Once upon a time, one of my very good friends started picking on me. When other people were around he called me really mean names, wouldn’t let me sit with him at lunch or play on his team. He got the other kids in our grade to tease me too. I hated school and wanted to stay home instead of going every day. I talked to my teachers and to my parents. But no matter what I did, this friend kept picking on me. Finally, I told him to knock it off. I told him he wasn’t very nice. I stopped talking to him and inviting him over. I didn’t answer when he called on the phone. I tried really hard to be nice to everyone else, even though I wasn’t mean to him. I was just serious about telling him to leave me alone. Pretty soon, he started being nice to me again. It took time and we are friends again, but he knows I won’t let him pick on me anymore. Sometimes you just have to stop being friends to people who aren’t nice to you. Because a real friend isn’t mean.  By TJ 12 years old

Dear TJ,

It sounds like you handled the situation very well. Sometimes our friends get carried away and they start treating us poorly. Telling them how their actions and words make you feel can help fix the situation. If it doesn’t, sometimes you have to walk away and make new friends.

The good news is that school is filled with kids who would love more friends. Just remember what it feels like to get picked on and never treat your friends the way you were treated.



About Cat Woods

I am a writer whose heart beats for juvenile literature. As a mother of four, a devoted wife and the half-owner of two dogs, I find more novel fodder on any given day than dust bunnies under the fridge. I'm also a strong advocate for literacy, family and unity. My life motto is that everybody deserves a chance.

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