Friday, September 16, 2011

Miss USA hairstyles for homecoming

Two weeks ago, no boy had asked a friend's daughter to high school homecoming yet � and she was upset.  The dance is just going to be in a gussied up gym � but to teens like her, it seems like a big deal. "She didn't want to be the only one in her group who wasn't invited," says her mom. Now that a guy finally popped the question, she is giddy and running around.

What, if anything, should you do if your daughter is dateless for the dance?

Do some soul searching about how much it bothers you. For some kids, the dance is no big deal. "Figure out how upset the kid is," says psychiatrist Mary Alice O'Dowd, director of psychosomatic medicine in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She remembers that her own mother mistakenly thought she cared about not being asked to the junior prom. Her own son ran for class office and won one year but not the next. She thought he would be devastated � but he wasn't. "It was my fantasy," she says.

Check your own ego. "Be careful that you don't project your own vicarious disappointment, and your own defense mechanisms, onto your daughter," says Carl Hindy, a psychologist in Nashua, N.H., and co-author of If This Is Love, Why Do I Feel So Insecure?  "Saying things like, 'You shouldn't care what anyone thinks,' may miss the mark. Your daughter might feel at the least that you don't understand, or even worse that you are disappointed with her." Your daughter might even think, "It seemed like my mother was more upset about it than I was!" he says.

Understand if and why the event matters to your child. "An invitation to the homecoming dance can be especially meaningful to high school girls for many reasons: the social scene and one's place in it is vitally important to adolescents," says child psychiatrist Elizabeth Berger, author of Raising Kids with Character. "The homecoming invitation can be a trophy of success in attracting the opposite sex, a rite of passage, and a badge denoting membership in the group that has all the fun. It can be a sign of achievement and of fitting in. It can prove that one is normal and on the way to a life of acceptance and fulfillment, not a life of ostracism and loneliness."

Know that unasked kids can feel like losers. "The public quality of homecoming lends the invitation a potential overtone of humiliation � a group recognition of one's failure," says Berger. "These public disappointments are particularly dreaded by teenagers beyond the personal aspect of being left out."

Recognize heartache. Perhaps the boy your daughter's dream date asked someone else to go instead, which adds bitterness to disappointment, says Berger.

Be empathetic. "The pain that a girl may experience about not being invited to homecoming can be substantial," says Berger. Say, "Yes, I know how badly you feel. I am so sorry that you are suffering. I wish that there were something that I could do.'" It's tricky for parents to resist the temptation to dismiss the lack of an invitation. "Naturally, the parent knows very well that the pain of not being invited to homecoming is not the same as the pain of lung cancer or starvation or being bombed in a war," she says. "The parent knows that the girl can go stag to the dance and may meet Mr. Wonderful that very night. Probably the daughter knows these things also, but this knowledge is of no help right now. It does not help people with their grief to be told that lung cancer is worse or that they will have forgotten all about their grief by Tuesday or that it isn't the end of the world. These responses only make the grieving person feel that the other person just doesn't understand."

Think about learning to handle disappointments. "[It] is, in my view, the most important underlying theme here," says Hindy. "Face disappointments straight on, acknowledge them rather than deflect or blame excessively, accept them as OK and inevitable in life, look for solutions, and look for what can be learned for the future. For your daughter to be able to brush herself off after the disappointment, to genuinely feel good about herself despite it, and ultimately to carry her growing resilience into adulthood is key."

Try to solve the problem. Talk about whether your daughter might ask a boy herself, says Hindy. She could also go with a bunch of girlfriends. Some schools give out free individual tickets to freshmen to encourage them to come alone or in groups.

Listen respectfully. "When a teenager says, 'This is the end of the world. My life is over,' the parent can say, 'It must be terrible to feel that way. Now personally, I don't believe that your life is over,'" says Berger. "'Personally, I believe that your life is just beginning and that your life will be wonderful, because I have faith in you. But I understand how awful it must be for you right now.'"

Keep your antenna up. "A little grief, a little sadness, a few tears are OK," says O'Dowd. But take it seriously if a teen seems extremely upset. If a child is changing her behavior and feeling very low, she may benefit from counseling, she says.

Recognize what causes stress. Whether your daughter goes with a group of friends or with a date, she and her pals undoubtedly will invest considerable time in thinking (or even obsessing) about hairstyles for homecoming and dresses for homecoming. (Get ready to shudder a little if you visit popular websites such as or, which include slinky dresses that look like they belong on Kim Kardashian, not on a high school student.) Your daughter may also worry about cost. Tickets for homecoming can run $35 or so.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...