Blog · Apr 21, 2023
Time for Graduation (almost). Time for Prom.
Most teens and their friends and family have already been hard at work devising their prom plans for months if not years.
Prom is the quintessential coming-of-age rite of passage that signifies the transition from adolescence into adulthood.
Even though teens might be more concerned about their corsages and boutonnieres matching their dresses and tuxedos, parents should be more focused on making sure their teens are ready to make healthy decisions in the face of the peer pressure and influence innate with the party atmosphere of prom.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, so use this as a time to make communication key. Prior to prom, parents should talk to their children about the harmful effects and negative consequences of underage alcohol use. Then the whole family can work together to devise alternative activities and healthy strategies for teenagers to apply at prom, so they can return home safely.
Here are some alcohol-free celebratory prom suggestions for teens and their parents:
Avoid parties where alcohol will be served and be ready with a departure strategy if alcohol is introduced. When consuming non-alcoholic drinks at a party, refuse drinks that have already been opened and avoid mystery punch bowls. Avoid interacting with others who plan to drink, whether that’s before, during, or after prom.
Prom attendees should also make sure their cell phones are fully charged before leaving the house and, if possible, take a portable charger with them. In addition to mapping out their plans for prom itself, teens should make sure to tell their parents their pre- and post-prom agendum, too.
Introduce dates to family and friends. The stress and anxiety parents are dealing with will be mitigated once they meet and get to know their teen’s date. If teens are planning to attend prom with friends rather than significant others, they should invite them over for some healthy pre-prom activities that don’t involve underage alcohol use, such as a photoshoot or a picnic.
Teens should make a pledge with their friends to party responsibly. The topic of underage drinking will seem foreign or may not even come up at all when everyone remains focused on simply having a safe, fun, alcohol-free prom.
Is your teen planning to carpool or drive their own vehicle to prom? If they are driving, remind them to drive defensively at all times and avoid all distractions while driving including too many passengers, cellphone use, and other non-driving activities. It’s been proven that there’s a higher rate of car crashes on prom night. Remind your teenagers to stay buckled-in at all times and insist that the driver never calls, texts, or picks up their phone while in the driver’s seat.
If your teen is planning to attend prom with a date, get to know their family members, too. Parents will discover that the parents of their teen’s date are also coping with their own heightened levels of concern in the lead-up to prom. Addressing their worries openly as a collective unit will put everyone at ease.
Offer to host an alcohol-free pre- or post-prom party at your house. Hosting such an event will give everyone the chance to unwind and relax at a location away from prom and far-removed from its pressures and influence. When teens discover how easy it is to have an amazing time without alcohol, they will be more inclined to celebrate similarly at prom festivities themselves.
Grant your teens permission to use your rideshare account in case they need to make arrangements for a ride home.
Wait up for your teen and agree to be there in case any emergency comes up. It may take time for them to open up, but most teens are willing to share their prom adventures with their parents.
Whether they realize it or not, parents are role models for their teens. When parents avoid drinking alcohol in the lead-up to prom, their children will be more likely to refuse to participate in underage alcohol use as well.
Prom should be a night full of memories that all high school seniors can cherish forever.
So, do everything you can to ensure prom is a dream come true for everyone.