1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

How would you deal with this?...hugs

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by amythomas2, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm an NQT and due to start teaching a year 3 class after Christmas.




    Over the last few weeks I have spent quite a bit of time in my new class getting to know the children and there is one girl in the class that concerns me slightly.
    I'd been there a few days and in the play ground she came and linked arms with me which I didn't acknowledge nor reject (I had seen other teachers do that so didn't think it was a big deal)
    another time she came and gave me a hug then ran off, again I didn't initiate it or reject it, I just left my hands by my side as I've always been told that a lot of these children don't get much love at home, so then to outright reject them can be damaging, however, for your own protection, don't enter into these hugs yourself, if that makes sense.
    I've spent quite a bit of time in EYFS where the children just come up to you, throw their arms round your waist then run off, but because its done then they're gone, it's no big deal. It makes them feel happy and I haven't actually done anything...




    Moving on, a few days later, I went out on my own to collect them from the play ground and she came up to me and stood in front of me with her arms out. I asked her to line up like everybody else, to which she replied, 'I want a hug first'. I again repeated, 'I'd like you to line up like everybody else'. She said, 'you need to give me a hug first'. So I ignored that and led the rest of the class inside.
    She has since done this two or three times more.
    I don't know if I'm over reacting but it makes me feel quite uncomfortable how she comes marching up to me with her arms out and 'refuses' to do what I ask unless I hug her (I haven't hugged her, I just ignore it, or at one time I think I said, it was inappropriate/rude) but does anyone else have any other advice?



    Thanks in advance and sorry it's such a long post!

    Amy
     
  2. Hi everyone,

    I'm an NQT and due to start teaching a year 3 class after Christmas.




    Over the last few weeks I have spent quite a bit of time in my new class getting to know the children and there is one girl in the class that concerns me slightly.
    I'd been there a few days and in the play ground she came and linked arms with me which I didn't acknowledge nor reject (I had seen other teachers do that so didn't think it was a big deal)
    another time she came and gave me a hug then ran off, again I didn't initiate it or reject it, I just left my hands by my side as I've always been told that a lot of these children don't get much love at home, so then to outright reject them can be damaging, however, for your own protection, don't enter into these hugs yourself, if that makes sense.
    I've spent quite a bit of time in EYFS where the children just come up to you, throw their arms round your waist then run off, but because its done then they're gone, it's no big deal. It makes them feel happy and I haven't actually done anything...




    Moving on, a few days later, I went out on my own to collect them from the play ground and she came up to me and stood in front of me with her arms out. I asked her to line up like everybody else, to which she replied, 'I want a hug first'. I again repeated, 'I'd like you to line up like everybody else'. She said, 'you need to give me a hug first'. So I ignored that and led the rest of the class inside.
    She has since done this two or three times more.
    I don't know if I'm over reacting but it makes me feel quite uncomfortable how she comes marching up to me with her arms out and 'refuses' to do what I ask unless I hug her (I haven't hugged her, I just ignore it, or at one time I think I said, it was inappropriate/rude) but does anyone else have any other advice?



    Thanks in advance and sorry it's such a long post!

    Amy
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I think you need to ask at your school what their view is.

    In my school if a child asks for a hug they get one, no question about it. Ignoring a child asking for a hug would sort of be frowned upon at my school, telling them it was rude to ask for a hug would definitely raise eyebrows.

    However there are schools where hugging children is not acceptable and after a while the children never ask as they know they will get into trouble for doing so.

    You need to go along with your own school.
     
  4. Thanks for your reply.

    I probably didn't explain that bit very well, it wasn't the asking for a hug which was rude as I said above, if children come to me for a hug they get one, it was just the situation which is quite hard to describe without experiencing it I suppose; marching up to me with her arms out, the tone when I asked her to get into the line, using it as a bargaining tool which I didn't feel was appropriate really.

    I think I will ask the school though, good idea.
     
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    If they ask for a hug, in any way at all, they get one.

    It could be that her usual teacher always givers her a hug at the end of playtime and so in her mind the teacher does have to give her a hug before she lines up. Not so much rude bargaining, but more an normal expectation on her part.

    If was generally a rude "I'll do what you say, if you give me what I want first" kind of thing I would respond with a smile and a "Jump into line really quickly and I'll give you a hug when you get there...promise." And then of course do so.
     
  6. I think it was more the demand of it than a sweet ask if that makes sense, as it wasn't always at play times, that was just one example.
    I've had children before that have come running up to me in the morning to give me a hug on their way through the door. It could just have been the situation it was presented in that made me feel a bit awkward. I've never had one 'demanded' with a sort of attitude to it before.

    I will ask her current teacher if she has had any similar experiences.

    Thanks for your advice, its good to hear things from a range of perspectives.
     
  7. I do actually think this is rude behaviour. Not the hugging but the non-compliance. She does not dictate when she follows instructions and when she doesn't. If this was a child saying she wouldn't line up until you gave her a merit/chocolate bar/etc, it wouldn't be acceptable.
    I think that's the bigger issue than being a bit huggy- I was a very huggy child, just because that's what my family was like. I grew out of it quickly enough. Check your school policies and keep to them but nip the whole "not unless thing" in the bud. The poster above me has a good idea- use it as a reward instead of a bargaining tool. Again, only if allowed though. (Also, once she feels more comfortable with you, she may cool it on the hugging. This might just be a way to reassure herself about the new person.)

     
  8. Thanks for your post, that's what I was getting at but you phrased it much better than me. It was the non compliance bit and the bargaining tool and the attitude behind it really, which is quite difficult to really express through typing.

    I also thought it might have been a 'test' in a way, with being a younger teacher whether she was trying it on in a befriending kind of way which I think it something I'll need to be mindful about.

    Thanks for your advice, it's really helpful.
     
  9. I think your response of 'unresponsive' when a child hugs you is quite common. I do think some schools frown on hugging and feel that, particularly in KS2, the teacher-child relationship should be professional. I've also heard of children being told off for hugging.
    In that situation - I probably would have reacted like you, I find it intensly irritating when children start a sentence with 'you need...'. I would have explained this to her and said 'its certainly not that I dont want to hug you, just that we were all waiting for you to line up' I wouldn't be worried about returning the hug though - I teach upper ks2 and if, rarely, one of them comes for a hug then I return it, albeit briefly. You're a primary school teacher, its a (lovely) part of the job.
    Minnie your school sounds lovely. I cant decide if I agree or disagree. I would hate to be in a school that had a no hugging policy and being able to say 'if a child wants a hug they get one' is great. But it concerns me that some children may use physical affection to convince themselves that you like them better than the other children or that it 'makes up' for bad behaviour. If the child was older I would also be a bit worried about teasing - older children hugging their teacher's is less common and wouldn't encourage a behaviour that separates her from her peers. But as she's year 3 I wouldnt worry so much here.
     
  10. Thanks for your reply.

    Very often when the younger children have hugged me, I've put one arm round them to hug them back briefly but just ensure I move my arm first. I like to give them hugs don't get me wrong. I think maybe it was more the circumstances in which it arose that got to me more. It was quite an aggressive tone really.
    I think I'll keep an eye on it and see how she is after Christmas. If no better, I think she'd be the kind of girl I could sit down with and just explain to her, if you want a hug its fine, but there are better ways to go about getting one really!

    Thanks all x
     
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    If a hug makes them feel special in the sense more liked than others, then hey who am I to not allow them those moments. And we tend not to ask why a child wants a hug. Though to be honest our children tend not to say 'I want a hug' they just initiate the hug and we return it, all teachers at all levels. If they do actually ask then we give them a hug, but it doesn't happen much.

    Some of our children, younger ones, do come and give a hug, after they have had time out or similar, to go with their apology. This is still usually given, but is followed by a serious look and a lecture on not doing whatever it was again. There is definitely not a 'you have been naughty and so cannot have a hug' kind of mentality.

    This does all sound like we are all forever hugging each other, which is definitely not the case at all. Most children would rather eat slugs than have a hug from a teacher, but for those who want one there is no issue with ever giving one, at all ages.
     
  12. I know this is an old post but I think society has gone mad when you can't hug a child. Children often see their teachers as parent figures; I think it'd be cruel not to.
     

Share This Page