What Kind of Prom Memory
by Shelly Donahue
The 2014 AAA Survey https://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/safety/aaapromise.aspx indicates that 41% of teenagers will probably drink on Prom night and yes, Prom, alcohol and sex seem to go together. Some research suggests that 10% of those Prom-goers will have their 1st intercourse that same evening. I didn’t want that Prom experience and/or memory for my kids. My parenting philosophy was to present the blessings of waiting for sex until marriage to them vs teaching away from the sexual consequences. I put what I wanted before them, not what I didn’t want.
I remember Lindsey’s Junior year when she came bounding through the front door one April after school, “Mom, Billy asked me to Prom, you know, Basketball Billy, can I go!?” I asked her if she knew him and she replied that he was 6’6″ and cute. Since we had recently moved to our community and as a new single Mom, I told her that I’d have to interview Billy before agreeing for her to spend 13 hours of her life with this “cute” perfect stranger. Of course she rolled her eyes and told me, “Mom, nobody interviews a Prom date.” “I do, or you don’t go to Prom.” She set up my meeting with Billy. We met after baseball practice in the parking lot of the baseball field after everyone had gone home. It was a nice eye-to-eye meeting – I was 6’6″ in heels that day. I greeted him, shook his hand, thanked him for meeting with me and then I asked about his Prom plans with my daughter. His Dad had rented a limo for 4 couples to go to Boulder for dinner. I asked if they intended to drink and he assured me that he was an athlete and had signed the athletic contract. I said, “Billy, I was a coach for 20 years and our athletes were some of the biggest partyers.” I told him that Lindsey was a prize and that I needed him to be a complete gentleman with her. He assured me he would be, and invited me to his house for Prom pictures on Saturday night at 5pm.
Three days before Prom I asked Lindsey how she wanted her date with Billy to end. She shrugged and said, “I don’t know, I’ll figure it out when it happens.” I responded, “Yeah, when his face is wrapped around yours you’ll figure it out – let’s figure it out now. I’ll be Billy, you be Lindsey, let’s go!” Again, she rolled her eyes, and hesitantly followed me out the front door to the car all the while looking to see if our neighbors were watching. I role played Billy opening the car door for her, walking her to the front porch, and saying, “Thank you and Goodnight” at the front door. She was completely embarrassed and it was OK – I get one chance to promote a healthy Prom memory for my daughter – I will be a fool for her.
During Prom pictures they looked like Barbie and Ken. She was 6′ tall, size 2 and he was 6’6,” “Basketball Billy” – they were adorable!
She came through the door at 4:30am after the After-Prom Party. I had one eye open on the couch, sat up and asked with as much excitement as I could muster at that hour, “How was it?!” She said, “Mom, Billy was a complete gentleman. When I got cold at dinner, he took off his jacket and put it around me, and he’s a good dancer and I won $50 at After Prom and 2 girls wore the same dress, and….” I interrupted and asked , “And….how’d your date with Billy end?” She smiled beautifully and replied, “Mom, it ended just like we planned. When Hank and Rachel pulled in the driveway, I grabbed the door handle and Billy asked, ‘May I open the door for you?’ He did, and walked me to the front door, hugged me and said, “Lindsey, I had a great time tonight, thank you!” and I came in. It was perfect!” I stood up and gave her a high 5 and told her how happy I was that her Prom date night was awesome. She told me she’d tell me more in the morning when she got up and excused herself to go to bed and I went to mine.
On the last day of class for Seniors, the school hosted a BBQ in the courtyard and distributed their yearbooks. That Spring, Billy opened Lindsey’s yearbook to the 2-page spread of the State Champion Baseball Team and in the bottom margin wrote, “Lindsey, I had a great time at Prom with you, Love Billy.”
That’s the Prom memory I wanted for my daughter!
In Proverbs 29:18, the Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Discuss with your kids how’d they like their Prom night to end and then help them to envision it by role playing it with them. Role playing gives our kids confidence to walk out their date night with a healthy outcome because they’ll have already seen it in their minds eye. Role playing builds faith, confidence, conviction and trust to do it well and right. Hebrews 10:22 Give your kids the positive assurance that they can do this! They can have a healthy and happy Prom experience and therefore a holy Prom memory that won’t conflict with their future relationships and/or marriage.
You are a qualified Mom and Dad – you can Parent for Purity on Purpose!
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