Preparing for Prom

It’s prom season and you know what that means…a flurry of mixed emotions for parents and their teenage daughters. In many ways prom marks the end of childhood and the beginning of an exciting and challenging journey into adulthood. But often accompanying that right of passage is the reality that your baby is growing up.

Prom night also reminds parents that there are lots of things to consider – like the cost of that must-have prom dress, who she is going with, and what her plans are for after prom. But relax and reminisce, you have some sure-fire tips at your disposal to help the night be a memorable one for her and a relatively stress-free one for you!

Tried & True Prom Tips:

  • It’s all about the DRESS. The biggest deal for girls about going to Prom is finding the perfect dress – and that perfect dress usually has a not-so-perfect price tag. But, before you make that fateful trip to the mall, give her a budget. Sticker shock is one thing that you don’t want to deal with when she turns to you in that gorgeous red gown and says, “Daddy! I have to have it!” By setting a spending limit ahead of time, you’ll avoid disappointment.
  • Meet the Parents. Gone are the days when prom night meant bringing your boyfriend. Today teens are brining friends as dates or dating in a group. Regardless of whether or not it’s a romantic date or just a fun night out with friends, you should meet who your daughter is going with and his/her parents. Also make sure you have their names and phone numbers in your Blackberry or written down elsewhere.
  • Get Nosey. You should also know every detail about where you daughter is going on Prom night. This includes where she will go for dinner, who will be with her, her plans for after prom, and what time she will be home. Don’t be shy, you should be as nosey as possible! It’s your right as a parent – and her responsibility as your child – to let you know the details.
  • Lay Down the Law (aka Prom Night Rules). You and your daughter should agree on the rules for prom night. Since teens by nature are impulsive, she needs to have a set of clearly defined rules and consequences for breaking those rules before she steps one of those high heels out the front door.
  • Stress Safety. Talk candidly with your daughter about alcohol, drugs, sex, and drunk driving. Statistically, some of the highest fatalities among teens from drunk driving occur on prom night. Don’t assume that she won’t drink even if she promises she won’t. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol related peer pressure is at it’s height on prom night. Also let her know that she shouldn’t feel pressure to have sex (a traditional prom night worry) just because it’s a “special night.” Let her know that she can always call you to come get her no matter what the situation. It’s a good idea to have her carry a cell phone with her so she can check-in with you anytime.
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