My daughter is graduating from high school this year, so we’ve been busy shopping for the prom dress, jewelry and shoes, scheduling appointments with the hairstylist and French manicurist, all in anticipation for prom night. Proms are expensive, with the average tab totaling somewhere between $800 – $1000.00 or more depending on how extravagant you get and can afford.
While high school seniors are entranced with excitement about graduation ceremonies, prom and after parties, parents like myself are primarily focused on prom safety and making sure my child arrives home after prom unscathed, with nary a scratch.
I’ve already had “The Talk” with my daughter, and we both understand each others wants and expectations for prom night, and I’ll be giving her young escort from school a talking to as well and clearly stating my position on sticking to the itinerary with no exceptions allowed.
My daughter laughed when I told her I needed this young man’s full name (and his parent’s names), phone number, address, height and body weight, any distinguishing marks, tattoo’s or body piercing so I can pick him out of a police lineup. 🙂
I wasn’t kidding. I’m well aware of the causes of teenage drinking as well as date rape statistics and the risky behaviors associated with graduating seniors attending prom, and I refuse to put my trust in someone I don’t know personally, regardless of how long my daughter and her prom date have known each other at school.
My husband and I will be driving them to prom, foregoing the expense of hiring a stretch limo, and we’ll be picking them up when the party ends at 1 a.m. After-parties are notorious for drinking and driving under the influence, including parties hosted at homes where parents have agreed to closely supervise party-goers, but there will be no after parties for my daughter where she may be put at risk.
Vehicular accidents and deaths during prom night are well documented, and news stations are flooded every year with story after story of young seniors who don’t make it home alive after prom, having been killed by a drunk driver or other drinking related accidents. Even though I’ve read recent claims and statistics that say “65% of 12th graders disapprove of consuming five or more drinks once or twice each weekend”, it’s the other 35% of teens drinking and driving that concerns me.
According to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, 39% of high school senior males say it is acceptable to force sex with a girl who is intoxicated or high on drugs. The statistics of high school teens drinking and driving on prom night shows these students are seven times more likely to have sex, and much less likely to use any protection or condoms, thereby increasing their chances of pregnancy and STD’s.
I certainly want my daughter to enjoy herself at prom, and I have told her so many times, but as a parent I also need to make sure that everything possible is done to ensure her safety at prom, until she arrives back home safe and sound once the party is over. Her job is to have fun at prom, and my job is make sure she is alive and well the next day to talk about it.