Prom: The Breakdown for Parents

prom advice, prom season, school dance, high school, Dana is a 15 year old from Hi-nella, NJ. She loves to write and enjoys reading, singing, and shopping. Her goal is to help others through her writing, and bring attention to important topics.
Prom is a milestone in a teenager’s life and often marks the end of a student’s junior or senior year. Most girls have the fantasy of being taken to prom in a beautiful gown escorted by a perfect gentleman and everything just being absolutely stress free and ideal. However, sadly this portrayal is not totally accurate! You may obtain a nice end result with some amazing Kodak moments to save out of it, but who are we kidding; sometimes it feels like prom is an event that comes around just to cause chaos, nerves, hefty expenses, and reap emotional havoc upon your teenager and you the parent. So I’ve put together some things to consider and a few tips to help out both you and your child if they are attending their school prom this year.

I will be truthful. When I first found out the price of a prom ticket I nearly fainted. At my school it is $160 for couple tickets and $80 for a single ticket. Think about this. That is already a large sum of cash you’re coughing up but it doesn’t even reach half of what you will be paying all together. All this cost does is assure you have a seat at your high school prom. After that is paid you must move on to purchasing a gown, shoes, jewelry, bag, hair appointment, etc. As for boys they have their tux and shoes to worry about. Seems like quite a lot already. After that though, usually most kids want to join in and all chip in for a limo. This probably slaps another hundred or so onto the price of prom. No you’re not dreaming this is for real. That is not to say that the experience of prom isn’t well worth the amount of money, but it does certainly come with a hefty price tag. My tip? Start saving ahead of time! Perhaps you could even make your child put part of their allowance or job money aside each month to put toward the event. That way, they are able to bare the expense for what they want. Or what about making a fair deal? For example, as the parents you can volunteer to pay for the formal attire and ticket but anything extra the teen desires will be his or her responsibility. This way everyone wins in my opinion.

You may have heard about it, witnessed it, or heck even lived it at one point. One way or another though, just about everyone out there knows of “prom weekend”. It’s hard not to. Around my school those two words are all that falls out of anyone’s mouth. Prom weekend is the weekend of prom where students usually drive to the shore or someplace “cool” after prom instead of coming home. Here, a numerous amount of things go on. You don’t have to be a genius to know that there will definitely be some PDA and consuming of alcohol at this all-weekend party. That is why it is your job to decide if your child is responsible enough to handle a setting like that. My tip? I recommend mulling it over and if you do allow your teen to go then just simply set some REASONABLE rules (such as NOT getting into a vehicle if they have had ANYTHING WHAT SO EVER to drink alcohol wise)  and boundaries that keep them safe, but enable them to have a good time as well– after all, it is their prom.

This is something most of us girls suffer from around prom time. Just because one doesn’t actually attend prom does not mean they aren’t affected by the event. In fact, I think it is more emotional chaos if you aren’t asked to prom. Things that go through most girls’ minds who are in this situation are, “If I was prettier I’d be going to prom, someone would have asked me” or “Only the popular kids go to prom”. Well, as someone who has indeed been there, let me just inform you ladies that it honestly has nothing to do with not being pretty or popular enough if you don’t get asked to prom. There is no reason at all to feel bad, there is always next year if you are a junior but hey prom isn’t for everyone anyway. There are a lot of people who make the decision not to go and are completely fine with it. When my prom date fell through this year I was extremely upset and felt so down and so desperately out of the loop when everyone in school was yapping about the anticipated June event. That is until I realized I needed to stop being so hard on myself and just not take something so minor to heart.  My tips? One, if you really have the desire to go to your prom but don’t have a date: Go with friends and have a blast!! There is no reason you should sit at home and miss out on something you want to do. Two, don’t take not being asked or being “shot down” personally! Things happen and things don’t always work out how you plan but you must keep moving forward with your head up high.

In conclusion, prom can be a very exciting yet an extremely chaotic time in students’ and their families’ lives! I hope these tips benefit you and your child and help ease the process so you can get to the joyous part of prom faster and painlessly! Remember to keep cost in mind, use good judgment on the prom weekend matter, and most importantly do not get down on yourself if you aren’t attending prom this year or next. Prom was designed to be something fun and create a fabulous night to remember. While this is still true, it has gotten out of hand in the past few decades. However, one thing hasn’t changed, it’s all about celebrating students hard work and having fun. Let’s not change that!


Photo Credit: ke9tv


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