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British Schools Ban Best Friends: Are Best Friends Healthy?

News 2012/04/27 13:00:00
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A handful of primary (elementary) schools in south London are reportedly discouraging kids from having best friends and attempting to get them to interact in larger groups. Though The Sun, a major British tabloid, is calling the policy a "ban," it's unclear to what extent schools are taking it. Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni says the schools are enforcing the policy to "save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend."

Obviously, the policy has been met with severe criticism. Campaign for Real Education spokesman Chris McGovern explained, "Children take things very seriously and if you tell them they can’t have a best friend it can be seriously damaging to them. They need to learn about relationships." A member of the National Association of Head Teachers added, "I don’t think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre." Do you think having a best friend is a healthy part of growing up?


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Top Opinion

  • Beat Magnum True Hero 2012/04/27 14:46:02 (edited)
    Yes
    Beat Magnum True Hero
    +37
    Has it ever occurred to anyone that there are some people who do not want to be friends with large groups? Being an introvert or not wanting to have a huge group of acquaintances is not a bad thing. Neither is being outgoing and overly social. Quit treating the people who don't want to be parts of big groups as freaks. Some of us feel the life getting sucked out of us if more than 10 people are in a room. I have good friends, I get along with everyone, but under the pain of being expelled, I would have told a teacher or school administrator to go to hell before giving up my best friend.

    All of the rules change the minute high school ends anyway. All of those "acquaintances" that they want these kids to have? They'll be gone from their lives 2 months after graduation. I'm still in touch with my best friends from high school and most of the time, they're closer than my actual family.

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Opinions

  • the dea... Anthony... 2012/04/29 02:12:18
    the dead redcoat
    +3
    i thought they had done that when Bush was elected.
  • Mantic 2012/04/28 17:45:16
    Yes
    Mantic
    +5
    This seems very odd.

    I don't buy the explanation of saving children "the pain of splitting up from their best friend," at all. School policy is never about such touchy-feely empathetic reasoning.

    My suspicion is that they believe pair reinforcement is a factor in unwanted behavior, while groupthink suppresses it. They may even have some sort of evidence to that effect that they are acting on, though it may also just be false wisdom from previous generations popping up again:

    suppresses sort evidence effect acting false wisdom previous generations popping

    Either way, I'd expect more contributions to society from the pair bonds that stray off track than the little herds of sheeple. All the great people have been a little outside the norm.
  • Lucy Mantic 2012/04/28 22:20:08
    Lucy
    +3
    That's funny, I always thought mass mobs were the danger.
  • Mantic Lucy 2012/04/29 02:43:14
    Mantic
    +3


    Mobs... and corporations... have limited liability. ;)
  • Bett17 2012/04/28 17:45:11
    Yes
    Bett17
    +3
    Ok, I'm just going to pretend I'm not from Britian, because this article is just an embarassment to me.
  • Lucy Bett17 2012/04/28 22:20:34
    Lucy
    +2
    I bet Brits think this is stupid too.
  • Purebread#1 2012/04/28 16:57:37
    Yes
    Purebread#1
    +4
    Everybody needs someone close they can confide in and tell them anything without being judged.
  • ♥PrettyLittleLiarsLover♥ 2012/04/28 16:37:49
    Yes
    ♥PrettyLittleLiarsLover♥
    +3
    Of course it is healthy it's like someone you can relate to someone you can talk to when you fail with other and if the first one doesn't work well there are many more fish in the sea!!
  • mach-1 BL-106 2012/04/28 16:34:58
    No
    mach-1  BL-106
    +4
    I voted Yes!!!!!!!! Oh well bad day on SH

    ....socialism works best in groups ...and for those who don't fit into those groups Isolationism is another way break or brain wash them.
    But 2 people can carry quietly their own ideas.
  • Vipor_GG mach-1 ... 2012/04/28 19:54:08
    Vipor_GG
    +5
    I have found that sometimes just as a SH page completes loading it will jump just enough to make you click the wrong answer.
  • The Winter Sodahead 2012/04/28 16:33:08
    Yes
    The Winter Sodahead
    +5
    And what's patently unhealthy is schools trying to dictate the students' social lives.
  • Reggie☮ 2012/04/28 16:21:00
    Yes
    Reggie☮
    +3
    Big Sigh!!!!!!
  • Wayne TH G 333 2012/04/28 16:20:11 (edited)
    Yes
    Wayne TH G 333
    +4
    I miss having one.
  • Grammar... Wayne T... 2012/04/29 15:00:17
    Grammar Freak
    +1
    You miss having one.
    Because you don't have one now, you can't miss not having one.

    I know... call me a jerk. Yes, I know what you mean.
    I'm not trying to patronize you. I just think that it's more helpful when someone corrects mistakes for us rather than letting them slip by or we never learn.
    Learning is good.
  • Wayne T... Grammar... 2012/04/29 16:10:13
    Wayne TH G 333
    +2
    That's a good point, I must have been a little tired when I wrote that.
  • hasher 2012/04/28 16:07:24
    Yes
    hasher
    +4
    why should they force kids to be with larger groups? thisis stupid. some kids do better with just a couple of friends.
  • hasher hasher 2012/04/28 16:08:41
    hasher
    +3
    how in the hell can they stop them. they have no right to dictate who their friends are.
  • cellophane hasher 2012/04/28 19:51:33
    cellophane
    +4
    I understand the need to broaden kids' social horizons. There are fewer and fewer skilled or professional jobs that don't require significant interaction with other people. But while teachers may break up "best friend" duos or trios as they work with other kids in the classroom, discouraging the existence of a best friend is not only beyond the scope of schools, I believe it's detrimental to the development of a child's ability to form deep and lasting relationships.
  • Utall 2012/04/28 16:07:15
    No
    Utall
    +2
    wtf? really?

    what year is it?
  • ocean t... Utall 2012/04/28 18:22:24
    ocean tamer
    +1
    what do you mean, are you happy to have schools stripping kids of their social security?
  • Utall ocean t... 2012/04/28 19:44:07
    Utall
    of course not...
  • Mz Understood 2012/04/28 15:58:07
    Yes
    Mz Understood
    +2
    While I do agree that kids should interact with larger groups, just how in the heck do they assume they'll be able to stop them from having a best friend?
  • tobe 2012/04/28 15:53:17
    Yes
    tobe
    +3
    Id go crazy if it werent for mine. I think its more important if you dont have a close connection with a family member. Everybodys gotta have a go to. If not theyll bottle stuff up. Unless your lifes just hunky f**king dory that is.
  • JJ 2012/04/28 15:52:52 (edited)
    Yes
    JJ
    +4
    This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.I have always felt that most psychologist and their counter parts are really just insecure individuals that got into their work to really find themselves. Most of them don't know anything about human nature and many don't believe some people when they are giving them the truth about something. They [ the psychologist ] think because they have an education, they have all the answers...well, they don't. Just that statement above proves it. I mingled [ but I too went to different schools because of us moving ], but wish with all my heart I had a best friend to pall around with.
  • Lucy JJ 2012/04/28 22:23:29
    Lucy
    +1
    Ha-ha. Good for you. I have a relative who is a psychiatrist and I have met others, and I find them to be really nuts. Who would want to be one and sit around all day listening to boring stuff anyway?
  • JJ Lucy 2012/04/28 23:58:47 (edited)
    JJ
    Yes, and many of them haven't really experienced some of the problems others have, and that makes a difference. I'm not going to say all of them are bad, as I'm sure some really do know what they're talking about...but many are more on a vainty trip than a trip to help others.
  • Little Fawn 2012/04/28 15:51:52
    Yes
    Little Fawn
    +2
    I think it's a healthy part of learning to manage relationships, but having a best friend for me screwed me up more than it helped. People would get jealous, some would betray and backstab, some just really made me want to die. So it's 50/50 for me, but obviously everybody has their own experiences.
  • cellophane Little ... 2012/04/28 19:57:00
    cellophane
    +2
    Having a best friend can be painful, especially for girls. I've heard it said that there's no animal on the planet more cruel than a third grade girl on the playground!

    But relationships are inherently difficult. If a child doesn't learn the ins and outs of managing a relationship and dealing with the resulting difficulties in their developing years, how will she learn to manage an adult relationship when she's grown?
  • Lucy cellophane 2012/04/28 22:25:16
    Lucy
    +3
    you are right. even though we can be hurt by best friends, I think it is still an overall good experience. It helps to learn loyalty and also to recover from rejection and move on.
  • Little ... Lucy 2012/04/29 02:08:45
    Little Fawn
    +1
    Yes, exactly that.
  • Little ... cellophane 2012/04/29 02:08:16
    Little Fawn
    +2
    There's no animal on the planet more cruel than a girl in any grade out on the playground. Girls can be the worst, but I do agree with you. Relationships can be hard, but it is important in people's overall development. I guess I was speaking for myself, if it was MY choice, I would've preferred not going through the experience of a best friend.
  • EFRENGRDZ 2012/04/28 15:49:00
    Yes
    EFRENGRDZ
    +2
    Whoever came up with that stupid idea should be gangbanged by 50 black dudes with 15 inch penises. No best friends? Some people simply are not Social butterflies.
  • ocean t... EFRENGRDZ 2012/04/28 18:23:50
    ocean tamer
    +2
    racist but i get the jist of your point.
  • Roblem BN-0 2012/04/28 15:36:09
  • ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own 2012/04/28 14:56:38
    Yes
    ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own
    +3
    I had four best friends throughout my childhood. The times I shared with them were the best part of the whole shabang.

    There's a reason their called best friends.
  • vinone 2012/04/28 14:55:24
    Yes
    vinone
    +4
    Idk, I haven't had a "best friend" in about 8 yeras.... Just a bunch of good friends and a few people who hate me.
  • yasmin 2012/04/28 14:48:18
    Yes
    yasmin
    +2
    Seriously? Ok so let's say there's a group of friends & they split that's more painful than having two people split. Geez
  • Yaati 2012/04/28 14:37:32 (edited)
    Yes
    Yaati
    +3


    What the hell?

    Some people would rather have (and only need) that ONE or TWO people they know that they can always trust and count on. I'm one of them. I've never done well with large groups of peers. Sure I've made several "friends" or rather acquaintances , but I can only ever allow myself to get REALLY close to one or two people that I'd consider true, intimate friends because that's just my nature :(. Even now, after highschool, I've only kept one of those intimate friends. She's my ONE best friend from highschool, what's wrong with that? I only need her to be happy. I only need her to be comforted and consoled whenever I run into a ditch on this road called life. Why do I (and people like me) have to try and exhaust ourselves to try and be part of a larger clique?

    Best friends are healthy, I believe, as they give someone another someone to confide and depend on. Perhaps you have some things you need to get off your chest, but your large group of acquaintances probably won't understand and you don't feel like sharing your heart with such a large group of people? That's when that one, intimate friend comes in. And really it doesn't have to be one. I consider myself have two best friends: one from highschool, the other a childhood friend from my neighbourhood. I'm very, ve...

    confused gif

    What the hell?

    Some people would rather have (and only need) that ONE or TWO people they know that they can always trust and count on. I'm one of them. I've never done well with large groups of peers. Sure I've made several "friends" or rather acquaintances , but I can only ever allow myself to get REALLY close to one or two people that I'd consider true, intimate friends because that's just my nature :(. Even now, after highschool, I've only kept one of those intimate friends. She's my ONE best friend from highschool, what's wrong with that? I only need her to be happy. I only need her to be comforted and consoled whenever I run into a ditch on this road called life. Why do I (and people like me) have to try and exhaust ourselves to try and be part of a larger clique?

    Best friends are healthy, I believe, as they give someone another someone to confide and depend on. Perhaps you have some things you need to get off your chest, but your large group of acquaintances probably won't understand and you don't feel like sharing your heart with such a large group of people? That's when that one, intimate friend comes in. And really it doesn't have to be one. I consider myself have two best friends: one from highschool, the other a childhood friend from my neighbourhood. I'm very, very close with both. :)

    Sorry for this speech, I feel strongly about this! It's really just ridiculous. Let children have their best friend; I know I am EXTREMELY thankful for my own!
    (more)
  • Bill 2012/04/28 14:33:43
    Yes
    Bill
    +3
    A lot of the Brit's politic's are a few cards short of a full deck.
  • Roblem ... Bill 2012/04/28 15:31:31
    Roblem BN-0
    +2
    Same here in the US. ;-)

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