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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Banned: Best friends

Schools should ban best friends, writes psychologist Barbara Greenberg in U.S. News. Besties are “exclusionary.”

Restricting exclusive friendships is an “emerging trend” in European schools that’s starting to catch on in the U.S., she writes.

While some think “kids should toughen up” and “learn to deal with the natural shifts in friendships,” Greenberg thinks emotional distress could be avoided if friends are “good” but not “best.”

Parents shouldn’t push their child’s school to enact a best-friend ban, she writes. They should encourage their kids to cultivate a small group of close friends rather than putting all their social and emotional eggs in one basket.

In sixth grade, my daughter had two best friends. If she felt they were closer to each other than to her, she was distressed. But it was educational. They all liked the same boy. One of them dated him for awhile. Then the other stole him away. After a period of sturm und drang, they were all good friends again. Very educational.

Schools have no business regulating their students’ friendships.

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