By: Alison Puzia, Guest Contributor
With spring comes prom, for many high schoolers. Moms, this thought may have you cringing as you flashback to your own prom experience. If you’re concerned about your teen’s safety at prom, read on! We have compiled a list of tips to help you help your teen have a safe, memorable prom experience.
If the after-party is at your house, you can keep an eye on what’s going on. We suggest making it a sleepover event, to ensure that no one is driving late at night. The students at your house may not be drinking, but there’s no guarantee that other drivers on the road made the same decision.
2. Meet the date
You’ll feel a lot better sending your teen off to prom if you’ve met his or her date. Invite your child’s over for dinner the week before- it’s a casual way to familiarize yourself with him or her and confirm that your student picked a good one!
3. Endorse spray tans
Many girls get their first tanning bed salon membership right before prom season, to prep for the event. In Massachusetts, tanners between the ages of 14 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign a permission form to tan. Don’t be afraid to say no. We all know the facts about how damaging UV rays can be to skin, and the correlation with melanoma. Instead, offer to pay for your daughter to get a spray tan- a safe alternative that will leave her looking just as bronze as the other girls.
4. Get a limo, party bus, or older sibling to drive
Getting a limo or party bus not only prevents students from drinking and driving, but it’s a cool way for them to arrive to prom. Many reputable limo and party bus companies ban alcohol on board, so you won’t have to worry about your child drinking. If that’s not in the budget this year, ask an older sibling to drive. Your high schooler won’t mind (it’s not like they’re being driven to prom by their parents!) and you will be assured that your teen isn’t in the car with someone who has been drinking.
5. Know the group and the plan
Make sure you know who your teen is going to the prom with, including who is in his or her group. Stay up to date on the plan- know where the group will be taking pictures beforehand, eating dinner, and going afterward. If these events aren’t at your house, don’t hesitate to call the parents who are hosting. It’s completely normal and encouraged – despite what your teen may tell you.
- Give your teen cash beforehand
Make sure your high schooler has enough cash on him to take a cab home in the event that his or her driver has been drinking. Along the same vein, make sure that your child has the number of a reputable cab company saved in their cellphone.
7. Know all of the school’s prom-related, drug-related, and alcohol-related policies
If you know the school’s policies, you’ll be able to explain them to your teen. Of course, they will have heard all of this information from the school, but you will be able to illustrate exactly how it will affect them. For instance, if your senior has a college scholarship, you can remind him that he can easily lose it if he gets an underage drinking citation.
8. Warn your teen not to leave items unattended
If someone else is drinking and doesn’t want to be caught with the evidence, it would be very easy for him to slip it into an unattended purse. Don’t let this happen to your high schooler. Even if he or she hasn’t been drinking, possession of alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in Massachusetts.
9. Talk to your kids
This one is the most important. Make sure your children know that they can feel safe coming to you if they are in a difficult situation on prom night. Whether it is calling for a sober ride home or checking in to ask for advice on saying no to alcohol, your teen should feel comfortable coming to you. If they know you won’t get mad at them if they come to you, they will be much more likely to ask for help before they get into actual trouble.