Prom is an exciting milestone for teens and serves as a night they will gossip about for the rest of their lives. But often with this excitement comes an element of stress as teens try to fit in with the popular. Many children will face pressure to use drugs and alcohol during prom and prom weekend celebrations. As a parent, there are a number of precautions you can take to help your teen have a safe and memorable prom night. Here are 7 tips to help keep your children safe during this event:
Talk to your child about peer pressure, drugs, and alcohol – and be honest! Though you have probably already discussed with them the dangers of drinking and driving, prom is an important time to reiterate the importance that they never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. Encourage them to express any concerns they have about how to cope with peer pressure and even throw in a non-threatening story from your past. Stress to your child that you want them to have fun, but their safety is your top priority because of how much you love them.
Learn about the school policy regarding drug and alcohol use at prom and make sure your child understands the consequences if they are caught. For many schools, punishments include suspension, expulsion, or being unable to participate in activities such as sports and graduation. Remind your child that there is more to life than one night and that the decisions they make reflect on their friends that surround them.
Know who your child is going to prom with and where all festivities are taking place. Make sure you know the first and last name of his date, contact information for their date, their date’s parents, and at least 2 other friends. If for some reason you are unable to reach your child, you will be able to contact these friends to ensure that your child is safe. Try to encourage your son or daughter to call or text you periodically through their time at prom.
Make sure your child has a charged cell phone, money for a cab, and contact information for you, a local cab company, and one other trusted adult at their event. Discuss with your teen a plan for if something happens, stressing that no matter what time or what the situation, if they need help, a ride, or advice, they can call you and you will not judge them.
Know who is driving. If it is another teen, make sure they are properly licensed and insured and that they have not been drinking. Check with the limo company about drug and alcohol policies, and check the vehicle to ensure it is alcohol-free. Make sure you have the contact information for the limo company.
Discuss after-prom celebrations with your child. If your teen wants to attend a party, do not rent a hotel room for them! Instead, offer to host it at your home, where you can supervise the event. Set clear rules regarding alcohol and drugs for all party-goers. If they are going to a party at another location, make sure you know where and who is supervising. Get contact information and ask your child to call or text when they get there.