24/06/2009 17:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Do Our Daughters Really Need To Go To Charm School?

Sometimes when my daughter is being a little lippy, I say to her "What's up? Did you have extra cheekiness lessons at school today, followed by double grumpy?".

Whilst I'll allow that everyone's entitled to an off day, we do have certain absolutes in our house, mostly revolving around politeness and respect for others: Always say please and thank you, be kind etc.

I would have assumed that these sort of things were essential for every family. But apparently not so, and this has prompted the wonderfully named concert pianist Manny Song to initiate Make Over School for girls, to develop their skills of poise and etiquette.

The two week Make Over Camp, which takes place in Montreal and is geared to girls ages 10 to 14, also teaches vital life skills like how to put on make up, posture, conversation skills, choosing an outfit and other things designed to help our daughters develop "presence".

Now I am all for reinforcing children's confidence, but since when did that involve learning how to decorate a table and 'hostessing skills'. Isn't there something a little Stepford Wife about all of this?

When I read about this, I thought I had somehow gone back in time to the 1950s. Since when did we want our daughters to be decorous objects, solely focused on looking good and serving others' needs? What happened to nurturing your own unique talents and helping your daughter believe that she can be who ever she wants to be, from astronaut to zoologist? Yes manners are important, but if you're going to have an etiquette camp, why not open it up to boys as well?

Ultimately, the underlying message is: Girls, you're not good enough, improve yourselves. How exactly is that a confidence booster?

Though thinking about it, my daughter probably would like a summer camp that was all girls. But only if it included classes on best ways to climb a tree, or how to start your own rock band. As for the other stuff, she's charming enough already, whether she can arrange flowers or not.

What do you think? Would you send your daughter to a charm camp? Or your son?

Source [ParentDish US]