The Day Best Friends Died

Remember when childhood used to mean something? With the neverending search for what is "best," some St. Louis school officials are beginning to enforce a new brand of ideology. "Beware the evil best friend":http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/fashion...

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Mar 8 2011, 11:15pm

Remember when childhood used to mean something? With the neverending search for what is “best,” some St. Louis school officials are beginning to enforce a new brand of ideology. Beware the evil best friend.

"I think it is kids' preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that," said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. "We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends."

"Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend," she continued. "We say he doesn't need a best friend."

Their bulletproof rationalization:

"I don't think it's particularly healthy for a child to rely on one friend," said Jay Jacobs, the camp's director. "If something goes awry, it can be devastating. It also limits a child's ability to explore other options in the world."

Because why care about other people more deeply when it involves such emotional risk. Think about the potential for long term psychological damage and the sort of every day stress that inevitably arrives with the baggage of the best friend relationship. Can we get a comment from the surgeon general? Stress kills.

Children, young and fragile in a dangerous world, can no longer be expected to handle the pressures of a reckless lifestyle.

The solution to this highly self-destructive behavior is to of course to stay home and substantially increase use of Facebook where children can maintain friendships in the comfort of good old fashioned being alone. This is about self preservation, folks.

And seeing as this appeared in the New York Times Fashion section in the summer of 2010, the fad that was “best friends” has well and truly come to an end, kicking about in the irrelevance of hell alongside Yo-Yo’s, Tamagachis and Pogs.

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