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Should Schools Ban Special Daddy/Daughter & Mother/Son Events

Schools Should Ban Special Daddy/Daughter & Mother/Son Events

Posted by Jeanne Sager

daddy daughter danceFirst it was dodgeball. Now the age-old tradition of father/daughter dances at school is being phased out. But don't worry! Mother/son traditions are getting the heave-ho too.

A Rhode Island school district is blazing the trail, calling these gender-specific activities "discriminatory" after a single mom complained that her kid was left out of a daddy/daughter event because she didn't have a dad to accompany her. As a married mom, I can't agree with them more.

We live in a world where 11.7 million households have a single parent at the helm. We live in a world where same sex couples are finally making headway in the fight to adopt and raise kids. Telling girls they need to bring a daddy to an event or boys that they need a mommy is automatically cutting out a whole lot of kids, distancing them from their peers in a time when kids are already so split that we have a bullying epidemic on our hands.

These kids don't need another reason to feel uncomfortable around their classmates, especially not in the so-called "safe space" that a school is supposed to provide.

And quite frankly, neither do parents ... any parent, whether single, gay, or partnered up with someone of the opposite sex.

We don't need to hear from the school that one gender of parent is more important than the other. Maybe it's because I grew up in a poor school district that didn't have the fund for these gender-specific events anyway, but I've never quite gotten the allure of one parent in particular being lauded over the other.

Last year my daughter's teacher sent home an invite to help make gingerbread houses that specifically stated there was room for only one adult helper per child. We let our daughter choose, and she picked my husband. Technically it was better for us based on work schedules, but I won't say it didn't hurt a bit.

I want to be there for the moments big and small ... and so does my husband. That's part of being a parent. The two of us have made a point of deciding who goes to events at school based on our family's needs, not on some outdated notion that little girls need their daddies more and little guys are mama's boys.

What's your take on daddy/daughter and mother/son events at schools?


by on Sep. 19, 2012 at 1:04 PM
Replies (431-440):
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 2:37 AM
1 mom liked this
You are so right. Dead on about the prom too. Sigh....

Quoting laura-l-hutton:

I find this ridiculous. I am a single parent and have two wonderful kids. My kids mean more to me than anything in the world and I would hate to think I was selfish enough to ruin something fun for others just because my child was not going to benefit/participate. HS football makes kids try out because only the best get in and even then, if the team has too many trying out some of the best do not make it. GET OVER IT! I can't believe that we are now in a world that says we have to be so politically correct that we would hurt one group to benefit the other. This is a TRIDITION and that means it has been around a long time.Why take it away from those that enjoy it just so one child, which I am sure is not the first and wont be the last to feel that they were excluded from school events, feels better about life? Why teach your child that this world revolves around what they want and make them a selfish adult? What is next Homecoming and Prom? "My child can't get a date and does not want to go alone so lets get rid of those events!" 

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by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 3:49 AM

This is still America and frankly, there are supposed to be CHOICES provided in a free nation.  By doing away with the option, those kids who Might participate in such events are ---no; I won't write, "discriminated" against, that's adding more silliness to this.  I will just say that, then, a very nice tradition is lost.   Believe me, growing up, this kind of thing was Not an option for me.  I'm proud and happy that it might be for my daughters.  However, even years ago, knowing that I could not have participated, I would NOT have taken the opportunity away from my dear friends for whom it was a possibility.  Yes, I might have felt some sadness for myself but, being compassionate and caring And MATURE doesn't mean that we take choices away from those who are fortunate.  I believe it means we find Additional events for those who require alternatives.   I'm All For Mother and Son/Daughter events AND Father Son/Daughter events. 

by Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 4:34 AM

I am a single mom and know that my DD won't be going to the father/daughter type of school activities . But I will make a special day for us any way just the two of us. She probably would love her grandpa to do it but my dad is in his 70's and in bad health so we have to account his age and health as DD grows older for when these events happen. 

by Bronze Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 6:36 AM


I hadn't thought about that. 

Well if the foster parent isn't a single foster parent then they would work with parent/child dance, thing. Cause even though the word "foster" is in front of it, parent is part of it. Of course from what I know (which isn't very much as I grew up with both of my parents together), most kids don't really like their foster parents. 

I went to public school, so I never had any father/daughter dances. And wouldn't have gone even if there had been. I didn't go to dances at school. I didn't, and still don't know how to dance. 

Quoting psychessun:

oh nooooooooooooo!

what about kids in foster care?  their parents might not be able to go.  or situations where grandparents are raising their grandkids? 

I really think it's so hard to please everyone, the end result will be banning them just to be 'safe'.

how about "bring an older person you kinda sorta know and might  have responsiblity over you at times dance."  lol

Quoting Basherte:

What about making them parent/child dances?

Instead of gender specific? I could get behind that.

And would definitely rather see it worded this way than to cut this out altogether.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 6:38 AM
Soapbox time: Are you effing kidding me? Life ain't fair. So what if they only have one parent? Why do the kids who were looking forward to these events be deprived because your kid doesn't have a mommy or daddy to take them? You & your kids need to suck it up & deal. Your life circumstances & choices should not make making other people miserable.
Grow the fuck up & deal with your life & quit teaching your kid that he or she an object of pity because they live in a single parent household.
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 6:39 AM
It's just something "special" for the bond of a child & parent.
Every mom doesn't have a son, like every daughter doesn't have a dad...
However, there are mother/daughter things & father/son things as well.
I always think its sweet when our daughter & my husband Go on date night. When she is 8 they will start going to the father/daughter dances our community holds

Quoting Fields456:

I think father daughter and mother son events are nice Just like mother daughter and father son things

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by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 6:43 AM
What about the kids in foster care? They can't participate in any sense. Let's throw in a mentally/physically disabled child, which it would be, depending on their disability hard or difficult for them to participate. My daughter's school started a daddy/daughter dance, which she loved. Later they had a lame, mother/son movie night, that didn't have the participants because it didn't have the glamour/glitz of the other. I think they should just have dances/events that can include everyone.
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by Silver Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:22 AM

Our school district when I was growing up never had anything like this, and I have to say, I am so glad.  My dad walked out on us when my youngest brother was still in diapers, leaving my mom to raise 5 kids with minimal financial support.  Our nearest relatives, male and female, were halfway across the country, and thanks to my father's control over my mother, we knew none of them.  There was no "favorite uncle" or grandpa, or anybody else.  The only time we ever saw my dad  was when he wanted to get back at my mom for who knows what... We KNEW life was hard, and wasn't fair, and that everyone wouldn't always be able to do everything.  That was obvious to us every single day as we went to school in hand-me-downs from the thrift store and shoes that were worn until every bit of wear was out of them.  It was obvious to us that some kids would always have more... we didn't need to add a polarizing "school" event on top of it to teach us to get over it and adapt and overcome.  Save these events for churches, and for private organizations.  I think they would be fine IN THAT CONTEXT.  NOT as a school sponsored event.

by Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:33 AM
Quoting Reina13:

I completely agree w/ u too!!!!
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:36 AM
I was a single mom as well. My son took my daughter. Get over it! This is just plain stupid and juvenile. Nothing will ever be equal and these mothers are teaching their kids to throw a fit and you'll get what you want, but be sure and throw the word discrimination in there so ever one will jump!
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