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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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  • Queen Katherine 2012/04/27 17:43:14
  • sherzad 2012/04/27 17:38:20
    Yes
    sherzad
    +1
    its a real hard feeling to avoid friends after graduated,but its a stage of life not all of life.
  • the_old_coach 2012/04/27 17:37:27
    Yes
    the_old_coach
    +2
    YES: Best friends ARE healthy.

    What kind of Socialistic crap is this rule?
  • Shawna 2012/04/27 17:36:51
    Yes
    Shawna
    +4
    That's so ridiculous. I know that girls can be horrible to each other and they use the best friend angle to inflict pain. But you can't tell someone who they can or can't be friends with or dictate the depth of their feelings. You also can't force introverts to be extroverts. Some of us prefer fewer closer friendships to hanging with a crowd.
  • volodymyr sereda sereda 2012/04/27 17:34:18
    Yes
    volodymyr sereda sereda
    +2
    This is the worst idea which I have ever heard. Idiotic.
  • ronbo 2012/04/27 17:33:29
    Yes
    ronbo
    +2
    Who is even making this an issue? Everybody has had a best friend in their life at one time or another. Does that mean something is wrong with it?
  • LisaSmith 2012/04/27 17:32:56
    Yes
    LisaSmith
    +3
    Some of the British are becoming a little strange here lately.
  • ticlo7 LisaSmith 2012/04/28 09:21:10
    ticlo7
    +1
    It's not lately; the British have been strange for a long time. You just don't hear about it!
  • LisaSmith ticlo7 2012/04/28 16:00:33
    LisaSmith
    I was trying to be polite but you have confirmed my worst fears about the British.
  • ticlo7 LisaSmith 2012/04/28 22:10:30
    ticlo7
    +1
    You don't have to be polite; we're bloody insane and we know it. Just be prepared for retaliation.
  • LisaSmith ticlo7 2012/04/29 03:46:38
    LisaSmith
    LOL...Ok
  • Michelle Enriquez 2012/04/27 17:28:59
    Yes
    Michelle Enriquez
    +3
    How can you ban best friends? People just naturally have some friends closer than others. Weather you call each other best friends or not, they still are. Often kids have a group of friends who all consider each other as best friends. It's only natural for kids to try to find people and groups where they fit in. I get that they are trying to avoid people being left out, but then encourage them to expand their groups ( of friends not necicarily best friends) to include more kids. Encourage all children to alwayse be themselves and if you have to change to impress someone, they're not worth impressing.
  • SilveryRow 2012/04/27 17:28:22
    Yes
    SilveryRow
    +4
    What a strange idea.
    Although the question is misleading, taking your cue from The Sun is pretty weak, they're a sensationalist tabloid after all. A 'handful' of primary schools in one city and you make it sound like the whole country's in on it *rueful eyeroll*
  • Lerro DeHazel 2012/04/27 17:18:14
    No
    Lerro DeHazel
    +1
    You can also do food like that. Screw them when they ask for something that tastes good.
  • Surgeon ~The Egalitarianist~ 2012/04/27 17:17:12
    Yes
    Surgeon ~The Egalitarianist~
    +4
    If children need to learn about relationships then having a best friend is the best thing for them. I'd rather be close to one person than be forced to interact with a large group of people I'll barely get to know. You become friends by spending time with a person, getting to know them for who they are, that's why best friends exist in the first place - because you know them so well and can count on them.

    I remember when I was in school everyone was telling me to go on and interact with others in my class, and then all they did was hurt and taunt me. Then my now best friend moved here and she was much different than the people I was used to, so she threw me off guard a bit. Well anyway, shortly after she moved here we became best friends after a mutual friend introduced us. Then when our mutual friend moved away I knew that my best friend was gonna be there.

    No one in school liked me, no matter how much I was forced to interact with people there. They just never did. You see it everywhere you go, a social outcast, a scapegoat, things like that. Complete and total acceptance isn't possible with a group mentality. Someone always becomes the outcast or scapegoat, that's how group mentality works - sacrificing the one for the sake of the collective. When in reality no one should...









    If children need to learn about relationships then having a best friend is the best thing for them. I'd rather be close to one person than be forced to interact with a large group of people I'll barely get to know. You become friends by spending time with a person, getting to know them for who they are, that's why best friends exist in the first place - because you know them so well and can count on them.

    I remember when I was in school everyone was telling me to go on and interact with others in my class, and then all they did was hurt and taunt me. Then my now best friend moved here and she was much different than the people I was used to, so she threw me off guard a bit. Well anyway, shortly after she moved here we became best friends after a mutual friend introduced us. Then when our mutual friend moved away I knew that my best friend was gonna be there.

    No one in school liked me, no matter how much I was forced to interact with people there. They just never did. You see it everywhere you go, a social outcast, a scapegoat, things like that. Complete and total acceptance isn't possible with a group mentality. Someone always becomes the outcast or scapegoat, that's how group mentality works - sacrificing the one for the sake of the collective. When in reality no one should be sacrificed for the sake of a social group, yet it always happens. But having a best friend lessens that pain. People are going to form social groups regardless of what you encourage them to do, that's just how it is. But in order to form close, personal, relationships then you have to let kids make friends on their own - let them trust others.

    Trust is important, shielding them from the pain of losing a best friend will only hurt them in the long run. Also it's just another way to force kids to do what they probably don't want to do and will only cause more hurt for the people who are not socially inclined to begin with which only means those people will still become targets because they don't fit in with the group. Let kids form their own groups, their own little packs, let them have a say in the matter rather than just forcing it on them. That's almost like marrying your kid off to some other kid when they're barely even aware of what's going on.

    People forced me to get along with everyone, in turn I became nothing more than a punching back for them - that was my "role" in the group for the sake of the group. I hated it. You can't help who you do like and who you don't like. So stop trying to force kids to get along with everyone when they wont. Here's a better idea, instead of teaching kids to rely on group think which is nothing but harmful, you should teach them to be a little more independent and not so reliant on others. Yes, I have a best friend, but I'm a hell of a lot better off than the people who were surrounded by tons of people but keeps them at arms length.

    You're going to have preferences when it comes to people. Not every person is the same so it's totally natural you would prefer the companionship of one person to someone else. That's why best friends are great and perfectly natural.

    Damaging my ass, it's a benefit. Before I had a best friend i was scared, alone, nothing more than a meat sack to people, but I was able to learn about personal and trusting relationships by having a best friend who accepted me as I was and never asked me to change. The group wanted me to change so we'd all be clones of each other, but she never wanted me to change. Best friends love you as you are, the group just wants you to fit in and the moment you don't fit in then you're about as worthy to be around them as a doormat is.

    In short, God damn this who group and collective think is stupid.
    (more)
  • Michell... Surgeon... 2012/04/27 17:41:37
    Michelle Enriquez
    +1
    I like how you put that. Having one close friend is better than having a lot of friends who don't really know you and vice versa. I had a fairly small group of friends in high school, a few of them were always coming up with ways to become "popular". But I didn't want to. Don't get me wrong, I wanted people to like me, but these are people who relentlessly teased me theoughout most of my school years and excuse me if I didn't think they would make good friends. I don't know where I got this mentality from, but I just knew that even though I was depressed about being mocked, if I pretended to be different, that would be worse because they wouldn't like "me". I had better friends than most people did. We enjoyed being the way we were. We had more fun. Sometimes it takes a really close friend to bring out who you really are.
  • The Impossible Girl ✿ 2012/04/27 17:16:52
    Yes
    The Impossible Girl ✿
    +3
    That is really sad..
    I would protest... Even as a kid, I would not have let this happen...
    It's perfectly normal to have a best friend.
    They have no right in telling kids that they can't label their most trusted friend their "best friend."
    -.-
  • Thane36425 2012/04/27 17:09:22
    Yes
    Thane36425
    +4
    What is it with these nutjobs? Not everyone is an extrovert who thrives in big groups. Just as many or more prefer small groups and get worn out by big groups. Perhaps it is because they know big groups produce a herd mentality and make thinking difficult because of the distractions and personality conflicts. Then again, maybe these people are just so arrogant they think they know best regardless of mountains of evidence to the contrary.
  • scubagal 2012/04/27 17:02:42
    Yes
    scubagal
    +3
    What the hell is happening in this world?!?
  • Stan Kapusta 2012/04/27 17:00:30
    Yes
    Stan Kapusta
    +4
    That shows our government didn't corner the market on politicians who don't have a clue on why they were elected.
  • scubagal Stan Ka... 2012/04/27 17:03:48
    scubagal
    +2
    Amen to that!
  • kofp 2012/04/27 16:55:51
    Yes
    kofp
    +2
    Bottom line, Great Britain (like the U.S.A) is a tyrannical, control freak, totalitarian state, that is going down(hill) fast! The Rothschild owned banking aristocracy is responsible for all our modern world problems and needs to be taken out!
  • Mtnsmith 2012/04/27 16:52:06
    Yes
    Mtnsmith
    +4
    When working on team projects, many teachers will put kids into groups specifically not including their best buddies, to get the work done; that's fine, and otherwise, leave the kids alone!
  • H Day Case 2012/04/27 16:51:41
    Yes
    H Day Case
    +4
    This is one of the more asinine policies I've ever heard of.
  • Justin.Long 2012/04/27 16:38:22
    Yes
    Justin.Long
    +2
    The more people you interact with the less you have in common with them it nit a bad thing it's just how it works but to have that one friend that are almost completely alike is key
  • John BNO 2012/04/27 16:38:13
    Yes
    John BNO
    +6
    It really doesn't matter much whether it's healthy or not, nor does it make much sense for anyone to try to discourage close friendships. Every person I have ever know has established extra bonding friendships with special friends. It comes naturally. These schools and teachers are trying to accomplish the impossible for a reason that I can't quite fathom.
  • Mike 2012/04/27 16:32:31
    Yes
    Mike
    +5
    Absolutely ridiculous - that's socialism at its best
  • Muriel 2012/04/27 16:29:27
    Yes
    Muriel
    +5
    These are difficult years for young people and they learn, share and support one another as they mature. Separating friends is unthinkable to me. I think many of these leftist educators have their heads screwed on backwards.
  • hat man 2012/04/27 16:22:58
    Yes
    hat man
    +3
    My country is a socialist utopia.
  • Theresa2000 2012/04/27 16:18:41
    Yes
    Theresa2000
    +4
    Absolutely, best friends are healthy. No one said you had to have just ONE best friend, either. I have a few select best friends...all are located in different states. I think this is a ridiculous and that the government needs to butt out of peoples lives.
  • amazinggrace 2012/04/27 16:17:21
    Yes
    amazinggrace
    +7
    Healthier than running in packs
  • bozo 2012/04/27 15:51:39
    Yes
    bozo
    +6
    but new laws , speaches from law makers, presidents, congressman, gnu black pussy cats, naacp , congressional black caucus, al not so sharpton, joe biden are unhealthy and should be avoided
  • Rebel [SHP] 2012/04/27 15:44:40 (edited)
    Yes
    Rebel [SHP]
    +4
    I think so. I interacted with a large number of people in middle and high school.....but after we graduated....most of those people are gone. My best friend however is still there for me (mind you I graduated well over 6.5 years ago). Blood brothers, you can't take that bond away from kids. This is a sad move by Britain Education.
  • shiroidenkou1994 2012/04/27 15:43:31
    Yes
    shiroidenkou1994
    +4
    This is retarded. You shouldn't tell a child who they are and aren't allowed to befriend and to what extent. That can be seriously psychologically damaging to a child, as well as teaching them that it's okay to dominate the personal lives of those close to them. It sets them up for some really serious relationship problems later in life.
  • JCLadybug 2012/04/27 15:40:44
    Yes
    JCLadybug
    +4
    So they are encouraging many more shallow relationships than a few very meaningful ones? Wow...that is wrong on so many levels. I have known my best friend for 21 years (since I was 5) we grew closer over the first several years and always had other friends around us but we also didn't go to school for more than 3 years together (K-2nd). I always had her when I didn't really fit in with most people at my other schools and formed the more shallow relationships....(I had friends, they were nice people...but I don't know them today).
  • DizziNY 2012/04/27 15:33:59 (edited)
    Yes
    DizziNY
    +4
    Seriously, wtf?
  • Blossoms 2012/04/27 15:24:37
    Yes
    Blossoms
    +6
    This is shameful! I remember once their was a group of girls in my primary school that always used to fall out and it resulted in our teacher putting us into 'friendship groups' and it was a really dumb idea because it made others unhappy and it made lunchtimes and break miserable. This is not a good idea, it will damage children's childhood most definitely.
  • Bibliophilic 2012/04/27 15:19:52 (edited)
    Yes
    Bibliophilic
    +6
    No, not every kid wants to have a large group of friends. I always had a few close friends and 4-5 good pals in school.

    I was always shy and quiet in school and I preferred the company of few. Sometimes I was content to be alone. Why does society so often force social interaction upon people who are already content with their lives? In elementary school I had very few friends, but those that I did connect with were worth knowing. It's easier for some of us to forge strong relationships with relatively few people.
  • ticlo7 2012/04/27 15:09:30
    Yes
    ticlo7
    +8
    I dont want to live in South London anymore...

    I don't think that many schools will pick up on it (at least I hope not). Primary schools encourage social interaction with other pupils but this is too extreme! Plus I doubt it's actually a 'ban', unless I'm told otherwise I think the Sun's exaggerating. Still, you shouldn't discourage it, that's just ridiculous.
  • Gloria 2012/04/27 15:08:04

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