So far, we’ve tackled two big prom topics: dates and attire.
Next up: Drinking, drugs and driving on prom night.
Let’s be honest. Alcohol and other drugs are a part of prom. Perhaps your teen has made their own choice to abstain from drinking and drug use. Maybe your child is apt to give it a try. Some of you may have teenagers who use consistently or even have a problem with abusing drugs and alcohol. No matter which situation you’re in with your child, having an open conversation and making realistic plans are important to their safety and your peace of mind.
The reality is that some of your child’s peers are likely to be using on prom night. Because of this, drinking (or using) and driving are major issues to consider together.
Here are my tips and specific questions to help you and your teen have a productive conversation about alcohol, drugs and driving on prom night.
This list might feel a little overwhelming to you and your teen. Just remember, you are asking all of these questions because you want your son daughter to have fun AND be safe on prom night.
My recommendation is that you ask these questions well before the dance and then follow-up as it approaches. This is not only for planning purposes, but also to see if changes have been made to the plan. You will want to ensure you have up-to-date information, especially about locations, contact information and supervision.
As much as your teen might balk at being at a supervised pre-prom and after-prom event, don’t feel pressured to give in. Excessive drug or alcohol consumption, drunk/high driving and physical/sexual assault are all real threats that you will want to talk with your teen about before the big night. Having a good plan and an open communication channel are not a guarantee that nothing bad will happen. But, these strategies can significantly minimize the danger your child could face on prom night.
Tell us! What is your biggest worry about your child's prom night?
Be sure to check out the other two prom-related articles in this series:
What To Say When Your Teen Doesn't Have a Prom Date
What To Say When Your Daughter is Picking Out Her Prom Dress
Bethany Raab is a Denver-based social worker who loves helping teens and their families be happy and healthy!