The following was written on my home school blog back in 2008. It’s about a topic that can cause some parents to get defensive. My hope is that instead of being offended, my young friends and their parents that read this will think about what I have to say when the next prom season comes around. Since it was written for a home school blog I refer to home schoolers and public schoolers but we should all be concerned about what we encourage and allow our children to be involved in.
April 30th, 2008
When people hear that you’re homeschooling, there are questions that immediately pop into their head. These questions are pretty much the same across the board. For example: Is it legal? What about Socialization? What about the prom?
Well….What about the prom?
There are several reasons we home school. One of them being to protect our children from immorality. The schools are filled with filthy language, sexual promiscuity and immodest dress, etc. We have been blessed, for the most part, to have home school friends that have the same values as we have concerning these issues. There is one exception — the prom.
Home school families that won’t allow their children to watch any (or much) TV, attend the public school or date at an early age, are planning proms for their teenage children. My first question is: Why? Why should we try to copy what the public school does? Why do we want to put our children in compromising situations that either encourage illicit behavior or, at least, leaves the impression that what goes on at proms is a good thing?
Here is my perception of a prom from what I hear from others, see from TV and remember from my youth. I never did attend a prom, but being a product of the public school system, I definitely knew what was going on there. A prom is the one night of the year for teenagers to pair off as couples, spend money extravagantly, dress immodestly (either not enough clothes or drawing attention to oneself), and dance.
What’s wrong with pairing off as couples? The whole idea is that boy/girl friends are going to a party/dance. This either encourages kids to “pair off” with someone they may or may not have any true feelings for and act like a couple while doing it. Acting like a couple means different things to different people, but if you hear the talk amongst high school students it usually involves intimacy that should be reserved for married couples. In fact, the latest fad seems to be getting yourself a “prom baby”. Girls are actually wanting to get pregnant on the night of the prom. Not because they’re in love with the guy, not because they’re looking forward to getting married, not because they want to be a mother. It’s because they want to have the status symbol of having gotten pregnant the night of the prom.
One more thing about couples….where does that leave the rest of the kids. If the prom is a night to get together and enjoy each other’s company, what about those that don’t want to date or don’t get a date? They are left out. Doesn’t sound like something promoting togetherness amongst a group of teens, does it?
How about all the money that is spent? It is unbelievable (at least to me) how much money is spent for proms. The tickets themselves can be prohibitive for many kids. The clothes they are expected to wear are so expensive. Who can go to the prom in anything less than the best? Many kids are renting limousines or other expensive transportation to and from the prom. Their parents are actually encouraging this type of extravagant behavior. What message are we sending our kids when we encourage them to spend money on such self-gratifying items and services. Teenagers tend to think “it’s all about me”. This sort of extravagance confirms what they think.
What about the immodest dress? I just don’t understand how a mom and dad can encourage their daughter to go out at anytime but especially to a prom dressed like these girls are dressing. Their parents can’t be unaware of what is on the mind of kids that age. We encourage them to be chaste, to act properly, and then dress them in clothes that have no backs, no straps, are low-cut, short and/or tight fitting — revealing way too much of the body. What exactly is the purpose of this type of dress? Does it promote good thoughts in the girl? Good thought in her date? Good thoughts amongst others at the prom? When a girl is dressed in such an immodest way, she is advertising to the world that she 1) doesn’t respect herself — thinks that revealing herself to others will cause them to like her and 2) that she will do whatever it takes to keep people liking her. In the case of the girl at the prom it may and many times does end up in “the couple” committing fornication. Last of all, she doesn’t think of her body as the temple of God. If she did, she would protect her body and her reputation.
Not enough clothing isn’t all there is to dressing immodestly. I’ve heard girls say that they want heads to turn when they walk into a room. While there is nothing wrong with dressing in a way that is appealing (and I don’t mean sexually here), there is a big difference in that and wanting everyone to notice “me”. A Christian should not want to draw attention to his or herself. To want “heads to turn” is immodest. Of course, immodesty doesn’t stop with the girls. Girls and boys are going to the proms dressed to make statements. They are coloring their hair, wearing things that are not “traditional ” prom wear. Why would they dress this way? To draw attention to themselves.
I haven’t even talked about the dancing yet. What about the dancing? Is there anything wrong with a couple of teenagers standing front to front with the girl dressed in such a way as to reveal much of her body, swaying back and forth, or worse, to romantic, seductive music? What if they were doing this standing in the middle of Wal-mart? What would most people think? In any situation except a dance (in this case the prom) this would be considered lewd behavior that should not be carried out in public. At a dance, though all the rules change. The movements that are not acceptable in public are now encouraged by parents, teachers, principles, etc. The kids are expected to rub their bodies against each other and then at the end of the night, give a peck on the cheek and happily go home. Slow dancing is nothing more than foreplay. And our young people are encouraged to do this and to do it in public.
I know, not all dancing is slow dancing. There are some kinds of music that encourages dancing that does not involve such intimate touching. This type of dancing involves movements that can be quite appealing to young men when the girls are dressed in such immodest clothing. What teenage boy wouldn’t want to see his date dancing around and possibly/probably showing even more of herself than the parents at home had intended. The movements involved in this more active dancing can be downright obscene. With the popularity of the TV show Dancing With The Stars, I’m sure the teenagers are trying to mimic what they see the stars doing. What did one judge say about one of the dances she saw on TV recently? She said that watching it was better than good sex. I think that just sums up the whole reason for such dancing.
Now I know that you are probably saying that “nothing like that goes on at our prom”. You may be right, but by encouraging and allowing your child to go to the prom, any prom, you are trying to get just as close to the fence without actually stepping over. We all tend to be so protective of our kids in so many things and then just let our guard down because we want to be like everyone else.
What to do instead? Will it harm your child mentally, physically, socially, spiritually if they don’t go to the prom? No. I didn’t go to my prom. My husband didn’t go to his. My kids have never been to a prom. Life goes on. After the “big night”, it’s over. All the money, all the heartache over whether or not you have a date, all the extravagance, all the promiscuous behavior….it’s over. One night of putting my child in temptation, of giving my child just a hint of what life is like in the world, of encouraging my child to think “it’s all about him” is not worth the damage that can be done.
So…What about the prom?