Prom Guidelines For Parents
Two undisputable facts should guide parents’ actions toward Proms:
Fact #1: Young people do not know how to “do” a prom unless they are shown. So many parents don’t help with this event, they simply allow the teen’s to handle everything on their own—this is not being a good or cool parent—kids have never done this before even if they went to someone else’s prom last year.
Fact #2: It is WRONG—DANGEROUS—ILLEGAL to allow your underage children and other’s underage children to behave illegally and immorally either in your home or with your knowledge outside of your home. You will be held legally accountable! Proms, senior dances, graduations are PRACTICE at being ADULTS, not PERMISSION to be an adult.
Help with plans. Know the schedule of events-this isn’t just any date! At least talk with the date’s parents-ideally meet with them. If the kids are using a Limo, introduce yourself to the Limo driver, so they know you are involved.
Cell phones are now your best friend. You can contact your teen throughout the night-let them know you will be calling—it’s okay to do this tonight—might even set up a special ring-tone. Call rather than text so you can hear what they sound like~let the date know you are going to be doing this so it’s expected.
What to do for your teen:
• Don’t just take pictures. Help with the event. Eagerly help with flowers, tux, and restaurant reservations. This has the great side-effect of including you in on what’s happening.
• Talk to your teen before the event. Tell positive stories about your time. It’s never too late for this! Your stories should be real and not meant to impress them. Your aim is to teach and share.
• Don’t try and be a COOL PARENT. By this time you either are one or not. Being cool is not obtained by letting your child and their friends drink or act sexual. (How sad is your life if you have to strain to get this acclaim from your teen and their friends–Grow Up.)
• Talk with the other parents involved. And certainly with the date’s parents. Even if it is to say hello and let them know you exist. Share your plans and these tips.
• Help with the planning. Sure that’s time out of your life and work, but again, if you’re involved then you know what’s going on and you’re more in control. Help arrange ‘after Prom’ events.
• HAVE CONTROL OVER THE EVENT. After all, you are probably paying for it, so you have a right to say how your money is spent.
• SET RULES—IF APPROPRIATE. If your teen has been a “knucklehead” all year (or since 12) then all of the sudden they are not waking up boy/girl scouts on Prom day. If you can’t trust them—then don’t— and set a curfew and other rules. Give only a set amount of money or don’t give out credit cards to those teens that haven’t deserved it. Conversely, be generous if they have earned it! This is a great time to reward them for good behavior.
• Do not support negative behaviors: Hotels, drinking/drugs, sexual acting out. Remember parents are now being held legally (criminally) responsible.
• WATCH YOUR MOUTH! Talk positively—don’t tease or be sarcastic (Dads!)—no put downs of the date, the event, the school, etc. This should be a fun, memorable event, not a stage for you to look good or be a comedian. It’s your child’s event.
This should be a fun, memorable event for parents as much as for teens!
Presented by: Dr. John E. Mayer. “National acclaim for helping teens and families” more at: www.DrJohnMayer.com
Prom Guidelines for Teens
This should be a FUN, MEMORABLE, ONCE-IN-A-LFETIME EVENT !
You have one chance at this—don’t blow it!
Drinking and drugs blur and may erase the memories you will have from this great event.
How sad is it if you feel like you have to GET HIGH to have fun at THIS event. You’re all dressed up, spent a ton of money, looking awesome, have a great date, this is all you should need to feel good. If not, you’re in trouble in life or, as your friends may say, you’re a loser!
Let your parents have fun too!
Sorry, this night is exciting and memories for them too. Put yourself in their shoes. They are proud of you and want to show you off. Relax, let them fuss a bit and act silly. It’s no reflection on you.
Establish Parent Rules by talking to them beforehand. They won’t know something is embarrassing to you unless you tell them. Example: “Dad, only 50 pictures, pleeee…ase!”
You will have fewer hassles from your parents if you: “Let them into the planning” and let them know what’s going on. My golden rule: Keep your parents off your back. You do this by including them. They will also be more generous.
Be in Control!
Don’t let others ruin YOUR and your date’s night.
Young ladies: You don’t OWE your date physical favors because he has spent a lot of money, showed you a lot of attention, blah, blah, blah…
Young Men: A real man makes no such demands on a woman. This is not the goal of the night.
Don’t be pushed into anything. (Even by your date!) This is your night. It is not your responsibility to entertain your friends with illegal or immoral behavior. This is your night!
You know what is right and wrong—don’t make a decision that can ruin your life.
Remember this is a school event, even if off school grounds, your actions could spoil graduation and/or lead to other consequences from school. Not to mention from the law and/or physical harm. Arrests, car accidents, STD’s, broken bones and broken minds don’t disappear the next morning.
Historically, the Prom was a celebration that you have become an adult. Act like it. My golden rule #2:
Act like an adult-get treated like an adult.
Act like a child-get treated like a child.
OH, A NOTE ABOUT CELL PHONES~~NOTHING IS MORE RUDE TO YOUR DATE THAN TEXTING, TWITTERING, OR EMAILING SOMEONE ELSE WHILE YOU ARE WITH THEM. KEEP THE CELLPHONE IN YOUR POCKET OR PURSE. Of course, parents are the exception here.
Have the most wonderful time of your life!