No parent wants to deny their child the right to go to prom. But there is no doubt that teens' safety on prom night remains an ongoing concern.
Hold the line
Kids on prom night often push the envelope, but there is no need for parents to permit teens to attend after-prom parties that are held in hotels, at lake houses or anywhere the teenagers will not be supervised by a responsible and sober adult.
A good alternative is to agree to hold your own after-prom soiree where the revelers can eat a hearty breakfast, socialize and get a few hours' sleep after the dance winds down.
Have them check in
It's not excessive to ask your teen to call or text after arriving at the dance, when leaving the venue and also when arriving at the after-prom activities. Also, get the cellphone numbers of your teen's date and any friends with whom they will be spending the evening.
Talk to other parents
Groups of concerned parents often offer to chip in for a chauffeured limo driver to ferry the kids out to dinner, to the dance and the after-party. While no driver can guarantee there will not be a collision, having a commercially licensed professional at the wheel is much safer than an inexperienced teenager. Networking with other parents also gives you a chance to verify your teen's plans and make sure there will be an adult present.
Set reasonable curfews
It's fine to relax regular curfews for prom night — as long as your teen agrees to follow the pre-set agenda. No extra time to just ride around town, as late-night accidents claim far too many teen lives.
Also, parents should stress to their teens that should the situation head south for any reason — underage drinking, drug use, peer pressure to have sex, etc. — all they need to do is call you for a safe ride home.
Should an accident injure your teen on prom night, you may need to be their legal advocate to help them recover financial damages stemming from the collision.