How Prom has changed
I have a friend who posted an article on Facebook that I want to talk about for a moment. In Ohio there was a middle school teacher who made a comment on snap chat about parents having money for horses at prom but not school supplies or passing grades. There were parents who were offended and the teacher is currently on paid leave. While I don’t know the economic status of the teen’s family who hired the horse and carriage nor do I know the intent of the teacher’s comments. What I do think is that we as parents and as a society are missing the opportunity to look inward and ask ourselves some very important questions. Why has prom become such and over-the-top event that can set teens and parents back a few thousand dollars? Have we as parents turned prom into an event where parents competing with other parents to show off who can spend the most on their child? Why have we hyped teens up to believe that this one night is a make or break, life changing moment? And I say parents because at the end of the day there is an adult who signs off on all of this.
I did a Google search online for extravagant prom 2017 and there were plenty of photos of teens posing in front of every high-end car you can think of, posing in front of planes, on private planes, etc. Every thing wrecked of lavishness but how much of that lavishness is just an illusion created for one night that will be forgotten long before that teen hits their 30’s let alone their 40’s. As I have mentioned before my husband and I have five kids. #1 didn’t want to go to prom #2 and #3 one boy and one girl went to their junior prom and attended their senior prom last month. #4 is on track to graduate early and won’t go, (I don’t think it’s his thing anyway) and #5 is too young to tell. 2 and 3 went they had a good time. Number 2 drove and 3 rode with her date in the car he drove to school. We didn’t rent a Rolls –Royce, Bentley, or any other high end luxury car. We didn’t rent a helicopter, nor plane. # 3 borrowed a dress because she said she had enough gowns that she will never wear again in her closet # 2 rented a tuxedo. The night was still theirs and the memories were still created. And you noticed I didn’t even touch talking about prom proposals, which is a whole other conversation.
How can we as parents allow our children to get so wrapped up in one night when in the grand scheme of their lives this one night probably won’t even register when they start to live their adult lives and figure out who they are? Are their colligate aspirations held to the same standard? Do you forfeit the right to complain about the rising cost of college when you’re willing to drop hundreds or even thousands on one night? Have we as parents and society created a generation that is focused on the illusion of reality and not reality itself? What happens after the cars are returned to the rightful owners? The plane ride is over? And the dress is no longer in fashion or fits? And the pictures end up in the attic, or basement, or discarded?