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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 The two of us have made a point of deciding who goes to events at school based on our family's needs, not on some outdated notion that little girls need their daddies more and little guys are mama's boys.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 (461-470):
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM

 No wonder our country is going to hell in a handbasket.  Everyone whines about everything.  Everyone is so worried about getting their feelings hurt.  No wonder our kids are brats and our parents are idiots.  Grow up, pull up your big girl panties and move on! 

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM
1 mom liked this

 I agree with you 100%

Quoting Barefootsmiles:

Listen, I get the disappointment in a child when they are excluded from an event because their Dad isn't around(my husband is a Marine and is gone, a lot), but I think enough is enough with making our country so cookie cutter that it has to fit everyone's life! As a mom, if there is a daddy daughter dance and my girls daddy isn't around then I'll do whatever I can in my power to either find someone else to take them(their uncles, papas, family friend) or I'd make sure they had a night with me that was equally as amazing. NOT ruin an event that could be very special to other little girls.

Am I the only one who sometimes feels like having a tradional two parent home is becoming more and more criticized?


by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

No! This is a wonderful tradition. In our two daughters' elementary school years, this was a huge, joyous annual event for our family. The keychains with photos of my husband and a daughter or two are wonderful treasures. One year he had to be on the West Coast for a major meeting and our daughter went with a friend and her dada and it was just fine.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I think these " Father/daughter" dances should be allowed.  Yes, it's true that not all families are the "mom, dad, and 2.5 kids"  but that's just the way it is.  There has ALWAYS been absentee fathers. Sometimes they were military and off to war, sometimes thay worked out of town and sometimes they were dead-beat dads.  Many times dad was in the home but really could care less about such events.  Some times kids get their fellings hurt.  We would all like to spare our children the hurt, but that's not real life.  We already have sports teams that they don't have to try out for and everyone gets the trophy even if they don't play well.

What's next people?  Ban Homecoming Dance cause not every girl gets asked? Or maybe we should ban Prom for the same reason.   Wow could we save some $$ on those events.

I think that a girl could bring a sub Dad to the Father/Daughter dance.  Sometimes the single Mom just want's to keep the Drama going and "stick it to the ex"  any way she can.

My Grandson had a Mother/Son dance with Cub Scouts many years back.  Since his lovely Mother (my dd) was off on a Drug Vacation, he went with his Gramma (me) and had a great time.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM
1 mom liked this

I have four daughters and was for a time a single mom. I still helped my daughter enjoy the father / Daughter dance by having an uncle take her. They had a blast! Everyone knew her mommy and daddy were divorced. It wasn't a big deal.

The idea IMO is to give the fathers a chance to do something special with their daughters when in reality the mother spends the majority of the time w/ the daughter. Likewise w/ the mother/son sporting events. I have no sons so I do not attend these events. Do I feel left out, heck no. 

In the culture we live in there is always a group that has to call fowl ball when something is organized, said, donated to or spoken. If someone choses to live outside of the norm we have grown up with then it is their fault if they do not fit into the equation. We don't need to rewrite the equation to fit them in, we can just ADD another equation. Stop punishing those of us that have the American dream we want and have grown up with just because others decided they don't want our life. They are the minority but just like another minority in our country we are rewriting to meet only their needs and ignoring the needs of those of us that live the norm.

This country is going to hell in a hand basket and I am sick of it!

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Exactly my feelings. My daughters bio father was a piece of crap and she would have my dad or an uncle go with her to these events and it was no big deal! Can no one be different anymore we are not all the same!

Quoting mommasaint:

I was just watching a news story on this....

I think it's BS to ban something based on ONE persons feelings. I am sure the little girl had an uncle, a grandpa or somebody who could've taken her. My girls LOVE the daddy daughter dance that they have here each year, and it's a huge fundraiser. We also have a mother/son dance and while DS doesn't claim to love it to pieces I know he enjoys our night out. 

This is like saying there should be NO parent volunteers in school becasue some kids might feel left out that their parents aren't able to volunteer. This mother simply should of arranged another escort for her daughter if she wanted to participate. I bet you money she would not of been the only one at the dance without her biological father. 

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by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Instead of banning them altogether, they should adapt them to fit modern times.  

Based on experience locally, I know that if a child does not have a father or mother to take to the respective event, they can/will bring a grandparent, uncle, aunt, or the parent they DO have will go with - whether it is of the "wrong" gender or not.

Instead of complaining about discrimination, the single parents should just go ahead and accompany their child to all events and be open about why.  Today's society has to realize that there are indeed single parents out there, as well as same sex parents, and we all should be open to this fact by welcoming any parent to all events, no matter what gender is specified.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM
If we keep taking away traditions just because it's "unfair" we will be left with no traditions. Life isn't always fair and it's time our kids were taught that lesson so they are prepared for the real world!
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM
1 mom liked this

My kids schools don't have these types of events, but I do see why they could be considered discriminatory to some. If I weren't with the father of my children, or say my children had two mommies and no daddy, I would probably feel the same way about these events, because at some point, my kids would be left out.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM
If they take those events away at our school, it'll be sad for all of us...we look forward to them. I know there are a lot of single parent, etc. households out there - I grew up in one - but I don't think that the children who have both parents in the home should have to lose out either. I think she should have found another male to go with her daughter, and I'd be pissed if ONE person took something away from hundreds, even thousands, of parents and their children. We can't change every rule in life to suit our own needs and desires!! I'd be pissed if that mom was at our school! I think we try too hard to cover all bases, and the world is TOO "politically correct". Perhaps make it a "Parent/ Child Dance", but that even sounds silly. BTW, at our elementary school they just had the first WATCH D.O.G.S. event (Dads Of Great Students)....they had pizza and drinks and a presentation about it. It's a national program to try and get Father's more involved with their child/school. That said, I wish society would stop taking everything away just because it doesn't fit all people. If a woman chooses,for example, to have a baby via sperm bank does that mean she's gonna petition every school event that uses the word "daddy"? Or vice versa? I would hope not. Let our children enjoy traditions, if they are able to participate!
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