Friday, December 12, 2008

Kiddie Formals

My daughter's elementary school had a formal dance tonight. You read that correctly. I did use the words elementary, school, formal, and dance in the same sentence on purpose. Not only did the school have a formal, but it was for all grades, K-5 together.

Now, please, someone tell me if I am the only parent out there that thinks this is a little on the wrong side. If the dance were a father/daughter type deal for the little ones, I could see that. However, a dance? A formal dance for 5 year olds? Some of those kids may have even just barely turned 5. I just don't get it.

I find the whole thing a bit absurd and even a little vulgar. I know that some of the 5th graders are going as couples, and I think it is totally in appropriate for the school to expose the little ones to that in a dance setting as well. Don't we already over sexualize our children these days, and over expose them to those kinds of things? Why should the school encourage that behaviour?

In fact, when it was planned by the PTO, they intended to have it be a full on chaperoned dance that you could drop your child off at.

The kids bought tickets for the dance. They were to get their pictures taken when they got in, and then they had refreshments. Well, they served the kids hot chocolate and nachos. Again, you read that correctly. They served kids in formal clothes nachos.

I told a friend of mine about it, and that they sold tickets. She pro ceded to ask how much the hotel rooms for after were also. See, she was making the point of how I feel; Five year old children do not need to be at a dance where other kids are going as a couple.

The worst part, though, is that my daughter is the one who gets the raw deal out of it. A lot of her little friends are going. She isn't. All day Friday, she and I kept getting ask if she were going during the pick up and drop off at school. I told her we would do something else special, but of course, she feels left out. I can't tell you how much that upsets me as a parent, to be the one who makes a choice that causes my child to feel left out.

I know that as her parent, I will make decisions that won't be popular with her, and apparently some times even other parents. I have to stick to my gut, though, and my gut says this isn't a good thing. If it starts now, where will it go, and where will it end? I choose to keep her on the straight and narrow path. It may be more difficult, but it leads to a better place. At least, I hope it does.