Prom night is probably the most anticipated night of the year for teens and one of the most dreaded by their parents. Although most teens think they know everything about how to stay safe, parents know otherwise. And, according to safety experts, it will take more than just talk to ensure a safe evening for all.
“No matter how strong the family relationship, many parents are still unaware of the choices teens face every day,” said Ray Palermo, director of public information for Teachers’ Insurance Plan™. “For parents to successfully reach their kids, they’ll have to approach safety issues in new, often more direct ways.” Teachers’ offered several tips that go beyond “don’t drink and drive.”
- Get involved in planning prom night.
- Talk specifically about what they should say or do in certain high-risk situations.
- Consider having a mutually agreed on “contract” for the night. Set out rules regarding post-prom parties or other activities – with whom they will be, where, for how long and what they will be doing.
- Get the names of other prom-goers and phone numbers of their parents.
- Set a curfew based on past behavior, but be reasonable. This is a special night. Have your teen call if there is a delay.
- Send your teen a text message during prom night telling them to have fun, but reminding them not to do anything that could ruin a great time.
- Limit the number of passengers in a car.
- Be on call for a ride home or other emergency.
- Have a “no questions asked” policy on getting home safely.
- Make an agreement with parents to not drink and drive, and not to ride with anyone else who is drinking.
- Resist high-risk activities of all types.
- To avoid tampering, do not leave your beverage unattended.
- Check in with your parents during the night. It will go a long way toward reassuring them about how you are doing.
- Always buckle up.
- In short, follow your parent’s rules.