At least that’s the message this helpful little “advice” column seems to send.
Someone wrote in to parenting.com with a question: She planned a sleep over for her daughter but it turned out that the other kid’s divorced dad will be on duty. What to do?
This was the answer:
The Solution: “Call and say ‘I’m sorry, and this is about me and not you, but I just don’t feel comfortable with a man supervising an overnighter,’ ” says Paone. Offer to host the girls at your place instead, if you can, or ask to turn the sleepover into a “late-over,” where your daughter stays only till bedtime. In the future, always ask who’ll be on duty before you say yes to a sleepover.
I was going to get all knee-jerky and point out the ridiculousness and fear-mongering of thinking that all dads are out to molest kids given half a chance, but it occurred to me that the answer wasn’t actually all that bad … for someone who actually does have a problem with it.
But it begs a larger question: Why is there a problem in the first place? This is ostensibly your child’s friend’s dad. Do you think he’s not a molester in the day when the kid is over for play dates?
I like the way Jezebel.com writer Anna North summed it up:
“If it’s because you think he’s a bad parent — or you know he’s a registered sex offender — then fair enough. But assuming that all dads, when left to their own devices, are potential pedophiles is a pretty depressing way to raise a kid.”
It seems better to talk about safety and touching and what’s appropriate and what’s not, rather than instilling the idea that all men are out to molest kids. How would you deal with this?