Prom season is here, and for many area teens, it's one of the most anticipated events of the year.
Area high schoolers are busy planning and preparing for their prom celebrations with the hope of a night of friends and fun to long remember. They'll don formal attire and head off to area auditoriums and gymnasiums, hotel ballrooms and excursion boats.
But when alcohol and a lack of responsibility are combined with that special night, those memories can quickly turn to tragedy.
The prom should be a time of happiness. That's why it's important that parents talk with their teens about the consequences of drinking alcohol, and not just on prom night, but any time.
Teens must know that drinking alcohol during their big night does not make them adults. Parents must be sure their teens know the rules now, before proms are held.
Teens must be sure they know not to get into the car with any driver who has been drinking, and, perhaps most importantly, they must know they are responsible for their own actions. If teens truly want to prove what adults they have become, they must show they know how to prove they're worthy of the responsibility.
Some tips for parents:
A teen should know his or her date. If it was an arranged date, be sure they get together with their prom partner before their big night, and parents should get to know who the date is, too.
Curfews should be made clear.
A parent or other adult friend or relative should be near a phone on prom night in case the teen needs assistance.
Teens need to know that parents must be kept informed of plans and if the plans change, the teens should know to call home to tell the family just where they're going and when.
Parents, please don't let this busy time of the year deter you from being an active part of your teens' prom. Talk to your children about the importance of them being adults, especially on their prom nights.