on Perfect Proms, Programs & Pageants by Sallie
Much Ado about Prom Night by William D. McCants
PROM SEASON: TIPS TO HELP AND SHARE
by Tania K. Cowling
Times have changed and the modern-day proms have little resemblance
to the ones we had in our high school days. Most proms today are held
in fancy hotels where teens arrive in lavish limousines. Teens are
decked out in fancy clothes, some even spending as much as they would
to get outfitted for a wedding. Needless to say, the price tag for
this extravagant evening can cause havoc with parents and teens and
threaten to bankrupt a household budget. However, despite all the
parental headaches, the high school prom still occupies a special
place in the adolescent experience, so it’s worthwhile to spend
some quality time helping your teen plan a safe, enjoyable and memorable
evening. Here are some tips to share with your teen:
— The “big issue” among teens used to be “do
you have a date?” Today, plenty of people go to proms solo or
in groups. Assure your teen that having a date is not a big issue
and that they should consider going in a group if they would like
to attend their prom.
— Proms today can be very expensive, so it’s common for
some couples or groups to share the costs. . Tickets, meals and transportation
can be shared. This should be discussed prior to the event so kids
can save up money.
Ahead — Help your teen make your arrangements for limos,
restaurants, tux rental and flowers early. Kids will be disappointed
when reservations are taken, so planning ahead can help avoid later
disappointment. Some vendors offer discounts to teens who book early.
Check it out!We can advise our kids, tell them what we would do.
— Remind your teen that if her date comes with a corsage she
should wear it! For guys who have no clue as to what goes with his
date’s dress, you can suggest that he can’t go wrong with
white. They should consider roses, baby’s breath, freesia, stephanotis
and carnations. All are pretty and smell terrific. The florist can
help teens stay within their budget. For girls, a boutonniere is still
a nice gesture to give their date. A simple rosebud will do just fine.
or Semi-formal — Formal usually means long gowns and
tuxedos. Semi-formal can be short dresses and suits or dinner jackets.
If your teen is inviting a date from another school, it’s best
to inform the date in advance about what to wear.
— Offer to take pictures of your child and date. Remember this
can be awkward for your child so remember to discuss it before hand.
Most likely he will agree, so take some of each child alone and then
the couple. If they protest, remind them that they will love the pictures
later and they will be less expensive than the professional photographers
at the prom.
— Set a time when you expect your teen to arrive home. Remind
your child to let you know that he has arrived home safely and to
call if there is any delay.
Don’t forget to tell the couple to have a great time!
As parents, we will try all three at some time or another, often in
combination. But what works best in the long run is the method of helping
kids arrive at their own right decisions.
If we force our kids to do things our way, they learn something about
us. If we allow them the time and the space to make up their own minds,
they learn something about themselves.
Undoubtedly, the years ahead will not be easy. The three D's will splash
in and out of our lives like waves crashing relentlessly on a rock.
The goal, I think, is like that rock, to stay firm while growing smoother
as a result of difficulties, disappointments and dilemmas that wash
over us all.
- Talk with
other parents about safety. They are probably as cautious as you are.
- Teens like
to stay out all night. If you are not comfortable about the idea of
hotels, maybe a parent can host an “all-night” party for
some of the teens. The young people can change into sweats, dance,
and watch videos until morning. Serve a fancy breakfast in the morning.
against drinking. More than 40 percent of deaths of sixteen- to twenty-year
olds result from motor vehicle accidents. Almost 40 percent of these
crashes were alcohol-related, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Warn your teen about drinking and using drugs. If you choose to hold
an after-prom party, be vigilant. Make sure no one brings alcohol
or drugs into your home.
leave beverages unsupervised — Make sure girls are told not
to leave their drink where someone can slip a drug into it. The date
rape drug Rohypnol can leave a young woman helpless to resist rape
and unable to recall the assault later.
transportation — Limousines are expensive, but a safe means
of transportation. If this is out of your budget, make sure there
is a designated driver for the evening.
- Be available
— Make sure your teen knows where to reach you throughout the
evening. If you plan to be out, carry a cell phone on you at all times.
A prom is
a wonderful event in your teen’s life and a great time to share
memories together. Talking can lead to interesting discussions and discoveries.
Your teen is growing up—enjoy this quality time together.