The only thing more painful than not getting asked to prom? Watching your daughter sit home dateless when she’d rather be the belle of the ball. Yes, those high school guys are jerks not to recognize all her special qualities, and no, you don’t want her to change who she is, but there are some things you can teach her to help her shine.
- Get a grip. “The prom is just the prom,” says April Masini, author of Date Like a Man and Dating Out of Your League. “It’s not cancer. If your child thinks it’s the biggest deal in the world, you don’t have to validate that, and by not validating that, you give your child some perspective. If your child thinks the prom is no big deal and you’re the one who’s flipped out that your child doesn’t have a date, you will give your child anxiety.”
- Slow Down. “Dating is not a gauntlet to be run through,” continues Masini. “Dating is a process by which people spend time together and enjoy each other’s company. Parents can teach their children what schools, in their rush to prevent teen pregnancy through sex education, have not: love and romance. Love and romance, commitment and loyalty are missing in most ‘tweens’ and teens’ lives….What parents need to teach their children is about romance and about getting to know opposite sex peers when they’re ready in a way that includes friendship first and foremost and sexuality as a way to express themselves when they are old enough and responsible enough.”
- Be Yourself. “Confidence is a huge magnet at any age,” she advises. “Get out in the world and find what it is you’re good at. Invest time in being a great friend and you’ll feel your popularity meter rise. Enjoy your life and be true to yourself. Putting yourself in situations where you have the most fun while still being responsible is a great way to increase your magnetism.”
- Enjoy! “When you take your life for granted you’re likely to slog through it,” says Masini. “By giving your life some meaning by volunteering, enjoying your studies (and if you don’t enjoy them, study something you do enjoy), taking good care of yourself and smiling at people instead of staring at the ground, you’ll never be a wallflower.”