Prom may be a rite of passage for your teens, but it tends to be a night full of anxiety for parents. After all, most parents have been there and know firsthand (or have been told) what can happen. Even if your prom night was a perfect experience full of magic and fairy dust, there’s no guarantee your teen’s will be… if they make it home at all. Teens may begin prom night on their best behavior, but teen drivers often make the worst possible decisions by the end of the night. Disaster could strike at any time. Here are some tips to keep your teen safe on prom night and help ensure all the memories of the event are as positive as possible.
Get the Details
Prom tends to be a group affair. Sure, there’s always the occasional straggler/lone couple. But for the most part, cliques tend to travel or meet up together. Get the details… all of them. Know who’s traveling with your kids, who they’re meeting, and what the schedule is. Confirm all the kid’s cell numbers, any necessary venue or party addresses, and talk to everyone’s parents to confirm the plans. This may be their first adult-like outing but your teenager’s health and welfare are definitely still your responsibility.
Code and Charge
One out of every four teenagers gets an STD during their senior year, and many are spread on prom night. According to statistics, 5% of girls lose their virginity and 3% of boys lose their virginity that night. Considering 53% of teens drink four or more alcoholic drinks that evening, much of that is due to chemically enhanced peer pressure. Drum into your teen’s head that it’s completely fine to call you at any given moment and ask for a ride home… no matter what.
Devise a special code word they can use in an uncomfortable or worrisome situation that will alert you to potential trouble while keeping them from being embarrassed about calling or texting mom or dad to come save the day. Also, make sure their cell phone and any phones they may be contacting are completely charged prior to their departure so that they can actually connect with you if the need arises. After all, it’s better to wake up at home with a hangover than it is to wake up pregnant or in the hospital.
Remind Them of the Real World
Use your real-life experience to your advantage. Openly discuss the potential of having their property, cell phone, or wallet stolen. Have in-depth conversations about what could happen if someone slips something into their drink or if they decide to drink and drive and get in a fatal car accident. Talk about real statistics such as the fact that 87% of teens would rather drive drunk or high than call their parents, and that 30% of teens know at least one peer who got a life-altering DUI from making the wrong decision. The more they know, the smaller that bubble of invincibility becomes.
Remove Driving from the Equation
Driving is one of your teen’s first real freedoms, but that can be a deadly mistake on prom night. Approximately 90% of teens expect or believe their classmates will drive impaired on prom night. And almost 20% of teens admit to riding with a teen they knew was impaired to avoid calling their own parents. So before saying, “Not my kid…” Oh, yes. Your kid likely has, will, or has considered doing it.
You can avoid embarrassment and danger almost completely, however, by simply hiring a limo. Not only is it a classy and memorable experience for your kid, but one limousine can transport several couples at once. Sure, it’s an expensive experience. But if you get the other parents on board, each share is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Top off the night by making sure your kid has the number of your Michigan auto accident attorney programmed into their cell just in case they still manage to run into trouble.