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I heard yesterday on Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 about a primary school in Sheffield introducing peer massage (head and shoulders through clothes) and people have complained.  I couldn’t listen properly, but have just read some articles.  Someone said it’s innapropriate, someone felt they should be doing something “more academic” *rolls eyes*.  I heard on the radio someone had said something about developing fetishes, I think it was about the children developing fetish for massage, but it seems a very tame fetish than the other fetishes I’ve known people to have!!  The children are allowed to choose their own partner and have the choice to participate.  What are people’s views on this?? I personally don’t see a problem in it for children under 8ish.  I’m not sure about it at the age some children start puberty, although it sounds better than being made to shower naked together (single sex obviously) age 9-11 like we had to!!

Does anyone’s childrens’ schools do it?

Mama to our little pirate, Aug 2011
Nappy Guru to Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford and Burnley

LETS number 141

See this school, private school who use alexander technique

they even have little videos so although not exactly what you are talking about I think the ethos of a school understanding that how healthy our physical self is will effect our ability to grow mentally, spiritually blah blah blah

not long to reply, but sounds great to me .......

DD1 - Nov 04
DD2 - Aug 07

It was Radio 2, it was the Jeremy Vine show…that’s not a debate it’s a bunch of comfy-lived middle englanders frothing at the mouth because they haven’t got anything real to gripe about….sorry OT. Massage in schools just fine with me; really you have to think some of these people have the filthiest minds (and hidden depths, suppressed desires) when they state going about fetishes wink Like you say, it’s a consensual non-sexual touch with clothes on - god forbid children start to desire that; we might turn into a nation of people you learn to relax and care about each other.

? We must live with hearts wide open, hearts wildly open ?

Wild glamping in the mountains of southern Spain ...

I think it’s a great idea - dd1’s school do it in the Infants - I’m not sure if the junior school do and don’t think her current school does. The kids all loved it and I thought it was a brilliant way to teach them to respect each other too, it really reduces bullying as well as stress! I wish all schools did it. And I think maybe people who criticise just haven’t thought it through - who could object to their child learning kindness and respect?

Claire xx

Sounds like a really nice idea.  There is a massive public fear of anything which may be considered sexual when children are involved though, unless it’s dressing little girls in tops with demeaning/inappropriate slogans on them!

It did remind me of this though:

(when I was looking for that link, there were loads of other similar stories)

Husband to an amazing wife and learning all the time from twins boys (Dec 2007) and their younger brother (March 2011)

When I read the first line and saw “Jeremy Vine” show I almost didn’t read on - it’s a name guaranteed to make me not want to know any more info - with you on that description MuntainMama wink

But I think it’s a good idea, don’t think they do anything in dd’s school but do have other relaxation things going on. So long as the kids have a choice to participate or not.

I think children should learn to be comfortable with innocent physical contact while at the same time they should be taught that they themselves are in control of who they want to share that sort of intimacy with. Showing affection physically is a good thing but I think it is important that children are taught very clearly that they never need to hug or touch someone unless they want to.
When I was little I was never TOLD to give other people a hug (visitors, friends and relatives), in fact it was made very clear to me that I was in charge of my own body and decided who I would allow to be close to me.  I have always been completely comfortable with physical contact and social interaction. However, my younger half-sister was always told (instructed, almost) to give visitors a hug when they arrived and left and she has always been very shy and quiet and socially uncomfortable.
I am not saying that her shyness was caused only by this, but my point is just that I think it should be made very clear to children that physical contact is entirely up to them, not anyone else. Also, I believe it teaches them to treat other people the same way; to respect other people’s immediate ‘space’.

That said, I think it sounds like a good idea to let children massage each other as long as it is informal, relaxed and under no perceived pressure.


Haha, I need to switch the radio over when his show is on.  All the callers wind me up!

DaddyTom that’s so true.

Therese, you have a good point there.  It looks like the children are given control over whether to participate, who to do it with, and how much to do, and I would hope the teachers allow the children to have the confidence to say stop, or “a little gentler please”.
I was always made to kiss close relatives on the lips.  Then when I decided I didn’t want to I was basically held so they could kiss my head or cheek!  They still do it now and I’m 25.  My family seemed to think they have a right to embarass me and my sister or make us feel awkward.  My nephew’s just gone and he’s told to kiss everyone when he leaves them, and after him giving me a drooly open mouthed kiss a few months ago I actually thought, “why do people even think other people would want to kiss their drooly/snotty children?”

Mama to our little pirate, Aug 2011
Nappy Guru to Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford and Burnley

LETS number 141

Sailor - 19 January 2012 05:28 PM

and after him giving me a drooly open mouthed kiss a few months ago I actually thought, “why do people even think other people would want to kiss their drooly/snotty children?”

I SO agree with this! I have never made my children kiss anyone (apart from me when I rough and tumble them to the floor for a snog!!) as they are naturally quite shy so why on earth would I expect them to kiss someone they’re not 110% comfortable with! Bringing them up to kiss people who aren’t close to them and then when they’re teenagers/adults telling them not to kiss or get intimate with anyone unless they’re virtually married! Mixed messages or what?

I remember being made to kiss a dear old friend of my parents (well, she was an elderly mother of one of their friends). God Bless her soul. She was a dear old thing but I just was NOT comfortable in kissing her - but I always HAD to give her a kiss and she never had teeth, therefore you’d get the wet slobbery kiss of a toddler every time! Bless her! But euuggghhh!!! I remember at 18 when my then boyfriend was with us but he disappeared and avoided being snogged!  So after I had done the deed I went upstairs and demonstrated for him! Ha ha!! He was not impressed but it made me chuckle!! Hee hee!! LOL

As for the massage in schools - I think it’s a fab idea. Like others have said, as long as the children can choose whether to participate or not and who to choose to be their partner.  My son’s infant school wouldn’t do it. They’re not even allowed to put suncream on each other, never mind a massage!

I think it sounds like a good idea. As long as it’s by choice why not.  I wouldn’t mind the occasional head and shoulder massage to get through the day.

Mummy to Lauren (2008), Sophie (2010)

The permission is part of it - the children ask their partner if they would like a massage or if it is ok to massage, for example, their back, then check pressure etc is ok. It’s all over their clothes too, so it’s much less intrusive than putting suncream on would be! The whole purpose of it is dual, partly to encourage relaxation and teach the children how to de-stress, to combat anxiety in later life, and partly to encourage them to be comfortable and safe in their bodies so that they’re also combatting aggression and learning self respect. I think it’d help with lots of issues if it were more widespread. And yes, personally, I’d love it - it was great when dd1 did it as she used to come home and practise on me smile

Claire xx

I introduced it (peer massage) in the school I worked in for the SEN children initially. It was brilliant. There were all kinds of rules of touch, getting the childs permission etc I intended to roll it out as a whole infant initiative, but I left to have DD and never got the chance.

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

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