My son has expressed a desire to go to the Junior prom. I have several problems with this.
I don't remember this from when I was a teenager, but tickets to the prom cost $45 EACH! I don't know that I even had to buy a ticket! In addition to the ticket, my son would need the appropriate clothing to wear. And if he asks a date, he should probably offer to buy her ticket. He also should buy her a corsage, and take her out to dinner. My son doesn't have that kind of money, and I don't want to pay either.
2. Dirty Dancing
My daughter went to Winter Ball about 5 or 6 years ago, and said that the dancing was so inappropriate that she and her friends left the dance. I hardly think that has changed for the better, and in fact, I'm sure it has gotten worse. I really don't think this son needs to be exposed to that. He's never attended a school dance before. I was pretty frank with him, and told him that what he will see is the worst of "bump and grind", but he really wants to go with his friends.
3. Alternate Prom
Every year, the church puts on an "alternate prom" for LDS kids. It is held at the Interstake center in Oakland, located next to the temple. Kids from all over the Bay area come. They sign a dance card, and in so doing promise that they will abide by the LDS standards at the dance. That means they won't wear inappropriate clothing; including strapless or spaghetti strap dresses, or too tight or too short of skirts. They won't dance inappropriately either. There is no fee for admission. Our Bishop has started a tradition of inviting all of the youth from our Ward to his house for dinner that night, sparing them that expense. I would much rather my son put his effort and money in to the alternate prom than in to his school prom. I told him that he could ask his friend to come with him to the alternate prom, but he didn't think she would like hanging out with "Mormons". Although it might be a problem if her dress is inappropriate.
It's hard because so many people look at Junior prom as some sort of "right of passage". Some people would say I'm a horrible parent for trying to discourage my son from attending. I attended Junior prom when I wasn't even 16. Frankly, I think it would have been better if I had not gone. I did go to some of the other school dances, but that was 30 something years ago, and rules were inforced. I just hate for my son to be exposed to that kind of degradation, and have to PAY for the chance! I guess the one way I can have any say in whether or not my son attends is by not offering any money. If he earns money to pay for it, then he can do what he wants. But I really hope he will change his mind and attend the alternate prom instead.