Prom season is here, and with it comes hours of preparation. From finding the perfect dress or tuxedo, to deciding where to take photos beforehand, there are lots to do. Prom is an important night for high school students, but also for parents. As a parent, you probably remember your prom and want your children to have a wonderful experience they will remember as well. In helping your son or daughter prepare, we must remember that in order to have an amazing night, you must also focus on safety and encourage them to make smart decisions.
Prom night is seen as a high accident rate night because of driving distractions. Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, with distracted driving being a cause. A car filled with friends, music and excitement can lead to making poor decisions behind the wheel.
Another worry for parents is the dangerous activities associated with prom. Teens may be peer pressured to drink alcohol, or other dangerous or explicit activities. The best way to prevent these issues from happening is to initiate a conversation with your teen before they occur.
First initiate a conversation with your teen. Discuss your concerns with peer pressure and drinking. Tell them you want them to have a fun but safe night. Offer them a “no questions asked” ride home, which will allow them to get safely home without feeling they will get in trouble. Make sure you’re using the correct tone: one that gives clear guidelines, but shows you care for your teen.
Next make your teen establish a plan, and discuss it with you. Know exactly where your son or daughter will be before and after the prom, how they’re getting there, and whom they’re going with. Establish a curfew so it’s clear to both of you when they’re expected to be home.
If your child is driving, make sure they are prepared to use defensive driving skills. Distracted driving may be a problem with many young drivers with a car packed with friends. If you’re worried about this, set a limit on how many people can be in the car, and also make sure to discuss the severity of drinking and driving. If you’re worried about your teen or other teens driving, an easy solution is taking a rented bus with a group of friends.
Have your teen check in frequently throughout the night to confirm they made it to each destination. If a family is hosting an after party, it’s a good idea to communicate with the hosts’ parents to confirm the details of the party.
Don’t heckle them. At this point you have already prepared them as much as possible to make good decisions. All you can do now is trust they will make the right choice.
With these tips we hope your child has a safe and fun prom night, and you have peace of mind as a parent. Happy prom!