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Overly affectionate pupils


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#16 zwhe

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 08:10

I'm not hugging her back! I usually turn sideways to her to minimize contact and try to re-focus on the lesson. I would never hug a child shut in a room alone!


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#17 ten left thumbs

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 09:10

I'm not hugging her back! I usually turn sideways to her to minimize contact and try to re-focus on the lesson. I would never hug a child shut in a room alone!

Just try proving what does and does not happen alone in a room with a child.


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#18 tangoallegro

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 12:44

I had this in a school situation - a teacher explained to the child that hugs are saved for mummy and daddy instead of teachers, (could you gently explain this to the child and then the parents?) It was sad for me because the child used to hug me at the end of the lesson as they said ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’.  Sadly for some children their 30 minute music lesson is the only quality time they have with an adult’s undivided attention.  
 

In a home teaching situation I would lightly mention it to the parents in whichever way you feel appropriate. It might be worth encouraging the child to give you a ‘high five’ instead which I have found very useful - the child still feels that they are sharing something special with you but without close contact.  
 

I am sure it is all innocent but I agree with other posters, you cannot be too careful. 


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#19 ma non troppo

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 23:35

This thread makes me feel very sad. What are we becoming?
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#20 elemimele

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 13:59

... I've also read, but still also vote for having a discrete chat with the parents as soon as is convenient. Small things can get bigger with time. It's much less painful to have a small, informal, blame-free chat now, than to have to deal with a much bigger problem down the line.

Also, if you do end up talking to the parents, they will (probably) be much more upset if you have to tell them the problem's been going on for ages (they're bound to ask) but you didn't tell them earlier.


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#21 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 14:30

This thread makes me feel very sad. What are we becoming?

 

I agree.  But we as teachers have to protect ourselves.  It is most unfortunate.  A few bad apples have made trouble for all of us.


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#22 Aquarelle

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:45

Yesterday there was a fiction/doucmentary about the ill treatment of children on French TV and I found it very interesting. The story was fiction based on fact and it told of a 6 year old who was ill treated by her parents.I t explored the theme of how children are unable to denounce their own parents and how they will sometimes seek comfort outside the home. So another reason for not rushing in where angels fear to tread and telling parents. As a teacher we can have little idea of what is actually causing a child to  hug adults outside their family circle.   In the film school teachers eventually managed to find evidence of physical ill treatment and the case was taken up by the social services. Once the parents got wind of this they killed the child and pretended she had been abducted. food for thought.


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#23 Karensnagsby

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 03:01

Interesting thread. Girls especially (or at least as far as I’ve noticed) are always hugging each other. Teenage girls, again in my experience, call each other babe, my love; well, you get the gist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it doesn’t seem to be what everyone expects!

Funnily enough it wouldn’t have gone down very well amongst the girls I was at school with many years ago. Actually it was worse because it was cool to be as hard as nails and if you weren’t, you avoided those who were. Sad really.

Just wanted to add - Dr Rogers, I doubt very much that you are ugly! I don’t believe anybody is perfect to look at but people have their individual quirks and charms!
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#24 The Great Sosso

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 12:02

Zwhe, I can see how this might make you uncomfortable.  Not only the fear of a misunderstanding that leads to suspicion of your motives, but also the fact that if you return the affection, it could easily escalate.  Maybe a solution to this is a high-five as someone said above, or even invent a special handshake, reserved solely for piano students and teachers. 

 

TGS X


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#25 zwhe

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 13:51

I think the exam stress suggestion may have been the right one, as she did the 11+ a few weeks ago, and the last two weeks have been hug-free! She has also concentrated better and we have been able to keep the lesson flowing.

I think it is the age. I have had no problem with 5, 6 & 7 year olds grabbing me occasionally, but at some point it changes meaning. If a 16 year old did it to me, I would consider it assault. Its difficult to know where to draw the line, but I think that by the end of primary a child should know it isn't appropriate to hug adults who aren't family.

I do high-five some of my pupils (including this one), and I quite like the idea of a special handshake!

As to protecting yourself, you could never touch a child or even be alone with them, and they could still accuse you of something - I've seen it happen in school with one young adult who was under the impression that half the staff had forced her into side rooms and abused her. It was a paperwork nightmare as every single one had to be recorded and investigated, despite the fact it happened on a regular basis. I try not to worry about things that most likely will never happen.


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#26 Aquarelle

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 14:47

I do apprecite that for some situations the "high five" may be a solution. But it makes me cringe and I will never resort to it. In any case iit's a very Americaln practice which just isn't done here. However we do shake hands and kiss on both cheeks  a lot.


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