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child sitting on teachers knee

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

  1. if you are a lead professional in a setting and feel that kissing, lap cuddling etc is inappropriate in a 3plus setting, do you expect others to follow your lead ?
    How about if the other staff do behave in a more demonstrative way, which your judgement considers to be in an appropriate way for the child and leave them wide open for accusation. How do you justify staff behaviour to parents when you yourself feel it is inappropriate.
    Without a policy you don't have a leg to stand in guiding staff or responding to parents if challenged.
  2. I totally agree but the difference between adult initiated and adult imposed is a fine line.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Personally I wouldn't initiate a hug but I wouldn't reject one either
  4. sorry typo
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    no I wouldn't I would expect professionals to use their own judgement. Perhaps I am in a different position as I work with experienced highly qualified staff who are capable of making decisions without a policy and I would back the people I work with in every situation.

  6. I am in agreement here. However Katy Custard's posts to me seemed to suggest initiating klsses and hugs and she is an HT and certainly some NNs that I have worked with would initiate cuddles. I have never seen a member of staff kiss a child, to me that is misconduct but again I would not reject the child if he/she kissed me but would not put myself in the position that it would happen again
  7. But one day you might get a "rogue" member of staff and that policy will be there to protect you all.
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    well then I'm afraid I'm guilty of misconduct in your eyes Hedda
  9. What I'm trying to get at, but maybe haven't expressed very well, is that invoking 'common sense' to justify something is not very helpful, because 'common sense' in itself is qualitative - "Let's go for the common sense solution" sounds very good until you realise that the speaker hasn't justified the solution he's just labelled it as 'common sense'. To show that right judgement is being used the speaker has to give actual reasons why he thinks his solution makes good sense.
    When the government use 'common sense' they hope they are appealing to the assumptions made by the 'man in the street' (shared, non-proven but 'felt' beliefs).
  10. There does not seem to be much stuff on the net in the way if policies about phyical contact and posters have not vounteered their own. It is mostly to do with restraint or intimate care not day to day contact with young children.
    I wonder if it is because there is an expectation that the staff use their professional judgement or whether society is too frightened to be talk about.
    Seeing as the powers that be don't let us use our professional judgement about a lot of the easy stuff to do with Early Years, I rather think that this topic is just too difficult to tackle.

  11. but that is just the point - it is just my eyes, my opinion.
    I might be a lone voice in the virtual world with misguided judgement
    A policy made by a collective body from a setting might produce a more rounded opinion that suits that setting.
  12. Imposition can take many forms, and the adult in question may not be able to see that s/he is imposing. Indeed, it is likely that that person has the best of intentions, and feel that they make wonderful common sense (some of the arguments put forward on this thread, for instance).
    Having a policy could be a good way of opening up this can of worms and actually examining what is acceptable, what constitutes good practice, where the line should be drawn and the differences between the school environment and the family home in this regard. The policy drawn up can then reflect shared thinking about this and give a level of protection to practitioners who follow the policy.
    I too think it is unacceptable for adults to kiss children in their care (in a school setting). School is different from home. When a child kisses me I accept it and treat it as a nice sign of affection, but usually say, in a friendly way, that kissing is for your family not for your teacher.
  13. I think this a very English context for a debate. In a range of cultures there is a range of contact, a carribbean nursery nurse may platt a young child's hair, a spanish NN might kiss children on greeting them and at times through the day, a another might formally shake hands and keep a distance but attend birthday parties at childdren's homes , some might have them giggling in delight, others may have that instantaneous, respect (How often have I wished for that) . The need for a policy and for all to do the same; consitency, continuity, progression etc. All I can say that if you are the lead professional and you carry out your relationships with children in a particular way then great, do it. Don't worry too much. Children can make sense out of differences, they can learn to play-off or manipulate of course. but that is always to a positive end. They are children and do not have our vices of insecurity and double-entendre. If your way is the better and meets all needs and suffices then great- it will be naturally taken up by others. It is the same as in families, (I know, I now could be polemical in what I say and you'll just have to trust me that I am short-handing all the issues here just to make a point) but the roles of men and women, their means of expressing affection and interest differ, even more stereotypically, and yet children assimilate the differences. They need to encounter variety as it makes them stronger. The need for a policy is very much a need to control (in the guise of protect). Once there is a policy there is a means of controlling and holding to account, by showing people 'this is the way its done -see it is written here and was agreed by everyone - or at least those who know better than you do'. The whole process of interaction in education is fluid and dynamic, the lead teacher, the young nursery nurse and the child are all learning about being human and social, forget anything about academic in the early years. the intellectual search for pattern and order in logical curriculm steps and in policies reflects more the adult-administrator mind than it does the teacher balanced there in the heart of the interaction. I write this reflecting on the fact that I am guilty of having been so sure in my ignorance as a new teacher that I thought all this was of lesser importance and that my NN colleagues needed to see the light- so I plastered our staff toilets with educational quotes to be read on theos mediative moemnts away from children! What an ego, what certainty, what vanity... Now I have either softened (in the head maybe- writing so much) or have grown more uncertain about what I was always so sure about. Now I prefer the process of making agreements, of negotiating what each of us thinks we see, what each of us thinks we are doing and why, but also knowing that I don't have a monopoly on it, I doubt more and leave the space open a bit more. My role as teacher - head, deputy, lead or otherwise is to be in there with all the learning that is going on- including that of the NN, the child and my own pre-conceptions.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm afraid that anyone who thinks a small child isn't capable of rejecting unwanted physical contact loudly and clearly is totally lacking in common sense and any adult who fails to notice their physical contact isn't welcome is numb
  15. Sometimes the physical fondling and cuddling and hair twiddling is welcome, isn't " grooming" the word.
  16. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I wrote, early in this thread, that I had rarely actually seated a child on my lap. I've done it many times, though, ever the years, and it's never caused me a moment's anxiety.Of course,in a school nursery we only deal with children aged 3+ so I can't speak for carers of younger children. If I had child in the Baby Room somehwere, I'd be appalled if he had been subjected to the abuse of cuddle deprivation.

  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    goodness we have made a huge leap from hugs to child abuse!

  18. Children tend to accept what adults do as being OK and go along with it, so they may not reject the imposition of contact or even actively feel they do not want it. Nevertheless it is an imposition if not sought by the child.
    As for adults not recognising when they are imposing on the child rather than responding to the child - that can easily happen with someone who is inexperienced (or an experienced person who does not know the child). They reach out to the child to give comfort, believing they know what is best, without stopping to think. All well-meant.
    The whole matter is a much more subtle thing than you seem to appreciate.
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    no the whole matter is much simpler than you imagine
  20. We're back in the territory of 'common sense'. a simple, straightforward viewpoint is usually hailed as common sense, but unravel it a little and you see that it glosses over the deeper issues. Human beings and social situations are not simple, they are extremely complex.
    A child can be imposed on without their protesting:
    Have you never been in a position where you have 'gone along' with something that is not actually what you want , need or agree to because you don't want to make a fuss, or are too shy to speak up? Maybe not. But this does happen with adults and even more so with children.
    An adult can impose without their realising it:
    Have you never been in the position of finding, on reflection, that you didn't handle a situation effectively because of a knee jerk emotional reaction? Maybe not. But many have. We all make mistakes in our dealings with other human beings because we are human (Yohana - that's why we need policies - we are not expert, we are fallible, and a little calm reflection when we are out of the thick of things can guide us to do things right when we are in the thick of things).


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