Hugs

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by TeacherWhoRuns, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Jun 13, 2017

    I work with small groups on reading in a resource room. I have two groups of first graders who have become very needy in terms of affection over the last couple of months. I don't want to deny such young children hugs or fist bumps because who knows how much affection they get at home.
    I do have one boy I'm a little conflicted on, though. I've spoken to him a lot over the school year about his touching and wrapping his arms around other students' shoulders. He's bigger than his classmates, but very immature. He can be very aggressive. He does't hurt others, but he doesn't seem to understand personal space. If another student comes up to me to give me a hug, he'll come up behind them and do a group hug. I've talked to him several times about respecting other people's space and how he can't do a "sneak hug."
    TBH, I think he'll outgrow it and by the Fall he'll probably be a bit less...um...touchy-feely, but for now, it's a bit disconcerting. Has anyone dealt with this with this age group?
     
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  3. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Jun 29, 2017

    I am a huggy kinda teacher! But some students need hugs ALL THE TIME. This year I had a little girl who literally would get up during a lesson and come hug me. So, I started hugging her in the morning and telling her no more hugs until the afternoon. Hug quota! I don't know if that would help in this situation but maybe. One hug in the morning and one in the afternoon,
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2017

    The best news about this age group is that most will outgrow the phase, but it is never wrong, from a young age, to remind students to respect other's personal space. If there are students who may have learning delays, they may not be processing that information as well at a younger age, but if the prompting doesn't start when they are young, you could end up with some very oppositional behaviors later, because they will feel that the rules have changed mid-game. It is better to always make the distinction that one needs permission to enter someone else's personal space, IMHO.
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 28, 2018

    I have conflicts with this in preschool. For one, this is a never-ending thing. If I am trying to leave on time, I will wave at my co-teacher. If I say goodbye, at least 3 kids will run over and start hugging me. Yes, it's touching but they will not let go! I have other kids who want to hug my leg and sit on my lap at Circle Time. I tell them, I need my space, I can't read with you in my lap. Sit down, criss cross applesauce. That lasts for about a minute. Slowly but surely, 2 or three will start creeping back.

    I care about my kids but I want them to have boundaries, and learn to hug and let go.

    They don't want to let me go.
     
  6. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Apr 29, 2018

    In our culture, parents are advised to hug their children everyday. However, I've never heard the same advice being given to teachers (at university, PD workshops or staff meetings). In fact, in some cultures you would never see people hugging anyone in public! Many American teachers seem to have their own opinion about almost everything they do, including hugging their beloved kiddos.

    I have some questions for those of you who are huggers.
    • Do make sure to hug every kiddo so that no one feels left out?
    • Would you object to kissing your kiddos at the end of the day? Why not? Aren't both hugging and kissing intimate physical acts of affection that have become commonplace?
    • Do you accept kisses from your beloved kiddos? Why not? I'm sure you can rationalize hugging, but what about kissing?
    • Is it OK to be a huggy and kissy teacher today?
    • Why can't you just shake hands? I'm beginning to wonder who actually "needs" the hugs.
    FYI: Researchers have found that hugging releases a powerful hormone called oxytocin that is involved in social recognition (making friends) and sexual bonding (i.e. during orgasm). Have you experienced an oxytocin rush?

    A few more questions to think about:
    • What mixed message might students receive if one teacher is a hugger and another is not?
    • What mixed message might students receive if their teacher is a hugger, but their parents are not?
    • What's the connection between hugs and academic achievement?
    IMO, this can of worms that contains touching, hugging, kissing, and who knows what else is best left unopened in the classroom - especially when a misinterpretation by one of your kiddos and/or their parents can easily lead to a serious allegation of misconduct. Play it safe and be smart - get your oxytocin fix elsewhere!:(
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  7. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 29, 2018

    Worms indeed Been There....Exhibit A. - Ringworm. Not a worm, per se, but a fungus that is highly contagious, and leaves awful scars, sometimes resufacing and never responding to treatment...left untreated it goes around the room -from hugs.

    Lice, pink eye, scabbies, the common cold, flu, strep throat, hitchiking roaches and bed bugs. All come along with hugs.

    This is why I don’t clean noses. Directors go around saying, “Clean that child’s nose before the parent gets here.”. You never see an adminstrstor helping a kid blow her nose. Because that’s what you get from hugs & kisses in preschool. And most kids will sneak a kiss if close if enough to hug you. And play in your hair...

    In one program, I had Armenian families. The parents and teachers hugged and kissed everyone coming and going. I extended my hand to pat a boy on his shoulder and was called on the carpet. “Teacher MPK doesn’t kiss my son!”.

    No. I will not kiss your son. I kiss my family, SO and hug close friends.
     
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  8. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Apr 29, 2018

    With hugs, if a preschooler wants one and it's an appropriate time, they get a hug. If one of my students is minorly hurt or sad, I'll ask them if they want a hug (some say yes, some say no). I uh, am not a hugger in general, except with my family, but these are little kids and some of them *need* a hug every now and then.
     
  9. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 29, 2018

    Piggy back on “Lowering Standards for Behavior” and “Singers”:

    If more parents would put down their phones and hug their kids, they probably wouldn’t be so needy. If parents would stop having facetime and start kissing their own kids, they wouldn’t be so advance with teachers and trying to kiss us.

    Too many young parents have kids, and continue to live like single or dating adults. They don’t close doors or change language around kids. They are not giving these kids what they need. Kids are barely dressed or fed. Or overdressed and overfed. But not given much affection.

    Hugs for infants & toddlers yes - preschoolers no. Too much hugging leads to spoiling IMO. In 4-5 months, these kids will have a rude awakening in Kdg. It is time to cut the apron strings, put away the pacifier and Linus’ blanket.
     
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