Relieving Prom Pressure!

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The concept of prom originated in the Victorian era when young people would get dressed up and “promenade” in their finest clothing in front of their friends and peers. Through the years, promenade was abbreviated to “prom” and thus, the big deal began.

Young people, feel the need to be accepted by a group of their peers and  a prom plays into this dream of acceptance and belonging, throwing teenagers into a frenzy of taffeta and corsages!

To add to this illustrious dream, films have played into the fantasy of the “perfect” prom night. “Pretty in Pink,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Never Been Kissed” and “She’s All That” have all romanticised going to a prom, equating it to a Cinderella story where everyone lives happily ever after – and  if you add in Instagram prom envy with teenage hormones you’ve got a recipe for huge panic!

With all the importance placed on this event, teens and you as parents can face huge pressures for the night to live up to its grand expectations. Everything must be just right, regardless of the cost because, well, it’s prom. Days and months are dedicated to this one event, planning for one night of celebration bit like a wedding!

It’s a Girl Thing

Hair, dress, shoes, flowers, manicures, limos, prom tickets, dinner, photos and post-prom parties—the list goes on and the cost quickly add up. With the  rise in the cost of living money is tight for many families, which can add to the pressures of prom that many parents face during this time of year. So be honest about that and talk with your teen about setting a realistic budget.

It really should come as no surprise that girls, more so than boys, spend countless hours worrying about the big event. It can be super exciting and also super…stressful.

You  may well trust your teen, but it’s always best to be on the safe side when it comes to other teens!

Here are some tips to help.

• Take the hype down a peg or two but don’t mock the occasion.
• Set a budget for your daughter and son and make sure they stick to that.
• Know the Plan. Make sure your teen has a plan for the evening and that you know it.
• Know Where the Prom Parties Are.
• Have an Emergency Code.
• Take Stock In Your Home.
• Know Who Is Driving.
• Discuss Consequences.
• Encourage Car Safety.

Know the Plan

Make sure your teen has a plan for the evening and that you know it.

Ask the following questions and make sure both you and your teen know the answers:

  • What time does the prom begin and end?
  • Are you going to dinner beforehand or is there dinner at the prom?
  • Are you meeting other friends?
  • Is there an after-party sponsored by the school or at a friend’s house? Who will be chaperoning?
  • How will you be getting to and from dinner/the prom/the after-party?

Know Where the Prom Parties Are.

Find out if there will be adults present to keep an eye on them around alcohol or if something goes wrong.

Have an Emergency Code

Agree a safe code word  with your teen, something they  can text you if there’s trouble.

Some kids simply text an emoji to their parents to indicate that they need to be picked up. The parent then calls with an “emergency” and asks where they can pick up their teenager no questions asked.

Know Who Is Driving

If it’s a limo, make sure it’s a reputable company with properly screened drivers. If a friend or date is driving, make sure you know and trust their driving record. Teens get excited, erratic, or may text when talking in the heat of the moment while driving so – make sure you know who’s driving them about.

Discuss Consequences

I used to use every opportunity to ‘Talk and Teach’ my kids about life!

But it’s how you do it that is important!

Don’t lecture – chat when you’re driving them somewhere, walking the dog, eating dinner together –  chat about a story you have from your past when you got a bit over excited and forgot to be sensible! Chat about eating before drinking, having an Uber number stored in their phone to get home quickly if they need to, chat about charging their mobile phone, what to do if a friend eggs them on to do something risky and how to handle that.

Stay Up Late

You probably won’t be able to sleep anyway! If you can, stay up until your prom-goer returns home. Not to grill them , but to share the night, show them you care and show  them that you are interested in their evening. It’s a special night for them and marks a milestone in their life. Leaving school is a big deal.

Remember how you handle everything is an opportunity to make magic memories and connection with your kids, no matter how old they are.



Thanks to Family Education


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