Does prom have to be a 24-hour party?

Your Life
Dr. Cathleen McGreal
May, 2015

Q: Around here, prom seems to have turned into a 24-hour-plus party. My daughter is begging to attend all the prom activities, because “everyone else is.” I think it’s too much partying and she should come home right after the dance – am I being overly protective?  

A: When I was growing up in Southern California, my friends and I wanted to have an after-prom beach party to watch the sunrise. We never were able to negotiate that option! But the parents were able to arrange satisfying compromises. 

“And lead us not into temptation …” 

 Many parents feel comfortable extending curfews for special occasions. This can be an opportunity to brainstorm healthy alternatives when “everyone else” wants to party in a way that can lead to poor choices. Use prom planning as a chance to communicate with your teen about possible responses to temptation. Alcohol is linked with many high-risk consequences, including traffic deaths and poor sexual choices. Sleep deprivation is another concern to discuss since that also is associated with risks, especially when driving. 

Planning safe post-prom activities 

 Join other parents to explore what options are available in your community. For example, our local high school had a “lock-in” post-prom party at an athletic club. Another option would be to sponsor your own party with plenty of food, games and movies. Talk to the high school administrators to see what activities have been effective in the past. 

It can be tempting to try to shelter our teens. But giving them the opportunity to make positive choices in various situations while under our guidance is a useful life skill for early adulthood. Pray Psalm 71:17.