10 Prom Prep Tips for Parents

For over 20 years, Deborah Ann Davis informally surveyed her high school students on the topics of sex, drugs and alcohol. Regardless of the type of school environment, the results were mostly the same. Hardly anyone was actually having sex, but nearly everyone thought everybody else was doing it (except them).

The same is true about Sex On Prom Night. Hardly anyone does it, but no one believes that!

Not when Full Blown Adolescent Insecurity is pitted against Magical Prom Night Propaganda.

Prom is coming, ushered in by parental anxiety and teen confusion, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. However, here are some tips on how to keep your teens safe on Prom Night.

  1. Have lots of conversations…all the time, not just before prom or graduation parties rear their ugly heads. Conversation should not be seasonal. If you are not talking to your kids, someone else is influencing them.
  2. With your teens, Take the Quiz, Sex Myths Believed by Inexperienced Teens. Have them PRIVATELY Take the Survey, Prom Night Sex, and come back at the end of the month to check the results.
  3. Discuss what an Ideal Prom Night would be like from start to finish. Having goals will help your teen with unexpected choices, and the expected choices.
  4. Have a Prom Plan. Lay down the rules, and define the consequences if they are not followed. This allows kids to play the parent card. (“My parents will take away the car until I graduate if I do that.”)
  5. Schedule hourly check-ins. Let them feel your presence throughout the night.
  6. Rent a Party Limo with some other parents. This insures no drunk driving, and no private time for a tryst at Lookout Point.
  7. Ask the school what precautions they are taking to insure safety. Many schools hold After Prom Parties in secret locations. A bus picks the kids up at the Prom, and takes them to an all-night activity, which is revealed once they are on the bus (Disneyland, the beach, all-night skating, Las Vegas Night in the Gym, etc.).
  8. Ensure appropriate supervision at all stages of the evening. You have to do your homework. Don’t assume it’s all covered. Verify it!
  9. Say NO to After Prom Parties that have insufficient supervision, or will be allowing alcohol. Talk to the parents hosting the party yourself. Don’t rely on your kid’s enthusiastic promotion.
  10. Hold your own After Prom Party with lots of supervision. Create a Scavenger Hunt. Play Capture the Flag. Rent Paintball. Have a Bonfire and Hotdog Roast. Hire a Band.

And remember to take a deep breath. This too shall pass.

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