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Prom's Real Purpose

​​This information is included in our Guide to Teenage Dating. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

The whole purpose of prom, or any school-sponsored formal, is to give young people the chance to develop their social skills. Somehow that always gets forgotten. That’s why it’s important to remind your daughter that prom is really an opportunity for her to practice the social behaviors that will benefit her for the rest of her life. She needs to learn how to walk, talk, dress, and act appropriately in formal situations. The more you can help your daughter understand the purpose of prom, the less likely she is to inflate prom into something it was never meant to be. A good way to start your discussion is to ask, “What do you want to remember?” We’ve posed that question to hundreds of girls. While they all say they want to have fun and be “seen,” most talk about wanting to remember their friends and not having any regrets. That’s a great goal! Prom should be about social relationships, not social status.

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