Harry Stack Sullivan was an American psychiatrist who founded the interpersonal theory of psychiatry, which emphasized the role of interpersonal relations as a fundamental determinant of personality development and psychopathology. For Sullivan, the developmental of close friendships in pre-adolescence (he called them “chums”) was crucial in the development of self-esteem and later intimate relationships.

But hey, Sullivan’s ideas are soooo twentieth century. (He died in 1949).

So, here’s an idea:

Why don’t we just bubble-wrap the kiddies (so they won’t ever have to get a skinned knee, God-forbid) and give them all A’s (so they won’t ever have to feel bad about getting a lower grade).

Via NY Post.

….Americans love reading how Europeans are superior parents…..So when news broke that Prince George, the eldest son of Prince William and Duchess Kate, goes to a school that bans best friends — well, there was only one thing to do.

Our schools began to ban best friends, too. Most parents know that schools have been doing this informally for some time, but psychologist Barbara Greenberg caused a stir with a recent piece in US News & World Report, noting that she sees a trend of American schools implementing an actual ban.

Greenberg approves of the move because she is concerned by what she calls the “emotional distress” of a kid losing the status of best friend or the “inherently exclusionary” nature of best-friendship itself. Greenberg writes that “child after child comes to my therapy office distressed when their best friend has now given someone else this coveted title.”

Is it tough for a 6-year-old when their best friend drops them? Of course. But shake it off, kid, life gets much harder than that. As my babushka used to say, “Let this be the worst thing that ever happens to you.”….

It’s not just about the folly of trying to shield kids from theoretical emotional distress. The best-friend ban shields children from actual joy. In the backlash to Greenberg’s piece, people argued the benefits of best-friendship. On Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” psychotherapist Nell Daly cited a University of Virginia study that found that kids who have a best friend growing up have “less social anxiety” and better mental health….

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2 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. VelvetHammer says:

    I find this trend disturbing. Diminishing close, personal relationships breeds indifference. What’s next; ratting on your friends, ratting on your parents? Maybe I’m paranoid, but it doesn’t seem a bridge too far. We’ve seen this before, all to further a prevailing, dominating ideology.

  2. Alain41 says:

    And on the other side of the coin; Married Friends Without Benefits.

    Friends of Tiffany Trump (served as Flower Girl) got married in Vegas last weekend. They are not romantically involved and have no plans to be with each other. The Beaming Bride stated, “the more we face reality, the more we can see that there is no right or wrong.”.
    Best Wishes to the Happy Couple.


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