Daughter’s prom dilemma

Dear Amy: My daughter is 16 and in the 10th grade. She was asked to go to her high school prom by an 11th-grader whom she was seeing earlier this year. They went out only for a few weeks and then broke up.

I believe she ended it because he didn’t make much -- or any -- effort.

Shortly after they broke up, he started dating someone else.

I think she has been second-guessing her decision to break up with him.


Her friends have been suggesting that she should give him another chance.

I told her that she shouldn’t settle for someone. She is beautiful, smart, kind and funny, and when the right boy comes along, he will make her feel special.

She says that they are just friends and that she simply wants to go to the prom.

I can understand friends who are in the 11th and 12th grades attending the prom together. She does not have any other friends (besides her date) who will be there.


I’m worried that her self-esteem may be slipping and that she’s settling for much less than she deserves.

I know she really wants to go to the prom. However, I do not want her to get hurt again, so I am tempted to tell her she cannot go. What do you think?

Confused Mom

Dear Confused: There is nothing wrong with going to the prom with a friend, but this guy doesn’t sound like much of a friend. Because your daughter won’t have any other friends attending and is in 10th grade, you should tell her to wait a year.


I agree with your concerns about your daughter “settling,” and though many of us learn best through our mistakes, the prom is too expensive and too risky to use as a learning tool.

It’s smart to talk about her options and choices, but you may also have to wince a little as your girl cycles through the various social stages toward maturity.


Dear Amy: I was appalled by your response to “Irritated Uncle,” the generous gift-giver to 16 nieces and nephews who couldn’t get a response to “What would you like?” from two of them and made charitable contributions in their names. The nephews and their mother were ungrateful, and you took their side!


The boys were acting like typical adolescents, whose first response to any question may well be “Whatever!”

This uncle’s impulse to make a charitable contribution in each boy’s name and present them with the thank-you letter was admirable, not a “poor choice.” He should be congratulated, not censured, for trying to teach these boys a lesson.

The only thing he might have done differently (and with better result) would have been to tell the boys in advance, “Well, since you don’t know what you want, and since I’m not a mind-reader, I will make a donation to a worthy cause in your names, and give you their expression of thanks as your gifts.”

I had a great-aunt who did much the same for me after she decided, when I was 10 or 11, that I had enough “stuff.” I have never forgotten her lesson.


Grateful Niece

Dear Grateful: Scores of readers were appalled at my response to “Irritated Uncle.” Scores!

I was very irritated by this uncle’s punitive tone in dealing with his teenage nephews, who I agree were not behaving perfectly but were behaving typically.

I also feel strongly that giving to charity should be done not as a last resort or to punish someone who won’t tell you what gift he wants, but as a first choice of gift-giving -- as your great-aunt demonstrated so well.



Dear Amy: More on people “popping by.”

With almost everyone having cellphones, a simple courtesy call is appreciated, even if it is only to give me 10 minutes to “tidy up” or to explain that it’s not a good time for me.

Readers, please be considerate and do not just “drop in.”


Please Don’t Pop

Dear Pop: I promise to call first.

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