46 answers

A School Dance..... for an 11 Year Old?

On October 10th there is a middle school dance, my daughter is 11 and wanted to go to the dance, however her father and I decided she is too young. Today she went to a friends house and when i was talking to the mother she metioned about 12 girls in Antonia's grade coming over to her house after the dance for a sleepover. I was shocked, I excepted no 6th graders to be attending the dance. I was wrong. She told me that most of the 6th graders go form about 6pm-7:30pm, and most of the 8th graders don't even arrive to 7:30, 8 o'clock. When I spoke to my husband about this he was repulsed. He told me that 11 was about 2 or 3 years to young to even consider going to a dance and he didn't care if every other 11 year old on the planet was going, he still said no. I no longer see a reason to say no if she is only going for a short while and will be with other girls her age. I would like to know your opinions? Is it right to let her go to the dance? Or am i wrong?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My husband has seen the answers and we decided that we would let her go. But only after calling the school to ask about chaperones. We are not able to chaperone as they already have 20 parents and 5 teachers. However the school explained that while the dance runs form 6pm to 9:30pm, 6th graders must leave before 8pm. We also know 2 of the mothers who are chaperones. He decided we will try this, if she has fun and the mothers say there is nothing fishy going on then we will let her go a second time.

Featured Answers

I really don't see a problem with this at all. I do see a problem however if she is not allowed to go. It is a school sponsored event and there will be chaperones. I imagine the girls will hang out in one big group on one side of the gym and the boys will be in another group across the gym:). My daughter has been attending dances since 7th grade. She loves them and I can not imagine denying her this middle school experience. I actually prefer her going to a chaperoned, school sponsored dance versus a shopping trip to the mall (she has not done this although she frequently asked to) or an afternoon at the movies or a night of skating at the ice rink where a parent drops off and picks up.

7 moms found this helpful

As I recall, middle school dances went about like this:
The girls got on the dance floor in groups.
The boys hung out around the edges of the room too afraid to dance with the girls.
Oh, and we did the electric slide.
Parents picked us up around 8.
Nothing inappropriate about it.

7 moms found this helpful

Let her go Mom!!! Don't make her become "that girl whose parents are weird and won't let her go to the dance." Like everyone else said, the dance will be well chaperoned (you can volunteer to be one if it makes you feel better!) And most likely it'll just be a bunch of kids hanging around talking. The whole social scene is very difficult at this age. Don't make it any harder on her!

6 moms found this helpful

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I don't get it. You allow your child to attend this school all day with all of these kids, but she cannot participate in the SCHOOL dance with the same kids?

She is in 6th grade.. She is in middle school.. Yes, she should be allowed to attend with her friends. She is no longer a baby, she is a young lady now.

It is totally chaperoned. All of the Principals, many of the teachers and other parents will be there.. If you do not believe it, you AND your husband should volunteer to chaperone..

The girls all dance in giant groups and the boys mainly end up running around the room chasing each other. There are a few groups of boys and girls dancing all together.. They are not smooching in corners or slow dancing.

I cannot think of a better way for her to attend her first dance.. Totally monitored with her beloved parents there.. She will not end up engaged.. She just wants to be with her friends..

12 moms found this helpful

Dancer:

When I was in middle school - we had dances...they were from 6PM to 8PM...and parents and teachers were EVERYWHERE!!!

I don't know if it's RIGHT or WRONG - I'm not you and I don't know your values or beliefs or how you have raised your daughter. I think you and your husband both need to attend the dance to see for yourself what is going on...you maybe thinking of dances you attended in HIGH SCHOOL...

My kids are in elementary school and they have an annual dance in October...they have pizzza, hot dogs and pop corn.

There are tables and they do things like limbo, bunny hop, electric slide, etc. it's just for SCHOOL SPIRIT...the kids are NOT out dancing like an adult would - thank God!! they are kids having fun and I don't see a problem with it.

I would let her go to the dance and be a chaperone so I could see for myself what's going on. If you have been talking with your daughter about your stance/values, beliefs, etc. then I wouldn't have a problem with my child going...

10 moms found this helpful

There is nothing wrong in my opinion for her to go to a school dance. They have chaperones either parents or teachers. I am not one to give into the everybody else is doing it, but in this case I think it would be wrong for her to have to miss it. If it were a bunch of kids hanging out somewhere or going to a movie then I would say she is too young but a school function she should be able to participate in. Your husband has to realize that your daughter will be exposed to things in the next few years, and keeping her home is not going to prevent it. If you don't show her you trust her you will not be sending her a positive message. This is a tough time and the perfect time for you and your husband to communicate with her and tell her what you expect from her. Talk to her about boys, drugs, drinking, etc. The best thing you can do for her verses keeping her home is to arm her with the tools she needs to make good decisions. I was always open with my children I was never one of those not my kid kind of parents, and it worked for me. I think you and your husband should sit down with her and talk to her about what your fears are and make a compromise with her. Let her know if she breaks the rules she will loose your trust. You have to give her some room to grow and learn, or once she gets loose she will rebel.

10 moms found this helpful

Eh, my son's middle school had a dance for the 5th to 8th graders (that is middle school in my district). It was well chaperoned, at the local civic center, and parents were allowed to stay if they wanted.

I let him go. He met up with a bunch of guys and they hung out drinking bad punch and eating chips and he texted me on and off the entire time. No-one went as a "date" - in fact, I don't remember that the younger grades even danced boy/girl. It was the typical girls lined up on one side and boys on the other with a huge no-man's land in between.

It was really harmless. And so boring that he never went to another middle school dance. LOL

If your daughter is going with a gaggle of girls and the dance is well chaperoned I really don't see the harm in it.

:)

9 moms found this helpful

Um, not sure why your so against a school dance function?? There are chaperones. Why would you expect 6th graders not to attend when it is for the whole school. She would have had alot of fun! My daughters first one was in 7th grade (middle school here)We had so much fun picking out her dress and she had such a great time! What is wrong with sleepovers? I guess I dont understand why your so shocked and upset about this.

9 moms found this helpful

I do not see the problem here. This is a SCHOOL dance, not the prom. What is the difference between your daughter attending a school dance or having tons of her girdfriends over and them dancing and socializing at home? Since it is at school, there will be adult chaperones.
I have an 8 year old daughter and if there was a school dance, she would be allowed to go.

8 moms found this helpful

Oh please!! Let her go.
It's a dance. It's fun. All of our 6th graders go. There is no hanky panky. The girls hang out and dance. The boys eat. The older kids don't give the younger kids the time of day anyway.
I am sure that if you volunteered to chaperone or serve snacks, the people running the dance would love to have you. That way you could keep an eye out on your daughter and she would not feel left out. If you want to ostracize a child -- this is the way to do it. Middle school is hard enough. Volunteer to be there and let her attend.
LBC

Updated

Oh please!! Let her go.
It's a dance. It's fun. All of our 6th graders go. There is no hanky panky. The girls hang out and dance. The boys eat. The older kids don't give the younger kids the time of day anyway.
I am sure that if you volunteered to chaperone or serve snacks, the people running the dance would love to have you. That way you could keep an eye out on your daughter and she would not feel left out. If you want to ostracize a child -- this is the way to do it. Middle school is hard enough. Volunteer to be there and let her attend.
LBC

8 moms found this helpful

middle school dances are a big gym full of boys and girls. its not a dating situation. its just a fun time. kids all dance in a huddle and have fun.

8 moms found this helpful

If we were in that situation and our daughter had friends going, I would definitely let her go. If we didn't feel comfortable with the adult supervision that was going to be there then either my husband or I would stick around. Volunteer to be a helper, even for those few hours or just stay. Social dances and hanging out with friends at that age is so special for them. Of course, adult supervision is a must too but that can be worked out.

Almost forgot, our daughter actually did attend a dance while in 6th grade (11 yrs. old) and I think half of the teachers from the school were there with very watchful eyes. If you don't know, ask the school office how security and chaperones are handled.

7 moms found this helpful

I really don't see a problem with this at all. I do see a problem however if she is not allowed to go. It is a school sponsored event and there will be chaperones. I imagine the girls will hang out in one big group on one side of the gym and the boys will be in another group across the gym:). My daughter has been attending dances since 7th grade. She loves them and I can not imagine denying her this middle school experience. I actually prefer her going to a chaperoned, school sponsored dance versus a shopping trip to the mall (she has not done this although she frequently asked to) or an afternoon at the movies or a night of skating at the ice rink where a parent drops off and picks up.

7 moms found this helpful

As I recall, middle school dances went about like this:
The girls got on the dance floor in groups.
The boys hung out around the edges of the room too afraid to dance with the girls.
Oh, and we did the electric slide.
Parents picked us up around 8.
Nothing inappropriate about it.

7 moms found this helpful

It is a school sponsored event and chaperoned so I don't get why he is so against it. What is she supposed to do on a Friday night? Kids want to be active and hang out with their friends especially when they hit middle school. I think going to a school dance is so much better than hanging at the mall or a park where anyone from a child predator to a drug dealer could also be hanging out and targeting your child.

Wait until she comes home and announces that she wants cute bras and undies, he will hit the roof. But truly it's not for the boys to see it's so they don't get made fun of in the locker room after PE class. Nobody in middle school wants to be known as Susie Granny Panties.

6 moms found this helpful

My 7th grade , 12 year old son went to his first dance last night and he had a very good time. I gave him a few tips (that I got here on mamapedia) to help him be a gentleman and all went well. Lots of supervision and a very safwe environment. I think you should let her go.

6 moms found this helpful

Let her go Mom!!! Don't make her become "that girl whose parents are weird and won't let her go to the dance." Like everyone else said, the dance will be well chaperoned (you can volunteer to be one if it makes you feel better!) And most likely it'll just be a bunch of kids hanging around talking. The whole social scene is very difficult at this age. Don't make it any harder on her!

6 moms found this helpful

first off i dont think their will be much "dancing". more like lingering and talking while music plays. second if i didnt trust her or those around her i'd chaperone the dance then take her to the sleepover or home afterwards. my daughter went to a dance last year in 5th grade and they didnt even have slow songs they played kid songs like the cha cha slide and for the most part the kids stood around and acted goofy. it's more like a big get together really and you'd let her go to that right? i think he's just stuck on the word dance.

6 moms found this helpful

It's a dance! Not a sex orgy. Trust your child and let her have fun. I think she should go.

I think Denise's suggestion to have hubby chaperone is a great one.

p.s. - You're a dancer -- you should appreciate your child going to a dance.

6 moms found this helpful

My daughter's elementary school has a school dance every year. I don't get what the problem with this is?? School dance does not equal "dating" it means kids dancing to music...in the school gym. Our daughter has gone to the dance every year, with her father.

6 moms found this helpful

I would def allow my 11 year old to go. It's a school event and really I'm sure all the girls will be hanging out with each other. I would not like to think that she's being left out. Now my hubby on the other hand may not want my daughter to go but he also does not like the fact that she is growing up.

6 moms found this helpful

I started going to Pop Warner football dances at 11. They're just an innocent good time. Mine were always well chaperoned and we just danced and acted silly. I agree that offering to chaperone might make you feel better. I think you and your husband are envisioning the worst and that isn't close to being accurate. Let her go. She'll have an innocently good time. It's a good way for her to feel some independence and enjoy the benefits of being in middle school while still in a very controlled setting.

5 moms found this helpful

At our middle school which is grades 6-8, when they have the dance "social" the 6th graders go from 6-7:30 and AFTER 6th grade leaves, the other 2 grades come in until about 9 or 9:30.

It is set up so the 6th graders are not put together with the older kids.

What is the repulsion? Your child is growing up. Keep your communication lines WIDE open with her and talk a lot. You'll be surprised at how much you learn if you just listen to her and treat each other with respect.

I can see that hubby is wound a bit tight because baby girl is growing up... you have to start trusting that you have raised he correctly and begin to let go unless you want her to live under a rock.

I would let her go to the dance (social) they don't dance because so many chaperones (parents) are there and be with her friends. It is not like you are sending her off to a nightclub.

Maybe hubby can volunteer to be a chaperone.

Pick your battles..... there are many more much worse than this to come!! I have a 16 yr old girl.

5 moms found this helpful

Here, our middle school start in 5th grade!
If it's a middle school event, will be chaperoned, at the school and others her age are going...I don't see the big deal.
Maybe your husband would feel better if he volunteered to chaperone? LOL

5 moms found this helpful

I say let her go! At that age they most likely won't be dancing anyway...the girls will be huddled in one corner and the boys in another. It will be so hard for her to miss out on it if her friends are going, and it's a school event so doesn't seem to be high-risk. I would save the "no's" for bigger things-there will be plenty over the next few years!

5 moms found this helpful

I went to my first dance when I was 11. I don't understand the big deal. What do you think she is going to do. She is not going with a date she will pry just hang out with her friends the whole time.

5 moms found this helpful

I went to my first middle school dance at 10 yrs old. I was one of the youngest in my class. I hung out with my friends and then went home.

Would I let my 11 year old go? My answer is yes; however, I would probably volunteer as a chaperone. I would want to see what goes on at the dance. What music is played...how do the kids dance (in large groups all jumping around...slow songs, etc)...how well things are chaperoned...can the kids sneak off to make out/or other things...

If her friends are going maybe volunteer to take a group of girls and then stay and help out...then you will be ready to leave when the girls are ready...then take them out for ice cream or something afterwards.

It would be a great chance to later talk to your daughter about what you noticed and what she thinks about what SHE noticed at the dance...what she thought was appropriate vs. what you and your husband think are appropriate. Just a good place to start some conversations about boy/girl interactions.

My two cents...

5 moms found this helpful

I had dances at my school for that age... our "middle school" actually was 5th-8th grade. Dances are very fun. I remember MOST kids were too embarrassed to dance with the opposite sex, so we did group dances, or we goofed off and danced with our friends. Its a nice, social event that will be VERY chaperoned (I mean, it isn't some sketchy party outside of school... their teachers will be there, etc.)

I think maybe you are are looking at this at a wrong angle... what do dances mean to YOU? Making out and "grinding"? Think of dances as simply a social, fun, school activity. OR, BETTER YET, I'm sure parents are allowed... GO WITH HER!

5 moms found this helpful

When I was 11 years old back in 1984, I was in 6th grade and at that time that we the last grade in elementary school. They actually had "sock hops" once or twice a year for the upper grades (4th, 5th, and 6th) and they were a lot of fun. They were chaperoned by the parents and teachers and if boys and girls chose to dance together for a slow dance, it was always at arm's length.

I realize that in 6th grade now she is in middle school and that means an older group of kids, but at this age it still should be pretty innocent and closely monitored. It's not the senior prom or homecoming. I would think that a school dance would be a more appropriate option than an anime convention.

4 moms found this helpful

I was in middle school school in the early 80's. We had school dances for 7th and 8th graders. I really wanted to go to the dance in 7th grade. My mom would have let me but my dad said no. He believed that dances led to other things and that I was too young. I was very upset that all of my friends got to go except me. I remember it to this day and while I accept his reasoning I still think I should have been able to go. This is one of the few things I remember from middle school so it made a big impression on me. Several years later he even allowed my younger sister to go the dance in 7th grade. I'm just letting you know this from the viewpoint of someone that it happened to.
I will also say that my children's ELEMENTARY school has a dance every year for all the grades so I don't think all people regard dances as something strictly for older kids. Good luck in your decision making and if you do decide to keep her home maybe you could do something special together as a family that night.

3 moms found this helpful

I don't know what the rules are for your middle school but ours doesn't let the 6th, 7th and 8th graders mix at dances. They have their own times that they're allowed to enter. Also, just chaperone at the dance and you'll be able to see firsthand what goes on!!

3 moms found this helpful

I'd let her go! They're pretty well monitored at the schools I know of that have them. Not letting her go would be mean if all her friend are!

3 moms found this helpful

In our Middle School, ONLY the 6th graders go to dances. The older kids are too cool!

:)

And yes, my 6th graders went to the dances and had a blast. Good clean fun.

3 moms found this helpful

Hmm... my son's middle school (when he was in 6th and 7th) had dances every quarter. But they started right after school and were done by 5:30 or 6:00 for parents to pick them up.

3 moms found this helpful

The 11 year olds of 2011 are different than the 11 year olds of our time. No way in hell would I let my 11 year old girl go to a dance at that age, nowadays.

2 moms found this helpful

Our elementary school is K-6th. They have school dances every year, for every grade. My daughter just turned 12 last week and last year not only did she go to the dance, but had a *date*. They both met at the dance, danced with their friends (they don't play slow songs) and he even bought her a soda. So cute. I met his parents, my hubby and I as well as a lot of other parents attended (in fact, parents MUST accompany child). Now, I'm not one of those crazy parents that let their kids date, go out, have sleep overs, go to sleep overs, etc. But I did allow this because my daughter doesn't make friends easily and I thought this would help her and it did. So I think you should let you daughter go, especially if you guys go with her. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

my daughter is in kindergarden.. there is a school dance on teh school calendar.. not exactly sure what it is about .. but we will be there..

can you volunteer to chaperone the dance so you can see what is happening at this event?

I would let her go with a group of girls.

2 moms found this helpful

I went to school dances when I was in 7th grade. I was homeschooled for 6th, but went to public for 7th. I was 12 or 13. The school that I went to had a 6th grade there that was also invited. I don't see it being such a big deal. It's not like the prom. It's just a little thing with a DJ and all the kids just dance with their friends.

2 moms found this helpful

We have a dance at our elementary school that all the kids attend each year. Granted the parents are expected to hang out in the halls somewhere. I remember in 6th grade there were dances that all the 6-8th graders went to. It was a big deal for the 6th graders. I don't really see the big deal here. If you are nervous, I am sure they are looking for extra parent chaperones (she will probably hate you for that though).

2 moms found this helpful

I would consider ti if I was sure there were enough chaperon's. I might even ask if I could be one, that is really what I would do actually. I think that 12 is old enough to go with groups to dances without parents going too. If they have enough then I would ask who they are and if I know any of them I'd personally ask them to keep an eye on my child. If I didn't know them I would probably say no also. Kids have plenty of time to go to dances, what was that school thinking??? I would be sure my voice was heard at the next PTA or school meeting. They should not do this and it not be a family dance.

We have a sock hop every year at the kids elementary school, it's a whole family affair. One year, a long time ago (the boys have graduated from high school now), my friends kids were at the same school and they divided the gym in to 2 parts, one for parents and one for the kids. No one went, it was not acceptable for the parents to not be able to spend the evening at a family event with their whole family. They have never done it again that way, it's always open to everyone in the family and now everyone goes.

2 moms found this helpful

Wow! A lot of answers here! Several yes"s and some no's. Your question caught my eye (due to a personal experience with my 15 year old boy), so I thought I would put in my 2 cents. First off, the one thing that I notice is that everyone is saying, "if you are worried...chaperone". I think that is a GREAT idea. The other thing that I want to say is that I have 5 children. 2 girls which are now graduated from High School (22 and 20), and 3 boys (15, 6 and 3). Times are different now then they were when we were going to school in the 70's and 80's. The old 11, is the new 14+. Things have changed a lot over the past many years and kids (in general) are trying to grow up more rapidly these days, so we can't really compare what our dances were like to theirs. With that being said, my son recently confided in me what "really goes on" at high school dances and I was appalled, shocked, and a whole laundry list of other things. I think your best bet (as a couple/parents) is to accompany your daughter to the dance. It's a good compromise. AND, continue to do so throughout the years. Dont embarass her (cuz you are her parents afterall). Just "be there" no matter how old she gets. Keep those communication lines open, and remember to listen as well as speak. It sounds to me like you have a good foundation, and someday she will be happy you cared so much! Much luck to you and I hope you ALL have fun at the dance.

1 mom found this helpful

Hmm. Depends on what the children consider dancing. Maybe one of you could go check out what is happening at the first dance before you let her go to the next one.

At my schools, we started having dances in 7th grade.

I understand that some high schoolers these days consider "grinding" appropriate dancing. Schools always need chaperones. Sounds like you and your husband would make good chaperones.

Good luck!

P.S. Wouldn't it be lovely if schools made dances cultural opportunities to learn dances from different cultures and eras. The dances would be taught first and then everyone could dance to the music afterward. There could be ballroom dancing, circle dances, hip hop, swing, etc., etc.

1 mom found this helpful

I personally am with your husband on this one. Parents now days let their kids grow up way to fast and this is just another one of those reasons I'd side w/your husband. Why do what all the other moms/daughters are doing? You are your childs mom and if you think she is too young, then stick with it. No other parent will think down upon you because you believe your child is too young. It's like a mom in my girl's dance troop who believed their costumes were too small so she told the dance teacher she wasn't going to let her daughter dance in the competition unless the costumes became more modest. After she stood up, it was amazing how many other moms fell behind her. Stand up or morals and for kids being kids.

1 mom found this helpful

6th grade is the start of middle school where we are.
My son's not interested at all in going to a dance or even a football game.
I told him I just wasn't interested in it till I was in high school and he seems to be the same way (my husband, too).
You are giving in to peer pressure.
What's the rush?
I'm with your husband on this one.

When I was in middle school we had a few dances. They were always right after school. Around here, they only have an 8th grade dance that is more like the high school dances...dates, fancy clothes, etc. Our son didn't go his 8th grade year and I doubt our daughter will go this year.

Back when I was in middle school in the 80's they had dances for 7th graders and up but mostly only 7th and 8th graders even went. (The older kids held out for prom and homecoming) The dance would start at 7pm and go till 9pm and mostly girls would form a big circle and dance and boys did the same or just stood around joking and socializing. Times are different now I think, Maybe you should help chaperone a dance so you can see what goes on. I think that is what I will do when my little boy is in middle school. Then you can talk to your girls about what went on and what you approve/disapprove and why.

Well i wouldve let her go because if you and your husband think she s responsible enough you would let her go. And plus its only for like 1hr and 30 mins. And it was only going to be for 6th grade and not all 6th and 8th grade together. hope this helped a little :D

Here in our district, there were "socials" with dj's for the third and fourth graders in elementary school. Middle school here is grades 5-8. There are separate dances for the 5th/6th than the 7th/8th who have semiformals. I always allowed my kids to go to the dances, why not? In fifth grade, the boys would run around the gym and the girls would all dance together. I don't find anything inappropriate about it. It's not the prom, it's just a party with a deejay.

sorry, but.. a school dance for 11 year olds is asking a bit much. your typical 11 year old child, notice how i didnt say "tween", is just too young to spend two metric tons of their parents money to go to some dance.. so they can sit off in a corner.. with the friends they see everyday. save yourself some hassle, and good deal of cash, and say to the child, "gee, why dont you just skip the dance that alot of your friends probably arent going to be at anyway, and just have a few friends over here..supervised", that way, there is alot less chance that some "much" older boy will try something stupid with your daughter amid the chaos of a school dance.
K. h.

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