Prom is an exciting milestone for teenagers and parents alike. With all the excitement surrounding this once-in-a-lifetime experience, it’s important that parents don’t get lost in all the details and remember to maintain your strong influence.
As parents, what you do and say greatly impacts your teens’ perspectives and actions. Parents are the number one influence on teens’ decision-making, and that includes whether or not they engage in underage drinking. In other words, you are your teens’ most powerful role model and coach.
As you approach prom, consider these do’s and don’ts to ensure a positive influence on your teens’ experience:
· Have a conversation with your spouse or partner to ensure that you’re consistent in your expectations about underage drinking.
· Devote time to talk with your teens about underage drinking prevention, in addition to all the other prom details.
· Clarify plans with your teens and reinforce expectations to ensure they understand that underage drinking is not permitted.
· Talk with other parents and school administrators to understand their plans and expectations.
· If you’re hosting gatherings after prom, model positive behavior.
· Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Use this event as an opportunity to reinforce rules surrounding underage drinking prevention.
· Don’t give special permissions for special occasions – having inconsistent expectations about underage drinking sends mixed messages to your teens.
· Don’t assume the worst – in other words, don’t assume that underage drinking will happen or be permitted at after parties.
· 61% of teens get alcohol from adults – if you’re hosting gatherings at your house after prom, don’t allow teens to drink underage.
· Don’t minimize your role as their parent – don’t engage in irresponsible celebrations with your teens.
The most important thing parents can do to establish trust about upcoming events is to have open, honest conversations with your teens. For tips on how to start the conversation and help prevent underage drinking this prom season, please visit the Coaching portion of our website.
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