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The pros and cons of having a Best Friend in childhood

(27 Posts)
jack Tue 20-Mar-12 08:33:28

There was a news item this morning suggesting that children should not be allowed to have best friends at primary school as these friendships exclude others. I have never heard such nonsense.

Children should be allowed to create and make their own relationships, otherwise they will have no real experience of the joys and sorrows of special friendships.

I have had a best friend (from school) since we were seven. Nearly 60 years later we are still best friends and the love and support we have been able to give each other over the years has been phenomenal.

We both have large circles of close friends as well and we love sharing friends.

I am so glad no-one stopped us being best friends when we were little. Life would have been less sweet without our rich and wonderful friendship.

Greatnan Tue 20-Mar-12 08:39:40

Agreed, it is nonsense. My best friend was my sister - and she still is!

Gally Tue 20-Mar-12 08:53:22

Yes, complete nonsense. The 'nanny' state at it again. Children should be left to get on with finding their own group of friends and it's only natural to have one or two special friends within that group. It's only by developing these friendships that children learn how to cope with the ups and downs of life. I made my first friend at the age of 2 - we were neighbours - and we are still friends 61 years later.

Annobel Tue 20-Mar-12 09:08:16

And how exactly do you break up a friendship between two little girls (it's usually girls)? That would be so cruel.

Carol Tue 20-Mar-12 09:25:46

My best friend and I have now known each other for 61 years - we lived near each other as children and went to school together and now I see her as like a sister. I love her to bits.

I understand the article refers to children being encouraged not to have best friends, rather than stopping them, but whatever - it's nonsense. I sat with my daughter when she cried because she and her best friend fell out as 9 year olds -'but I miss her, I really neee-eed her - sob, sob!' She got over it, they made friends again, and with a number of other friends, they are still friends today.

bagitha Tue 20-Mar-12 09:27:35

Could someone put up a link to the adricle, please? Or tell me where to start looking.

kittylester Tue 20-Mar-12 09:36:15

I saw it on Breakfast Baggy smile

bagitha Tue 20-Mar-12 09:43:17

Thanks, kitty. I'll need to wait until it shows up online somewhere before I can read it then.

kittylester Tue 20-Mar-12 09:46:35

Can't you get it on iplayer? That Linda Papadopulous (sp?) was talking about it!

bagitha Tue 20-Mar-12 09:49:47

Ah! there's an idea. Will try....

bagitha Tue 20-Mar-12 10:05:23

Hmm. Well, I couldn't find Dr Linda but I did find an article in the New York Times on the subject. Yep, it does seem very nanny-statish. Interfere, interfere. Don't let kids find out things for themselves. And I think the focus on preventing bullying is just a cover for interfering. <shakes head despairingly>

glammanana Tue 20-Mar-12 10:12:02

My best friend lives in Glasgow we meet in Spain years ago and have always kept in contact,but sometimes we had such busy lives that we didn't communicate for weeks but when we either met up or phoned each other it was like we had only spoken the day before,she has been a rock and I like to think she feels the same. My DDs met her best friend when they went to primary school and she see's her every week and over the years they have built up a large circle of close friends between them but they still have that special bond.

jack Tue 20-Mar-12 11:48:10

I am so glad I'm not alone in hating the whiff of an interfering nanny state. And it's so lovely to hear about so many beautiful friendships forged in early childhood. Long may children decide for themselves who they really, really like.

And let's hope mothers of the little ones will agree with the grannies. I wonder if they're discussing this on Mumsnet. Does anyone know? smile

Mishap Tue 20-Mar-12 14:20:54

It is nonsense - people (not just children) feel attracted towards some people and not others and form close friendships naturally - are we to deny them natural behaviour? How else will they learn to deal with close relationships and their ups and downs?

My closest friend throughout school married a truly ghastly bloke, so we completely lost touch, as he was unbearable.

glammanana Tue 20-Mar-12 15:16:24

mishap Isn't it sad when a man can't accept that his wife/partner can have a relationship with someone else other than him,a girl I knew married a guy who once they married would not allow her to see any of her former friends even if we just wanted to go to her house for coffee it was a no no,I think he was frightened that we gave her other things to think about apart from him. I still wonder what happened to her to this day.

greenmossgiel Tue 20-Mar-12 16:03:25

Hopefully she left him glamma!

nanachrissy Tue 20-Mar-12 16:17:00

Both my husbands were jealous of my friends, and sulked when I went out with them. The first one would turn all the outside lights off,so when I got home (Private road with no lighting and pitch black!), I had to stumble round from the garage to the 8 steep steps up to the front door!

Guess who's still around?
Yes, all my friends! wink

Annobel Tue 20-Mar-12 16:48:22

Mine was jealous of women friends as well. Why were these men so insecure? I can't see the same characteristics in either of my sons.

glammanana Tue 20-Mar-12 17:11:41

green I would like to know where she is now,I may make it my next mission in life and go searching.Mr glamma is a star when it comes to me socializing always has been,he would drop me and girlfriends off for nights out and their hubby's would take turns in picking us up,we also went abroad quite a few times with our children if our hubby's where at work and never turned a hair (he's bald mind) such an easy going bloke so glad I found him,and guess what I did yesterday I forgot it was my anniversary and had to sneak out and buy card,how disgusting am I.?

FlicketyB Tue 20-Mar-12 17:47:55

They, whoever 'they' are, can stop children being friendly in school but they cannot control what children, even little ones, do outside school. particularly nowadays with email, let alone social networks. I met my best friend when she joined the boarding school I was at. The friendship was instant and, even though the nuns objected, because she was in the year below me, we ignored them. We are still close friends.

My DGD started school this year and it has been interesting to watch her making friends. She is part of a group of four girls, three who were at pre-school together and one was unknown to them all before she came to the school. They seem to play and work together without any arguing or falling out.

My memory of school is that the bullying did not come from groups of two or three friends but from the pack, usually led by someone with a personal grudge.

Annobel Tue 20-Mar-12 17:58:02

GD (9) has a group of friends, one of whom is 'best friend'. She has just moved in next door to one of the others so will be seeing a lot of her - wonder if the 'best friend' label will be transferred...

Faye Tue 20-Mar-12 19:29:32

Four year old GD met her best friend when she was only a year old at playgroup and they are about to start kindergarten together (In Australia they have kindergarten/preschool at four and then start school at five). They attend ballet classes together and are very drawn to each other especially if they haven't spent time together in the days before their class. As soon as they see each other they start playing.

Seven year old granddaughter met her best friend on her friend's first day at kindergarten. My very outgoing granddaughter was by then an old hand and took this little girl under her wing as she is painfully shy. They have been the best of friends ever since. They also have ballet classes together and look like they could be sisters.

Both my daughters still have quite a few friends from their school days, the youngest met one of her friends when they were five years old. I think it is lovely to keep up the friendships and I always encouraged my daughters to put their friends before boyfriends when they were teenagers.

I had a best friend all through primary school but we didn't stay friends when we went on to high school. I always wished we had and was only wondering the other day what happened to her. sad

jack Tue 20-Mar-12 19:45:34

What about opposite sex friends? I have some extremely dear male friends from childhood, adolescence, university and work and DH does not object to these friendships at all.

But I realise not all husbands are tolerant. I suppose the insecure DHs assume these "male friends" are former or current lovers.

This is such a shame because it is lovely to have platonic friendships - as well as the other sort of course!

glammanana Tue 20-Mar-12 22:07:39

jack I have several male friends that I have known for a long time mr glamma is friends with them also,if ever i needed help and there was no one available I know I can call on any of these friends and no questions would be asked, I can go out socially with male friends and I know that there would be no personal attraction whatsoever and mr glamma knows this as well,he also has female friends that he has known for years who have become good friends of the family.

nanachrissy Wed 21-Mar-12 13:56:45

I love having male friends. Not got many now but I've always had them. When I was a teenager I used to spend summer Sundays being driven around Cheshire with 3 or 4 slightly older boy friends and we used to have great fun!
Scarily, I used to go on the back of a motorbike with one of them with NO Helmets!!! How times have changed!?! hmm