How to deal with a parent after you’ve failed at something

mame asks: I am really depressed right now and don’t know what to do. One of my guy friends asked me to be his prom date and so I said yes. I told my mum about it and she didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Now the prom is very near and I need to be preparing for it in terms of clothing and stuff like that. But now I’m afraid to ask my mum about the prom, because I have failed my exams. I don’t know what to do!

Hi mame –



Your question is downright painful, because we all know that feeling!  You already feel bad about the exams, and you don’t want to make things worse for yourself, or especially between you and your mum.

Now I don’t know your mother, but I know a lot of women, and I can’t help but think that there’s a really good chance that she’ll actually be kinder than you think.

You see, all your life, she’s been an authority figure to you, the one who tells you what to do, and who takes pride in your successes and is disappointed when you fail.  But there was a time before that, before you, when she was a young girl who thought things like proms were extremely important.  And however old she seems to you, in her mind, those days weren’t that long ago.

Think of it like with Handsome and me.  Every time he ages a year, I age seven.  So something that happened to him the year before we met is literally a lifetime ago to me, but pretty recent history to him.  Well, your mum is like him.  As upset as she is about those tests, she will definitely understand how much you want to go to the prom.

So your best strategy will be for you to show her that you are more upset about those exams than she could possibly be!  Can you take them again?  If so, let her see how hard you’re going to study for them.  Not for her, but just for yourself, for your pride and self-respect!  And if you can’t take them again, can you show that this experience is going to change how you study in the future?  Again, not for her, but for yourself?

Because if she sees that, and then you mention the prom, she’s very likely to feel “Oh thank goodness for the prom, my little sweetheart needs something to take her mind off of those miserable exams!”

But if you don’t do those things, she might think “Auugh!  I hate taking away the prom she wants so much, but she just has to learn to study more!”

So beat her to it.  And while you raise her respect for you, you can also have a memorable and incredibly fun night with this boy!


Good Luck!



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