Prom Cancelled? Don't give Up. Just Re-Imagine It!


Is your school having to cancel prom?  It's totally understandable but it doesn't stop the disappointment our teens experience.   Well, in these times, there IS a way to create that magic for our kids.  I know time will tell, but there is a chance that they will be able to look back and be the unique kids of the year 2020, the teens that rose to the occasion, and started new trends and celebrated differently – but still celebrated. 

We, as parents, can help.  Let’s roll up our sleeves and think differently.  Here are some great ideas on making your child’s prom memorable – albeit a bit differently. 

I’m Pam Hardison with JellyGeneration, where our mission is to help parents navigate the last “at home” season with their kids before they hit the road. 

Make it PROM-TASTIC – Go Virtual

As we begin, please remember that proms around the country are generally school-sponsored affairs so you need to touch base with them and make sure you are following their guidelines, protocols and advice and safety procedures.  And also, of course any quarantine regulations in your area.  This particular idea, a virtual prom, can work even if it is just your teen at home all by themselves. Don’t forget to include parental permission in all of this.

Deal? . . . . Deal!

It’s the DJ

By now you’ve probably all seen the concerts many artists are giving right out of their own living rooms.  From Elton John to John Rich to Mariah Carey, they are a hit!    Well, stop and think about it.  What makes these things work?  The DJ, the music guru, the big personality that makes everyone stop, listen, and enjoy. 

Step 1: Grab that outgoing teen and help him/her set up his “stage”

Every school or friend group has someone like that.  Sell ‘em on the fact that they are following in Elton John’s footsteps and you just might have your DJ all sewed up. Do they have to be able to sing, or play the guitar?  Nope!  They just need that personality that draws others in.  

Step 2:  Pick your technology

Our teens know more about technology than most of us do, so let’s put it to good use!   From Twitter to Instagram, to Google Hangouts, to my new fav “Zoom” there are amazing ways for our kids to connect. 

Picking the "virtual" software will require just a bit of thinking.  You’ve basically got two routes: 

You can go simple, and just have Mr/Miss Personality DJ host an Instagram-Live Event.  Get kids notified and you are good to go.

But you can really go all out and use “Zoom” (or similar software) and make it possible to “see” each student in their full attire dancing the night away in their own home.  I’ve been involved in a Zoom conference with over 200 participants.  It's fun. 

Urgent Comment here:  Assure is that each student participating (especially if using software that allows everyone to see everyone else) has proper safety, appropriate attire, and appropriate behavior.  From your school to each parent of the students participating, all will want and should be involved.  Traditional school dances have teachers and parents that chaperone and issue guidelines.   That task still needs to happen.  

But back to the fun.  If your crew wants to really use tech and an app/software package with lots of possibilities, you can really go “all out”.  Teens can split up tasks and make this a FUN blow-out. You can have kids in charge of:

  • invitations, music suggestions/submissions
  • decorations for their own home
  • a tech helper for the DJ, and a
  • tech helper for “attendees” that need software help 

Don't our teens have many skills, accomplishments, and more?  What an opportunity to let those skills shine.  In fact, many a parent (including us) have spent late night hours trying to find documentation, think/list/prove skills and accomplishments they have.  Why?  This data is need for resumes, part-time jobs, college apps, and more need it.   You could call them “bragging rights” and your teen is in the season that they need to recognize their accomplishments and document them to be ready when needed.  If you need help identifying, recording, and building a Teen Accomplishment Tool Box, click here.  

The Prom Parent Angle and Software Suggestion:

  • Having parents take photos of their teen and making a big deal out of this event will go a long way to helping make it a success.  Parents, turn yourself into paparazzi.
  • We here at JellyGeneration are fans of “Zoom”. You can upload videos, highlight speakers, create a photo “gallery” of attendees, and so much more. The only cost is to the host/initiator of $15 for 100 or less participants.    All the participants can join in for free.  Need more than 100 students joining in?  The cost goes up a bit.  

Need an alternative idea entirely? 

Do you know the local DJ of a radio station?  Would he/she be willing to play music over their radio station and call it “prom night”?    That way, participants just turn on the radio channel, leaving the technology media to the radio station. 

Regardless of how you address prom at your house/school , the memories created will last a lifetime.  We parents can show our kids how to be flexible, make do with what's available, and to create FUN regardless of the circumstances. 

If you have celebration ideas you’d like to add, PLEASE put them in the comments below to help other parents.

We truly strive to help every parent in this last season with their child before they fly off into adulthood and help parents help their teens be as prepared as they can be. Having taught students for years, our heart for this age and especially for parents struggling with time and “what to do now” challenges absolutely keep us going in our mission. 

What is our next session going to cover?  Graduation, of course!

Yes, you can make graduation a memorable moment as well.  We have an entirely different take and hope it will serve you well.  So come on back next week or visit us on Facebook at JellyGeneration. 

Have a great week and of course, we leave you with our belief that . . . 

Yes, you CAN Have Success in the Middle of it All

     Pam and the The JellyGeneration Team

Show Notes: - a guide and training video on how to identify, build, and record milestones of your teen they will need later   One of many software systems that can allow group participation  
Articles that discuss Prom Alternatives that might help your creativity sprout!

About JellyGeneration

Pam Hardison, MBA, BBA in Finance and Business Education, has created and co-owned a national mail order catalog which at one point was the 21st fastest growing customer base in the nation.  As a mom of two college-post college daughters, considers it a privilege and to meet other students and parents along the same road.   After teaching high school and college students for years, her commitment to helping them with topics most schools can't cover is the light that drives her.  

Holly Powers, Attorney-At-Law (Jameson & Powers, P.C.) has been actively practicing law since 1985 and is a shareholder with the law firm of Jameson & Powers, P.C.  The firm specializes in transactional law, health care law, and general business law.  Holly has taught students precepts concerning the legal world for over 10 years.  With 4 children, she understands what teens need to know and has a passion to help others faced with teens and aging parents.

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