The dress. The date. The pictures. The friends. The dinner. The after-party. The memories.
Most of us remember our proms, some with very positive feelings and some…not so much.
What I can say…is that times have changed. We have gone from a young man meeting you at your locker between English and Math class to ask you to prom…to productions that in years gone by were reserved for marriage proposals. The prom invitations of today put so much undue pressure on both the young man and the young lady. There is pressure on the young man to come up with a unique and elaborate plan such as solo cups in a fence saying, “Prom?” so the young lady will see it as she runs passed with the entire cross country team, balloons on the football field spelling out the invitation or even a billboard that the young lady passes on her way home, really?? And how does a young lady gracefully decline while the entire track team looks on? She can’t. Pressure.
There is much unrealistic expectation placed on prom. Certainly, it can be a fun evening had with friends where everyone is dressed up and looks beautiful. But the drinking, partying, and sexual activity that takes place all too often turn the evening into something altogether different. I am the Executive Director of a Pregnancy Center and year after year our numbers for pregnancy tests rise the month after proms in the area. These kinds of memories aren’t what anyone has dreamt of.
Here are some ideas as you and your teen prepare for prom.
- Schools should maintain the dress code. I am not sure why we think it necessary to have a modest dress code during the school day, but after 5:30 pm all bets are off and anything goes. I have seen very immodest and inappropriate attire at homecomings, sports banquets and most certainly prom. The dress code is important and has been established for a reason. Simply follow it.
- Plan your own after-party for your teen and their friends. How fun to get the other parents of your teen’s circle of friends together and plan a party after the prom. No drinking. No sex. Good clean fun with lots of food, fellowship and laughs. Having all the parents over to serve and to help with games is a great idea. Have a washer or ping pong tournament. Play minute to win it games. Be creative. Prepare a great breakfast early the next morning and then each teen heads home with their parents who have been included in the fun. Great idea and I have heard of many examples of parents who have pulled this off beautifully.
- Be respectful to the parents of your teen’s date. As I have told you before, I have 2 sons and a daughter and I want them to live their lives to the full and to enjoy…but I want them to do it with integrity and never losing their passion and commitment to serving Him. I think it is a stellar idea for the young lady’s mom to share a picture of her daughter’s dress with the mother of the boy prior to the purchase. Not for approval, because one can choose whatever dress they would like, but simply to avoid embarrassment. Because likewise, the parents of a young man can gracefully decline allowing their son to take a girl wearing said dress. There are parents of young men who are holding them to a high standard as well. When my son goes to prom with a young lady, when he dances with her and puts his hands around the small of her back, I would like for him to touch material and not bare skin. Parents of sons care as much for them as do we parents of girls. If a young lady comes to our home for pictures with our son and she is dressed immodestly…we will all be embarrassed when I, as kindly as possible, explain why my son won’t be taking her. A picture a few weeks in advance is a golden idea.
Prom is exciting and fun. Prom can also be done with morals, modesty and faith intact with a little effort. I would love for you to share picture of your daughter’s dress. I am sure all of your teens will look great!
“Do not cause anyone to stumble…” 1 Corinthians 10:32
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10