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

Rant 71

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 The two of us have made a point of deciding who goes to events at school based on our family's needs, not on some outdated notion that little girls need their daddies more and little guys are mama's boys.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?


Image via sameliaz8/Flickr

activities, back to school, family, exes


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nonmember avatar maritza

I totally understand how a child (or parent) would feel alienated in these situations.
That being said, I also understand these events are to encourage bonds between opposite gendered children/parents. Children NEED to learn how to positively interact with the opposite sex, and this is one way to do so.
Maybe it's just me, but as a single parent I KNOW I have the advantage of teaching my children to
1; find alternative solutions (Who CAN "fill in" the absent parent role? Is the school willing to add an event for same-sex parents? Why not organize an event "EXCLUSIVELY" for those excluded?)
2; learn to accept and deal with rejection/exclusion/disappointment.
The truth is, they WILL be excluded from social activity at some point. Cliques, clubs, parties, the "cool table" at lunch. It's a part of life and growing up. Letting a child experience this helps the become emotionally stable.

STOP hovering & crying about how Sally, Johnny, Mary and Pete couldn't participate in something. Teach them WHY some exclusions are acceptable.

I would LOOOVVVEEE to play Pro Football; unfortunately, being female, short, waaayyy out of shape (ad the fact that I SUCK!!) exclude me from participating...
Such is life.

Raquel Spencer

I'm not sure why they would ban these dances.  My dad couldn't take my younger sister to her Father/Daughter dance when she was in elementary school, I was 20 at the time.  I took her and no one had a problem with a woman taking her to the dance.  For us it was a sister/sister dance.  Why don't they just call it a family dance rather than a daddy/daughter or mom/son dance.  I think that would solve the problem.

Rebecca Craig

I was a single parent for yrs before I got remarried and my daughter and son were never left out...they simply took one of my friends or as the called them "uncle" and no they weren't "special" friends children are lucky enough to have an extended family that includeds quite a few people not blood related....usually my daughter picked her god father to accompany her to these special events since he was the closest thing to a father she had at the time. Really it's all on how u look at things and how u teach your children to look at things...quit teaching our children the world owes them something and everything needs to be changed to cater to their every need simply cause they got the short end of the stick people. Suck it up and get on with it.

Michelle Lee-Reid

We don't have dances, but we have Muffins for Moms (and other special women), Donuts for Dads (and other special men) and Goodies for Grandfolks.  It is a nice way to get everyone into the school (they always have a tremendous turnout--especially the Moms morning.  It is before school and they can bring anyone they want--aunts, grandparents, siblings--and the teachers stress this.  

Desiree Greenwood

Banning out these events is beyond unreasonable I am a single mother of two a boy and girl and my daughter is going to her father daughter dance this year with my sons father.... Calling this unfair b/c you cant find away around it and taking it from others is just selfish....

nonmember avatar stephen senia

You left out one VERY important fact in this story. The school district found out that single sex events are illegal under Rhode Island Law. They are working to amend the law and once they do the dances will be back.

nonmember avatar JACKIE PEREZ


JillF... JillFrazier75

At my sons school they have events and its "Lunch with a loved one" that way it doesnt single anybody out the child can feel free to invite whomever they want.  I agree that these dances are outdated and single kids out...they can think of more creative ways to foster the parent/ child relationship.

nonmember avatar Jen

I think it is ridiculous to stop them. I could argue it is discriminatory to my children to stop them just because they have two parents. People need to stop being so sensitive. My dad died when I was three and I never felt left out of dances because either my brother, uncle or grandpa took me. It is just a title of an event and until people realize it we will always have petty arguments.

Amy Boomer

being the proud 55 year old father of a very active BOY, I could not disagree with you more. The NAACP feels that father figures are a good thing, sooo...It's liberal dingbats like you that are going to take down the good ol' USA. Just sayin...

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