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child sitting on teachers knee

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

  1. Cuddles, of course, with a baby, but coupled with the responsiveness to know when it is the right thing and when it is not what is needed. Baby led, not adult led.
    I would be appalled if my baby was in a baby room somewhere and was being constantly picked up and cuddled and kissed instead of being responded to, played with, talked to and genuinely loved.
     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    no it is why we don't need policies
     
  3. That expression, "Oooh! I could just eat you up!" comes to mind.
     
  4. Sorry, Msz, not talking about you! Just adding a bit more to me last post.
    I don't see why being human means we don't need policies. It is human to reflect and order our own behaviour and seek reasons for doing things in a certain way, and strive to do things right. So it is natural and human to formulate policies, theories, approaches. It's about using our experiences to learn and about communicating that to others.
    I know we have too many policies in school, but I find the main problem with those is that they are lifted straight from another school's policy folder and do not represent any of the reflection and thinking that a good policy should represent. A half-decent policy should be a result of thinking and reflecting together as a team, not something written for another team in another situation placed unread in a folder.
     
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    ~I get the impression that there are two extremes - Don't touch at any price or Smother with unwanted affection ... when in reality there is a happy middle road which most schools choose to follow.
     
  6. Well, judging by this thread, there seem to be a lot of approaches and no consensus.
    I hope you are not characterising my approach as 'Don't touch at any price', by the way, because that is not what I've said at all.
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Why does there need to be a concensus?
    We are humans as you rightly pointed out and should act as such and not pre programmed robots who need an instruction manual to function.
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I find it incredibly strange that professions who complain about the prescriptive nature of EYFS should be calling for yet another policy!
     
  9. me neither
    Wouldn't a policy drawn up by the setting as a collective ensure that the middle road is maintained and keep staff alert as to when the balance was swinging away from centre ?

     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Don't staff have enough to do without policing <strike>stupid</strike> policies?
     
  11. Good point- there is a lot of unecessary paperwork that goes against what we are trying to achieve but to me this crucial point about the boundaries of physical touch with children is not mentioned and that seems strange.
    One of the unexpected bi products of safe guarding training is the the talking around scenarios of potential abusive situations and listening to people accommodate different ideas and see things from a different perspective.
    Likewise I think discussion around the professional adults attitudes and experiences and boundaries of using physical touch in the nursery setting would expose why a policy would be useful.
     
  12. Msz, I didn't say there had to be a consensus, just commenting on your statement which suggested that you thought that, in practice, there was a consensus:
    I don't see what feelings about the EYFS have to do with wanting or not wanting policies - not sure what you're getting at there. Is it about workload?
    Personally I Ithink the EYFS is an improvement on what went before but uses a hammer to crack a nut and therefore has created an necessary level of bureaucracy.
    A policy about physical contact could be written in a paragraph after a discussion lasting 15 minutes. The benefit would be that issues such as those discussed on this thread could be aired and practitioners would know where they stood on the matter and why.
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Since I no longer work in EYFS my workload wouldn't be an issue
    personally I didn't (still don't) see a need to have a statutory curriculum for babies
    My allergy to clipboards extends to policies for the sake of policy

     
  14. I hate policies for the sake of policies too. It's just box ticking and pretty meaningless. But a policy about something as important and thorny as physical contact .... that would have lots of benefits.
    It's about making explicit what the custom and practice is in the setting. That custom and practice may be already agreed upon in your setting (the middle way), but how do you know until it comes under discussion? In settings where that agreement does not exist and practitioners are unsure the policy would get rid of that sense of insecurity.
     
  15. I think fear is in the driving seat here, fear and its consort control. You cannot make a real policy on touch; neither in a setting nor across the country. I won't work. It is just the same as a policy on going to the toilet or what you can put in your tea - it infantilises us even more. Abuse that triggers these fears has happened in private, state, and family settings. BUt it is not that prevalent, it is not within the daily experience of the majority of people although reading about it is. There is a strong cultural bias here, I don't mean just English, but an intellectual bias, an attempt to determine what emotional-social learning can and cannot be without a really strong enough base to argue that one thing is really detrimental. Remember children are far more subtly conditioned to accept the artificial situation of group child-care and education- when really they might just prefer to be at home with mum, in bed or cuddled up, or riding donkey down the street with dad. Touch is a way of connecting and demonstrating many things not just emotions. It is very, very easy in the current climate to assume, prejudge, dismiss and devalue the way one person works and the way another one does. It is almost in the blood of managers to want to control this, the conditioning is so strong it is very hard to not give it full reign in policy making. The trouble is a policy on one day might seem a good idea but then under slightly differing circumstances it can prove redundant or at the very least like a washing machine we find ourselves on yet another virtuous wash-clean cycle of review and update the policy. So many washes, so many cycles, so complicated. Is it worth the headache?.
     
  16. It is not infantilising but empowering to know what physical contact is acceptable and what should be avoided, and why. Making a decision to follow a particular way of doing things gives consistency. It removes doubt.
    I don't think this is about abuse, which is a rare extreme, but I agree that some are cowed by that spectre. Having a policy that outlines what is acceptable removes that worry. Individuals will not be stressed by the idea that others watching their contact with children might see something dodgy there, because they have the protection of the policy. Others, who suspect someone is overstepping the mark into abuse territory, will be able to look to the policy to check that the guidelines are being followed. It's a sad fact that no policy can wipe out abuse, but it can make the vast majority (non-abusers) feel safer and more comfortable about their physical interactions with children.
    What the policy should respond to, however, is not the spectre of child abuse but the principle of what is best for children. It does not have to be restrictive. It only needs to describe
    what is decided by the setting to be good practice and suitable in their
    circumstances.
     
  17. yohanalicante
    yohanalicante, I have enjoyed your thought provoking posts.
    I agree with the post above. It is no more complicated than that.
    In the past, I have been in circunstances when it would have found it very supportive to have a policy as outlined above, without having to enter into the pedagogoical debate which would have followed.
    Policies can be reviewed anually they are not set in stone




     
  18. mmm acceptable to whom, and why should that be ay more acceptable than one's own reflective personal style of carrying out my professional role. I know what you are driving at but you have not yet convinced me that it is worth the paper it is written on and we need to be very convinced before we suck on the anodyne sweet of making yet another policy.

    We English are great at letting our children play in the mud, with sand and water, up trees and by streams but touchy-feely stuff gives the collywobbles we flee into policies. Dummies, strict bedtimes, controlled crying, stiff-upper lip, don't cry,.... Are you sure this is a wordlwide universal need of childhood to be enshrined in policy?. PS If you are talking about fully fledged kissing on the lips then someone somewhere is bonkers, but kising on the cheeks is in some cultures a mark of greting and respect. Bit it is not frequent enough to have a policy on.
     
  19. Nothing to do with it.
    Just a paragraph to record the ideas of a small group of practitioners - nothing world-wide and nothing that embraces the whole of childhood, just one tiny aspect, which, as you say, we are not good at disussing in this country - well, if we decide to write a policy it will get discussed.
    Only if not thought about and relevant to the setting.
    Acceptable to the team and reflecting the personal styles of those within the team.

     
  20. yohanalicante

    Something tells me that you may have travelled a different path to most of us and with different masters, perhaps.
    You may not be working with staff of diverse qualifications, experiences and expectations .
    I feel there is a need to be explicit and overt. If not with a policy, what other vehicle is there ?
     

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