My Teen is Going to Homecoming…Now What?

The start of high school comes with many firsts. It’s an exciting time for a young teen and lots of fun experiences await them. One of the most anticipated experiences is the Homecoming dance. With Friday Night Lights games starting up around New Orleans, the buzz of Homecoming dances is in the air. If you were anything like me as a first-time mom to an 8th grader, I had no idea what to do for this grand event! Homecoming?! What role do I play? What do I need to help my son with? Do the kids go to a house? A restaurant? Who gets the corsage? Ahhhhhhhh!

Now, after having two years of Homecoming dances under my belt, I’m happy to share what you need to know for your teen’s first dance.

Find a date

Fun homecoming accessories to take pictures with and to the dance with them.

Let me preface this by saying that most of these homecoming dates are very friend-oriented and at this age, that’s what it should be. It should be all about having fun! So, where do you find a date? If your child went to a co-ed grammar school, that’s always a good start. Remember little Jacqueline whom you’ve known since 3rd grade? Or, what about the nice family you are friends with that has a child the same age? And lastly, if your child’s friends have a date … ask their friends if they want to go! It’s more fun as a group and most dates are found this way.

Once a date is secured, contact their parents. Trust me on this. I’ve seen too many kids sad on the day of the dance because all of a sudden their date can’t go. I think most instances of disappointment have happened due to a lack of communication. So, ask for the parents’ digits and shoot them a text introducing yourself. The parents need to be in touch with other parents.

…and maybe a Hoco-Prosal

My verdict on Hoco and Promposals is still out. But this post isn’t about my opinion on this topic, so let’s move on. If your son or daughter wants to do a proposal, just do it. However, if it’s stressing them out (as it’s truly just a display for social media), then skip it! The dance will be just as fun regardless of whether a grand proposal happened ahead of time.

Dress/Suit and Dress Codes

Short dress? Long dress? Suit with what type of shoes? Lots of questions come up about dress codes. Luckily, schools usually have these guidelines on their website. You should follow whatever the hosting school’s guidelines say. If they don’t publish any guidelines, then ask all the questions. Showing up to the dance and not being allowed in is zero fun for anyone.

Before the danceHomecoming decor and favors are always a hit!

The pre-plans are, at times, more exciting and anticipated than the actual dance itself. If your teen is going with a group of friends, coordinate with the parents on what the plans are. Are they meeting at your house for pictures? Or at the restaurant? This is when having the date’s parents’ phone numbers comes in handy! Typically you will want to help with transportation to and from the dance and make sure your son’s date gets home safely.

What I have found works best is to have someone host the pre-party. Coordinate with the other parents on what food to bring, offer to chip in for decorations, and decide how the group is getting to and from the dance. The decorations can get pricey between the balloon garland, decorated cookies, and whatever swag the host may have for guests. So if your budget allows, contact the host and offer to be in charge of the balloon garland (or cookies or a party favor, etc.). Any little bit helps – trust me! This homecoming effort is better off with a village.

Week of the dance

The week of the dance make sure to get tickets for the event. Also, don’t forget the corsage or boutonniere! These can be pre-ordered at your local florist and even the grocery florists will have them during homecoming and prom season. Don’t bank on the florist having them available last minute or the day of; give them a call in advance to place your order.

Communicate with the parents of the group, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Make sure to invite your date’s parents to attend the pre-party to take pictures; it’s one of the major highlights of the whole production!

Day of the dance

Head to the hair, makeup and/or nail appointments to get ready for the big night. Confirm any after-party plans and make sure your phone has storage for the hundreds of pictures you are going to take! Remember that your teen is more than likely just as nervous as they are excited. And as a mom, it’s another small step in our kiddos getting older and more independent.

Send off your teen and their date for a fun night and wish you could be a fly on the wall.

What other questions do you have for this experienced homecoming mom?

what to expect at your teen's first homecoming

Mary Olivio
Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.


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