ENGLAND — Schools in England are banning a common concept around the world, and especially with children: best friends, CNN affiliate WPMT reports.
According to Business Insider, Thomas’s Battersea, the school where Prince George attends, bans kids from having best friends.
Instead, teachers encourage all students to form bonds with one another to avoid creating feelings of exclusions among those without best friends.
A parent whose child attends the school explained the concept on a talk show called “Loose Women.”
“There’s a policy,” she said, “that if your child is having a party — unless every child is invited — you don’t give out the invites in class.”
The trend of banning best friends has been growing for several years, and it’s spread beyond European borders to American schools as well, according to Business Insider.
“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,” Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, told the New York Times. “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.”
But critics argue that having close friends is good for mental health. A study in Child Development found it could increase self-worth and decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms.