When Clifford forgets a play date, Cleo gets really upset. After all, she would never do that to a friend. Cleo won't even accept Clifford's apologies. T-bone points out to Cleo that she may be the one who isn't being a good friend. After all, Clifford did apologize—and a good friend would never hold a grudge. Cleo learns that good friends forgive (and forget!).

Clifford's Big Idea: Be a Good FriendClifford's Big Idea: Be a Good Friend

Like apologizing, forgiving is a challenging task for anyone at any age. Talking about ways to forgive and forget can lead to discussions that build

  • life skills
  • critical thinking and problem-solving

Importance of Play DatesImportance of Play Dates

Children develop social relationships in many contexts. Give the child more opportunities to experience friendship and playing in various settings by setting up play dates with just one or two or other friends. Invite one or two children from school, church, or the park over to your house to play for a couple of hours. Provide a snack halfway through their playtime and encourage the child to share space, toys, and belongings with their playmates. Allowing the child the opportunity to play in a variety of settings with a variety of children will ensure that he or she will find friendships easier to make and maintain in the future.

Forgive and ForgetForgive and Forget

To forgive and forget is difficult at any age. Have children role-play the scene between Cleo, Clifford, and T-Bone. Afterwards, ask

  • How would you feel if you had forgotten the play date, as Clifford did?
  • Would you accept Clifford's apologies if you were Cleo?
  • It was fortunate that T-Bone's good sense and reasoning convinced Cleo that their friendship was too strong to lose over this incident. How would you feel if a friend forgot a play date?

The Language of Forgiveness

Sometimes children need practice expressing themselves when they want to ask for forgiveness. Saying "I'm sorry" is sometimes not enough. When conflicts arise, help the child understand that asking to be forgiven is a tough task. Saying "I'm sorry" with grace and sincerity is a skill that can be modeled by adults, as well.

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