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Homecoming season brings up lots of emotions for adolescents.  Some of the emotions are good.  Some are bad.  A teenage girl who’s been crushing on the same guy for 2 years may finally get asked to the Homecoming dance by him.  On the contrary, she may learn that although he talks to her constantly, he’s really into her friend.

If you’re the parent of an adolescent, this may also be a mixed bag for you.  During the flurry of dress buying, curfew setting, and warnings about after-parties, the significance of Homecoming can get lost.  What’s important to remember is that for many adolescents Homecoming is like looking at life in a microscope for the first time.

While they can play off not having a boyfriend/girlfriend in their everyday lives, Homecoming magnifies it.  It also magnifies where they fit in their social circle and who their friends really are.  Many adolescents learn that their friends are as loyal as they hoped they were while others learn that who they thought they could trust, they really couldn’t.  Then there are those adolescents who can’t take the pressure of it all and stay home.

Pay close attention to your adolescent during this time.  Help them plan, prepare and be a shoulder to cry on.  Pick them up early from the dance if they need you to and encourage them to be vulnerable even though their fears tell them not to.  In the grand scheme of things, no matter how Homecoming turns out, adolescents feel lucky to wake up the next morning in the safety net of home.

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