Just a few things that have been on my mind
I think it is just fine for a parent to take their children out on dates. In our increasingly busy lives, taking time to put down the cell phone and devote some time to your family is important. There is nothing more important than making sure our children know how much they are loved. I often take my sons on "dates," we go for a drive, go to dinner, go see a movie. I can't be with them 24 hours a day, and it is my way to connect, let them talk to me, tell me things about how they are feeling, what they want. Some of the deepest understanding of who my children are as people come from these "dates!" So Kudos to those parents that take the time in whatever fashion it takes to learn about the independent person their child is growing into! Don't make it creepy!
What is so wrong about letting a boys hair grow long, or cutting a girls hair short? It is just hair. My son's hair was long, and when he wanted it short we cut it short, no big deal. I have a brother that got kicked out of school for having long hair, this same brother also had a mohawk at one point. Don't shame a parent for not making a child conform to others idea of how they should look.