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02/01/2012 at 12:00 PM ET

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jessicad on

Interesting article about letting your daughter have a sleep over at the home of a single father. When I was 11 my mother decided that she couldn’t handle me anymore and asked my Dad to take me – my younger brother came with me since we were always so close.

My dad faced a lot of challenges but that was almost 20 years ago and I hope things have changed since then. He had a tiny apartment and he spent months looking for something bigger but so many people thought it was weird for a father to have full custody and treated him as if he were some type of pervert or like he kidnapped us. I remember him being so upset at times.

I don’t remember any of my friends not being able to stay over though, a lot of moms would ask me about our situation or just got to know my Dad better and I think they felt completely comfortable with it once they knew he wasn’t a threat, one or two of them even tried to date him I think haha, but he sacrificed his personal life for us and didn’t date until we were out of high school.

I have so much respect for men like that and I don’t think I would have a problem with my daughter staying over with a friend who lived with her dad as long as I knew him well enough, just as I would a single mother or a household with both parents. You have to know the people your kids are around and their gender shouldn’t be an issue.

mary on

Jessicad so sorry to hear that your mom “couldn’t handle” you or your brother, but it sounds as if your dad did an awesome job!

Our neighbor was a single father who had two girls and my daughter was very good friends with them. He was a very good father and his girls are wonderful. I never had a problem with my daughter sleeping overnight at their house. Eventually having two girls was hard and his sister from Spain came over to help him.

My brother is in this very situation now. He has full custody of his three girls. They are all under 5 so sleepovers aren’t an issue yet, but I am sure he will face the same questions and ‘not sure’s’ soon enough. I wonder how he will handle this discrimination. Both my brother and his ex are doctors and I don’t think jobs or status can change some minds.

Sarah K. on

Perfectly said Jessicad. The article was pretty disheartening. It just contributes to the stereotype that fathers aren’t as capable as mothers. If the author doesn’t want to be bothered with hair braiding and squealing, that’s his loss. But it’s not ok that other parents wouldn’t want him supervising his own child and her friends. It’s discriminatory and irrational.

It’s important for every parent to know the parents of their kids’ friends. It’s also important for every parent to advise their kids that if they feel uncomfortable or something happens they can call home day or night. If I have done both of those things, then I would absolutely feel comfortable letting my child sleep over at a single father’s home.

If that mother felt uncomfortable because of his gender, she should talk to him, meet up, have a joint playdate to see how he does. The answer is not to avoid fathers forever. They are not the enemy.

g on

Agree with the above comments. Similarly, my husband is a sahd and sahm’s (apparently because of their husbands) won’t do playdates with him. sad and unnecessary!

Erika on

I agree with all of the comments above. A person’s gender doesn’t define their parenting. Men are perfectly capable of raising and caring for children. Growing up there were households that my parents didn’t let me go to, but it nothing to do with the gender of the parent(s) and everything to do with their personality. Parents have a right to be nervous about sexual predators, however being a single father doesn’t give someone an increased risk to be a pedophile. I’ve met many single father’s who are wonderful parents.

Holiday on

g I am in a stay at home moms group and there are about 40 of us women. Recently a stay at home dad wanted to join and some of the members put up such a huge stink about it that it was decided he could not join.

There reasons were pretty lame too. Things like “Well I cant breast feed if a mans around, he must be a weirdo to want to join this club, he must be a loser if he doesnt have a job, what if its just him and a mom who show u for a club event that would just be uncomfortable according to them.

Anyhow I have no idea if I would let my children spend the night at the home of a single dad. My kids are 6 and 20 months and it will be a LONGGGG time before they spend the night at any friends house.

Jillian on

Great comments and conversation! I agree with those saying why should it matter! To me, the gender and marriage status don’t determine where my children have sleepovers, but rather who the parent is. I get to really know the person and if we like them and if my child wants to go, then they go! I have had sleepovers at my house where just my hubby was home. I let the moms know only cause we tell each other everything and that’s what I want.

I wonder if some people understand that can happen even if a couple is married and they may not know. Or let’s not forget how single moms can be bad, or married parents can, too. No way to know. Not all of our children are doing sleepovers but the ones that do mostly stay with very very close friends but they are still younger.

Lynn on

I have to add that not all single males feel comfortable with children spending the night. For example: My widowed FIL would have sleepovers for the grandkids but the girls had to leave at bedtime. He wasn’t comfortable having girls spend the night since it was just him. For our part, we never had a problem with it and encouraged it.

I do agree that you have to know the person and their personality, their gender should be irrelevant.

Hyman on

I love baby wearing … but something is just not right about that picture of the mom climbing WEARING a helmet and her baby is on her back not wearing one? Weird. … is it just me? Lol.