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Why I won’t be allowing Ava to attend her first disco… {hint} she’s FIVE!

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.

26 Comments

  • Antoinette

    September 2, 2015 at 9:08 am

    I agree with you – kids need to be kids for as long as possible …my 7 year old knows that if there is a disco at school don’t even bother asking if you can go ….she knows the answer is a resounding no!

    Reply
  • Lisa Randall

    September 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Um.. my daughter is 9 and I wouldn’t let her go if we were in the same situation. Kids are forced to grow up so quickly and it makes me sad. They should be running around the garden, playing with a skipping rope and a hula hoop 🙂

    Reply
  • charne

    September 2, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Wow, this is a tough one! Because, while i agree with you wholeheartedly about the inappropriateness of a disco for 5 and 6 year olds, there is another element which i am sure you have thought about. And that is, how will she be affected by being left out of what “everyone else” is doing. What I personally would do is try to find out if any of her friends parents feel the same and hopefully they do. Then arrange something FUN and age appropriate to do together on the same day. That way when they go back to school and everyone is talking about the disco, they will have had their own fun day to speak of.

    Reply
    • Sharon

      September 2, 2015 at 9:31 am

      It’s exactly what we have done. All her friends are going so we are allowing her to go, but we will be with her besties parents, at their house which is like 500m from the school and can fetch them early, where we plan to braai together and let the kids play.

      Reply
  • Liz

    September 2, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Wholeheartedly agree with you! And if it’s just playing games etc, why not call it exactly what you’ve suggested – a picnic, or even a games night. Why call it a Disco?!

    Reply
  • Bianca

    September 2, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I totally agree with you! I can’t believe the school is encouraging discos at 5 years old! If it’s just games etc. why even call it a disco? Like you say, what is the rush for them to grow up?!

    Reply
  • kate

    September 2, 2015 at 10:06 am

    My parents said yes once when I was about 10 and I also hated it. Popular girls were asked to dance by popular boys and the rest of us just stood there looking out of place. Didn’t go to another school “disco” until my matric farewell! But that was my choice.

    Reply
  • Lise

    September 2, 2015 at 10:27 am

    With you on this one, kids need to be allowed to be kids. They really shouldn’t call it a disco. Call it a party or something less “teenage”.

    Reply
  • Caroline

    September 2, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I totally get your point of view… and i also wouldn’t allow it. even after speaking to the teacher I’d have a hard time changing my mind…

    Reply
  • Gaelyn Cokayne

    September 2, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Z’s school is an all girls school and the closest thing they have to a disco is a dance-a-thon where the sports teachers take over the hall on a Friday evening for 2 hours and teach the girls fun dances to popular songs and even some line dancing. No boys, no dressing up, no disco lights – it’s about dancing. That I can handle. I agree with you and your concerns about a disco if it means what we know discos as, but as you said at the end after chatting to the teacher she clarified that it is more about a social games night than a disco in the traditional sense. If the focus is on fun and games rather than dressing up and “partying” I think Ava will do just fine. As will you xxx

    Reply
    • Sharon

      September 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Yep! Sad but true! Check out the next time you’re in your local Woolies.. the girls underwear section! Ava spotted it and now she’s desperate for one!

      Reply
  • wobbly02

    September 8, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Shew it is a “difficult” one specially when all the other kids are going along-good to hear though that there was clairty from the teacher. I had a similar situation recently where my daughter (9years) was invited to a sleepover party-it started with lunch at a shopping centre to move along to the childs house and then continue the next day till 12. Needless to say I told my daughter she would not be sleeping over and i would arrange to collect her and if the party continued the next day I would take her back in the morning-needless to say when I dropped her off the mom asked me why I wouldn’t allow a sleepover and proceeded to tell me she wouldn’t have allowed her daughter to sleep out till she reaches double digits

    Reply

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