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Are 'Best Friends' Dangerous?

Kal'Stang

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Are 'Best Friends' Dangerous?

Not long ago, The New York Times ran an article about an interesting trend at schools. The upshot: Some educators think having a best friend isn't so good for our children, and they're actively discouraging it by, say, breaking up best-friend pairs with class assignments.

What the hell is this world coming to? Best friends are bad now? How the hell do they expect children to learn about the negative effects of the world by shielding them against every GD little thing possible?

Man I'm so pissed at this that I can't even think straight atm.
 

Hoplite

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I wouldnt really take it that seriously. This site looks like a stay-at-home-mom who taught herself Javascript, it's one step up from a blog and not exactly reputable.

I've never heard of this idea before and I dont really see much basis for it. The article doesnt really explain in any great detail why having a "best friend" is so bad.
 

Kal'Stang

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I wouldnt really take it that seriously. This site looks like a stay-at-home-mom who taught herself Javascript, it's one step up from a blog and not exactly reputable.

I've never heard of this idea before and I dont really see much basis for it. The article doesnt really explain in any great detail why having a "best friend" is so bad.

Here's the NYT's article....

A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding

“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn’t need a best friend.”
 

rivrrat

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Goddamn some people are retarded. What's even scarier is that they're calling themselves "educators" and they actually have the ability to **** up our kids.
 

Kal'Stang

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I think I'll be having a talk with my kids teachers....they attempt to do this crap to my kids and I'll raise hell.
 

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Are 'Best Friends' Dangerous?



What the hell is this world coming to? Best friends are bad now? How the hell do they expect children to learn about the negative effects of the world by shielding them against every GD little thing possible?

Man I'm so pissed at this that I can't even think straight atm.

i don't quite get this.....sounds ridiculous.
 

OscarB63

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maybe the kids should just claim to be gay, that way no one would dare to try and split them up for fear of looking like a bigot?
 

TheGirlNextDoor

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You know why our country is slowing going down the crapper? It's because people that are in positions of power (whether that is congressmen or school districts) try and fix what ISN'T broken and choose to ignore the issues that are important by doing nothing.

I am so sick and tired of people making anything that could have disappointing results, obsolete. We are raising a generation of children that have never had to deal with any sort of negative news, results or consequences. We will be very sorry when these children grow into adults and when they get into the real world and have to suddenly deal with anything negative in their lives.. they are not going to know how to handle it and all hell will break loose. Talk about raising a bunch of dysfunctional children/families.

All thanks to a bunch of namby-pamby dumbasses that are trying to turn our citizenry into a bunch of sheltered weenies.
 
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Hoplite

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I cant access the article.

As far as the ideas presented, I wouldnt worry too much. There are a lot of ideas floating around regarding childcare and unless your kid comes home and says his teacher told him not to hang around with his best friend anymore, it's not worth worrying about.
 

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Everyone thinks they are a ****ing psychologist................................

**** those fools.
 

Orion

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The title of the article is a red herring, as usual.

No one is saying that best friends are dangerous, but only working with your best friend in an environment that is supposed to support a diverse range of people interactions is only going to limit your child. Sticking to friends when doing projects feels safe but I can see the wisdom of forcing kids to mix it up.

Adults do it too. In my medical program that had a class of 20, there was one woman who would always pair up with her friend in class when doing the practicum part of our learning, such as applying needling or massage techniques. When it came time for her to enter clinic and deal with a wide range of patients, she was completely lost because the only body she knew how to work on was that of her best friend. Our teachers even warned her to stop doing it but she wouldn't listen.

In the adult world, if you are only able to work with people that you like and feel safe with, then you are going to stay at the bottom of the rung. This is true if you're working for someone else, or if you have your own business. Letting children always stick with their friends in school projects doesn't encourage them to deal with differences or take educated risks.
 

Caine

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The title of the article is a red herring, as usual.

No one is saying that best friends are dangerous, but only working with your best friend in an environment that is supposed to support a diverse range of people interactions is only going to limit your child. Sticking to friends when doing projects feels safe but I can see the wisdom of forcing kids to mix it up.

Adults do it too. In my medical program that had a class of 20, there was one woman who would always pair up with her friend in class when doing the practicum part of our learning, such as applying needling or massage techniques. When it came time for her to enter clinic and deal with a wide range of patients, she was completely lost because the only body she knew how to work on was that of her best friend. Our teachers even warned her to stop doing it but she wouldn't listen.

In the adult world, if you are only able to work with people that you like and feel safe with, then you are going to stay at the bottom of the rung. This is true if you're working for someone else, or if you have your own business. Letting children always stick with their friends in school projects doesn't encourage them to deal with differences or take educated risks.

I completely agree with this observation of the issue now that you mention it.

Its actually one of my favorite aspects of getting new people on my shift to work with, seeing how they handle a call (or fail to handle a call).
 

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The title of the article is a red herring, as usual.

No one is saying that best friends are dangerous, but only working with your best friend in an environment that is supposed to support a diverse range of people interactions is only going to limit your child. Sticking to friends when doing projects feels safe but I can see the wisdom of forcing kids to mix it up.

Adults do it too. In my medical program that had a class of 20, there was one woman who would always pair up with her friend in class when doing the practicum part of our learning, such as applying needling or massage techniques. When it came time for her to enter clinic and deal with a wide range of patients, she was completely lost because the only body she knew how to work on was that of her best friend. Our teachers even warned her to stop doing it but she wouldn't listen.

In the adult world, if you are only able to work with people that you like and feel safe with, then you are going to stay at the bottom of the rung. This is true if you're working for someone else, or if you have your own business. Letting children always stick with their friends in school projects doesn't encourage them to deal with differences or take educated risks.

I dunno, the NYT article made it pretty clear that it was talking about the existence of best friends in general.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/fashion/17BFF.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all


I suspect that there are only a few select cases of this, which the NYT happened to stumble on... it seems like absolutely everyone else disagrees with it, so I dunno how widespread it is.
 

Orion

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I dunno, the NYT article made it pretty clear that it was talking about the existence of best friends in general.

Well that's just stupid. :)

Maybe the scientist had no friends growing up, and he has a vendetta for people who best friends. :D
 

Bodhisattva

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I think I'll be having a talk with my kids teachers....they attempt to do this crap to my kids and I'll raise hell.

I'll bitch slap the fool...
 

Bodhisattva

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Well that's just stupid. :)

Maybe the scientist had no friends growing up, and he has a vendetta for people who best friends. :D

You are all my best friends...
 
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You know why our country is slowing going down the crapper? It's because people that are in positions of power (whether that is congressmen or school districts) try and fix what ISN'T broken and choose to ignore the issues that are important by doing nothing.

I am so sick and tired of people making anything that could have disappointing results, obsolete. We are raising a generation of children that have never had to deal with any sort of negative news, results or consequences. We will be very sorry when these children grow into adults and when they get into the real world and have to suddenly deal with anything negative in their lives.. they are not going to know how to handle it and all hell will break loose. Talk about raising a bunch of dysfunctional children/families.

All thanks to a bunch of namby-pamby dumbasses that are trying to turn our citizenry into a bunch of sheltered weenies.
You know what they say: If it ain't broke, keep fixing it until it is.
 

digsbe

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This just really pisses me off. There is nothing wrong with having a best friend. Parents have the right to raise their children. What I find hypocritical is the school finds best friendships harmful, yet they say nothing about clingy teenage boyfriends/girlfriends that are far more damaging.
 

samsmart

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You know why our country is slowing going down the crapper? It's because people that are in positions of power (whether that is congressmen or school districts) try and fix what ISN'T broken and choose to ignore the issues that are important by doing nothing.

I am so sick and tired of people making anything that could have disappointing results, obsolete. We are raising a generation of children that have never had to deal with any sort of negative news, results or consequences. We will be very sorry when these children grow into adults and when they get into the real world and have to suddenly deal with anything negative in their lives.. they are not going to know how to handle it and all hell will break loose. Talk about raising a bunch of dysfunctional children/families.

All thanks to a bunch of namby-pamby dumbasses that are trying to turn our citizenry into a bunch of sheltered weenies.

But think of the children!
 

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My best friend is a guy named Jack... Daniels, and he's never be anything but good to me.
 

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Before going postal over this topic, a little research might be in order to understand the premise. I get it, and I support it as a "social experiment" as long as it is not sold as "Best Friends are Bad".

What is a Clique?

Cliques are small, exclusive groups that have rigid guidelines, like being thin, playing on the varsity team, or dressing a certain way. They usually begin forming in around 3rd or 4th grade, and usually are at their worst between 6th and 8th grade, according to psychologist Michael Thompson in his book, Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems [Ballantine Books, 2002].

Kids gravitate to cliques – or are devastated by being excluded from them – because of their natural desire to fit in and be part of a group. Typically a clique is controlled by a leader who decides who is "in" and who is "out," and this leader dictates the everyday details of how the members of the clique live their lives – what brands of clothing or shoes they wear, what music to listen to, how they talk, where they hang out, or how they wear their hair. There's a great deal of pressure to follow these "rules," and kids in the clique are usually expected to do everything together, and not associate with kids who are outside the clique.

Read more at Suite101: What are Cliques, and How Do They Affect Kids?: Learn How Parents Can Protect Kids From a Cliques' Harmful Effects What are Cliques, and How Do They Affect Kids?: Learn How Parents Can Protect Kids From a Cliques' Harmful Effects
 

Aunt Spiker

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Are 'Best Friends' Dangerous?



What the hell is this world coming to? Best friends are bad now? How the hell do they expect children to learn about the negative effects of the world by shielding them against every GD little thing possible?

Man I'm so pissed at this that I can't even think straight atm.

LOL - best friends are good *and* bad.

I know - so revolutionary.

But everyone who's had a best friend just KNOWS this - they are there for emotional, social support and satisfy human needs.
While at the same time encouraging bad situations and leading to (possibly) other issues.

Example: My daughter's best friend chases boys on the playground and beats them up sometimes = bad.
My dauther's best friend is also very understanding and supportive of my daughter when she's sick or sad.

See - good and bad.

Discourage the bad.
Encourage the good.

That's the basics of parenting.
 

Kal'Stang

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Before going postal over this topic, a little research might be in order to understand the premise. I get it, and I support it as a "social experiment" as long as it is not sold as "Best Friends are Bad".

What is a Clique?

Cliques are small, exclusive groups that have rigid guidelines, like being thin, playing on the varsity team, or dressing a certain way. They usually begin forming in around 3rd or 4th grade, and usually are at their worst between 6th and 8th grade, according to psychologist Michael Thompson in his book, Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems [Ballantine Books, 2002].

Kids gravitate to cliques – or are devastated by being excluded from them – because of their natural desire to fit in and be part of a group. Typically a clique is controlled by a leader who decides who is "in" and who is "out," and this leader dictates the everyday details of how the members of the clique live their lives – what brands of clothing or shoes they wear, what music to listen to, how they talk, where they hang out, or how they wear their hair. There's a great deal of pressure to follow these "rules," and kids in the clique are usually expected to do everything together, and not associate with kids who are outside the clique.

Read more at Suite101: What are Cliques, and How Do They Affect Kids?: Learn How Parents Can Protect Kids From a Cliques' Harmful Effects What are Cliques, and How Do They Affect Kids?: Learn How Parents Can Protect Kids From a Cliques' Harmful Effects

I sure don't support it. And I've already looked at the reasoning. In essence they want to shield the children from every concievable hurt. For evidence of this I give you the article in the OP, flag football...which many schools have banned children from playing. Tag has also been banned in many schools. And there are many other things that I could probably come up with after a bit more thinking and some extra research.

Now consider this. If they "protect" them in this way how is it helping them? They do not learn about disappointments. They do not learn how to control that disappointment. They do not learn about emotional hurting and hence do not learn how to control that. What is someone who has been shielded from every concievable hurt their entire childhood lives going to cope when mommy and daddy are no longer around? The world is not a safe place. It is a very dangerous place and people need to learn how to deal with that danger early on when they DO have mommy and daddy's help. Otherwise the possibility of getting hurt even more rises even higher.

Now I am a dad. And to be honest just like every other good father I want to protect my children from everything bad also. But I also know that there is a fine line that HAS to be walked if I want to prepare my child for the real world. Hiding everything that is bad from them does not do this.

BTW there is a simple solution for the problem that is in your post. Teach your child to think independently. That is a parents duty and responsibility.
 

Civil1z@tion

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This almost seems like they are, first of all, forcing all kids to be extroverts (extrovert does not necessarily mean emotionally healthy) and second trying to deemphasize close connections with peers. If you have dozens of friends you often don't have time to become really close to any of them. Best friends are supports a person can rely on in any situation and in fact encourage eccentricity. While cliques can be problematic a best friend does not equal a clique. Around my best friends I'm able to be myself (which is a little dorky...ok a lot dorky). My best friends aren't exactly like me, but they accept my weirdness. If I was forced to try and make large numbers of shallow friends I would feel more restricted and more need to fit into a social norm.

These people need to learn the difference between cliques and best friends. Cliques are ultimately shallow friendships that try to fit you into a particular mold. Best friends allow you to shape your own mold and like you for it. Its never been a best friend who has tried to change how I dress, act or think, only a shallow friend. If I had lacked a best friend, I'd probably be an anti-social, hateful jerk today. As is I'm an optimistic, happy, and (mostly) friendly person because of the few people I've counted as best friends.

Screw these guys, psychologists in the article say they are wrong, most people's past experience say they're wrong, and the kids themselves would probably say they're wrong.
 
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