I’ve written a couple of posts recently about Ava’s school and about our schooling system in general. I think I should make a disclaimer before I continue with this post. I love her school. In terms of choices, it was the right one for her. Well rounded, strong academically, strong in the sporting arena, strong in the arts. We believe she gets an opportunity to explore who she is and what she likes by having a wide variety to activities to participate in that will mould and shape her into the woman she’s destined to become.
This Friday, their foundation (Grade R & Grade 1) phase are having a school disco. We’re to drop her off at the school hall at 16h00 and collect her at 18h00. She’s desperate to go, she’s also desperate for one of those little girl padded bras and a midriff top. She’s 5!
We’re not allowing her to. And here’s why:
I’m glad her dad and I are in absolute agreement on this. It would be a really tough parenting battle because I feel quite strongly about it. I feel that there is WAY too much pressure on kids these days, girls especially, to grow up, to portray themselves as older and more mature than what they are. Little Lolita’s. I won’t allow her to wear wedge sandals, T-shirts with adult slogans on them or with her midriff exposed or the back cut away and over my dead body will she wear a padded bra at 5 years old. So there is no way in hell I’m allowing her to go to a disco! Even if it’s at the school and supervised by the teachers. Even if everyone else thinks it’s cute. NO! Just no! There is nothing cute about children trying to imitate adults. There is nothing cute in my mind about encouraging my sweet, innocent, 5 year old tomboy to grow up faster than she already is.
I also have an issue with dropping her off there, it’s not in the school yard, how will they be supervised? Will there be enough teachers on duty? Who will make sure no one slips out?
If the school had said drop her off for a school picnic with age appropriate games I’d have allowed it in a heartbeat, because I am a strong believer in allowing and keeping a child a child for as long as possible. I know my opinion will not be popular with Ava when she becomes a tween, she’s already rather unhappy about the fact that she can’t go to the disco, because Mom said so, but I don’t want her exposed to this type of tween/teen activities yet. I feel she’s too young, I want to keep her innocence intact for as long as possible.
There is plenty of time to grow up, why does it have to be so rushed? Why is it seen as cute when little children imitate adult behaviour?
I never attended my first school disco until I was 13 and as a desperately shy child, I honestly hated every minute of it. It was so uncomfortable, all that pressure to wear the right outfit, to look the part of a young woman, I remember I went with a friend from school and we came downstairs wearing bright pink, tight mini tube skirts (it was 1986) and her mom and my mom took one look at us and sent us right back to the room to change.
I don’t want my girls experiencing that kind of pressure from such a young age. There is plenty of time for that when it’s age appropriate.
Or am I over thinking this?
Actually, don’t answer that question, because you won’t sway my opinion on this, but would you let your 5 year old go?
Edited to add: after a nice chat with Ava’s teacher last night, getting clarity on exactly the supervision will include, as well as her assurance that the school does this every year and the kids play games and have a lot of fun, against my better judgement, we’ve decided to let Ava go because she is desperate to attend. Will let you know how THAT goes.