It’s prom season.


Moms and daughters have been shopping for this and that, matching shoes to dresses, configuring hairstyles, yadda, yadda, yadda. Much like crappie fishing and hunting morel mushrooms, it’s a right of spring passage at the Lake of the Ozarks.


 

It’s prom season.

Moms and daughters have been shopping for this and that, matching shoes to dresses, configuring hairstyles, yadda, yadda, yadda. Much like crappie fishing and hunting morel mushrooms, it’s a right of spring passage at the Lake of the Ozarks.

In my world, and that of my now-grown children, prom elicits conflicting emotions.

I had a broken hip for my junior prom and ended up escorting a pair of crutches for the evening; I had a date for my senior prom, but we left the ordeal after dinner with another couple and with permission from our parents. We made it to the After Prom movie at the local theater and breakfast at the church.

Yawn.

My son had two good proms with the same lovely young lady. Nothing unusual grabs my memory now 16 and 17 years after the fact. He didn’t get in trouble, which is the unwritten goal of parents and school administrators. Though knowing what I know now, he was lucky.

My daughter went with a group of friends her junior year, and with a date her senior year. The date was awkward and Kelly somewhat under duress from her peers to have an actual date. It didn’t go well, as I recall.

This all started to percolate last night after a conversation I had with a friend at the Lake Area Chamber Social. Her daughter, a lovely junior, had just been dumped by her boyfriend for another girl just days before prom. Of course, the young lady was devastated.

In the sophomoric mindset of high scholars, there was drama between the girl and her girlfriends; conspiracies of retaliation; pledges to have a good time despite the travesty.

While I share this with a bit of levity, it also reflects how mean spirited teenagers — and even us adults — can be to one another.

Two Minnesota teenage girls hanged themselves as part of a suicide past last week because they had been bullied by classmates for their physical appearance. Their lives were cut short because of the mean-spirited words of others.

Bullying has become a critical issue in schools now because it seems kids don’t have the respect for each other. Sure, we all had our detractors in school, but either we handled it better or it wasn’t as mean as it is today.

School counselors, psychologists, educators and others will scramble to make sense of it all and to figure out a cure.

I tend to believe it all starts at home. If a child is raised in a loving environment, is taught faith-based values, is exposed to positive nurturing and sees good examples in his or her parents, there is a better chance that child will be more tolerant.

However, parents also have the responsibility to teach their children how to have strength in dealing with difficult situations.

Those of who have survived raising children should be given awards.

There’s an adage from my childhood we’ve all repeated: Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us.

Well, that’s a great theory, but it just isn’t so.

The memory of something hateful being said at any time of our lives will stay with us forever.

My daughter has struggled with a weight problem most of her life. As a junior high student, one of her classmates bullied her with some very unflattering comments. To this day, Kelly is haunted by those words.

The loss of a boyfriend at prom time can be temporary. The loss of a child to suicide because of a bully is devastating and forever.

Parents, teach your children what is right and what is wrong.