Dresses, shoes, corsages, tuxedos – with everything that goes into planning for your teen’s prom night, make sure that setting expectations and boundaries about underage drinking are part of the conversation.
Here are some tips for communicating with your teen before, during and after the big night to ensure they enjoy a fun and responsible prom:
1. Maintain consistency with expectations.
Regardless of the occasion, stand firm with the expectations that you’ve already laid out for your teen. Prom is a once-in-a-lifetime event, but that shouldn’t mean changing your boundaries. Make sure your teens understand the dangers of underage drinking before heading to the after party.
2. Ask for your teen’s thoughts.
After your teens have heard what you have to say, it’s your turn to listen. Ask if they have thoughts, concerns or questions about your expectations, and use that as an opportunity to make sure everyone is on the same page.
3. Ask open-ended questions.
Open-ended questions like these can help start deeper conversations and prepare your teen for “real-life” situations on prom night:
· What’s the plan for the evening?
· What will you do if alcohol is around?
· Who’s driving? If they decide to drink, who would you call?
4. Communicate with your teen throughout the evening.
Agree on check-in points with your teen and keep the conversation going on prom night. Talk or text with your teen that evening to reiterate your expectations and find out how things are going.
5. Follow up with your teen after prom.
Did they have fun? Do they have pictures to share? Fun stories? Let them share their experiences with you, but also take the opportunity to talk about expectations that apply to prom or other scenarios. Following up reinforces consistency.
For more communication tips for prom, visit the Coach section of our website.
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