How to Make the Most of Prom Time

Teenage boys and girls (15-18) wearing formal clothes, posing
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The prom is one of life's great adventures. Your teen will be planning for months! You'll need to be ready with an arsenal of information and resources because there will be quite a bit to do. As the parent, being in the know about prom will cause less stress and increase everyone's enjoyment - including your own.

First, talk to your teen about a budget. Work out who is going to pay for what and what you're willing to pay for certain things.

Use our Developing a Budget article. Then, check out my resources and resources from other Guides.

Setting the Rules and Limits for Prom Night

While the night of the prom is a special occasion and can call for a few rules to be bent – like giving a later curfew - be sure to make it perfectly clear to your teen that you will not be giving them carte blanche on your expectations. You will expect them to be home or to the after prom event by a certain time, you expect that they will not be drinking or driving with someone who has been drinking and you expect them to treat their date, friends and chaperones at the prom with respect.

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Helping Out at the Prom and Your Opinion

Proms are usually put together by a student committee, normally made up of juniors in high school because, in most American high schools, the junior class gives the prom for the senior class.

There is a teacher adviser who knows the routine or has been given all of the information. The teacher adviser will dole out jobs to the students and expect that they will be completed. If your teen is on the committee, you can help by offering to do other tasks that only an adult can do, taking your teen to where he/she needs to go to complete their task, head a fundraiser for the junior class to help pay for the prom or offering to be a chaperone.

You can also help your teen with this experience by talking to him/her and finding out how he/she is feeling about the prom. Many teens become very nervous about prom because it’s a formal event and they need to get dates. You can help calm those nerves if you put your own aside first.

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Getting Ready for the Prom

This is when you take the phone off the hook, clear the calendar and spend this time with your teen. Getting ready and taking pictures of every step makes for great memories. Prom only happens once or twice in a lifetime, don’t miss watching your teen grow up.

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Preventing Potential Prom Problems

Unfortunately, prom night is a time where teens will push their limits and perhaps do things that they normally would not do. It is also true, however, that most teens whose parents keep the lines of communication open and spend time teaching their teens the differences between what is acceptable behavior and what is not, tend to have fewer problems with tough teen issues like sex, drugs and alcohol.

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