Parenting, apparently, is a minefield. The world is changing and it’s hard to keep up with what’s appropriate anymore. It’s as if the spectrum of ideas is a galaxy, in the form of an ever-expanding spiral, with some ideologies just getting further and further apart.
Recently I stumbled across an article titled “Honestly, Daddy Daughter Dates are anything but innocent.” In it, the author claims that she wouldn’t let her husband go on dates with her daughter, and directly links the activity to rape and incest.
Now normally, this is the type of nonsense that isn’t even worth engaging with. But it’s out there, and it does open the door to discuss a broader point, so we may as well have a quick look. Let’s take this chronologically:
In January this year, Caitlin Slomski posted on Facebook about how her husband took their three-year-old daughter out on a date. It went viral, because apparently dads doing things with their kids is still something remarkable in 2017 for some reason.
“My husband decided once a month he will take our little girl out on a ‘date’ where she gets all dressed up and gets taken out for cake and ice cream. Tonight was there [sic] first night doing it. He helped her pick out a dress for her to wear, got a little purse ready for her, held the door open for her, and made her feel like a princess. She loved it and was so happy when she got home. She will always know how she deserves to be treated because her dad sets such a high example.”
Seems fair enough. I don’t love the concept of princesses in general, but it sounds like everyone had a good time. Developing that kind of a connection between parents and children is crucial. It is through this regular, intimate contact, that we can develop a bond which is close and familiar enough to serve as a bedrock for stable relationships in life.
The article, of course, takes a different view, repeatedly labelling them “creepy”. Oh FFS. The first source it links to is a column called “3 benefits of father-daughter date nights” on Christian resources site Lifeway.com. It says things like “Remind her regularly of the beauty God has placed inside of her—and outside too—so she sees herself as more than just her looks.
We want the majority of emphasis to be on the things that last forever...the beauty of her spirit, as in Proverbs 31.” Which sure, gives pause. But the weird bit in here isn’t the date, it’s… well, you know what it is.