Prom night is the most anticipated night of the year for many high school seniors, and often the most dreaded by parents. It's a high-pressure night full of angst over the dress, hair, makeup, and of course the guy. So, while we can all talk about great hair and makeup looks (and you know I will) I really want to talk about the safety aspect of prom night. Here are some guidelines to help every parent keep their child from making bad choices.
1. Get the phone numbers of your child's prom date and at least five friends so you can reach someone. Inform your child that you expect them to answer their cell phones and texts should you call them.
2. Give your kids a curfew. There is nothing your kids can do after 2 a.m. that they can't do before 2 a.m. Its not a trust issue, it's a safety issue. Do you really want your kids roaming around after 2 a.m.?
3. Remind your child that everyone has a camera. With cameras hidden everywhere, it is so important your child realizes not to behave in public in a way that might cause them shame if it ended up on YouTube.
4. Colleges can take away what they have offered. A college acceptance can be revoked for illegal behaviour and for getting expelled from high school. Prom night is not Vegas. What happens on prom night could jeopardize their future.
5. Inform your kids not to go to a hotel room with friends if there are drugs and alcohol present. If police enter the hotel room and there are illegal drugs present, your child could be arrested even if he/she was not using.
6. Do not serve alcohol to minors in your home. If you think you are being the smart parent and serving minors alcohol so they don't drink elsewhere, guess again. If a minor gets alcohol poisoning or leaves your house and comes to harm, you could be responsible because you served them alcohol.
7. Sex is not a must on prom night. There is a lot of pressure on girls to lose their virginity on prom night. It is really important you talk to your daughter about sex on prom night, her expectations, and the expectations of her date.
8. Who is going to drive? Drinking and driving is one of the scariest parts of prom night. Make sure you are comfortable with who is driving and where they will be going. Talk about driving safety, seatbelts and not getting into a car with anyone who has been drinking or getting high.
9. Tell your child they can call you at any time during the night and you will get them, no matter where they are and what the circumstance is. Its better to be picked up by mom than the police.
10. If your child is a freshman, sophomore, or junior and they are asked to the prom, proceed with caution. After-prom parties are not appropriate for the typical 15-year-old. They will face unnecessary pressures and situations they might not anticipate. If they want to go to the actual prom it is OK, but they must come home right after.
Prom should be a fun evening and a night to remember for the great times with friends, not the vomiting or the police record. So start talking to your kids now about prom and make sure they know they can talk about anything and everything with you.