I’m very much a live and let live kind of person – but of course you know that already. I don’t have all the answers, and have never pretended to; in fact the collaborative nature of this site and its readers is why I love Good Enough Mother so much.
But earlier today I saw this jaw-dropping story on Good Morning America about the ridiculous amount of money that some parents are spending for their kids’ proms. Now I’m going to try to be measured in my response here… oh, please forget it. THIS IS DISGUSTING! Really? REALLY? $3,000 for a dress, shoes, handbag, gym sessions, hair extensions and tanning – all for the FRACKING PROM? What planet are these people on? Clearly, one where money grows on trees.
Here are the issues and questions I had after watching this story.
COMPETITIVE PARENTING: Ack, you know how much I hate this trend. Over-spending on your kid’s prom smacks of “keeping up with the Joneses”. It all feels like moms trying to live vicariously through their kids. Mom, you’re way past 15. You should be over whatever issues you have from your teen years. If not, see a therapist.
“THE PRESSURE”: I heard this theme mentioned several times during the segment. The pressure to look good. Pressure by whom? The clique that eats closest to the stage in the cafeteria? Please. Who CARES what they think? Yes, I know that’s a hard lesson for kids, but that’s why the parents need to step up and teach real life lessons. Not happening here, is it?
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO LOOK FORWARD TO? Call me crazy, but I don’t think people should peak in high school. Spending outrageous amount on prom makes me wonder what comes next? It’s a dangerous road to go down…
I guess the thing that really bothers me about this trend though is the feeling that the parents are trying to compensate for something. We’ve all seen it before; heck, I’ve even done it myself. But here’s the difference between these mothers and me (other than the fact that they have money and I don’t).
I figured my feelings out and did something about it. Oh I spent something all right but it wasn’t money. It was time. Tie-dyeing shirts together, giving Casey a manicure or stopping my own work so I could pay attention as Cole told me in great detail about the latest war book he was reading. These kids know I love them because they are worthy of me doing more than throwing money at them. I’m not saying these mothers don’t love their children, but shouldn’t you also love them enough to say “No”?
Okay, that’s my take, what do you think about this story? How much do you think you should spend on a high school prom. Tell us your upper price limit – and why?
I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say…