Photographs by Alexis Burnett; envelope © Getty
Hey, I’m Tyler. I live in Missouri, USA. I try to follow Jesus by being a friend to my siblings, kids at school, and anyone who needs a buddy.
I love my family. I have an older sister, Sammie, and an older brother, Spencer. Sammie is four years older than me, but we have a lot in common. I make up games for us to play, like the taco challenge. That’s when you roll yourself up in the heaviest blanket you own and try to scoot across the floor to the other side of the room without unwrapping the taco. It’s super fun!
Spencer and Me
I really look up to Spencer. He has autism, and it’s my job to help him with his chores, like taking out the trash. I love to help tuck him into bed at night. When I learned to read, I started reading to Spencer. It’s something we like to do together, even though we read the same two stories every time! Sometimes I imagine helping Spencer when I’m an adult so my parents can serve a mission. I like the idea of us being roommates!
When people meet Spencer, they don’t always know what to say or do. But just smiling and saying “Hi” makes him really happy. I think being kind is the main way we follow Jesus.
The Buddy Bench
My school has a Buddy Bench where kids can sit at recess if they’re feeling left out and need a friend. One day I saw a younger boy I didn’t know sitting on the Buddy Bench. I asked him to come play with my friends and me. We walked around and talked. We all had a good time.
Tyler’s Tips for Being a Buddy
Smile and say “Hi.”
Treat people the way you want them to treat you.
Find things you can do together.