Learning and Remembering Information about your friends

It’s been the longest week ever. You’ve been texting your best friend all week about just relaxing on Friday, watching that new Netflix show you’ve been dying to see and eating your favorite takeout. After your commute home, you change into yoga pants and get settled onto the couch. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. You open up the door and see your best friend.

“Oh my goodness, you remembered!”

She’s in her yoga pants, with the #23 meal from your favorite Thai place.

How awesome does it feel when a friend remembers something about you?

One of the best ways to get to know someone is to have conversations and ask questions. When you're asking questions and learning more about them, like their favorite food, season, or movie -  try to remember those things for later.

A great way to explain this to kids is to use the concept of friend files. This is a technique I first heard about through Social Thinking™

Think about all the information you know about your friends as going into files.

For my old school people, think about a filing cabinet.

For those of you more technologically inclined - imagine folders on a computer.

A child may have several different mental folders to keep track of with a friend, like:

  • Things that friend loves
  • Things that friend doesn’t like
  • Things that friend likes to talk about
  • Things you and that friend like to do together
  • Information about their family - like how many siblings he has, or does he have two houses?
  • Important dates - upcoming birthday parties or play dates you have planned

For example:

Billy has been friends with Eddie for 6 months. Billy has learned a lot about Eddie since they first met. Here’s a quick snapshot of what Billy’s friend file for Eddie looks like:

Things Billy knows about Eddie

  • loves to play tag at recess
  • likes to play on the structures at the playground
  • doesn’t like tomatoes, but he does like ketchup
  • His favorite food is pizza
  • loves to talk about Stikbots and Minecraft
  • loves to play LEGOS and build things with me
  • Doesn’t like scary movies
  • Really liked the game Farkle when we tried it
  • Has two sisters and a brother
  • We are getting together for a playdate this weekend to go to the movies

For some kids, it may make sense to create a written or visual friend file to help remember this information. It can be kept at home, and you can update it and review it as needed.

You settle in on the couch, next to your bestie and you get ready to watch the show you both have been dying to see. What a great start to the weekend!

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