Prom and season is here and teens all across Michigan will soon be celebrating the end of the school year with prom and graduation parties. Unfortunately with these celebrations come situations where drinking and drug can occur, and prom night has been synonymous with drugs and alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports an average of 300 alcohol-related fatalities each year on prom weekend. These statistics are sobering but preventable. Use these tips to create a safe prom promise with your teen.
Communicate a “no alcohol” message
You may have already given your child the speech about the dangers of underage drinking or drug use but prom season is the perfect time to reiterate that message. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, parents are a strong influence on teen drinking behavior. Talk to your child about the dangers of drinking and driving to make sure they understand the risks and consequences.
Do not rent a hotel room
Unsupervised activity only entices the use of drugs, alcohol and risky behavior. Don’t allow your teen to stay in a hotel without the supervision of an adult.
Make sure post-prom parties are alcohol-free
Some parents feel that it’s safer to allow kids to drink at home rather than driving around and drinking in unsupervised locations. In reality, this still puts kids at risk for overconsumption and broadcasts the message that it’s okay to drink.
If you host a party, make sure guests know that the use of drugs and/or alcohol is strictly prohibited. Your zero-tolerance policy should be clear with consequences if not followed.
Be honest with your teen
Discuss these important issues openly to maintain an open channel of dialogue. Communicate your rules to them, stressing the importance of safety and smart decision making to make sure you are on the same page.
Know where they are at all times
Keeping track of your teen at all times will give you a peace of mind and lessens the chances of them getting into trouble. Set a time schedule for text messages or phone calls so that you can always know where your child is and what they’re doing. It may seem overburdening at times but you can’t put a price tag on the safety of your child.
The prom is a rite of passage that your teen should be able to enjoy. Set the expectations to ensure a memorable prom and graduation season for all the right reasons. For more information for safe prom and graduation parties, visit SADD.
Visit Michigan Urgent Care Healthy Living Blog for more safety and health tips.