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Act of Kindness to Build Friendships: A Secret Mission

This was submitted to Pennies of Time by a “Pennies of Time” Adventuring Dad.

Learning to build friendships is one of the main lessons that young children learn as they play with others and go to school.  See how one family turned a yucky situation into an act of kindness to build friendships.


The other day, our 5-yr old came home from school sad.  He said a girl he was trying to play with wouldn’t play with him during recess.  Other girls convinced her to not play with him.  He asked what to do.  My thought was to tell him to kick her to the curb (it’s just an expression).  Fortunately, my wife responded and said that he should focus on playing with other people.

Seeing that he wasn’t thrilled by the lack of guidance, she asked him in a secretive type of voice, “Do you want to go on a ‘secret adventure’?”

Of course, he said, “yes,” looking very intrigued.

“Your secret adventure is to find two different people to play with while you are at recess tomorrow.”  She quickly followed up with, “But, do you want to go on a ‘*Super* Secret Adventure’?”

Of course he did.

“I need for one of those people to be someone who is not playing with someone else.”  She promised him a “super secret surprise” if he was able to accomplish his mission. In essence, my wife turned a difficult situation for our son into an opportunity for him to serve someone else who might be feeling lonely.

Well, he did accomplish his mission, and he had a new (and highly coveted) snorkel and mask that he had been asking for all summer, waiting for him when he got home. He had a great time recounting to us how his super secret mission played out, earlier that day.  Most importantly, he made some new friends during a time when many kids feel lonely and that no one wants to be their friend.

By “Pennies of Time” Adventuring Dad

What ideas do you have for children to build friendships through serving or acts of kindness?