Is Your Teen Ready For Prom?
Featured in many movies and television shows as a notable milestone that dictates the social climate in high school, prom has become a landmark of tradition for high school students and their parents. Prom, for many, stands as a marker in their youth as a moment that they can always look back on. While your teen may stress about finding the perfect outfit to go with their dream date, parents will have to consider other concerns.
Traditionally proms are semi-formal dance parties held for Juniors (11th grade) and Seniors (12th grade) in high school. Throughout these pivotal high school years, these functions have evolved into extravagant affairs full of Promposals, expensive gowns, popularity contests, underage drinking, and after-parties. Whether conducted individually or combined, these events are similar to the 1920s debutante balls.
As prom season arrives and the end of the year looms, parents can set the tone for the coming celebration. Reduce your anxiety for this time of the year by preparing yourself and your teen to remain safe during this big event.
Continue Reading For Your Prom Safety Tips
1. Create a Plan For The Day
Do you know who your teen is going to prom with? How are they getting there? What are their plans after the main festivities? If you’re not satisfied with your level of knowledge, it may be best to create a plan for what your child teen will be doing the night of prom.
The plan does not need to be a step-by-step movement of what your teen will take from when they wake up on prom day. However, a generalized timeline that sparks conversation between you and the teen should be developed. During this time, you will learn who your teen plans to go to prom with and, if possible, meet with their parents.
This plan will give you an idea of how the day should unfold, who your teen will be with, and what the plan will be once the main event ends. By creating a plan, you can create an environment that can easily be controlled, where you can reach out to your teen in the event of an emergency. Further, you will be able to help your child maximize their experience by giving them an understanding of the time they have available to spend with their friends. Additionally, this reduces the chances of any surprises on travel issues, and your teen can know what you expect.
2. Communicate Your Expectations
The best way to share with your teen what you expect is by having a meaningful conversation with them. Talk to your child. Share your desire for them to have a fun and memorable prom. Yet, also share your desire for them to come home safely. Discuss a fair curfew based on your child’s level of responsibility or authorize them to spend the night with a friend.
There are also extremely important topics to communicate with your teen, and here is your moment. Don’t shy away from subjects such as teen promiscuity, drinking or participating in other illicit substances, and leaving with others, not on the plan.
Many movies and television shows tend to glamorize some of these events, like drinking before, during, or after this event. However, underage drinking is a crime. In the state of Florida, a teen can face a second-degree misdemeanor charge which faces such penalties as up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine. Additionally, if drinking occurs on school premises, your teen could face expulsion, ruining their high school career.
Alcohol and other illegal substances impair individuals’ decision-making abilities, making them believe they can do anything. Other dangers are associated with underage drinking, such as opening the door for other illegal substances, drinking and driving, or the potential for another to slip items into the drink. Advise your teen to avoid alcohol altogether. This includes punch bowls, which others can easily alter with a liquor flask. Further, ensure your teen gets their own drink and never leaves their drink unattended.
Prom is supposed to be a night to remember. Encourage your child to choose to make this night fun and safe by honoring your expectations and setting some of their own. Neither alcohol nor drug is required to make the evening special.
3. Be Available In Case of Emergency
Even the best-laid plans can go awry. Whether or not the plan is for your teen to return home right after prom, you should be able to be reached at all times in the event of an emergency. Check-in with your teen or have them periodically reach out to you throughout the evening. Provide your teen with the option of calling you anytime for a ride, help, or advice.
These few tips are the best ways to ensure the safety and enjoyment of your teen while marking this tremendous occasion. There are, however, a few things you should NOT do on this night.
Here Are Things You Should Not Do For Your Teen’s Prom
Do Not Rent a Hotel Room For Your Child
Do Not Purchase Alcoholic Beverages For Minors
The refusal to rent a hotel room for your teen should not stem from distrust, though it may be a factor; it stems from the risk that you, as the parent, will be taking. Though your teen may not participate in drinking, using drugs, or having sex, others who may enter or exit the room may not be able to avoid the temptation. As the individual who rented the room, you are the person who will be held responsible for anything that occurs in your absence.
It is not just illegal for the underage drinker to consume alcoholic beverages; it is also illegal to provide anyone under the legal drinking age access to alcohol. Providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, regardless of what you as the parent authorize, is illegal and subject to a misdemeanor in the second degree.
Do Not Make Assumptions
If you and your teen have decided on a specific time for them to check in and missed that deadline, you may not need to panic. Yet, you also should not assume that everything is okay. It is okay to message or call them first. Ensure that they are having fun and being safe.
Prom is an important event in your teenager’s life. They are looking forward to dressing up, having fun with their friends, and celebrating their accomplishments. As a parent, you want your child to be happy and have an unforgettable night. Yet, by following these simple tips, you can also ensure that your child’s night is also safe.
Central Florida Bonding Can Help You!
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