View Full Version : 8th grader and Formal...please help this mama.

05-08-2017, 06:43 PM
DS's 8th grade has their Formal on May 1st. They make a HUGE deal out of this event. It used to be a formal dance with the gym very nicely decorated. Now, it's at a very formal prom/wedding destination. Kids are wearing tuxes, prom-like gowns, and corsages. Dinner and limos are expected!! This is absolutely INSANE!! I have been dreading this all throughout middle school...not for the expense but for the sheer middle-school awkwardness.

My DS has not had a very good MS experience, which stemmed from an awkward newly-relocated 5th grade year. He has been bullied and has had a very difficult time making close friends. I have the feeling that he has a fair amount of friends but no one that he gets together with outside of school. He is a VERY GOOD kid who just happens to have ADHD and he just feels like a little bit of an outsider. It breaks my heart.

So...fast-forward to this dance. Because they are making such a big deal out of this thing, DH & I have expressed to DS that he CAN go if he chooses...he can go with a girl or he can go "stag" with a group of his friends. We also suggested that he ask a bunch of his friends if they'd like to just hang out together that night INSTEAD of going to the dance - go to a trampoline park, a movie, laser-tag, etc - and we would be or pay for the transportation. It would be no pressure and it would save everyone $$ (...and the awkwardness of asking out someone "just because"). They could just hang out and chill...enjoy their time hanging out before they head their separate ways to various high schools. Sounded good, right? Well...I am not sure if DS just didn't ask his friends or if they truly didn't want to just "hang out". He said that most of them ARE going to the dance and the one that isn't wants to stay at home and play video games.

I am totally fine with his staying home and chilling BUT I fear that this will affect him and he WILL remember not going to this dance with the rest of his grade. DH says that he had absolutely no interest in going to a formal dance at this age...he thinks DS will be fine. I think "14yo DH" is VERY different from "14yo DS"...different time, different schools (DH has a class of 32 in the mountains whereas DS is in a class of over 300 NOT in the mountains), just VERY different...you just cannot compare. The Mama Bear in me wants to do something and support him without making a big deal out of it. How would you approach this?

05-08-2017, 06:57 PM
I have a kiddo like that. He truly *is* happy missing these events. If your kiddo is then let him be. Ds1 did go to his (way more casual, low key) 8th grade dance with friends and had fun but he probably wouldn't have missed it at all.
It's 8th grade. Truly, I doubt missing an 8th grade formal will be an issue at any time in the future. :)

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05-08-2017, 07:15 PM
My 13 year old son could care less about that and for 8th grade sounds crazy and totally developmentally inappropriate frankly. I'd let him stay home gladly in 8th grade.

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05-11-2017, 11:32 PM
I know exactly how you feel, but ultimately I think you have to go with his desire on this. Have a frank but no pressure discussion. Do you want to go if you had a group to go with? No or not really and this is the end of it. If maybe or yes then he may need help to find a group. He needs to know you are ok with either way. A parenting book I read once talked about parenting the moment you are in, not parenting in fear of what might happen in the future. Unless past experiences of his (not yours) are telling you otherwise, then don't overthink it. Good luck!