I saw this Dear Prudie question & answer on Monday & didn't think anything of it, but it was the subject of discussion on the radio this morning & I figured it might be an interesting debate question. Would you let your daughter attend a sleepover party if the chaperone was a single dad? Why or why not? Would your answer be different if it were a single mom and a party of boys?
Q. Single Dads and Sleepovers: I'm a single dad raising four girls. My oldest is turning 12, and she wants to have a sleepover party at our home. My concern is would other parents think it's inappropriate for a single dad to supervise all the kids? I haven't had the opportunity to know other parents very well, but most know I'm a single dad. Should I have a female friend stay the night and help me supervise to put other parents at ease? I just want my daughter to have a great birthday, and I'm worried her friends' parents will say no because they feel uncomfortable about a man looking after the kids by himself.
A: Unfortunately, I have heard from people who refuse to let their daughters stay the night at the home of a child being raised by a father, not because the father makes them uncomfortable in any way, but solely because he's a man. This is ugly and pernicious, and I'm hoping the other parents in your circle are not like that. I don't think you should mention your single status at all nor should you bring in a surrogate "wife" to ease the concerns of the other parents. If a single dad explained to me that he was doing this, that information itself would actually make me uneasy. Just come up with a guest list and send the invites, and with a houseful of 12-year-olds, in addition to your other three excited daughters, expect to get very little sleep, Dad.