Teachers are banning schoolkids from having best pals — so they don’t get upset by fall-outs.
Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups.
Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey.
She added: “I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn’t have a best friend and that everyone should play together.”
Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed some schools were adopting best-friend bans.
He said: “I don’t think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre.”
One thing’s for sure. This new ban undermines the old complaint about homeschooling—children need to attend public schools to be properly socialized. I think I’ll start telling people that I’m homeschooling so that my children can have healthy social lives , best friends and all.
On the subject of schooling and friendship, my 12 year old son Matthew and I had what was for me an enlightening conversation today. On the drive to church, we were talking about our playground experiences as small kids (Matt was in formal schooling for kindergarten and first grade). He told me that since we started homeschooling a few years ago, he has enjoyed making friendships with older kids. He asked me if I had older kids as friends when I was a boy.
I had never thought about that. The answer is no, I didn’t — and it’s because I had standard schooling. Nor did I have younger kids as friends. Until high school, we were pretty much only friends with kids in our grade. The kids only a year above us, and the kids only a year below us, were foreigners. Isn’t that strange? It was completely normal, though. Was it that way for you? It wasn’t that we were forbidden from playing with younger or older kids; that’s just how it worked out, given the grade system. Until Matt asked me this morning, I hadn’t thought at all about how peculiar it is that your friends would be almost entirely limited to kids your own age.