What to Do When Your Teen Girl Isn’t Asked to the Prom

What can I do to bolster the self-esteem of my teenage daughter who is feeling crushed after not being asked to the prom? I've never seen her this low before, and I'm feeling like I need to take steps to build her back up again. Can you help me?

To begin with, avoid making a big issue of her disappointment. Prom night is one of the most over-hyped experiences of adolescence. Your daughter doesn’t know this, of course – her friends, the media, and the culture have all told her that she’s missing out on the biggest evening of her life, and it probably won’t do much good to try to convince her otherwise. But it’s just as unhelpful to say or do anything that might encourage or prolong her melancholy mood.

That’s not to say that you should ignore or make light of her feelings. The emotions she’s going through are very real, and they have nothing to do with the intrinsic value of the prom. They’re primarily related to her sense of self-worth. So be sensitive. Don’t try to apply a quick-fix solution. Give her time to be sad and withdrawn. Back off if you get the impression that she doesn’t want to discuss the matter. When she does come to the point of opening up, take time to listen. Reaffirm her as a person, reinforce the importance of character as opposed to mere popularity and social standing, and remind her of what she has to offer some fortunate young man when the time is right. Direct her attention to what the Bible has to say about God’s unfathomable love for her. And as opportunities arise, help her gain a more realistic view of events like the prom.

On a more practical level, you might consider recommending an alternate activity for the evening. If some of her friends are free, host a slumber party or a movie night. If everybody else is at the prom, propose a “dad date” at a location of your daughter’s choosing. If she decides to stay home, encourage her to call a friend far away (and don’t worry about the minutes).

Whatever you do, take pains to reassure her of your love. If you need suggestions for effective and meaningful ways to communicate your affection, give our Counseling department a call. Our caring staff counselors are all fully licensed and qualified, and they’re happy to help in any way they can.



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