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child sitting on teachers knee

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Pow, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Pow


    What is the official guidelines on this, is it not ok at all ?. or is it ok in 2-3, or 3-4? DOes it stop for Reception or should it not start? We are having a meeting about this tomorrow. Thank you
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    There isn't an official guideline

  3. We have included this in one of our policy documents (i think its touch policy?- with hand holding and restraint) it is dependent on year goup/age, child, why they are sitting on your knee and the adult. e.g. a child upset after falling over = yes ok a child wanting to sit on your knee during phonics because they want to = no. there is a couple of adults at my school who wouldnt do it all. it is entirely up to circumstance really. in the policy it says something along the lines of not actively encouring lap sitting or adult initiating lap sitting and there should be an appropriate reason for the lap sitting. it should not be used as a consequence. (that is obvious tho!)

  4. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    I guess it does depend on the age of the child, I have only worked in nursery and KS1 and often have children on my knee, probably not in Y3, they're just too heavy! Part of being a teacher in early years surely involves having children on your knee.
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    how very, very sad [​IMG]

  6. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    We certainly don't make a big thing of bumps and falls in our class, but my view is that young children need cuddles sometimes. They may be hurt, or feel ill, or just be sad or worried about something. We have a child at the moment who is going through a difficult family time and sometimes she just needs to have a hug. I'd be more worried if a child didn't want physical contact. We had a boy a couple of years ago who never looked for comfort when hurt. Often he didn't even cry when he fell over and scraped his knee.
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We must have very "cuddly" pupils because even y6 like to give hugs as one very startled Ofsted inspector discovered.
  8. How lovely!!! Once a parent being shown around my ex school actually said that she hoped we weren't one of those funny schools who don't give cuddles!! I assured her that we weren't and if her child was upset he/she would be on my knee for a cuddle!! She was very happy to hear it!!
  9. You would give this same advice to female and male teachers ? You don't think kissing and lap cuddling might put the staff at risk of false allegation ?
    Blokes in particular would you be comfortable with this policy above ?

    Are you in UK katy ?

  10. Ibuzzybea

    Ibuzzybea Occasional commenter

    I am heartened that the country has not gone completely mad and that many "professionals" are still happy to hug and have a little child on their knee. It is always something that intreigues me that people are not instinctively responsive in such ways, they have been told this is unacceptable in pofessional contact, or that they have hugely differing protocol in social and work dimensions. I have on occasion observed the adult who has "child on knee syndrome" where by they rely on having a child on their knee either to escape doing meaningful task or as a ego booster/ security blanket for theirself. This then seems to bread "needy" behaviour in children, staff need to be supported to maintain a responsive balance.
    Katycusturd just brought up about picking a child up to comfort or just as spontainous interaction, I have had recent discussions about the appropriateness of this in an early years setting beyond age two. So for example having a child "on your hip" for a few minutes (initiated by the child) concerning the points of Hedder re: allegations etc. How do others feel about this.
    Regarding males, I have worked with several males in early years and it has never been an issue regarding picking up, sitting on laps and they have engaged in this kind of interaction to the same level as a female with no concerns from staff or parents. In my experience parents have always been really pleased that the child has a possitive male figure in thier lives, particularly if dad is not on the scene.
    People need to act on their own concience and some people are less "cuddly" than others and that is fine, it becomes a problem if we are simply acting in a differing way due to media hype and fear of accusation.
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Sounds very similar to my school Katy. Good to know we aren't alone.
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We have a number of male teachers and the children hug them. As I said a very startled gentleman from Ofsted got a hug and saw it as possitive relationships.

  13. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    Hi Hedda, yes I am back in the UK now, although I have been in the Caribbean for the past 5 years. I talk to staff about protecting themselves and safeguarding children, but most interactions happen in a busy classroom with plenty of other adults and children around. Years ago, a male colleague watched me pull down a reception childs tights to sort out her bleeding knee. She'd fallen over in the playground and had come to the staffroom door. After I sorted her out, including a kiss better, my colleague said he couldn't have done that because he's a man. He was actually the reception teacher too! I told him he could and ought to, providing he makes sure he wasn't alone with her. If he couldn't/wouldn't do that I didn't feel he ought to be a reception teacher. He was an excellent one too.
  14. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    It is indeed Msz!
  15. It is wise to be aware of the prurient and lurid atmosphere that constitutes a lot of the reporting of anything 'physical' or 'spntaneous' in schools and that influences parents and that in turn has affected many headteachers and teachers of primary- perhps it has remote but persistent origins in the public schools, boarding schools, stiff upper lip and preparation for life as colonial masters, perhaps more than we think.. It is also very English, and perhaps Amewrican, altough i don't know this for sure. Part of emotional and social development of very young children is to not close down too early those sympathetic, empathetic responses and gestures which form a part of our healthy adult self- It is very important given the hours young children can be in groups care be that school or other settings. Of course it is artificial to have so many children competing for attention but as John Brielry said Hedda ' it is just to treat children differently as long as all are treated as well as possible' Brain studies and early childhood ed.- We live in very dificult times in England, in a society that has difficulty at times maintaing a clear view of its moral compass. To protect ourselves, with open doors and teamwork is sensible, to let the smile in our hearts reach out through waves of touch and gesture is only reciprocating what is the nature of the child out there with whom we work and the child within.
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Sorry but I don't give it a second thought if a child climbs up on my knee they are welcome. What is sad is that some professionals feel they can't.
    aquilaspirit likes this.
  17. candyshrimp

    candyshrimp New commenter

    I agree that children need this sometimes especially when upset/tearful.
    But... you must remember your own health and safety, a child sat on your knee can easily throw back their head onto your chin or bite your breast (perfect position for this). Local authority records of staff accidents will show these incidences are very possible. Just be very careful with those children who are very unpredictable and can be violent.
  18. Ibuzzybea

    Ibuzzybea Occasional commenter

    I will testify having worked in special Ed! Bite on breast scar remains from this
    Very situation and concussion from a headbut in this situation. Has this stopped
    Me having kids on lap or hugs (including those children)? ...no! Will it... No. Should it? ... No Just makes u more aware.
  19. I get hugs from my Reception class as they leave to go to their parents at the end of the day - never had a problem with it.
  20. This is one of the downsides that I have observed in nurseries where there is a child sitting on knee culture. This is where I think a policy can be helpful. Also it can develop into a who is going to sit on Miss' knee competiitive element amongst the children which is not very productive.


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