As prom night approaches, so does worry and anxiety for most parents. The best way to eliminate (or at least reduce) some of the nerves is by discussing subjects that concern you way before prom night hits, rather than trying to cram in advice, warnings and tips at the very last minute.
Although you don’t want to come across as the over-protective parent, it is important that you can get hold of your teen (and vice versa) if need be. Having a pre-arranged check-in time prevents teens from feeling like they are being snooped on, and allows you to rest easy when you are able to speak to them; it will also deter you from ringing every five minutes to see if they are okay!
After Party Plans
You will need to be clear on what your teen is planning to do after the main event has finished. Again, this needs to be discussed long before prom night; leave it until the last minute and you might find your teen responding with vague answers. Talking about it in advance gives your teen the opportunity to organize activities with their friends, rather than just seeing what happens on the night.
We all know what some kids get up to on prom night, and you can guarantee that your own teen does, too. Don’t come over all heavy-handed with warnings; instead, talk generally about risky behavior and what can happen, rather than inferring that you think your teen is going to behave that way. We need to make sure our teens are informed about potential risks, rather than bark our worries at them like a drill-sergeant.
If you have distinct ideas about a curfew, places you don’t want your teen to go for an after party, or any other expectations, these need to be conveyed to them. Of course it is a special night for them, but while they live under your roof, it is your rules they need to follow!
Transportation to and from the prom is one of the most important conversations you need to have long before the night. Is there a designated driver, will another parent (or even you) be happy to chauffeur them, or is a special limousine going to be hired? Knowing that your teen is going to get home safely will be a huge weight off your mind.
There are always one or two kids who end up in trouble on prom night, and you don’t want it to be your teen, or one of their friends. Talk to your child about not only making sure they take care of themselves, but that they keep an eye out for their friends, too. It’s also really important to make it clear that nobody should get left behind or go somewhere on their own, even if it’s their decision to do so. Safety in numbers is something that can’t be stressed enough to teens.
Let Them Know You Are There
Your teen needs to know that should something go wrong; you are there for them. You don’t want them to be too scared to call you if they are worried about something, so make it clear that if their ride falls through, or they are upset about something; you’ll be there to bail them out!