High school proms can extremely expensive affairs after adding up prom tickets, dresses, tuxedos, limos, dining, flowers, special hair-dos and manicures. However, it’s the risky behaviors often associated with prom that can be the most costly.
Engaging in a honest and open conversation with your teen before prom! Teens put lots of thought into their outfits and flowers, but there should also be planning with parents into the logistics of the night. It’s important to place attention on safety and good decision-making in order to promote a healthy, memorable experience. Times of the event, after-prom activities, transportation, checking in, avoiding alcohol and drugs and the pressure to have sex are topics for discussion. Parents should also ask their teen what they are concerned about on prom night. Showing they trust their teen’s judgement will make their teen more likely to demonstrate responsible behavior.
Help your teen identify risky behaviors by discussion them. You could role-play some “what if” situations to help them practice standing up to peer pressure. Your teen may laugh, but this might be a good way to start a conversation about these serious issues. Here are some additional tips to help your teen have a fun and safe prom:
- Ask your teen for detailed itinerary for prom night including venues, times and contact numbers
- Know exactly what after-prom activities are taking place and where – if at a friend’s house, call the parents to confirm and make sure that alcohol will not be present.
- Establish an agreed upon curfew
- Meet your teen’s prom date prior to the big night
- Make sure your teen will have a charged cell phone that is turned on
- Set up established “check in” times when your teen will call you
- Provide an “out” for your teen in case they get uncomfortable
- Remind your teen not to use alcohol or drugs or ride in a vehicle with anyone under the influence.
Some of these tips may seem over the top or intuitive. We know that the brain development of teen is not complete and often times this is when risky behavior can take place. It’s often better to have the conversation with your teen than be the parent that wishes they had.