It’s here. Prom night. And you’re getting as many jitters as your teen. Yours, however, are probably less excitement and more worry. Topping the list of concerns, the Big Three: alcohol, drugs and sex?
You may be assured of your teen’s sensibilities, but how about the other kids? This is where advance planning can help. Learn all you can about what’s coming up and begin talking to other parents whose kids are attending the prom. School officials should also prove to be helpful. After all, they go through this every year.
Once you’ve got the prom’s agenda and logistics nailed down, set up some basic prom rules to ensure peace of mind. Here are eight to include:
1. Commit to a Reasonable Return Time
Being aware of the prom agenda, and knowing all transportation details, helps determine a reasonable curfew. Be prepared — you and your prom-goer may differ on what’s realistic.
Know the night doesn’t always end at the prom location itself. Events like after-parties are likely in the mix. Any change of plans during needs to be communicated back home. Encourage your teen to be upfront and promise to be open to discussions on your end.
2. Mobile Channels of Communication Remain In Place
Specify some check-in times and be certain your teen can reach you by texting or phoning. Let it be known if a check-in time is missed by a certain number of minutes, it will be you making the call.
3. Prom Night Is a Milestone Celebration, Not an Opportunity for Sex
Hopefully, sex is an ongoing topic between you and your child. Knowing they’re armed with knowledge should be some form of reassurance. Another step in this direction: getting to know your teen’s date or event companions prior to the big night.
4. Drugs, Alcohol and Transportation Don’t Mix
A reminder to your teen: underage drinking and drug use are against the law. This is a non-negotiable.
Still, they may find themselves in a situation where someone in their group has become intoxicated. A best practice for the night is hiring a limo service. Not in the budget? Make sure your teen understands the importance of being sure that the driver they’re riding with has kept away from any intoxicants. If they suspect otherwise, they need to call home for a ride.
5. Make an Emergency Plan Together
Your teen shouldn’t be shy about calling home for an assist if needed. Unforeseen circumstance happen, and they should feel safe knowing a call home won’t bring with it judgement or punishment. Talk about scenarios and put a plan in place should things go awry.