Is it OK for parents to wear pajamas to drop off their kids at school?

A few years ago on a rainy, cold morning, my husband and I were dropping our twins at their middle school when we spotted a neighbor attempting to push her disabled car off the roadway — in her nightgown and slippers.

We offered to help, but she already had enough volunteer muscle. (We were en route to work so we had on real clothes.)

Is this appropriate dress to drop your child at school or to attend a school assembly?

Is this appropriate dress to drop your child at school or to attend a school assembly?

But I will admit to wearing my pajamas more than once driving my kids to school, especially on Tuesday mornings when they have to be at the high school by 7:20. However, I throw on a long coat and always wear real shoes — largely because of witnessing my neighbor’s plight and imagining the day when I might need to get out and push my car.

So, I liked this story out of the Daily Telegraph where the head teacher of a British school sent parents an ever-so-polite letter asking them to please dress before bringing their children to school or attending school events.

The parent letter stated:

I have noticed there has been an increasing tendency for parents to escort children to and from school while still wearing their pyjamas and, on occasion, even slippers.”

Could I please ask that when you are escorting your children, you take the time to dress appropriately in day wear that is suitable for the weather conditions. We are trying to raise standards and get better outcomes for the children and we noticed a lot of the parents are turning up to school as well as meetings and assemblies wearing pyjamas, if we’re to raise standards it’s not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed.

Bloggers have been having fun with this letter, none more than Scarymommy, one of my favorite parenting sites.

She writes:

There’s no way in hell moms are showing up to school assemblies in “pajamas.” I don’t believe that for a minute. They’re clearly in their favorite pair of well-worn yoga pants or black leggings, and I have news for you, Principal Fashion Police — you can pry those garments out of their cold, dead hands.

I’m clearly taking this personally, so you can guess what I look like when I take my kids to school in the morning. I’ll give you a hint if you can’t: death warmed over. But mornings are stressful enough, what with the work I have to do, the two kids I need to get fed and dressed and prepped for whatever “theme” the school has decided to go with that week. Last week I had to send my kids to school in sports paraphernalia on Monday, pajamas on Tuesday, a costume on Wednesday, beach gear on Thursday, and whatever the hell “opposites day” meant on Friday.

If you go to the blog, be sure to read the comments, many of which contend parents are not wearing yoga pants or leggings, but honest-to-goodness pajamas and sometimes less. Here are two such comments:

•I am an elementary principal in the US. No worries if a parent drops students off in pajamas when going through car rider line. But yes, they actually do come into the front office and attend parent teacher conferences in pajamas. Actual pajamas. Best (worst????) one yet? A mother came into the office in a towel wrap and slippers with wet hair. A TOWEL WRAP.

•Actually they are turning up in flannel pajamas, nighties (sometimes covered by a dressing gown/coat) and just their underwear with a dressing gown, with of course slippers, flip-flops or some footwear along these lines. They are also turning up in the same outfit in the morning for drop off, collection at 4pm and parent evening, school performances, etc. It doesn’t just end at school either, you often bump in to somebody doing their grocery shop in the middle of the day while still in their night-clothes, it’s just bone idle laziness and a does not set a good example for the kids.

I have not seen parents showing up in towels at school events. I do see a fair share of yoga pants, but they are even common now in many workplaces.

What do you think? Are parents wearing flannel pajamas and nightgowns to school events?

Reader Comments 0

56 comments
Laurence Harmon
Laurence Harmon

Is it ok for a formerly reputable news outlet to now report drivel?

Jan Swann Hilton
Jan Swann Hilton

What if at some point you're involved in a traffic accident? Whether or not the accident is your fault, you're still standing there in your pajamas while the police write up the report.

DrTonya Martin
DrTonya Martin

Absolutely not! Pajamas are for bed.... Not public display!

Iris Jordan Pierce
Iris Jordan Pierce

frankly, I never went anywhere in my PJ's - always fully dressed when I went out of the house - my own opinion!!

Rebecca McFeeters Haney
Rebecca McFeeters Haney

I'd wear yoga pants and a tee shirt /sweatshirt...basically pjs...but is thus really something folks should be arguing about? Have you seen the candidates running for president?? Now that is debate worthy. Lol

Takeru Holgate
Takeru Holgate

With my youngest son and youngest daughter being autistic, mornings are insane. The son misses the bus constantly due to being unable to focus to get ready in the morning and same with my daughter, it's a fight. My oldest daughter has to be to school before either of them since she is in visual performing arts, and it's simply chaos. Honesty here? Damned right I wear pajama pants (which are tasteful btw, Minions and chili peppers ahoy) when I simply drop them off (since we are less than 2 miles from the two schools, I HAVE to drive them....and they're girls). Not to mention there's already been three murders in Bradenton and two of those were small children. I do, however, dress appropriately if IF I have to sign them in. Sense and sensibility I say.

Laurie Schappert
Laurie Schappert

If you leave the house, you should have clothes on, but if you're not going out in public, ie, you're in your car, who cares. Who's business is it anyway?

Allen Brantlinger
Allen Brantlinger

Why does every parent feel the need to drop off and pick up their kids? I walked or rode the bus. Wtf?

Marcina Phares Hughes
Marcina Phares Hughes

Al Brantlinger with as many kids that are disappearing, that's not really an option anymore. Sean plays outside with his buddies in the afternoon and on the weekends a lot, but not all neighborhoods are conducive to that.

Marcina Phares Hughes
Marcina Phares Hughes

Not sure why they allow for it, but I like the options. We used it to keep Sean in the same elementary school when we moved around a bit.

Marcina Phares Hughes
Marcina Phares Hughes

I agree, when the option is there. But with so much "school choice" these days, many parents have to provide transportation in order for their child to attend that school.

Allen Brantlinger
Allen Brantlinger

It's ridiculous, between "play dates" and karate, and whatever else parents seem to feel the need to have the kids these days do. Whatever happened to "play outside then come home when it gets dark?"

Allen Brantlinger
Allen Brantlinger

I totally get that. That makes sense. But it seems like every parent is driving every kid, every day. Seeing as how I'm just a victim of this silliness, and not a participant, perhaps my .02 is worthless.

Marcina Phares Hughes
Marcina Phares Hughes

There are lots of kids still riding buses... Sean's is over-full in the afternoons. Make for a miserable ride home.

Allen Brantlinger
Allen Brantlinger

Kids disappearing? Did this suddenly spike? I thought such crimes were drastically down?

Allen Brantlinger
Allen Brantlinger

Just did a cursory check and you would seem to be right which is disconcerting

Marcina Phares Hughes
Marcina Phares Hughes

Even one is too many when you're considering your own child's safety. It's just not the same world.

Takeru Holgate
Takeru Holgate

Yo, Allen. ;D See, here I can actually say something, right? With David and Seraphina being autistic, mornings are insane. David misses the bus constantly due to being unable to focus to get ready in the morning and same with Seraphina. Celeste has to be to school before either of them since she is in visual performing arts, and it's simply chaos. Honesty here? Damned right I wear pajama pants (which are tasteful btw, Minions and chili peppers ahoy) when I simply drop them off (since we are less than 2 miles from the two schools, I HAVE to drive them....and they're girls). Not to mention there's already been three murders in Bradenton and two of those were small children. I do, however, dress appropriately if IF I have to sign them in. Sense and sensibility I say.

Laurie Schappert
Laurie Schappert

The amount of time most of us have with our kids is pretty limited due to work situations, friends, homework and a host of other stuff. The time you spend with your children on those trips to and from school is priceless. I drove my kids to school every day until they had their own wheels. It's a great way for all of you to start your day, and then listen to their concerns, share their gossip, and check on their progress. Not everyone can drive their kids. I feel so fortunate that we had those times and memories.

Allen Brantlinger
Allen Brantlinger

Great and valid points. As a non parent, I only have my memories of childhood and the interminable traffic you parents cause at pickup and drop off time. Still grappling with the stat which suggests child abductions are on the rise while other violent crimes are down.

Takeru Holgate
Takeru Holgate

Frightening isn't it? Believe me, with those two girls, my eyes are peeled 24/7. For David as well. Deven, I'm not too concerned for. A brown belt in Hwarang-do and a temper enviable of a madman? Yeah, not too concerned for him. LOL

Allen Brantlinger
Allen Brantlinger

the danger with David I think, is him just wandering off. With girls, I can't even. Makes me super glad not to have such worries. Think I'd lose my mind worrying over a daughter.

Takeru Holgate
Takeru Holgate

You got it. So for me, it's double the concern, then tripled.

Steve Weissinger
Steve Weissinger

Wtf they gonna do, get the fashion police on you? Last I checked, this is America, what's next, censor the content on your clothing? Oh wait schools are already banning pro second amendment t-shirts and American flags....

Hunter Lynn
Hunter Lynn

Why is this important enough to get a post

Jacqueline Lewis
Jacqueline Lewis

I would not wear pajamas outside of my front door. Nor would I allow my son he is now 24. I understand people do it because its easier. I am concerned when I see teen girls or boys outside with pajamas I do believe they are for sleeping and wearing inside of the house. I could understand the school would not want an adult showing up inside walking the corridors with pajamas this would make it much harder to enforce a ban on pajamas for the students.

Ramona Kesten
Ramona Kesten

Yes. I always did when my kids were in school. I never got out of the car though.

Patricia Martin
Patricia Martin

It doesn't matter if you drop your children off at school wearing your jammies... It's not like you're getting out of the car to walk them in..... I'm guessing it's the snobs who are making a big deal about this...."like omg I can't believe that she is wearing that to drop off her kids at school" hahaha grow the hell up and get out peoples business \U0001f601\U0001f601\U0001f601\U0001f601

Sarah Porter
Sarah Porter

After some of the stuff I've seen some people wear as CLOTHES, I don't think my pj's should be a problem...

Gen A. Ohane
Gen A. Ohane

Some people wear pajama pants in the store as well as in the school.

Wendy Jacques
Wendy Jacques

Just throw on workout clothes at least then it's not so bad if something unexpected happens!

Donna Sims
Donna Sims

I'd worry about a breakdown or something unexpected but, if someone is dressed adequately, it's no one's business what they're wearing.

Sakima White
Sakima White

I would throw on sweat pants or something quick. It wasn't something I would wear for the day. Folks wear pajamas to Walmart these days. LOL

Sandra Timler
Sandra Timler

I wouldn't. Accident or car problems I would die!

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Newsflash:  It ain't just the parents dropping their kids off at school.  Have you been out in the public lately?  Holy Cow.

(Sidenote:  I can say "Holy Cow", can't I?  Don't want to p**s of the Hindus, Muslims, Aboriginal Pygmies, or Dairy Farmers)

Back on topic - Americans have been getting ridiculously "casual" in their attire for years.  Hell, there's an entire subculture on You Tube dedicated to the "People of Walmart".  Yep, nothing like getting in line behind a 300 pound black woman (I think) in skin tight red yoga pants with the word "Juicy" emblazoned  on the rump.  (How come I always get stuck behind the big'uns?)

That said, I have crawled out from underneath the house and gone to Home Depot looking like I had been drug through a cow pasture a couple of times.  Of course, everyone there thought I was a "professional" and started asking me plumbing questions.

Another comment
Another comment

Before judging people who take their children to school in Pajamas do you know all the facts about the family? Or are you just ignorantly using your judgy eyes. I am one of those parents who take my children to school in either pajamas, yoga pants. Why? Because I have a medical condition! That causes severe pain and prevents me from sleeping more that 2-4 hrs per night.

I also know several other parents ( mothers ) that over the years have either had short or long term disabilities that impact our quality of life. If you may notice when I pull up to the curb I have a permenant handicap tag on my car. I have rudely had even the Publix cop walk up to me and challenge me on the validity of me parking in the handicap stop. I have lifted up my clothing to show my battle scar, point to the permenant tag on my car, and my license matches the registration, ( Oh sorry Miss). Not all disabilities are apparent looking from the outside 24/7, nor require a wheelchair. Many of us fake it the best we can, for the sake of our children.

Along the way, at numerous doctors appointments, Physical therapy, aqua therapy, I have learned empathy for others. I have also met many other mothers and fathers who have similar or worse struggles with health issues. I have seen a former PTA mom/ defense attorney suffer the devastating effects of breast cancer and the bone pain of Chemo. Another mom had lymademia in her lower limps and anxiety. A Flight attendant who was slammed by a runaway first class beverage cart and flung herself in front of it rather than letting it hit a First Class Passanger. their are parents with RA, Sickle Cell, Fibromyalgia, Back injuries, Various Cancers, all Hippa issues,

Until you have walked a day in another persons shoes do not judge!

CharterStarter_Too
CharterStarter_Too

Do not care one iota about this.  If they don't care what they look like, why does anyone else?    Doubtful "requiring" or even requesting appropriate clothing will make a dent in example setting for their children.  This is likely just a drop in the bucket.  We have bigger .... MUCH bigger fish to fry.  Lord, if we can get them in for a conference at all, we'll take them however we can get them!

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

There is so much "me first" that these folks are reflecting.  I would bet we will hear a lot of sputtering and excuse-making on this. In our system, a tardy counts toward the number of absences, and eventually goes to court. However, parents here have figured out that NOTHING WILL BE DONE.  Although there are signs that say kids cannot be dropped off after the bell without a parent signing them in, it is not enforced, either.  I advocated for having our SRO outside to direct parents into the office.  A few times of that and some bad habits might be broken!  Schools get what they put up with in many cases. 

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

From Erika Harris on why being late matters. 


An Open Letter to Parents of School Aged Kiddos,

Mornings are rough. No, they are brutal. If “Candid Camera” were to pop in most of our homes in the morning. I am sure it would look like a cross of “Mickey Mouse Club House” meets “Night of the Walking Dead.”

Bed-headed children, sleep encrusted eyes, wearing half their clothes backwards because, well, when you get dressed with your eyes closed… And parents. Ahhhhhh. Parents. I’m sure many of us wonder why we didn’t invest in Starbucks as we now feel that we are solely keeping the company afloat with our morning survival drink.

Mornings are rough. Let me tell you what is more difficult. And try not to be too judgy or take it too personally. Because this is entirely about your kiddo, the 19-30 other kiddos in their class, their teacher, and how you can have a direct and important positive impact on how they start school each and every day.

Yes. You have the power to have a meaningful and positive impact on up to 32 people each morning, Monday through Friday. Be to school on time.

When I was growing up, being on time meant being 10 minutes early, and in school – that is on time. The tardy bell rings at 7:45 A.M. That means your sweet pumpkin should be in their seat, settled, relaxed. They should have had their giggles with their friends, shared the funny story of the night and a chance to ask their teacher if it is going to ever snow this year. (Newscast – it’s not. God has forsaken us snow in Atlanta this year, I am sure of it. And I’m sending my mad prayers up on all of us.) 7:45 A.M. is late.

Some of you will argue it isn’t late. But it really is by the definition of what late means to academics. If they are running to their seat (by the way, they get yelled at for running in the hallway) to make it “on time,” several things are happening, and none of them are good…. THEY ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT DOING GOOD IN SCHOOL. THEY ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO LEARN. THEY ARE FULL OF ANXIETY AND WORRY. THEY ARE EMBARRASSED. 7:45 A.M. is late.

When a child walks in the class during or after the bell, a whole flurry of things happen that are not related to education at all. The student must get settled. Put their things away, walk through other kids, hand stuff to the teacher. The list could go on. It is distracting and, at the moment when the teacher is ready to start the day and focus on what school is about, they cannot because they are waiting on the distractions to end.

Some will argue that 5-10 minutes of lost time in the morning is no big deal. Well, multiply that 5-10 minutes by 180 school days. That is 900 to 1,800 minutes. Math time!!!

What is that in lost instructional hours in a school year? 15 to 30 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!

That is 2.5 to 5 days of school lost to tardy time in any given year. A minority of students who are tardy can directly impact the amount of instructional time a class receives in significant ways. Friends, that lost time is worse than the number of days we lost to “snow days” last year. So, what can you do about this?

Help out your child. Help out your child’s classmates. Help out your teacher. Be on time. On time means be early. The doors open at 7:30 A.M.

Let that be your new school start time. Kids enjoy being in class with their friends before the bell rings. They get to chat, stretch out, laugh, relax, and move into the school day in a way that is respectful of what is to come. The extra 10 minutes of sleep you think you are kindly giving your child in the morning is not a gift compared to that of making sure they are in class to start the day off in a positive way. It won’t be easy for everyone. It may take some adjustment.

But, it is a needed and important one if you are one of the Andretti parents treating the school streets as the autobahn in the morning and then sending your child sprinting into school as the next Olympic track star, racing to their seats to make it on time.

Because they are not winning the gold medal for that race and you are certainly not winning any NASCAR race either… Mornings are rough. Running into school “almost tardy” or late is worse.

 Love,  A Mom of Four Kids/Teacher/Military Brat/Overly Opinionated Person