The Norman Transcript

May 2, 2014

Son will have to wait it out for prom

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Q: My son is a sophomore who plays for his high school’s varsity football team. He’s friends with a lot of older kids, and he’s really upset about not being able to go to the prom. I don’t really have a good explanation for him. Do you two know why all high school students can’t go?

— Sheila, of Moore

Dear Sheila,

Since you said you were from Moore, our assumption is that your son attends one of the three high schools there. Plus or minus a few kids, each school averages a total enrollment of 2,000 students. That’s a lot of people in one place.

Not too many venues are equipped to handle those kinds of numbers. Granted, not every student would go, but you also have some who bring dates from outside that school’s population. It’s difficult to get enough parents at times to help with certain functions.

Another reason, which none of us may have understood until we got older, is the mere fact that kids need something to look forward to doing. If they get to do everything as a freshman, by the time they are seniors, nothing is meaningful. They get bored and want more.

It’s also called the junior-senior prom. These classes are the ones who work on fundraising, spend hours planning and try to make it special for those graduating.

Short of a junior or senior girl asking him to attend, tell your son to have patience. He’ll have two years in which he can enjoy it and make great memories.

Q: My 16-year-old son doesn’t get along with my second husband. He thinks his stepdad is mean to him. When I try to intercede, my son accuses me of taking my husband’s side, and my husband says I’m too lenient with my son. Recently, I found a search on my son’s computer about being emancipated. I’m terrified. Can he really do this

— Name Withheld by Request

A: We have both been in your shoes, as far as having a stepfather in the picture. Most kids won’t find a stepparent to be the perfect choice for their lives. However, there are things that both he and your son can do to at least keep the peace around the house. That’s another column.

As far as being emancipated goes, this is what we know:

· Young adults must be at least 16.

· Young adults must be living on their own.

· Young adults must be employed and able to support themselves.

· An attorney is required, which means it must go through the court system, which means there will be fees attached to this service.

Most kids will think this seems like a great idea — to be on their own and not have to answer to anyone. Once they do the legwork, they find they don’t have the resources to pay for rent, utility bills, gas, food, attorney fees, etc., so it becomes very short-lived.

It’s no pleasure trip to be caught where you are. Why not let them try to work this out and get out of the middle? Honest communication can be a wonderful thing.

Mediation is one thing, but since you have an interest in both parties, it is difficult and hard on you. We feel your pain.

Please send questions to Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with more than 50 years combined educational experience. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.

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