Some schools around the world are banning the term ‘best friends’ to try and stop other students feeling left out.

The move is thought to be a way of stopping children from naming their favorite friend in a bid to ensure classmates don’t feel left out.

A New York psychologist says the trend that started in London is now spreading across the US.

‘The idea of banning the phrase “best friends” is a very intriguing social experiment,’ clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg tells CBS in New York.

‘Let’s face it, you can’t ban somebody from having a close relationship, and you can’t really ban somebody from having a best friend but what the schools are trying to do is foster the idea of kids having more than a single friend,’ Greenberg says.

The decision isn’t intended to discourage intimate friendships, but rather encourage more inclusivity, Greenberg says.

The idea is to increase the number of interactions a student may have with different members of his or her peer group.

MoM Says

This does make sense, it could actually work. I have found some children can be quite mean to others when they feel like they should be the only one allowed to play with THEIR friend. It can cause quite a bit of upset.

Hopefully this helps teachers and other students realise it doesn’t need to be that way.

What are your thoughts on young kids having a BFF?

Share your comments below

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  • What the??? When I was a child, I had best friends. It varied between 2to4 friends at primary school. Before then, I had a best friend who lived next door but didn’t go to my Kindy, where almost everyone was my best friend.
    Why not make every day “harmony day” and encourage children to enjoy the company of all their classmates?
    As children age, they will decide for themselves what qualities they like in others. Why would you encourage young children to have only one best friend? By adults using the term “best friend” or encouraging children not to use the term, you are automatically putting the idea of having a single friend into the childs head.
    Let children play with as many different children as possible.
    Always focus on the positive with children. Society will always show the negatives.


  • There isn’t anything wrong with having a best friend but it’s not about the use of word. My son attends 3 year old kinder and constantly comes home telling me so and so said they aren’t best friends anymore because they have a new one or he has a different best friend every day


  • This could be a good idea for some but you can’t change how some kids feel about their best friend.


  • Friendships are important, but they should be many and varied, not just one.


  • Even if you have a few friends you are often “closer” to some than others. Some show more loyalty and compassion that others when needed. You may not form lasting friendships with many people and children are the same. A child may be on friendly terms but not invite them to their home or party etc.


  • Hmm, not sure about this, I think it is ok for a child to have a bestie or a group of besties.


  • My son refers to many in his group as his best friends. It’s just his key group of mates and extends to about 6-10 of them. Let’s encourage friendships in any form and not discourage.

    • Friendships are just so important for children and I agree let’s encourage friendships rather than place limitations and rules on them.


  • All friendships should be encouraged but children will identify with some children more than others – banning the term best friends seems impossible.


  • Honestly, everyone is a delicate little snowflake these days! I think this is utter nonsense. All you are doing is making children feel like the world should be bent around them. Learning that not everyone is your friend or likes you is a part of life. Kids can be cruel – it is still very important to have conversations to your children about including others in their play and developing empathy by thinking about how their friend / or that child felt when they weren’t included. You can do that and still have a best friend as well.


  • I disagree with the ban,very silly!


  • For the love of sanity! What a ridiculous and useless social experiment. They can try stopping the use of words but they can’t ban someone from having a favourite best friend any more than you can ban someone from having a favourite colour, food, movie or book. As for kids being cruel, well yes, some can be — there’s no such thing as perfect.


  • Nah, what nonsense ! It’s a blessing to have best friends in our lives, this is nothing to hide of deny about. They should focus at being more inclusive instead.


  • This is ridiculous! Best friends/besties/BFFs…those terms have been bonding kids forever and you’ll never be able to stop it.


  • It’s nice to have that one true friend you can grow up with but I most definitely encourage my children to be friends with everyone.


  • Not sure. For me there isn’t just one best friend but many. I never asked my daughter “Who is your best friend?” but “Who are your best friends?”


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