Should teachers stop children having 'best friends'?

Last updated at 17:16
children in playground

Teachers in some primary schools are banning children from having best friends and telling them to play in groups instead.

The idea is that it stops children feeling the pain of splitting up from their best friends if they argue or fall out.

But some people say it's important for kids to experience the ups and downs of relationships and making and breaking friendships prepares them for life.

We want to know what you think. Would you prefer to have a best friend, even if falling out with them would hurt your feelings? Or would you prefer to play in groups and not run the risk of being upset? Below are some of the comments you sent in.

If you send us a comment, it may be published on the Newsround website, and some comments may be used in our TV bulletins. We'll use your first name, your age and your home town to show that it's your comment; your personal details won't be used for anything else.

Your Comments:

"I think we should have a choice between if we have a best friend or not. Some people might want one, others not!"

Erin, 8, Southport, England

"I think that children should be allowed best friends. They're the people that make you, and without them, people wouldn't know if their friends were true. If best friends were banned at my school, then everyone would be every upset."

Shona, 13, Essex, England

"Best friends should not be banned as everyone needs a best friend - it's a part of growing up. Teachers cannot interfere with children's social life!"

Shahla, 11, Cumbria, England

"Children need best friends in life because if they don't they will grow up thinking it's not right to become best friends and learn from falling out with them and making mistakes to get better friends in the future."

Emmerlie, 13, Gloucestershire, England

"I think we should have best friends. We could have more than one best friend, maybe two or three, to do different things with. But teachers shouldn't stop us from having them."

Megz, 11, Berkshire, England

"I think children should be allowed a best friend as they should be free to make their own decisions. However, they should also be encouraged to have other friends as it's always good to get on with a variety of people."

Susannah, 14, Staffordshire, England

"I think best friends are good for children, as they're always going to have a best friend. Schools can't ban it. It's a silly thing to suggest. Also, banning best friends may suggest the wrong idea and then children may interpret that as not having 'friends'. Overall banning best friends seems like just another idea to make school that little bit more annoying. Children only see their best friends at school and if that's taken away from them, their social skills will decrease also. It's a silly idea."

Charlotte, 14, Sheffield, England

"People should be able to make their own decisions in life and not let the teachers decide who children can play with."

Kayliegh, 11, Northern Ireland

"I think that having a best friend is amazing. If something has happened at home, you can always tell your best friend. But on the other hand, it is bad because if you tell someone your secrets then they can spread it like wildfire."

Ross, 11, Birmingham, England

"I think that it's not always fair with best friends because sometimes your other friends get left behind and you end up feeling left out."

Grace, 11, Lincolnshire, England

"I think children should be allowed to have best friends because splitting up with friends is just part of life."

Abbie, 9, Stokton-on-Tees, England

"I don't think best friends should be banned, because teachers normally encourage everyone to get along nicely with other people in your class and at school."

Gabby, 9, Yorkshire, England

"If you fall out with friends or best friends it's a part of life. Don't ban it!"

Jo, 8, Plymouth, England

"A best friend is one step up from a friend. A best friend is someone who you can trust and always know that they will stay loyal to you. I think we should all have a best friend and teachers shouldn't decide this."

Mariella, 11, Surrey, England

"I think the teachers who thought that are stone hearted! We have our own choice of choosing our best friends and whether we want one or not."

Manisha, 9, London, England

"I think it's horrible to say people aren't allowed best friend - if you don't have a best friend then you are missing out on a lot because you can share everything with a best friend."

Aisha, 13, Derbyshire, England

"Best friends should not be banned because if you're upset about something that might of happened at home, you need a friend who can support you and comfort you!"

Ellena, 10, Wolverhampton, England

"I think you should have a best friend because you can hang with them and have a laugh but you should let other people hang out with you otherwise it would just be horrible."

Zoe, 9, London, England

"I think children should be able to have friends because they will be lonely all there life with no-one to play with or be there for you."

Ruby, 10, London, England

"I think that it's nice to have a best friend - you have someone that is very close to you and always sticks up for you. You should definitely have other friends too, as they're there for you if anything happens between you and your best friend."

Millie, 11, Essex, England

"I think that best friends shouldn't be banned because when you are down you need a friend to help you"

Steph, 14, Bolton, England

"People should be able to make their own decisions in life and not let the teachers decide who children can be friends with. It could lead to arguing."

Kayleigh, 11, Northern Ireland

"I think that splitting up kids is unfair because you need your mates to help you if there is a family crisis or something happen."

Jenny, 14, Birmingham, England

"I think the idea of a better friend is good but it often leads to drama and other rubbish."

Szymon, 12, Berkshire, England

"Best friends come naturally. We learn most of our life lessons from arguments."

Emily, 13, Liverpool, England

"YES! I think they should be encouraged to be in groups, not have best friends, because people depend and do things with this one best friend. In the end, they won't know what it is like with other people who have different personalities and maybe even teamwork."

Safa, 13, Leeds, England

"It's a bit stupid, because when your older you're going to have arguments and you always need someone there for you."

Louis, 10, Leicester, England

"Best friends shouldn't be banned because I have about five best friends and that's basically a group. There is no better feeling than knowing that you are someone's BEST friend. Teachers should just encourage children to get along with others."

Eireann , 12, Scotland

"No they shouldn't because my world would fall apart without my best friends!"

Colette, 11, Scotland

"Kids should be able to have friends, otherwise they will think "I only come here to see my friends, so what's the point of going to school? It will be miserable!""

Louise, 12, Manchester, England

"I think that best friends shouldn't be banned because you can't change somebody's attitude. It's important to have someone you know you can trust. Having a best friend doesn't mean you can't have others too!"

Alex, 11, Manchester, England

"I think it's out of order. Would you rather see a child playing and having a good time with someone or being left on their own and ignored?"

Beth, 14, Stoke-on-Trent, England

"Children should be able to have a best friend because most of them already have lots of other friends anyway. A best friend is just someone who you are really close to. You shouldn't be banned from that."

Eliza, 12, London, England

"I think that we should be allowed because it is right and fair. Especially for the children who find it hard socialising, having a best friend can really help."

Huiniuo, 11, Birmingham, England

"I think teachers shouldn't ban best friends because you have nobody more special than a best friend during school, and what's good about a best friend is if you fall out you always make friends again! Don't ban best friends!"

Nadia, 9, Manchester, England

"I think children should be able to have a best friend as it is part of life and breaking up and falling is also part of life. I also think teachers are getting too much right to change things."

Maisie, 13, Manchester, England

"For me, best friends are almost like family. I have three best friends and they are like sisters to me. I think it's good to have a best friend because it's good to have someone look out for you and to be there if you need them."

Eleanor, 13, Cambridgeshire, England

"I think teachers jump to conclusions about who is best friends with who - they don't know much about their pupils' social lives. You are allowed more than one best friend, I should know - I have at least five!"

Hannah, 12, Musselburgh, Scotland

"I think you should be allowed to have a best friend - I have two best friends and i love it, if you argue with one you can go to the other."

Lola, 12, London, England

"Children have a right to choose their own friends."

Christina, 11, Inverness, Scotland

"I think you should have a best friend because you feel special and it gives you confidence when you know you have a best friend."

Rebecca, 10, Northumberland, England

"Why should teachers decide which friends people have?"

Amy, 13, England

"I think that you should have best friends. If you ever need help or cheering up your best friends will do that. Even if they do fall out sometimes they forgive each other."

Ellie, 12, Hull, England

"Children should be allowed a best friend if they choose to have one. It can hurt if they fall out and it is always better if they have other friends to fall back on."

Emma, 14, Liverpool, England

"I think that deciding if we are allowed best friends or not is controlling. Adults do not have to control everything that we do."

Lana, 10, Worcestershire, England

"If you hang around with best friends that care for you, you will not get into trouble."

Osama, 11, London, England

"I think that best friends shouldn't be banned because they need each other. I already have a best friend, she is called Jaida and she is very kind and very thoughtful. Even though we have fights we come back together again. We just have to work our way through it."

Kareen, 10, London, England

"I think that it's unfair because it's nice having a best friend. Instead of banning best friends, teachers could just encourage us to have groups of friends!"

Kimberley, 11, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think you should have a best friend because that means you can never forget them and being called a best friend is better than anything in the world. You should play with others and remember you're allowed more than one best friend!"

Katie, 11, Scotland

"I think children can have a best friend, but at the same time I think that if it was banned in our school then I wouldn't be that upset."

Charlotte, 13, Chelmsford, England

"Everyone should have lots of friends around them, so if they do fall out with one of their closest friends then they'll have people there for them. Everyone should have a best friend that is closest to them."

Deanna, 14, Somerset, England

"Best friends shouldn't be banned. They are there for you and if you have a fight with your bestie and don't make up again that means that they're not your true best friend!"

Natalie, 14, Cambridge, England

"I think that children should have a choice about their friends. The teachers should talk to them, but let them make their own choice because it's not fair taking charge of their social life."

Beth, 12, Norfolk, England

"Best friends are good and should not be banned because they help people through life."

Bradley, 11, Kent, England

"I don't think it would be very nice if teachers stop us from having best friends."

Kamala, 12, Nottingham, England

"Everyone shouldn't have a best friend - just a really brilliant one! That's how my life works. It's better to have three really good ones, than lots of bad ones."

Megan, 10, Herefordshire, England

"Everybody needs a best friend, because sometimes when you're sad you might go to them and tell them your problem."

Poppy, 10, Herefordshire, England

"Do not stop us having best friends, we need a true friend."

Alexia, 11, Manchester, England

"I think that children should have best friends if they like. I think it is cruel to say you're not allowed a best friend."

Bella, 10, Dundee, Scotland