So you’re out shopping for a prom dress with your daughter.
I bet you’ve found lots of options and maybe your daughter has even found THE PERFECT DRESS.
Maybe it is gorgeous and flattering.
Here are some ways to compliment her choice that focus on HER, not her body shape.
Maybe the dress your daughter chose is not attractive or flattering, in your opinion. Maybe you feel it is too revealing. May be it is not ideal for your daughter’s body type. Perhaps it is too big or too small. Maybe she has chosen something non-traditional like a suit or less formal dress.
What is a parent to say?
Proceed with caution. Avoid statements like these:
These are shaming comments. Notice that they are all about your opinions about the dress.
Talking to your teen like this is guaranteed to hurt their feelings. Plus, it will probably shut down any productive conversation about the dress or outfit.
First things first. It is time for you to check with yourself about why you’re reacting so negatively to their choice. Is the dress/outfit truly unflattering? Or is it related to your opinions about how a teen girl *should* be dressing for prom?
High school prom is a time for your daughter to express herself through her clothing, jewelry, shoes, hair and makeup.
Here are some ideas of how to approach your teen in a curious and kind way, even if you disagree with her prom outfit choice.
At the end of the day, you can refuse to buy a dress or other outfit that you think is inappropriate in some way. Just know that it doesn’t have to come down to this if you choose your words carefully. If you just can't come to an agreement, decide to sleep on it and revisit the choice tomorrow. Maybe the shop will even hold the outfit for a day.
Be creative. Be flexible. Be kind. I promise, these will help you and your teen come to a consensus on their prom attire.
Have you ever found yourself in one of these situations? Tell us about how YOU talked to your daughter about prom attire. We want to hear from dads, too!
Ready for more help on how to talk to your teen about EVERYTHING PROM?
What To Say When Your Teen Doesn't Have a Prom Date
What To Say When You're Concerned About Your Teen Partying Too Hard at Prom
Bethany Raab is a Denver-based social worker who loves helping teens and their families be happy and healthy!