The Hidden Costs of Prom Night

Prom Night can be one of the most memorable evenings of a teen’s life…but at what cost? Of course, there are the traditional expenses such as formal attire, tickets to the event, and maybe even splurging for a limo! But what about the optional costs of Prom Night? If a student is found to have consumed ANY alcohol or drugs on the way to a school sponsored event, AT a school sponsored event, or even at an outside party may result in severe disciplinary and legal penalties which may result in suspension from school, exclusion from extracurricular activities, or being allowed to participate in graduation. In addition, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. and one of the many factors that lead to these accidents is driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances. The price is simply too high.

For parents who are preparing to send their kids off to the Prom with a date or with their friends, here are a few ways that you can set your child up for a memorable and SAFE Prom experience:

Ask About Prom Night Before the big night, speak with your child about the plans for the evening. Where are they going? Who will they be with? What are their transportation plans? Be sure that you are in the loop before your child walks out the door.

Communicate Expectations Be sure your child knows your ground rules for Prom Night. What time do you expect them to be home? Would you like them to check-in during the evening? How do you expect them to conduct themselves? What would you like them to do if they find themselves in a bad situation or if they’ve made a mistake? 

Be a Parent, Not a Friend As tempting as it may be to be the “fun” parent, providing opportunities for risky behaviors may result in unfortunate consequences for your child, their friends, and YOU. Providing unsupervised locations for teens, such as hotel rooms, vacation homes, or even your own basement increases the chance of teens engaging in undesirable behaviors. In addition, it is illegal for parents (or any adult) to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, even in home settings. “Social host” laws impose fines for adults who provide alcohol to minors or allow the consumption of alcohol by minors on their premises.

Be A Safe Space In case your child does find themselves in an situation where they feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please make it clear that you are a safe person to contact, and that you are willing to come get them NO MATTER WHAT. Please make sure your teen knows that there may be consequences for irresponsible behavior, but that your priority is their safety and well-being.

Have a happy and safe Prom Season, Howard County!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.