Pastor David Bowen talks about the importance of father-daughter dances
Pastor David Bowen talks about the importance of father-daughter dances.
Recently both the Boston Globe and the New York Times ran an article about the modern family era and how events like the traditional father-daughter dance are slowly going away. Why? They surmised it was to “Get more in line with the times.”
What does that mean? It means life––the way it was before technology, before changes in the social structure, and before the huge pressure to succeed––is no longer like it once was. School officials quoted in the New York Times article said things like, father-daughter dances “Don’t represent who we are anymore.” If a father-daughter dance doesn’t represent who we are any more, then what does?
Some issues have been around for generations. It doesn’t matter if you have a preschooler or a high schooler. The cost of college is an issue every family faces. Budgets, schedules, and responsibilities are everyday issues families routinely try their best to juggle. And, yes, sometimes it’s hard to get it all done. However, times have been hard before. In fact, hard times can typically bring families closer together.
According to this new research, all that seems to be changing. Now daily life seems to be causing a divide. For example, kids struggle with the excessive use of technology, whether it be online gaming or social media, the addiction is real. Single parent households are more common. Family meals shared at the family table are becoming the exception not the norm. Today, society has put pressure on the American family. With that pressure comes the expectation to conform. But what is a family expected to conform to? Kids need to know where they fit in. To do so, families need structure.
In our family, our kids know whose turn it is to take out the trash and how to work together to get the dishes washed and put away. They understand that we function as a unit, a family. We have certain weekly times that are family time. We enjoy each other; we trust each other; we learn and grow together. To us, that is normal. However, according to recent studies, this is not what is happening across our country.
We can’t change how other families interact with each other or how they choose to spend their time but each of us can and do have a say in how our house functions. I don’t believe I want to “get more in line with the times,” especially if it means changing what we have now. I want to have a very clear response if someone asks, as a family “who are you?”
While the world worries about gender stereotypes, my concern––and hopefully yours––is our children. I do have daughters. In a time, sooner than later, they’re going to be young adults and then adults. As girls become teens and then young ladies and eventually adult women, I want them to know how special a family is. I want them to know that they have someone they can rely on and trust. This takes time and effort and events like a father-daughter dance are among those times where she can learn the value of being respected and treated as she should be treated.
What is wrong with a child, a teenager, or a young person feeling loved and cared for? I’ll leave it to others to “get more in line with the times.” I am going to be busy planning my next date with my daughter––maybe I’ll take her to a father-daughter dance.