Friday, July 3, 2015

Oh My Goodness, I Need Advice


Alright, I need some advice.

I have absolutely no idea what to do about a situation with my daughter and a dance class she is in, and you guys are super smart, so please send advice!

My daughter, The Girl Child, has been dancing since she was three.


**Now before we go any further, in an effort to ward off the hundred or so emails I will probably get criticizing me for pushing my daughter to be a dancer like myself, no, I’m not a crazy dance mom who is determined to live vicariously through her child by forcing her to be everything that I wish I could have been. First off, I still dance, so that theory goes right out the window. Secondly, she is free to pursue whichever activities she wants (within reason and our budget), and to my delight she herself chose dance. So you can all chill, no one is over here cracking a whip on the poor girl.**



Now back to the issue.

So my daughter lives for dance recitals. It probably has something everything to do with the fact that she gets to wear a ridiculously sparkly costume, stage make-up, have her hair done up, and then once on the stage her little over-dramatic-center-of-attention personality can relish the fact that all eyes on her.

She LIVES for the performances.

Last year her ballet class did a super cute number to the song “Under the Sea” from the movie “The Little Mermaid.”


This year in addition to ballet she is also in a hip hop class. We just happened to get lucky and the dance troupe at the YMCA in our town is pretty good. I’m familiar with many of the dance studios in the area and it’s not unusual for the YMCA troupe to beat them in competitions. This also works out phenomenally for me because not only is she being trained well, but I can take her to class, drop The Boy Child at the Y daycare center (it has a playland that he loves), and then hit the gym with my dance mom friends.

Who doesn't enjoy a little well played multitasking?

So that is exactly what I have been doing.

I drop The Boy Child off at the daycare, walk her down to her class, stay a few minutes until she gets situated, and then because the teacher does not allow parents in the studio to watch (it’s distracting to the girls), I hit the gym with the other moms.

But tonight was the costume fitting and after it was done the teacher asked if us parents wanted to get a sneak peak at the girls routine.


I did, I watched, my jaw hit the floor, please send an icepack.

The song started out as a Kesha song and for anyone who is familiar with Kesha’s music, it wasn’t exactly something that I was all too thrilled to see my daughter dancing to. I tried to keep my cool and kept watching, but as the performance went on the music abruptly changed to Beyonce.

And that is how I broke my jaw.

Suddenly I was watching my brand-spanking new 7 year old (happy birthday!) shimmy her shoulders in a suggestive manner to the song “Single Ladies,” with lyrics that include “up in the club, we just broke up, doing my own little thing. I’ve got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips, hold me tighter than Dereon jeans. “

As if that weren’t enough, the teacher has the girls shaking their behinds at us just in time to turn around so they can flaunt their fingers while the lyrics scream out “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it.”

Someone hold me back.

And it didn’t stop there, on no it didn’t.

I don't want to go into detail, but when the song got to the part “I’m up on him, he’s up on me…” I about lost my freaking mind when I saw the "partner" part of the dance.

No. Fucking. Way.

I am furious.

She has been dancing this routine for two months now!! I’ve paid for the classes, I’ve paid for the performance, I already pre-paid for the costume, and now my 7 year old is going to be inappropriately displayed on stage for the entire world to see.

Oh hell no.

I was in no position to be speaking to her teacher so I simply gathered up my children and left.

I feel like an idiot for not figuring this out sooner, but in all reality I've never had an issue before. She's been dancing there for four years, several times a week, all the dances have been super cute, and because of our schedule she really doesn't practice at home.

I had no reason to suspect anything might be wrong.


My gut instinct is to yell at the director, pull her out of the class immediately, and then move her to a different studio. But in all honesty, because of the scholarship we are on at the YMCA, that really isn't a feasible financial option for me (our YMCA scholarship gives me a major price break on her classes).

More importantly, if I pull her out she is going to lose all her dance friends, two months of hard work, and the chance to wear an overly sparkly costume that she is very much looking forward to. Her life is so full of dissapointments that I hate to take away something that she has been working for months towards.

Yet my mommy instinct screams “none of that matters!! You need to protect her! This is inappropriate and the greater life lesson here is in teaching her that!!”

And that’s pretty much where I’m at right now.

(Big sigh)

What would you do?



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If you are looking for an actual article, check out what else I've been up to this week!





84 comments:

  1. Bummer! I would pull her out of the class and the performance, explain to her why and apologize to her for not knowing sooner what was going on. I would talk to the dance teacher to ask for an explanation and tell him/her that you will also be mentioning it to the management. I would ask the teacher if she/he plans to do more age appropriate stuff in the future.

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  2. I would definitely talk to her teacher about it but considering the amount of preparation that has gone in it isn't likely she will want to change the routine now. Although I completely agree that it is inappropriate and I would be pissed! I don't think that participating in this dance will be detrimental to your daughter in the long run, if it's just this once! She has you as a strong female role model and I assume she isn't watching it on t.v so I would just let her have the fun but perhaps discuss the song with her and see what she thinks about it.

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  3. This is very sick. And wrong. You shouldn't feel guilty about pulling her out. This makes me so sad. So many people think this kind of thing is okay. You can bet there will be at least one or two pedophiles watching in the audience of this performance, and they will love it. This is so disturbing, I'm so sorry Eden. :(

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  4. So wait... a stripper is worried that her daughter might be dancing inappropriately?

    I can't stop laughing.

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    1. Waitaminute... do you actually think it's okay for children to be dancing in a sexually suggestive manner? What kind of a sick person are you? YOU DON'T SEXUALIZE CHILDREN. Leave this blog and go get some help, you sick fuck.

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    2. I'm just saying as a stripper herself she can't go around claiming morals

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    3. She is not a stripper...geez get it together...she teaches a class to help abused women learn to love and appreciate their bodies again. Big difference! And, besides, do you think strippers don't want their children to be children and do child appropriate things! You know nothing apparently!

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    4. If she were speaking about other adults or herself, you'd be absolutely right.
      But she is not, she is speaking of children. Children being inappropriate. There's a huge difference between what sexually charged adults do and what children do. That's like saying a prostitute can't be upset that her 12 year old had sex. It's a child, damn right you can be upset at the sexualization of them.
      Plus, she's not a stripper. She teaches strip dance, she's not stripping in a club or in front of guys.

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    5. She is not a stripper...geez get it together...she teaches a class to help abused women learn to love and appreciate their bodies again. Big difference! And, besides, do you think strippers don't want their children to be children and do child appropriate things! You know nothing apparently!

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    6. Ok Anon #1, have you ever had an alcoholic beverage? If so, then you would have no right to be upset if your child's daycare provider gave your kid a beer for lunch. Or taught them to play beer pong.

      Children, are CHILDREN.

      I would be willing to bet my money on the fact that Eden, of all people, is very careful in how she teaches her daughter to present her body and herself to the world. Did you read the article she wrote about being naked in front of her daughter? I loved her theory on nudity. I see nothing wrong with embracing nudity and sexuality in the fashion that she does. Her "stripping" as you seem hell bent on referring to it as, is done in the context of "this is me, I own this, I'm proud of this." I'm not sure her daughter even knows that she teaches that class, but if she does I would be willing to bet that Eden has talked to her about her reasoning behind it. What her daughter is being taught in that class is "look at me, you can buy this!" and that is not the lesson that any mother would want her child to learn! Oh and also, she is a CHILD.

      This seems to me to be less about what her daughter is doing and more about your issues with what Eden is doing.

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    7. I don't see your reasoning at all here, Anonymous.

      If grown folks never had sex because it isn't appropriate for kids to have sex, then there would be no more kids.

      The point is grown ups doing grown up stuff, and kids NOT doing grown stuff.

      All of which you know, and you are just a troll.

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  5. I'm just saying as a stripper herself she can't go around claiming morals

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    1. Where on earth did you get the idea that Eden is a stripper??????? She offers strip-dancing classes to abused women to help them reconnect with their bodies. I'm pretty sure those aren't the same thing, last I checked. Check your facts before you make inflammatory, trollish comments.

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    2. I sing in the shower. Does that make me a singer? I can sew a shirt. Does that make me a tailor? You have chosen to define Eden as exactly one thing, a stripper, and because you have, you act as if you somehow have the right to judge her from your place of safe anonymity. You are wrong and a coward.

      Please leave her and us alone.

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    3. Let's see:

      1) Eden's not a stripper.

      2) Since when are strippers immoral? You might not approve of sex work, but doesn't give you insight into the souls of those who do it.

      3) She's concerned about the sexualization of her young daughter, it's got nothing to do with morality, it's about being a good parent.

      4) Have you ever tried thinking? Thinking about stuff makes you smarter.

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    4. Even if Eden was a stripper (it's work, and someone has to pay her bills. If that bugs you, you can just make a huge donation every fucking month or shut your mounth before criticize others for WORK), she is an ADULT and the girl is a child.

      Now unless you are somekind of pedophile you will understand the difference between an adult choice and a child of seven being taught how to dance in this manner. If you don't understand the difference and thing both are ok, or a mother shouldn't be worried with her child, please go seek help. You are in a dire need of it.

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    5. "Thinking about stuff makes you smarter" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Dying. Just dying.

      Yes, agreed!! Anyone who has a problem with anything that I'm doing, please feel free to make a really large donation and I promise you that I will spend my time sitting around and print Bible quote cards to hand out on the street corners and boost morality.

      You guys crack me up :)

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  6. Personally I think that's a hard one.
    I'd start by approaching the teacher and ask for a meeting with her and upper management.
    If you feel so compelled as to not allow her to do the dance, ask for a credit for future classes and that future performances be done in a child appropriate manner. I wouldn't pull my own child over one small issue like this. It was a bad judgement call, not that big of a deal, as far as pulling her from the dance team goes.
    As far as the performance, you have to decide whether or not you want to allow her to do it.
    You could allow it but use it as a means to a serious conversation.
    You could allow it and say nothing.
    Or you could pull her and tell her why.
    Although, she's incredibly smart, so perhaps you could speak with her about it and why it's not appropriate and allow her to make the decision.

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    1. You guys have given me so much to think about. I'm like swaying back and forth as I read each comment lol

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  7. Before I answer, I have a question. Is the dance itself overly sexually suggestive? Or is it strictly the lyrics in the music? Ok. That was 2 questions. My bad.

    I ask because both my kiddos have listened to lots of music that was totally fit to their age. For example, my 13 year old has listened to Winona's Big Brown Beaver by Primus for years and only recently figured (I mean like 2 weeks ago) figured out that the beaver was...lets just say...a bit different than the one he had in his mind.

    My point is that to the kids, it is all fun just music and dancing. They have no clue what the songs mean unless you make a big deal about it by wigging out or someone explains it all in detail.

    But I have always been a somewhat laid back parent. I expect my kids to be respectful (both of themselves and others), polite, and there had better not be too much skin hanging out of anywhere. But letting them have some fun with music they hear on the radio constantly but don't necessarily understand the real meaning of, to me, that isn't the end of the world.

    But this is all just me and I am sure I am about to get slammed for my point of view and style of parenting. I am totally ok with that cuz my kids and all their friends that I end up mothering as well are AMAZING and I am super proud to be their mom/adopted-temp-mom.

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    1. My guess, just based on the description of the movements, would be that it's suggestive :)

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    2. Agreed. This seems to be a combination of a suggestive dance and the lyrics of the song. This needs to be taken up with the dance director and their boss. And the other parents.

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    3. And let me quickly clarify something, if the dance itself is dripping with sex and sexual moves, I would be pulling my kid out in a heartbeat. That is clearly not ok. I just got the impression that it was more the choice in songs that was in question.

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    4. Totally not trying to troll you, but yea I think bc eden describes the butt shaking and chest shaking and the moment when she saw her daughter do something inappropriate with her partner, that it's probably the dance moves :)

      I agree though if it were just the lyrics I might let it slide

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    5. Butt shaking and chest shaking wouldn't bother me too much. Sexually grinding on the kid next to her would definitely cross the line for me. I think I missed that part. Kids kept interrupting me while was trying to read and I must have lost my place.

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    6. Haha! Happens to the best of us

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    7. I was thinking it was more the dance moves too. I mean I've heard that song zillions of times (hasn't everyone?) and I didn't really know any of the lyrics besides "All the single ladies" and "If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it". Certainly I can't be the only one?

      This made me rewatch the video (one of THE BEST VIDEOS OF ALL TIME, thanks Kanye/sorry TSwift) and Beyonce herself doesn't grind or come into contact with the other girls.

      So yeah, if the 7 year olds are doing it and she isn't, THAT'S a problem.

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    8. I knew what you meant chica :) Yes, it's the dance moves that have me freaked out. There was basically grinding. AAAHHH!!

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    9. I was really hoping it was more of a music issue for your girls' feelings. But as easy going as I am, I think I would have to pull mine out of the dance. Unless the teacher can pull the grinding part out last minute. She would freak out and might hate me for a while but someday (I hope) she would understand. I feel very lucky mine is into karate. I never have to worry about problems like these and bonus! she is already a junior second degree black belt at 9 years old so I am pretty sure I don't have as much to worry about when she starts dating. I think the boys mom might have to worry. :) Good luck! You will make the right choice for your family.

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    10. I'm going to put The Boy Child in karate as well. I love the discipline it teaches, and AWESOME for your daughter!! How empowering for her!!

      I talked to the teacher and as soon as I have a few more details I'll let you all know what I decided!

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  8. Do not pull her out. That's almost like quitting a job because you don't like the boss, then you don't have a job. You won't be able to send her to a different studio, would you?

    Secondly, I think you may be overreacting a little, although it's true I didn't see the girls doing what looks like grinding. Beyonce is classier than the Britney Spears we were exposed to as a kid, and I think kids these days are already overexposed to the ideas of dating, making out, and sex.

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    1. True, but our lienency towards sexual expression is why our children are over exposed. Beyonce or not, children shouldn't be grinding on other children or shaking their assessment at adults. If we teach them it's ok when they are young, how will we rein them back in as teenagers?

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    2. Thanks for your thoughts, you guys are giving me a lot to mull over!

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    3. The issue wasn't with the teacher. The issue was with *the job to be performed*. If your boss, whom you like, asked you to perform inappropriately at work (for which you GET money, not PAY it -- big difference), you would absolutely be in the right to quit and seek employment elsewhere, or in a different department, or ask to be assigned to a different team.

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  9. Hey...being "up in the club, just after a break up, doing your own thing with a man on your hips" sounds just like you. This song is really about female empowerment and using sexuality as power, which you may have discussed in a previous post. If the problem is that young girls shouldn't be acting it out, consider that it's what you have been role modeling for her already. She may be acting "grown up" for fun, not because she is oversexualized. Doesn't your boy child want to marry a friend?

    I would also consider that these girls are smart--they're doing their routine well for the sake of dancing well, not because they want to attract boys with their nonexistent boobs.

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    1. I have to disagree. The song is less about female empowerment and more about making an ex jealous. If she just broke up with someone, why does she need a new man on her hip?

      Using sexuality as empowerment at this age is much to young. Little boys wanting to marry a friend is not the same thing as flaunting your body. Little boys also want to marry their mothers, they don't know what it means except "you are my friend and I want to be friends for a long time."

      Teaching a seven year old that her body has sexual power is teaching her to be a myriad of things we don't want her to be. Those are the girls that sleep with their teachers for grades. A break up should never find empowerment in physicality alone.

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  10. Your parenting posts always make me skeptical because I remember you are a mommy blogger and uncomfortable because I feel like you edge on being one of those overcontrolling, self righteous, easily annoyed mothers.

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    1. She isn't a mommy blogger, she is a lifestyle blogger who hits on hard to talk about subjects. This blog has mothering topics in it bc she is a mother, but it's definitely not a mommy blog.

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  11. When I heard "Oh my goodness" I actually expected something serious.

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    1. "Oh my goodness" sounds exactly like what this post was, a sigh of bewilderment.

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  12. I have a theory, Eden, that whenever you publicly ask for advice you already know you're wrong and just need people to tell you again. You are so self-assured in all other decisions so that's what I think.

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    1. I have a theory, that you are the same troll that posted about her being a mommy blogger, and not liking the title of the post.

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    2. I have a theory that you are the same one person who adds a comment to new comments immediately after they're published.

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    3. I'll claim 4 of them including these two, but I'm here for a discussion. You seem to be here to complain and have your opinions heard. Of you hate this blog so much, why are you here? Is your life really so sad that your entertainment comes from things that bother you?

      Seek help.

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    4. Such cattiness and rudeness in so many blog readers. smh

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    5. Great theory, thanks for sharing! You should totally get your own blog or something!

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  13. I agree with Juliette. Def need to talk to Director and dance teacher but also should have a conversation with the girl child. Tell her your concerns (practice with a friend to get your words and tone age-appropriate), and let her make the decision. Then support it. So many great life lessons for her to learn here - arguably the most important being that you value and respect her decision-making skills/intellect AND that you will love and support her always - even if she doesn't always choose to do what you might. (And then proactively make sure neither of you are in this situation again).

    Good luck Eden - parenting is not for the weak. Or as I tell myself during a bad day (credit to another blogger - apologies but I don't remember who): Carry on Warrior, only six more hours till bedtime.

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    1. I'll add my vote to this comment. Really well put!

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    2. I agree, I am going to call the director tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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  14. First, I would take several deep breaths because, holy hell that's not cool. Then, I would definitely talk to the dance teacher, and see what her thought process was behind it. No matter her reasoning, it definitely isn't appropriate for a 7 year old, there are NUMEROUS safe hip hop songs they can dance to.
    I would also talk to your daughter, because this is important to her. On one hand, you have to do what is best for her, but y'know, she might not see it that way.
    Anyway, that is my childless opinion. I know you will make the best choice for you and your daughter. :3 Stay strong.

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  15. How do the other dance moms feel?

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    1. I haven't gotten a chance to talk to them because we saw the routine at the end of the last class and then scattered in a million directions. I am most definitely interested to talk with them this week!

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    2. Talk to them... I tend to be the over protective stepmom, and other moms tend to talk me down.

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  16. My personal take - I think you should try and find a different dance class after the recital, but try and talk to the dance teacher first to maybe "tone it down". Right now they are basically in private, but in front of an audience of who knows what kind of pervs. I'm sure you're not the only Dance Mom thinking this.

    Basically, as long as The Girl Child knows how you feel about it and why you're doing it. Tell her if she wants to dance in the house to Queen Bey, that's different than doing it in front of a bunch of people. She will get that.

    But this program just seems... gross. You gotta get her out. If the 7 year olds are grinding to Beyonce then the 9 year olds are twerking to Miley Cyrus.

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    1. I know right? What will next time bring!!??

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  17. When I was around 6 or 7 I took dance classes. (This was in 1990, by the way.) During one of my recitals we danced to "Queen of the Night." Totally inappropriate song. The dance was probably suggestive as well. But the kind of person I turned out to be was not impacted in the least by that performance.

    I'm not trying to excuse what's going on with your daughter, but I also don't think it's going to change her likelihood of achieving personal or professional success in life. I would probably speak to the teacher after the performance and express your concerns.

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  18. I just pictured this situation with my own daughter and I would have spoken to the teacher right then and there. Are you in contact with the other mothers in the class? You'll have a much stronger position if you all go in together. You probably weren't the only one who was distressed by what you saw.

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    1. I am def going to talk to the other mother's at the next class!

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  19. Wow. I go away for a weekend and apparently miss a party here. Who knew?

    Do any of the directors or higher ups at your Y know what the dance looks like or what songs they're using? I can't imagine them knowing and approving of a dance like this, much less using those songs. There are so many other songs that the kids could dance to. What is that teacher thinking?

    I'm torn, and as I don't have kids, I really don't know what I'd do in your situation. Part of me wants to look at my 7-year-olds at work and I'm all Protective Babysitter "OH HELL NO!!!" but another part of me is the empathetic "But they've worked so hard and they don't really know what any of it means and they're looking forward to the recital and..."

    *sigh*

    I'd definitely talk to the teacher though if you can and ask her (in a much nicer way) WTF was going through her mind when she came up with these songs and routine. Are you in contact with any of the other kids' parents? Do you know if they're upset about this as well?

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    1. I know right, I was watching the comment thread roll in like "what the hell" lol!

      I'm torn too, but you all have given me a lot of great advice to think through!

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    2. And I'm not sure if the higher up's know what music is being used, but I'm definitely going to ask!

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  20. You probably aren't the only mother who feels this way. Talk to other parents and let your collective voices be heard by the YMCA director/dance teacher. As people working with children it is their responsibility to have appropriate activities, choreography, dress and song choice. As a parent you should never feel bad about reminding them of such responsibilities, and a group of parents speaking out about it will make an impact. It's like they forgot what the "C" in YMCA stands for. Getting kids to twerk to suggestive songs doesn't exactly adhere to their mission statement.

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    1. You know that the "M" stands for "Men's" right?
      And they officially changed the name to The Y specifically because it was no longer only for young Christian men. Your argument falls through.

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    2. I know, you would think that as an organization that tries to promote morals and valued living that they would have a few more lol!

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  21. Eek. Tough call. Can you just opt out of the recital?

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  22. Blogger ate my comment....

    You have way too many Negative Nancy chicks trying to bully you and they should be ashamed of themselves.

    You are right to but upset about what that teacher is teaching your 6 year old. It is definitely not age appropriate. Why do grown ups want kids to grow up so fast? I will never understand what is so good about sexually objectifying little kids? How is a 6 year old going to know what is appropriate or not if they are constantly getting mixed messages.

    I think from all that I have read of your blog, Eden, you are doing a great job raising your children. Keep it up.

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    1. Aw thanks love :) I appreciate your kind words on my parenting lol. It's a tough job that I often feel like I'm failing at!!

      I agree, kids are shoved into adult roles WAY to early and I'm not OK with it.

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  23. Well it's a tough one, but you're absolutely right to be concerned. Too many people think having little kids act in a sexual way is cute, the same way seeing them do other grown up stuff is cute. Such people are either dangerously naive or just irresponsible.

    I would talk to her teacher, make your concerns known, I'll be you're not the only mother having doubts.

    Is it possible to have her skip this particular recital, but still take future classes so she can still see her friends?

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    1. Thanks for the advice love :) I talked to the teacher and will update you as soon as I have a few more details :)

      Yes, she could take future classes but it would be with the same teacher, and then we may still have the same issues....

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  24. Not sure if this is too late, but here's how I feel; I have 3 girls (5 &under) and I too, would probably be mortified. However, with as much work as your daughter's put in, I would first try talking to the teacher about your feelings. Maybe suggest making the routine less sexual. Or maybe even suggesting your daughter doing her own moves during the really uncomfortable parts. I think if it were me, I would have a serious talk with my child about how this is a extremely "mature" act and certainly not appropriate behavior outside of dance class. I would explain everything you feel about it and the reasons for it, but I don't think it would be a good idea to completely pull her from the class. It would probably break her heart and she'll probably end up having a lot of resentment. At the end of the day though, you know what's best for your baby, as no one else knows her like you do. Best wishes!

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    1. Nope, not to late! I like your insights into talking with my daughter and not just making the decision for her :) It's always important to remember that they learn more when they learn with you ;)

      Thanks!!

      *hugs*

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  25. If your gut tells you this is wrong (and it is), then you need to go with that instinct.

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  26. That's ridiculous. I wouldn't let my child participate and would explain to her that sometimes you just don't do what everybody else does and that can be hard sometimes, but it's necessary.

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  27. You have a valuable opportunity here to teach your daughter that sometimes doing the right thing is hard - sometimes it costs us friends, or money, or fun opportunities to wear sparkly dresses- but it's still worth doing anyway. (Just found your blog today; enjoying it so far.)

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    1. I agree, thank you!!

      Did you read my article about the time I pulled her from school and went up against the school system? It was basically the same kind of situation, where it was more important to have her learn to stand up for what is right and not take the easy way out and do something wrong.

      This parenting gig is tough! Welcome to the blog!!!!!

      *hugs*

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  28. Oh wow...I totally 100% understand your dilemma! Especially because you have mentioned that you are a Christian...but even putting religion aside for a minute, that does NOT sound like an appropriate routine for little girls! But on the other hand, your daughter is too young to understand why you would be pulling her out (and actually explaining it to her would kind of defeat the purpose, lol) and it's not like you're in a position to tempt her with a different treat/prize/whatever instead of the recital...ugh. This is definitely an icky situation. I really wonder what was going through this teacher's head, it sounds like all the previous dances were fine so what gives? I guess I would talk to the teacher and see if the dance can be modified. Even using the same music might be okay if the dance moves are changed to be more appropriate. If this particular situation can be fixed, I wouldn't worry about keeping her in the class because I think the teacher will get the message and not do it again, ESPECIALLY since she had never done it before. Looking forward to seeing what you decided! Although probably not for a few posts since you always like to keep us hanging, lol (like with the boy child's surgery and I think some of the guy stuff also)

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