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I have a weird one for you. Middle school boys

My son's teacher's aide was saying that she can't figure out the boys this year. They are constantly touching the other boys. Hugging,standing really close,slapping each other,fist bumping,etc.
For the 1st time she's ever known of,they have had to tell the boys that contact is not allowed,where before it was just between the opposite sexes. They're doing it twice as much as the girls do.
I was thinking it had something to do with the fact that a great percentage of their social interaction is online/text, and they haven't learned about personal space and social norms.


Asked by butterflyblue19 at 12:52 PM on Oct. 16, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Level 50 (383,297 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • i sub mostly middle school and ive noticed this. but its not the boys that concern me...its the other teachers flipping their shit over it. i saw a lady chase down a 7th grader last week cause he side hugged another boy, who hugged him back. yesterday a male teacher yelled "space! space!" at another two boys who were just standing. yet girls hug each other & nothings said. so long as they aren't being lewd and/or touching someone who doesnt want to be touched, why the big deal?! part of me wonders if its homophobia on the teachers' parts.

    i learned in class that kids today are starved for personal attention and this is how they are getting it. kids use to get it from their parents but thats rarely the case anymore. if they cant even get that from their friends who are they going to get it from and how is that going to impact their futures if they've always been denied personal attention or yelled at for giving/receiving it?

    Answer by okmanders at 2:01 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • I don't know. I do know that I've been watching some of the baseball playoffs this post season and there is a lot of....fist bumping, leg slapping, hugging, high-fiving, body slamming or "chest bumping," picking up, and (depending on which team you're watching) a lot of grabbing/tugging facial hair! lol They are in each other's personal space all the time!

    My guess is that it's more copying or imitating than it is a lack of awareness of social norms. Kids still pick up an enormous amount even if much of it is by screens, and they are seeing people relate physically. I haven't watched any of the inappropriate ridiculous stuff on the tween shows ILovemyPaulie mentioned, but between that TV and sports, I'd think they're just emulating a way of being together.

    (Have kids presently in middle school primarily related to each other via text during their elementary years?)

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:36 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • IDK but there were boys in my Son's Kindergarten class last year that used to pick him up & hug him all the time. They were nice boys ¬ being mean or rough. This year in first grade there is a boy who constantly touches/pokes him & my Son ignores him. The Teacher stops the boy when she sees it & thanks my Son for not going back at him. I think it's two things. One, the Parents are so busy with their own carp to teach the kids to keep their hands to themselves & 2nd, it's constantly on television. The inappropriate ridiculous hugging thing on the tween shows. Ultimately, the Parents are failing their kids again. IMO


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:19 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • Usually boys of 12-14 are pretty hands off with other guys.

    Yeah, but boys horse around, too. I think physical jostling is likely pretty typical of boys that age.

    If I felt the need to address the situation, I think I'd focus on making sure kids are aware of their own personal limits, and that they matter. (It's OK to have boundaries.)
    That would mean explicitly checking in with the "object" or "recipient" at times when I had a question about whether or not certain behavior was welcome. I would consult the kid, and hear from him. This doesn't so much take control or exercise authority as it demonstrates that how the kid feels & what he thinks/decides about the experience matters. (Obviously, matters to me as the teacher/parent or authority figure, and is important, thus matters in general.) This is how kids internalize the knowledge that others are important, and their limits are important--when adults respect them!

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:23 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • ***meant to type: "They were nice boys not being mean or rough" Don't know how I made that weird symbol???!.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:20 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • meant "crap not carp" too! LOL! Geez I need a nap.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:21 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • Why aren't they allowed to interact like normal humans, exactly?

    That teacher needs some fundamental psychology education...

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:54 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • "I've noticed they have personal space with the teachers as well. They'll even get up in MY space"

    ive noticed that too, especially when they are excited. i'll have to ask one of my professors if this is new or if she saw it when she taught in the 60s-90s.

    Answer by okmanders at 3:11 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • So what exactly is inappropriate about hugging, fist bumping, high-fiving and the like? I guess I don't get where the problem lies. They aren't doing anything wrong and as long as the other kid isn't being forced to do something against his will, then where is the problem? Are the girls doing it too? If so why aren't they being pointed out as well?

    As for getting in your space, yes that is a problem. They need to respect a teacher's space.

    Answer by kmath at 3:37 PM on Oct. 16, 2013

  • I don't know it all sounds like pretty normal behavior to me. Boys being rowdy need to be broken up, I guess I still don't see a problem with the rest of it.

    Answer by kmath at 4:06 PM on Oct. 16, 2013