A headmaster has recommended that younger pupils try not to have best friends and should have a large group of friends instead because it prevents falling outs and possessiveness, but why stop one of life’s greatest partnerships?
I met my soulmate aged 11 as I nervously walked into new surroundings wondering what my years at high school shall bring. I remember being a very shy girl especially when it came to meeting new people but one girl, who had a cherub like face and blonde locks walked up to me, we got talking and throughout school we were inseparable.
Some of my greatest memories are of me and her, from walking through town with plastic bags on our head, holding our heads high like members of the royal family as the public pointed and laughed, to pulling out all the shapes as we danced in a club full of hipster folk thinking we were bringing all the boys to our yard when it probably made them wonder how we got out of the psychiatric ward. But, that’s my best friend.
So why is that Ben Thomas, a head teacher at a private day school in Battersea, South West London believe that this bond can bring such pain and sorrow to young children? He told the Telegraph that at the school there isn’t a policy about this issue, however if he could bring one in, he would: “It is much easier if they share friendships and have a wide range of good friends rather than obsessing too much about who their best friend is.”
It would be easy for Mr Thomas here if he didn’t have to deal with red-faced children who have had their heart broken by their ex-BFF and have high grades all round because everyone is one, big happy family singing round the camp fire, but surely we should allow children to experience this sorrow, it’s all a part of growing up, right?
As humans we need to experience love and loss and for many having a best friend in school is one of the first times to experience such a feeling.
I’ve tried the whole ‘big group of friends’ thing and it backfired greatly. As I left high school and entered college I made friends with many people but no one who I could say I had great intellect with. I was confused just floating about trying to anchor on to someone, hoping that I’d find someone who understood me like my best friend did.
Yes some of us revel in having a huge group of friends but there is nothing like having that one friend that knows you for you.
Why should adults snatch away one of the coolest experiences a child could have? Creating a close friendship.