ever animated series now available on Amazon Prime. I can’t wait for Emmy to be able to watch this with her doll!


Being the good friend that Emmy is, she took Camille outside to show her around her new home and she even set up a tea party.


I’ve learned with my girls that it is this practical playtime with their dolls at this age that they refine, practice and perfect their friendship skills. They are able to imagine how to treat a friend and act it out while exploring the best outcomes. It is quite adorable to watch too!



The WellieWishers collection is available through American Girl’s catalog, at, and at retail locations.  The WellieWishers early chapter books are available wherever books are sold.

How do you help your children be good friends?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I have a daughter similar to yours that is so draw to others and makes friends easily. I think it’s important for kids to learn to problem solve, work together, and develop their own sense of self. I know my daughter and her friends would have a blast playing with that doll.

  • I love American Girl dolls. My daughter’s first doll was a Bitty Baby and if she was still little, I know she would lover the WellieWishers. Love the boots!

  • Great advice!!!! Being strong is so important!!!! I hope I’m teaching my daughter the right things!

  • Thank you for the great advice. Emmy seems like such a wonderful daughter. That doll is amazing and I know just the person that would love one.

  • I believe teaching our girls to have strong friendships with others is so very important. WellieWishers doll would be perfect for my niece’s little girl Lucy. I love that you can get the books and the other things to go with the dolls. Thanks for sharing this great gift ideas for little girls.

  • I love this, teaching your kids about how to be a good friend is really nice. It’s what we need right now, especially since I feel like our country is divided. These American Girl dolls are awesome! My daughter loves hers!

  • That is so adorable (both of them actually) . The doll is a good Christmas gift for my nieces. I Love playing with them with dolls sometimes I feel like I back to my younger days again.

  • This is needed now more than ever! So many mixed messages are sent to our little girls these days, they need to learn to pick each other up!

  • Awww…..You’re daughter is such a cutie! I think it’s great that she wasn’t shy or afraid of the other kids on her first day at school. I was always petrified that I would find a friend – lol.
    My daughter is still a fan of American Girl and she is 20 yrs old! hee-hee I’ve already offered to take them out of the display case in her room and she said ‘no.’

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