December 11, 2008,
C.D. asks from Indianapolis, IN on December 10, 2008
Middle School Prom
I need some advice, my daughter who is 13 comes homes yesterday telling me her middle school is having a prom in February. I said prom for midle school, now my issue is when I was in middle school they had mixers and lock ins which would be fine but prom in middle school. My thing is if they have prom's in middle school what do they have to look forward to in high school,I'm not particularly in favor of this idea. All the fascination of the boy asking the girl to the middle school prom and getting a dress and all that of coarse comes with the theme. But my daughter wants to go and she was on the phone talking to one of her friends already giving ideas of what kind of dress she wanted to wear. I just think it's too much for middle school right now, am I being paronoid or just advice her to wait until high school because if you do things to soon you have nothing to look forward to in high school.
J.R. answers from Cleveland on December 10, 2008
I totally agree. Prom should be reserved for high school only. In fact, I think homecoming dances (even in high school) have gotten so out of control with the dresses and the hoopla that prom isn't really special anymore. It's a shame.
It sounds like that decision has already been made, though. Your daughter's school has already decided to have a middle school prom. Whether or not you let your daughter participate is another story. Have you talked to her friends' parents? If her friends are allowed to go and she's not, she will obviously be really disappointed. (Im not suggesting you should give in, though. Disappointment is part of life.) If you can convince other parents not to let their kids participate, your daughter will be less disappointed, and maybe the whole thing will end up flopping.
Has the school considered the other things that tend to go along with prom...such as underage drinking and 'activity'? I think the whole thing is completely irresponsible.
N.S. answers from Columbus on December 11, 2008
Hmmm, that's a tough situation. I think I would first of all get in touch w/the school and find out what this is all about. Is it really like a prom in high school or is it something more toned down but they call it prom. Then I would also find out if I can get involved in this even somehow. I think I would try to chaperone even if it embarassed my daughter. My thought is that even at 13 hormones can rage and I wouldn't want my daughter to be unsupervised. Also, maybe you could think about doing a sleep-over for her afterwards. Say, you tell her that she can go but has to be back home by 10 pm and can invite a couple of her (girl)friends to stay overnight. Have some fun stuff planned for them when they get back... just a thought.
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B.B. answers from Indianapolis on December 10, 2008
I don't recall having any dances/mixers before high-school, and even then, Freshmen weren't allowed to go to the dances, but there was a mixer in the spring they could go to. But that was 30 years ago.
I do agree that a Middle School having a Prom (as we remember them) is an unbelievably ridiculous idea. Not trying to justify it, but it could be that the people who planned it didn't completely consider the ramifications of calling it a "Prom" rather than an "event" (as in maybe having a "February Beach Party"). Or it could be the people who planned the event could consider it as a thing to "help prepare the kids for high school" sort of thing.
Anyway, the deed has been done; it's been planned and dubbed a Prom. It won't do much good to debate the semantics of "Prom" vs. "dance" vs. "mixer" vs. "event"....whatever. (Although it might not be a bad idea to call the school saying, "Are you kidding me? Really? A PROM of all things??")
It's time to figure out how to proceed in determining if she gets to attend, and if she does, setting up any necessary ground rules.
It might be a good idea to talk to her to find out what she thinks this is all about (and that could have been the point of the event planners too - to engage conversation between the parents and children). What does she think a prom is? Does she think it's something she'll attend with her friends or is she thinking it's a "date" sort of thing? Have you talked with her about when she can date or what sorts of things are acceptable or unacceptable on dates?
Make sure she knows it isn't a case of whether or not you trust her or her friends; you're just trying to figure out what she thinks is going on, how the event has been promoted, etc.; and that you're not taking out your frustration on her for the unwise acts of those who decided it was a good idea for a middle school to have the prom in the first place though. Let her know that you're concerned as a parent, that when you think of a prom, it's different than what she might be thinking of, and we didn't have proms that young when we went to school. Be willing to volunteer as a chaperone, and ask your daughter if she's okay with that.
The conversation you have with your daughter could help dictate the path you take.
Just a few thoughts, for what it's worth...good luck!
A.W. answers from Cleveland on December 10, 2008
I without a doubt think "Prom" should be reserved for high school only, however, do you think maybe it is not going to be as "promy" as it is in highschool. I would call the school and get some more details, perhaps it is just a dance that requires a little more dressing up than the usual middle school dance.
M.R. answers from Cincinnati on December 10, 2008
Prom in middle school = ridiculous
Just my opinion.