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Cheer Squad

Ten-year-old Emily asked this question: "What is your favorite way to cheer up a friend when she feels sad or stressed?"

These girls shared their thoughts:

When my friends feel sad, I cheer them up by talking about funny things that we've done together. Pretty soon, we're all laughing, and that makes me feel happy, too.
–Sarah, age 12, Louisiana

My favorite way to cheer up a pal is to bake something yummy for her. Since I love to cook, it's fun for me to make something, and I know my friend will feel happier when she eats it.
–Addi, age 9, Kansas

If one of my friends is sitting around feeling sorry for herself, I say, "Get up! We've got some partying to do." Then I turn on one of her favorite songs, and we dance around. This almost always cheers someone up.
–Jenna, age 11, Maine

When my best friend is upset, I put a nice note in her backpack or send a sweet e-mail. It's a great little pick-me-up for a pal.
–Ellie, age 10, Pennsylvania

If a friend is feeling down, I think of something fun and random that will keep her mind busy, such as putting on a crazy play or judging a silly contest.
–An American Girl fan, age 12, Pennsylvania

When I'm down in the dumps, my friend invites me over to watch a funny movie. The other day, she was feeling sad, so I had her over at my house to watch a movie.
–Piper, age 12, Arizona

I like to crack jokes. The other day, one of my friends was sad about missing an assembly at school, so I said, "It actually wasn't that fun. I bet the dentist was even better!" She ended up laughing and feeling better.
–Sydney, age 11, Virginia

If my friend is sad, I invite her over for a sleepover. We play our favorite games and watch our favorite movies. Usually, she's feeling better in no time.
–Olivia, age 12, Indiana

I kindly ask what's upsetting her. If it's homework, I try to help. If it's something between us, we talk it out. I try to help her solve the problem.
–Kenzie, age 9, Georgia

This might sound silly, but when one of my friends is upset, I say, "Don't you dare smile!" The person almost always starts giggling immediately.
–Gabrielle, age 12, North Carolina

When my best friend feels blue, I tell her about a hilarious or embarrassing thing that happened to me. It always makes her smile.
–Gracie, age 13, South Carolina

To cheer up a friend, I sing a random, goofy, off-beat, non-rhyming song to make her laugh!
–Olivia, age 11, New York

I sit by my friend and hug her. I tell her that everything will be all right. I smile. And I know that if she has a friend by her side, she'll probably feel a lot more confident.
–Kathryn, age 12, Indiana

If a friend is overwhelmed, I tell her to take things "one step at a time." If she thinks that she can work through the problem in tiny pieces instead of all at once, she usually feels better.
–Maralee, age 10, North Carolina

One time, my friend had a spelling bee coming up, and she was really nervous. To make her feel better, I took her out for ice cream and let her vent. It helped her relieve a lot of stress.
–An American Girl fan, age 12, Ohio

I play a game with my friend when she feels sad. We call it "Queen for a Day." She'll come over and everything will be her choice—games, movies, what we bake, etc. When I'm upset, she'll do the same for me. It's a chance to relax and have fun, too.
–Madeleine, age 9, New York

When a friend is feeling sad or stressed, I don't try to make the problem go away. I get my friend out of the "unhappy zone" by telling a funny story or just giving a warm smile. I also suggest taking a break to do something we love to do together, such as baking, watching a show, or making a movie. Breaking the stress cycle and coming back to the problem later usually does a friend a lot of good.
–Chloe, age 10, California

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