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Why one school is proposing a dress code for parents

So let’s be honest here — how many times have you stumbled into the school yard to drop the kids off, or waved goodbye to them while still in your pajamas?

The pajama wave-off or scruffy, unwashed stomp to school isn’t really that uncommon. Honestly, I have dropped my daughter while clad in yoga pants and yesterday’s smudged mascara more times than I care to admit, but one school district is aiming to put an end to the morning “walk of shame” for parents — for good.

A dress code for parents?

A Florida high school board member recently proposed a dress code for parents who dare to enter the school yard in anything less than presentable attire. “It’s hard for me to tell a child not to show up for school with hair curlers, pajamas or short shorts if they see parents wearing them. Parents need to lead by example,” said board member Rosalind Osgood.

And while the idea for a parental dress code may seem pretty laughable and will most likely not be enforced (honestly, what would they do if a parent showed up in their jammies?), I do have to admit that the idea did grab my attention. Because after all, how ridiculous is it that I expect my 5-year-old to be dressed and presentable for a full day of rigorous academic success while I am not able to muster up the energy to change out of my yoga pants?

Parents should lead by example

On one hand, I’m certainly not going to claim that I have loads of time to put on a production of getting dressed for the morning drop-off. I don’t, after all, have another person putting on my clothes and doing my hair for me, as my daughter does, and I do have two other children to get dressed and out the door. It’s just silly to expect that I should be runway-ready every morning.

But at the same time, what message does our sloppy appearance send to our kids? That school isn’t “real?” That the adult world means pajamas and messy hair? When it comes right down to it, I know my daughter will have a better day when she’s dressed and ready, groomed and tidy.

So why don’t I model the same behavior for myself? Or, should we go a new route altogether and officially classify the yoga pant as work-appropriate attire?

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