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"No touch" policy in kindergarten
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"No touch" policy in kindergarten

Our kindergarten teacher decided to put in his personal "no touch" policy in his class, that means nobody touches no one, not during the lesson, nor during the playtime.i.e. kids can not touch each other all the time, they are in school. I disagree with him and he knows that. I think, that touching is part of child development, especially in age 4-5 . He explained this decision by different reasons, but finally he told he doesn`t want to take responsibility if somebody will get hurt during school day, and prefer kids will do not touch each other at all.

So, each time one of my boys do something wrong - push other kid, hug each other in a playground, he calls me to "small talk" and tells me again about importance of his "no touch" rule.But inhibit touch between kids in order to prevent injuries it`s like to stop breathing in order to stop smoking, or stop eating to lose weight? Maybe I`m wrong?  Could you, please, give me your professional opinion ?

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Avatar_m_tn
   The other thought is that, "its his rule!"  He has to enforce it!!  There is no way to do anything at home to either enforce it or teach it to your kids (if you don't believe in it).  At this age to change a behavior - it must be done immediately and consistently.  This is a very standard rule of changing child behavior at this age.
    When he calls you in for small talk - remind him that this is his rule.  There is no way you can help him, but thanks for the information.
     Professionally, as an ex-elementary school principal, he is very wrong.  It sounds to me like he has just gotten tired of dealing with all the touching problems and no longer wants to deal with it.  My first thought was that he is either very young or very old.  
      If he is adequately monitoring the kids he will not be held responsible if somebody is hurt (granted, it will be a pain for him to prove it).  My guess is that he doesn't monitor the kids as close as he should be.  Anyway, I agree with AnnieBrooke.  I would first talk to a few other parents - I doubt that you are the lone eagle here.  And then, all of you should go talk to the school principal.  Or you could be really nice and let the teacher know that this is what you intend to do, unless he changes policies.  The other thought is to find out if this trouble is only during recess.  Schools have been really cut back, and the lack of aides to help watch kids during recess can be a problem.  I doubt that you can get reliable people to volunteer to help out at this time, but it could help.
  Crud, I could go on with this forever.  If he wants to change their behavior not to do things like hitting.  That's cool, but he has to take the time to teach it.  To do things one step at a time, not some blanket policy.  Etc., etc., etc.  Good luck
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134578_tn?1383690151
Is this just one teacher's policy, or is it the school's policy?  If it is the teacher's only, what does the school say about it?
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Avatar_m_tn
   The other thought is that, "its his rule!"  He has to enforce it!!  There is no way to do anything at home to either enforce it or teach it to your kids (if you don't believe in it).  At this age to change a behavior - it must be done immediately and consistently.  This is a very standard rule of changing child behavior at this age.
    When he calls you in for small talk - remind him that this is his rule.  There is no way you can help him, but thanks for the information.
     Professionally, as an ex-elementary school principal, he is very wrong.  It sounds to me like he has just gotten tired of dealing with all the touching problems and no longer wants to deal with it.  My first thought was that he is either very young or very old.  
      If he is adequately monitoring the kids he will not be held responsible if somebody is hurt (granted, it will be a pain for him to prove it).  My guess is that he doesn't monitor the kids as close as he should be.  Anyway, I agree with AnnieBrooke.  I would first talk to a few other parents - I doubt that you are the lone eagle here.  And then, all of you should go talk to the school principal.  Or you could be really nice and let the teacher know that this is what you intend to do, unless he changes policies.  The other thought is to find out if this trouble is only during recess.  Schools have been really cut back, and the lack of aides to help watch kids during recess can be a problem.  I doubt that you can get reliable people to volunteer to help out at this time, but it could help.
  Crud, I could go on with this forever.  If he wants to change their behavior not to do things like hitting.  That's cool, but he has to take the time to teach it.  To do things one step at a time, not some blanket policy.  Etc., etc., etc.  Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
I am not a professional but a parent and I don't think that is such a bad idea. Less accidents and less germs passed...
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13167_tn?1327197724
It's developmentally inappropriate for children to not be able to touch each other,  it's like making puppies not tussle together.  

Men make great high school teachers,  and junior high,  but I think it's very odd to have a man kindergarten teacher because well,  they don't really "get" small children.

Thus,  the bizarre policy of no touching.

Can your son be moved into a more reasonable classroom environment?
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535822_tn?1389452880
It is ideed bizarre, I think you should find another school where humans are allowed to touch each other .
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you need to find out if this is a school policy or just the teacher's.  If it's just the teacher's then discuss it with the principal who may have no idea about his "rule." I think it's a rediculous rule and would not want my child in that environment.  I also feel it's laziness or paranoia on the teacher's part!
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Avatar_n_tn
Change schools if your not happy then why subject your small child to things like this.
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134578_tn?1383690151
I might add, in our preschool, if one child hits another, the routine is that with the teacher there, they apologize, and the other kid accepts the apology, and they hug.  This is a chain that brags up its child development specialists who have written the curriculum.  The exact opposite of what this teacher is doing.  I'd definitely see if it is school policy or if it's just something one teacher dreamed up.  If it's the one teacher, I'd either complain or switch my child out of there or both.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have an enrichment program I have taught for 14 years.  I see each group once a week.  I have up to 20 children in a class, almost all boys. I have a "no touch" policy because the kids (some groups ages 4-6, some groups k-5) wrestle like puppies, push, tug, hug too tightly...often knocking each other over, or pull items out of each other's hands.  These groups share floor space and I don't even let their knees touch because of the hugging issues. I have found that in an hour class, this is the only way I can proactively avoid accidents - physical and emotional...many kids simply don't like to be touched!  I am not afraid to touch them, and often have children sitting or leaning on me.  This is simply prevention of hurt bodies or feelings!!  One parent complained that her son has only one friend and he likes to hug her. As she was talking to me after class ....her son knocked over the girl while hugging her and she slammed her head into the wall.  End of story.
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13167_tn?1327197724
brickology,  would you also institute this policy if you had a litter of puppies?

They DO wrestle like puppies,  you're right,  as I noted in my post above in this thread.  And that's a good thing.  That's how children,  and puppies,  socialize.  I TOTALLY agree with sandman that this is wrong.  

Tussling,  touching and attacks are different things,  and we have become too lazy as a society to differentiate them.  Wrestling and tussling is fine among small children,  attacking isn't.  

It's quite interesting that dog mothers are quite willing to make this determination,  and discipline the offspring that attack vs. the offspring that engage in mutual physical play.

We've become a bit lazy,  as adults.
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377493_tn?1356505749
I will be honest, I think touch is important. My son is younger, only 2, but I would be unhappy if his daycare instituted a no touch policy.  The reason is, we work hard at home (and they do in his daycare as well) on good touch/bad touch, and also gentle hands.  Good touch is a hug or holding your friends hand. It could be stroking the cat nicely, or cuddling with one of us.  When he does any of these things, we tell him "that is a good touch honey" and he understands that now. Bad touch is a hit, slap or anything that can hurt or be aggressive.  We don't use the term bad touch with him, but if he hits or hurts someone we remind him of "gentle hands" and that we only use "good touches". (rough housing is different, and we also have no problem with that as long as it's not aggressive or hurting) It works incredibly well and he is very good at not hitting etc when he gets angry or frustrated.  Granted, this way probably took longer, but I feel it will serve him well.  So my point is, if there was a no touch policy, that would do away with the teaching what I think is a very important skill.  Just my opinion, but I am glad his class does not have this policy.
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Avatar_m_tn
   You missed my point.  I always had a " don't hit, fight, etc."  rule - well actually it was "respect others".   The difference is that  I did not call the parents when the child broke the rule.  And even as a school principal - if I did have to call the parents - I always told them that we will take care of the problem.  This teacher was calling the parents of kindergarten children and expecting them to somehow take care of the problem.  Its possible to do so (if he bothered to take the time to explain how to do so at home) over a period of time.  But thats not the point.  What I was objecting to was "he calls me to "small talk" and tells me again about importance of his "no touch" rule".  
   And I do agree that some kids don't like to be touched.  And the little girl getting her head slammed into the wall was sad.  But its all a part of learning.  Kids can be taught about space and when and where to touch.  But thats really tough in your situation.  I was a lifeguard for many years and we had really strict rules for obvious reasons.  But more importantly we couldn't teach the kids - only enforce the rules.  A kindergarten teacher can teach the kids - good ones do!  If you only see the kids once a week, you really are in more of a lifeguard situation or recess monitor and thats a whole different ballgame.
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171768_tn?1324233699
Not allowing kids to touch each other at all would hinder them from learning how to read social and emotional cues. In the real world, you touch people and are touched. Young children have to learn when it is appropriate and when it is not. They also have to learn to respect that some people do not want to be touched in certain ways. And most importantly, they need to learn to speak up and set boundaries when they don't want to be touched in certain ways. By eliminating all contact, none of these lessons are learned. And I imagine the consequences could be quite damaging.

In my classroom, children are taught to speak up if they don't want to be touched by someone. I am not comfortable with too much rough play, but a certain amount is allowed depending on the mix of kids, the scenario, and the intention (as long as it seems as though no one is in danger, of course). They are taught to ask their peers for space if they need it. And it is very strongly emphasized and reinforced that you MUST respect a friend's words when they ask you for space. You need to teach not only boundaries and respect, but you also need to give them the skills and empower them to set those boundaries. Eliminating touch eliminates these skills.
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Avatar_m_tn
Kids do not need to touch each other to have fun and to express themselves. It's ridiculous to compare them to a litter of puppies. Stop trying to cause trouble for your child. Put him in another school if you don't like this "No Touch" policy.
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