The spring is here, which means the end of the school year is approaching. With that for teens comes prom and graduation season. Things may still look a little different because of COVID-19, but certainly more things are returning to normal this year compared to last year.
With that in mind as a parent, you, of course, want your teen to have a great experience but also be safe.
The following are some things to know to help promote safety this prom and graduation season if you have a teen at home.
You don’t want your teen to drink regardless of the event, but regardless, you should consider hiring a driver service or a limo for prom especially. Even if teens aren’t drinking, they haven’t experienced drivers. Prom and graduation often happen at night and your teen is probably going to want to go to these events in a big crowd.
Having a lot of people in the car with a teen driver behind the wheel can be a recipe for disaster.
When you’re hiring a limo service, you want to vet them carefully to make sure they hire safe drivers.
To get a limo company for safety, you should ask for proof of insurance and check their references. You should make sure the driver has the right type of license and verify the vehicle your teen will be riding in has passed any required inspections.
Know the Details
Well in advance of any big events involving your teen, sit down with them and talk about what their plans are.
You can ask them if there are any things they’re nervous about and learn more about whether they have a date and who’s in the group they’re going with. You might also want to get in touch with the parents of the other people your teen will be going to events with.
Be clear that you have a zero-tolerance policy for any type of substance use. If you aren’t clear on this, your teen might think that since it’s a special event, there’s an unspoken rule that you might overlook drinking.
You really do need to clearly set your expectations and don’t many any assumptions as far as what your teen is thinking or what they’re expecting.
Don’t Let Your Teen Rent a House or Hotel Room
It’s a bad idea to let your teen rent a house or hotel room or rent it for them. Sometimes teens want to do this on these big nights, and it can get you in legal trouble if your name is on the room or house and something happens.
If you sign off any type of rental the night of, you’re also signaling that you’re okay with potentially dangerous behaviors.
It’s much safer to have a plan for when your teen is supposed to come home rather than them spending the night out.
If your teen is going to a hotel or rental house, there should absolutely be at least one responsible adult present as well.
Set a Curfew
This was mentioned a bit above, but you should set a curfew for your teen rather than letting them stay out the entire night.
Teen crashes and deaths disproportionately occur at night.
Think about a reasonable time for your teen to come home and be up when they get there. Don’t go to bed until your teen is safely at home.
Have a Parent Meeting
If possible, and if your teen will be celebrating with a big group, get the parents together for a meeting beforehand, so you can make sure everyone is on the same page.
This is important, and not every parent is going to have the same rules or guidelines as you.
Your teen might go to an after-party at another parent’s house who you don’t agree as far as their rules. If you can all try to get on the same page or at least know where one another stands, it’ll help the situation.
If you can’t meet in person, maybe you start a group text or social media conversation.
Finally, on the night of a big event, stay connected with your teen. Let them know what your communication expectations are and how often you think they should check in with you.
You want your teen to enjoy these events in their life but also understand the consequences of certain decisions.