Spring is here, and along with springtime come high school proms.
Zimmerman High School was one of the earliest schools in the area to hold prom – April 21, 2012. Big Lake, Princeton, Elk River, and Becker High Schools will soon follow.
While some high-schoolers are not interested in anything social, prom is often an important rite of passage during the teen years. With proper preparation, this can and should be a wonderful time for both children and parents.
There are a number of problem areas that kids may have to deal with on prom night. Drinking, drugs, sexual activity, and wreckless joyriding are all possibilities.
While parents hope that their children will understand and follow the family rules, peer pressure can corrupt even the best of kids.
Getting to know your children’s friends and their families will be a helpful indicator of how they will behave while they are out on the town.
Preparing for prom actually starts years earlier when children are still toddlers. Every family has its own values, beliefs, and rules. Raising children and teaching them about family values is an important part of parenting.
Establishing open communication early makes the discussions centered around prom much easier when the time comes.
The following is a list of issues to consider in getting ready for a successful prom:
1. How much is prom going to cost? Tickets, dress, tuxedo, flowers, limo, dinner – it adds up very quickly! Prom doesn’t need to break the bank – there are a lot of economical options available if people are willing to search for them.
Goodwill sponsored an event last year where excellent secondhand prom clothing was featured at tremendous savings. Corsages and boutonnieres can be made instead of purchased. A romantic dinner prepared by family members who act as the servants can be very fun.
2. What expectations are there for returning home? There seems to be a trend for students to rent hotel rooms and stay overnight after the prom is finished.
Many devastating consequences have come to pass because of this one decision. Parents should give a specific time for their children to be home and then stay up until they return safe and sound.
3. What are the rules about drinking and drug use? Is sex permissible? These behaviors are unhealthy and even dangerous for young people.
Alcohol and drugs easily become abused once started. Children under the influence of these substances lose the ability perceive situations properly and through their actions may injure or kill others or themselves, causing lifelong sorrow to those involved.
There are many reasons why sexual relations should be postponed, including lack of emotional readiness, sexually-transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancy.
Hopefully those guidelines have been well-established, but now is definitely a great time to reiterate parental expectations in clear terms. Have a specific set of consequences if the rules are broken.
Try to let your child know that they can talk to you regardless of what happens. This is such a fine line and can be difficult to navigate in times of hardship. Don’t be afraid to seek the outside help if needed.
Connect with school officials so that you know what the school is planning. Offer to assist if possible. Your son or daughter may not appreciate your presence as a chaperone, but there are plenty of other opportunities to help.
Proper planning can make the difference between a miserable prom and an awesome one. Get started early!