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.


  • Wellie Wishers sounds great! I think it’s so important to teach our kids about being good friends and good people. I love it!

  • My daughter was always a fan of American Girl. I love that these WellieWisher dolls promote kindness.

  • I’ve seen these Wellie Wishers and my nieces adore them! They’re already a huge fan of American Girl dolls and when they saw these at the store, they absolutely fell in love.

  • I know a little girl that would absolutely love this! It is a great idea for a Christmas gift. I never heard of these dolls personally but I have only boys in my household.

  • We love WellieWishers in our house. They’re adorable and have a great message for girls. I love the tips for teaching girls how to be a good friend.

  • Emmy is precious! At that age I was so shy I was terrified of the first day of school haha. And that doll is adorable. My niece would love it!

  • We love American Girl dolls in our house. I think these Wellie Wishers are so cute. I may have to get them for my girls for Christmas.

  • My daughter is getting a Welly Wisher for Christmas. They’re so pretty! I know so many grown women who needs a lesson in friendship!

  • I remember when I had a doll like this when I was younger. Definitely taught me a lot about friendship and what being a companion was all about 🙂

  • Dolls are such a positive toy for kids! They teach them imagination, friendship, respect and so much more! I love listening to my daughter play with her dolls. It is magical!

  • My daughter’s both want a Wellie Wisher for Christmas. I think these are really cute American Girl dolls.

  • A little kindness and compassion can go a long way and heaven knows we need more of it as a society. I think this may be my favorite American Girl line yet.

  • I wish my daughter was that age again. I think she would have loved the WellieWishers dolls. Your daughter’s tips for being a good friend are so true not matter what your age.

  • What a great way to teach skills and lessons through play. Loving this post so much! It’s exactly how I worked to raise my now teen daughter!

  • Kindness, everyone should practice that, no matter what age we are… it’s so important. My niece would love that doll, looks just like her.

  • My stepdaughter is a little older, but she loves her American Girl Dolls. Wellie Wishers are such a lovely idea for the younger kids. And by the way, your daughter is adorable and obviously very smart. I love her 5 tips. What a sweet girl!

  • What a cute doll! Teaching our kids to be good friends is so important. I always tell my boys to be a good friend when they get out of the car 🙂

  • I love that Wellie Wishers promotes positivity and friendship! Those are things that our girls need to learn young. What better way to learn than through play with these fabulous dolls!

  • Gifts that help our children learn good behavior and have fun at the same time are a treasure. it is great to be able to make learning a part of playtime.

  • I love that your daughter is so happy to make friends and be a friend. The wellie wisher dolls are really adorable. I loved American Girl Dolls when I was little.

  • These are some brilliant advice. I’m helping my kids to be a good friend through also a doll.

  • Love this! Such a great way to teach little girls. My daughters have such a hard time with friendships so this would be a great thing for them!

  • What a beautiful doll! My girls would love to have her. My girls are both very nice with other kids, I’m so glad they know what it really means to be good!

  • Emmy is such a cutie! Her tips for being a good friend are so spot on! I love that the WellieWishers teach girls such wonderful values.

  • I thinkit is important to teach kids about the value of friendship. I wish it was taught when I was in school too. Most of my friends that I had in elementary, ran off with the cliq and I wasn’t good enough for them. This rejection has followed me around. I have had many friends turn on me after a disagreement or something. It was awful. I am pretty reserved now when it comes to having friends. I am a keep to myself person for the most part now.

  • I love American Girls! I love the books that go with the dolls and learning lessons. I want to get my nieces dolls one day!!

  • great message you’re sending out to the world! everyone needs a friend and those 5 simple rules are easy to follow when making and keeping friendships : )

  • I remember learning so much from American Girl stories when I was a little girl…way before there were actual dolls. I think it is so great that there are so many dolls and characters that each and every little girl can identify with.

  • How wonderful. I have a friend I have been friends with for over thirty years who always talk about how I was the first friend she made when she switched schools. I remember that fondly.

  • OMG why didnt they have dolls like this when I was growing up? So cute and fun and so happy it is spreading positivity with the toy.

  • Emmy’s five tips are amazing and they are indeed the basic essential of being a good friend anytime. The WellieWishers doll looks so cute and I love that they come up with 5 different characters to add more fun and also teach important skills of being a good friend as well.

  • I love her for the boots alone!! It’s wonderful that so much thought has gone into creating a positive vibe for our girls with these dolls! I love it!

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