Prom: tradition or trouble? While it is an exciting rite of passage for all American teens, it can also turn into a night of bad decisions that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Drugs and alcohol have become common party favors at Prom, and parents and teens alike find themselves unprepared when that moment comes. Here are a few tips to prevent the worst on Prom night.
Prom Tips For Parents
Most parents don’t know that they set the tone of the night and that their actions (or neglect) can lead to a night in the emergency room or bailing their children out of jail. After the photos are taken and goodbyes are said, parents often don’t know where their children are or what they are doing for the rest of the night.
It is important to talk to your child before Prom night about the dangers and potential for drug use. Make sure that they understand everything that could occur–peer pressure, overdose, sexual harassment, drinking and driving–and that they are prepared.
Find out who is going together before and after Prom, and get phone numbers and other contact info.
Make sure your child knows that he can call you if he is in trouble. Promise that no matter how difficult or embarrassing the situation, you will pick him up whenever he needs it and will forego a lecture until the following day. Make it safe for him to call you.
Do not rent hotel rooms or serve alcohol for your child or his friends.
Arrange a specific time for your child to check in with you after prom.
Contact any parents hosting parties before or after Prom and find out what the environment will be like and what the level of supervision will be.
Prom Tips For Teens
No matter how prepared you think you are for Prom, drug use can catch you off guard. Consider all the possible scenarios. What if your boyfriend offers you ecstasy? What if your best friend overdoses? What if you get in a car with someone who has been drinking?
Remember that this night could affect the rest of your life. Not only could your health be in danger, a night in jail would land you a criminal record. State police are much more on guard during Prom night, using Facebook and other means to track parties and watch the roads.
Do not drive drunk or high. Do not text while driving. And do not get in the car with someone high or drunk; take their keys.
Keep a charged cell phone on you at all times, and don’t be afriad to call your parents if you need to.
Stay in touch with your parents about your plans for the night and let them know if they change.
Don’t be afraid to speak your mind if something doesn’t feel right to you.
For more information on how to stay sober this prom season check out our drug prevention tips on www.narconon.org.