Friendship puzzler #47: You like your new haircut, but a friend told you that another kid said it looks silly. You should:

Answer: A. Definitely don’t confront the other kid! It’s hard to accept, but what someone says behind your back is none of your business. People are entitled to their opinions, and they’re even allowed to express them in private conversations. Your friend shouldn’t have repeated the other kid’s unflattering comment. The important thing is that you like your haircut. But even if you didn’t like how your haircut turned out, there’s no need to focus on everyone else’s opinion. Also, having–and even expressing–different hairstyle preferences is not bullying. It’s not reasonable to think that everyone has to admire your haircut!


Friendship Puzzler #921: You’re having a conversation with a kid who says something mean about your friend. You should:

Answer: b or d or e — Saying something nice to stick up for your friend is the kindest thing to do. If you don’t feel able to do that, for whatever reason, ignoring the comment and changing the subject at least cuts off the mean comment and shows you’re not interested in mean talk. Telling your friend what you heard seems like a loyal thing to do, but it spreads meanness, so don’t do it. If you repeat the comment, your friend will feel bad and the other kid will also get mad at you.

Friendship Puzzler #765: When you see a kid you know outside of school, you should:

Answer: c — Saying hi is a friendly thing to do. Adding the other kid’s name makes your greeting more personal and more friendly. You don’t have to be best friends with people to greet them. Sometimes, kids have trouble with greetings because they feel shy or self-conscious. Say hi, anyway. If you say nothing or look away, you’re telling the other kid, “I don’t like you, and I don’t want anything to do with you!”

Friendship Puzzler #183: Your friend says he/she wants to play with someone else at recess today. You should:

Answer: b or c or e — If you enjoy the game your friend wants to play, playing all together, option b), can expand your friendship circle, and it’s a kind thing to do because it means your friend doesn’t have to choose between you and the other friend. Otherwise, option c) is your best choice. Getting mad or insisting that your friend HAS to play with you will hurt your friendship.

Friendship Puzzler #721: Your friend tells you to stop making that weird noise. You should:

Answer: d — When friends ask you to stop doing something that they find annoying, you should try to stop. You may need to sit on your hands, pretend your tongue is stuck to the roof of your mouth, or just move farther away to give them some space. It’s not bullying when people ask you to stop annoying behavior. If something isn’t funny the first time, it’s not going to become funny if you repeat it. Also, if you continue doing something that your friends have asked you to stop, they will probably get very mad at you. Listening when people ask you to stop shows you care about them.

Friendship Puzzler #433: Your friend asks to copy your answers on a homework assignment. You should say:

Answer: d or e — Unless your teacher has given you permission to work together, sharing or copying answers is cheating. Don’t let yourself get talked into doing something that you know isn’t right, even by a friend! You can say no without being mean. You may have to say no more than once if your friend keeps asking. In some situations, you may be able to help your friend without cheating, by explaining how to do the work.

Friendship Puzzler #26: How many times should you apologize after you’ve accidentally hurt, upset, or annoyed your friend?

Answer: a — A sincere apology is a wise and caring thing to do when you’ve upset a friend. You don’t want to end a friendship over a mistake! Say you’re sorry, say what you did wrong, and tell how you’re going to avoid doing it again. (What will you do the next time you’re in that situation?) But what if your friend also did something wrong? Your apology might inspire your friend to apologize to you. Even if your friend doesn’t apologize, you’ll know that you did the right thing. Don’t apologize again and again. That’s just annoying. Say it once and mean it, then move on.