Homecoming Date and Sad Teen


#1

My daughter attends a Catholic high school. Many of the kids are going as friends to the homecoming dance. The boys are asking the girls to go with them as a friend…they will go in a group and meet for dinner and then go to the dance.

I went to a very small school that did not have homecoming or prom. So, I don’t fully understand the hoopla around this. However, my daughter has not been asked to go, as a friend, to the dance. She is a strong sweet girl, but I know she would like to at least have a nice boy ask her to go as a friend. She is being very matter of fact and open about it, but I sense some hurt.

This seems a minor thing in this day and age with so many people struggling with so many issues. In addition, i know that there will be those who are against homecoming and any type of dating, even as friends. Still, I ask you all for prayers for my daughter.

I think we forget how deeply teens feel and internalize things. I don’t want to overlook the ‘sadness’ she feels as her friends are getting dresses and having their first group outing experience. My hope for her is that a kind truly Catholic young man invites her to go with him as a friend. My prayer also is that all children feel complete and happy this night…with or without a ‘date’. It is SUCH a hard age!

Thanks in advance for any prayers you feel called to send up on her behalf!
Taben


#2

Yeah being a teenager was a little rough trying to find yourself and be secure with the person you are at the same time is rough and it doesn't help that you are still changing pretty fast. It is strange to think that I am far enough removed from it now (24) that teenagers actually view me as an adult. It is kind of sad that many older people, even those my age, get irritated with teens so quickly when acceptance is one of the things they seek so fervently. Anyway she had my prayers. Though I would like to comment on the somewhat humorous irony if she is even average looking girl there is probably a boy who would love to have her as a date but doesn't have, and likely will not gather, the nerve to even mention it. Gotta love high school.


#3

I had a friend whose sister was in the same situation so I offered to take her.She was very happy to go...Maybe you have someone you can trust who has a nice son..
May the Lord bless her and care for her in those trying years of her life...


#4

I can feel for her…although at 56 I am far from a teen, I too was never asked to a dance at school. I went to a Catholic HS and was not part of the in crowd. I missed out on homecomings and proms. But the good thing was that there were a number of girls who also were not asked. We would get together on the night of the dance and have our own “girls party,” usually a pajama party (do they still do that?) at someones house. I still remember the party the night of the senior prom, we had so much fun. I also went to one dance with my cousin. No one knew him so they thought he was my date.

There is also the trend in our area for “singles” to go to these dances and proms just with girlfriends so that they don’t miss out on the dancing, food and fun. It was unheard of in my day but a few years later my school lifted the “date” status of such affairs and encouraged those without a date to attend with friends who also were dateless.

I never dated in HS…never was asked. It can be heartbreaking and I thought something was wrong with me. Now I know better. But I also fell for the first guy that came along in college and married him, because I thought no one else would have me…which is another story.


#5

[quote="Joannm, post:4, topic:213477"]
I can feel for her...although at 56 I am far from a teen, I too was never asked to a dance at school. I went to a Catholic HS and was not part of the in crowd. I missed out on homecomings and proms. But the good thing was that there were a number of girls who also were not asked. We would get together on the night of the dance and have our own "girls party," usually a pajama party (do they still do that?) at someones house. I still remember the party the night of the senior prom, we had so much fun. I also went to one dance with my cousin. No one knew him so they thought he was my date.

There is also the trend in our area for "singles" to go to these dances and proms just with girlfriends so that they don't miss out on the dancing, food and fun. It was unheard of in my day but a few years later my school lifted the "date" status of such affairs and encouraged those without a date to attend with friends who also were dateless.

I never dated in HS...never was asked. It can be heartbreaking and I thought something was wrong with me. Now I know better. But I also fell for the first guy that came along in college and married him, because I thought no one else would have me...which is another story.

[/quote]

I thought of this too. Is it unheard of at your daughters school to go stag? My nieces went to Catholic HS and they both attended their Proms with a group of girlfriends. They said if you didn't have a boyfriend, that's what you did. In fact, the school discontinued the practice of selling the tickets "per couple" like they used to in my day -- and now sell all tickets per person.

Tell your daughter to hang in there. Some of the happiest married couples I know never dated at all until college.


#6

That sounds like me as a teen too. I had many friends in my group, male friends even, but they were mostly paired off with other friends and acquaintances.

Fortunately the only dances that sold tickets by the pair were the proms (and unfortunately I think they still do that) but while I managed to find dates for those, both men clearly wanted to spend their time with someone else. I remember one dance that didn't require a date when I was approaching the table all my friends were sitting at and they had to pull an extra chair for me because the tables seated 8 and those chairs were being occupied by 4 dating couples.

It made me feel very lonely... I just wanted to have an exclusive companion instead of feeling like a third wheel all the time.

My prayers are with her. This IS a very difficult time. My youngest sister is going through the same thing too. She doesn't want to hear anything from me because I managed to get married anyway. But I still do vividly remember those days and how much I was hurting.


#7

It can be frustrating how society's expectations can put a lot of pressure on us or make us feel that we have to do certain things. My high school had homecoming and prom, but I never went to any of those dances throughout my four years there. I recall my parents being pretty upset that I wasn't going to prom or had asked a girl to go. They felt I would regret it and miss out on an important life experience. Anyway, despite there protests, I still decided not to go and looking back I think the decision was just fine.

In regards to your daughter, I think these type of situations are harder on girls than guys. It is a much bigger deal for them and I feel for her. She has to be thinking as to why these guys are asking her friends and not her, which can be tough on anyone.

I hope she gets to go with an nice guy, but you know what...she'll probably have a lot of fun if she goes with a group of her female friends who are also stag. There is probably a good chance she'll get to talk/dance with some nice guys there who are stag and may end up having more fun this way than if she ends up having a guy ask her to go. You never know, sometimes things end up working out well in unusual ways.


#8

Thank you all SO MUCH for your understanding and support. I honeslty feared that this thread could end up being responded to with a "courtship only" responses and folks condemning me for even feeling for my daughter rather than reprimanding the notion of 'friendship' dates. So, I truly do thank you all for understanding.

There are two other things coming into play here...
Firslty, of her group of 8 friends all but one intended to go as a group...then all but one other was asked to the dance. Sigh.
Secondly, we are minority family and this adds a bit to the stress of things. Kids are understandably 'attracted' to and know better kids they have more in common with. We are Catholic, but go to a small minority based Parish. Very few kids at the school go to our parish or live near us. That fact seems to impact the social things of high school. Again, no one is talking 'going out' and boyfriends...but still even with these types of gathering kids tend to gravitate toward those who live near them, go to their parish and are of the same ethnic background and she is the only minority of her 'group'. This has been a non issue but for dates I think it does have an impact, if only in terms of those you 'picture yourself' with. On our end, so long as he is a kind, respectful boy we are fine.

So again, thank you for your prayers and understanding. She is in a musical group and I am hoping that those kids go as a group. Her close friends are not part of this group, but they are wonderful kids and I think she would enjoy going with all of them...as a group.

Wow...I really had forgotten how High School can really impact the self esteem of even the nicest, brightest kids!!! UGH!
Taben


#9

I pray for your daughter.

As a HSer, I was very shy guy. I did not go to any of the formal dances - mostly for fear asking a girl and being told no. However, I would have loved it if a girl had asked me - especially if it was just as a friend.

I hope it works out!


#10

We just went through this with our own daughter.. same sort of thing - Catholic HS & everyone asking everyone.

My daughter did go with a boy "as a friend" - however HIS idea of friendship was vastly different from hers. Once at the dance, he dumped her for another girl who was much more willing to make out with him. When I picked my dd up from the dance there were lots of tears.. several days later she actually finds it amusing.. what a pathetic jerk he obviously was! The other girl can have that "friend."

Yesterday the boy sent my daughter a text message. "Sorry I dumped you for "Emily" at the dance. I really like you and worry that I blew my chance to be with you."

She & I rolled in a fit of laughter over that one. How stupid/clueless can you get?

So although I feel for your daughter not getting asked - sometimes I think it's true.. Thank God for unanswered prayers! There are worse things for sure. I think kids this age just aren't mature enough to handle the whole "dating" thing yet.. even if it's just called going to a dance with a friend. Feelings get hurt all over the place.

I would totally encourage her to go with her music friends. That actually sounds like so much more fun.

Reassure your daughter that it's just one day.. by Tuesday of the following week it's all a thing of the past. Teenagers have short attention spans.


#11

Taben:

I would suggest that you strongly encourage your daughter to organize a group of friends to go as a "group of friends" to the homecoming football game, then on the night of the dance, out to dinner and onto the dance.

It would be a very good experience for your daughter. Even a 15 year old freshman could handle this (with a mother's help). Using facebook your daughter can get the word out and track RSVPs, then make arrangements at a restaurant and arrange for transportation from one or two parents with big vehicles. The kids could eat dinner before the game and just meet at the football field at a certain time/place. For the dance itself, everyone could meet at your house for picutres and light appetizers (of course you don't want to feed them too much). At the end of the evening, all of the teens would be picked up at the dance by their own parent. Also, the parents of girls could buy their daughter's mums if that is a tradition at your high school

If you've seen the Christian movie "To Save A Life" then you know that it is so important to include as many friends as possible. There is no reason that a teen who wants to go to homecoming should stay at home because they lack a date. Let me assure you, there will probably be football players and cheerleaders who don't have dates. These teens are developing socially at different rates, and a lot of kids just aren't ready for the formal social scene that is homecoming. I believe that most boys aren't ready for this until they are around 16, which can be difficult for their female peers. However, I would never recommend that a girl ask a guy, unless she is interested in someone who goes to a different school (which then provides a real reason for the girl asking to her own school's dance). Generally, it's not good for the girl to be the driving force in the relationship. The boys need to learn to be men and ask!


#12

[quote="taben, post:8, topic:213477"]

So again, thank you for your prayers and understanding. She is in a musical group and I am hoping that those kids go as a group. Her close friends are not part of this group, but they are wonderful kids and I think she would enjoy going with all of them...as a group.

Wow...I really had forgotten how High School can really impact the self esteem of even the nicest, brightest kids!!! UGH!
Taben

[/quote]

This is a fabulous idea... maybe encourage your daughter to organize a group from her "musical group" of friends... and who knows, maybe this will lead to stronger friendships in that area. It's good to have diverse "groups" of friends - there's always room for more!

Also, since - as you are saying - these are kids going out as "friends"... why not encourage HER to ask a boy? There are always shy guys that have a hard time approaching girls. If she can handle such a thing, it may be a good option!

Prayers for your daughter - and you!


#13

[quote="Cupofkindness, post:11, topic:213477"]
Taben:

I would suggest that you strongly encourage your daughter to organize a group of friends to go as a "group of friends" to the homecoming football game, then on the night of the dance, out to dinner and onto the dance.

It would be a very good experience for your daughter. Even a 15 year old freshman could handle this (with a mother's help). Using facebook your daughter can get the word out and track RSVPs, then make arrangements at a restaurant and arrange for transportation from one or two parents with big vehicles. The kids could eat dinner before the game and just meet at the football field at a certain time/place. For the dance itself, everyone could meet at your house for picutres and light appetizers (of course you don't want to feed them too much). At the end of the evening, all of the teens would be picked up at the dance by their own parent. Also, the parents of girls could buy their daughter's mums if that is a tradition at your high school

If you've seen the Christian movie "To Save A Life" then you know that it is so important to include as many friends as possible. There is no reason that a teen who wants to go to homecoming should stay at home because they lack a date. Let me assure you, there will probably be football players and cheerleaders who don't have dates. These teens are developing socially at different rates, and a lot of kids just aren't ready for the formal social scene that is homecoming. I believe that most boys aren't ready for this until they are around 16, which can be difficult for their female peers. However, I would never recommend that a girl ask a guy, unless she is interested in someone who goes to a different school (which then provides a real reason for the girl asking to her own school's dance). Generally, it's not good for the girl to be the driving force in the relationship. The boys need to learn to be men and ask!

[/quote]

I think that your idea of organizing an "event" through Facebook, and getting the word out is terrific. If the OPs daughter is at all shy, it would be a very easy route to take. Who knows how many more kids in her school might jump at the chance to join this group, but would never have the courage to approach someone on their own.

We were very conservative parents, with high standards; however, as a result of my own childhood/adolescence with well-meaning parents who thought that "doing what everyone else was doing" was akin to mortal sin, I well know how easy it is to feel left out and odd. While meddling or being a hovering "helicopter parents" is unwarranted, giving a little boost in a situation like this is fine. High school can be a miserable 4 years otherwise.


#14

My momma heart is breaking for you and her. I'll definitely pray for her.

I'd ask her if she knows other dateless girls and just form one big "stag" group. That's what I did in school!


#15

Sending prayers. :gopray:

(Don't know if this an option or not, but she may want to get some people and skip prom altogether and go to IHOP or Denny's, where they let you go and hang out away from all the peer pressure. It could be just a group of girl friends, no boys, and they might have more fun. just a thought.)


#16

I think I should clarify that I think it's alright for a girl to ask a guy who is very clearly a platonic friend. I believe things get a little difficult when a girl asks a guy that she has feelings for. Mainly, that she might wonder if he really is attracted to her because of who she is or because she initiated things and he's following her like a lost puppy.

Also, for the night of the dance, the girls might want to have corsages. If they protest that these are only flowers that their mothers bought for them, you can tell your daughters that well the boys are wearing flowers that their dates' mothers bought. In the end, it doesn't make a difference. Restaurant reservations for the more formal dinner before the dance are important for a large group. Dinner before the football game, if they even go out as a group, is very informal. With a group structure like this, one should expect that they will mingle quite a bit at both the game and the dance. It's all good.

Anyway, a lot depends on your budget and what is important to the kids involved. For us, flowers and mums mattered a little. But finding the right dress was everything. Very hard to find a modest dress, we probably tried on at least 50 dresses before we found the right one at White House/Black Market. We also went to the cosmetic counter at Macy's for a free make over. Got lots of tips and free samples, plus we bought some key products as well. Dances are a fun way for mothers and daughters to spend time together. And spend a lot of money together as well.

The most important thing about homecoming in this case is (1) that your daughter has a great time with her friends and (2) that her self-confidence level is boosted as a result of planning a wonderful evening. She should expect things to be awkward at times, because no body's perfect (of course she knows that), but with a group of good kids, it will be a great evening or two.


#17

[quote="dixieagle, post:13, topic:213477"]
I think that your idea of organizing an "event" through Facebook, and getting the word out is terrific. If the OPs daughter is at all shy, it would be a very easy route to take. Who knows how many more kids in her school might jump at the chance to join this group, but would never have the courage to approach someone on their own.

We were very conservative parents, with high standards; however, as a result of my own childhood/adolescence with well-meaning parents who thought that "doing what everyone else was doing" was akin to mortal sin, I well know how easy it is to feel left out and odd. While meddling or being a hovering "helicopter parents" is unwarranted, giving a little boost in a situation like this is fine. High school can be a miserable 4 years otherwise.

[/quote]

I think its a great idea too.

And OP, your heart may be breaking for your daughter, but another way to look at this is that it could be a really good thing. If she takes some of the suggestions here in this thread to heart, this is a great opportunity for her to expand her social circle and connect with people she wouldn't have done if she had been asked to the dance in the first place. Its a great lesson to learn, and some people never do learn how to be proactive and reach outside of their comfort zone. It will benefit her in the future, she's going to be ok.


closed #18

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