Teacher Talk

9 Wonderful Books About Setting Boundaries In Friendships For Children

Teaching children about setting boundaries in friendships is so important in the classroom. If you’re a teacher, you have probably had to help navigate a conflict between friends. Of course, friendships ebb and flow throughout the year, and that’s normal. But helping students learn how to set boundaries in friendships can help them greatly in managing their peer relationships. One of my favorite classroom activities for setting boundaries is reading children’s books. There are so many wonderful books that can help students learn about setting boundaries with friends.

Read on for 9 wonderful books to help children learn about setting boundaries in friendship!

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Setting Boundaries In the Classroom

Setting boundaries is an important skill that students will need to learn as they navigate school settings. Sometimes, it’s a classmate getting into their personal space. Or it could be a friend who is taking advantage of them. These social situations are totally normal learning for our students. But we can help them by teaching them some skills to navigate these situations. 

Learning about setting boundaries and conflict resolution in school will help students build these important social skills. And these skills only get more important as we get older.

Children’s Books About Setting Boundaries

Children’s books are a wonderful tool to learn about lots of different social skills. When it comes to setting boundaries in friendships, it’s so helpful for students to see examples. Hearing an engaging story helps bring the example to life. Then students are more able to understand the strategies and how they might be able to use them too. 

I’m so excited to share these children’s books with you to help teach these important topics to students. These books fall into three categories: Setting Boundaries, Friendships, and Conflict Resolution.

setting boundaries with friends

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Skills For Setting Boundaries

These books are wonderful for teaching general skills and strategies for setting boundaries. These can help children with setting boundaries in relationships, whether it be friends or others. 

Speak Up

A group of children go through their day, and we see the many opportunities for them to use their voices to speak up and help make the world a better place. This books helps children understand that they have the power to communicate and make changes. 

I Can Say No

This book emphasizes that children have the choice to say “no” in situations of safety, and also in situations with friends. This is a great book for those students who always go along with what other children suggest. Emphasizing that we all have the choice to say “no” is so important for our shyer students.

Speak Up, Wonder Pup

I like this book because it teaches specific skills for children to stand up for themselves. After reading this book, students have some real strategies that they can take away and try out later. The puppy characters are also highly engaging for young students.

Setting Boundaries In Friendships

These books are specific to setting boundaries with friends. With these books, students can understand that sometimes the people we are friends with aren’t always kind. It’s important to learn how to communicate and take of ourselves in those situations.

The Not So Friendly Friend

This book helps children navigate friendships that are sometimes toxic and hurtful. It can be hard to recognize when a friend’s actions are no longer friendly. In this story, the main character learns to make a decision about choosing to play with the people who treat her well.

Willow Finds a Way

Willow is a shy, quiet girl who has a loud and bossy friend. In this book, Willow learns how to speak up and stand up for herself. This book helps teach the fine line of when a more vocal friend is taking advantage of a quieter friend. 

Big Friends

Two friends learn how to become a trio when someone new wants to join their fun. Throughout the story, the characters deal with jealousy, hurt feelings, and feeling left out. A friendship trio is a common situation for children to experience, and this book offers tools for how to navigate this scenario.

Conflict Resolution With Friendships

Conflict resolution and setting boundaries go hand in hand, and students need support building these skills. If a child struggles with setting boundaries, they may also need help understanding conflict resolution. When friendship problems arise, learning to recognize the feelings of others and respond in a loving way is a helpful and important skill. Seeing the characters in these stories and the issues they face can help students remember those skills.

The Way I Act

This book shows that our actions have consequences, and that we need to learn to handle these consequences. A great read to help students take responsibility for their part in friendship conflicts.

How to Apologize

This book is full of examples of when and how to apologize, emphasizing the importance of an apology that comes from your heart. One of my biggest pet peeves is an insincere apology. I love that this book helps students understand the difference between real and fake apologies.

Sorry (Really Sorry)

A story of farm animals who are having a bad day. The animals learn that unhappiness can spread easily, but that apologizing can help everyone feel better again after hurt feelings. 

Teaching Children To Set Boundaries

Learning to set boundaries in relationships is a lifelong skill. And of course, these books are just the beginning. But any foundation we can lay for children is going to be helpful as they get older. The earlier we start talking about these important topics, the more equipped children are to handle these situations as they come up.

social skills

If you’re looking for more ideas on setting boundaries, you can check out my Social Skills Curriculum, which has crafts and an anchor chart on this topic.

Which book are you going to use first? Let me know in the comments!
Xoxo Laura

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