Helping Your Teen Prepare for Prom

Helping Your Teen Prepare for Prom

Parents worry—it’s what they do best. If you have a teen, planning for prom can turn up the anxiety level. If it’s a prom year in your household, there will be difficult conversations, budgetary negotiations, possible eye-rolling, and a huffy “whatever”. Keep the lecturing, and the nostalgia, out of it with these tips for helping your teen prepare for prom.

Be Reasonable and Supportive

Prom used to be a formal dance in the gym, and everyone went home afterward. Now, high schoolers are staging elaborate “prom proposals,” recording the already fraught act of asking a date to the prom, and sharing it on social media. The decorated high school gym has morphed into a fancy hotel ballroom. Transportation is by shared limo or hired bus. That may take care of some of the worries about drinking and driving, but then, there are the afterparties.

Your teen wants to be a part of it all, so save the stories that begin, “when I was in high school, prom was just a dance.” Over the years, prom has taken on an outsized role as the night to remember. Your job as a parent is to ensure your teen experiences prom as fun, not as stressful or an epic disappointment. Manage expectations and keep your cool.

Set and Stick to a Budget

Dress, tux, flowers, shoes, accessories, hair, makeup, nails, limos—where does it end? Sit down with your teen and be honest about what your budget can handle. Make it a team effort, and ask for your teen’s suggestions on how they can have the full experience without breaking the bank. If your teen is employed, help identify ways they can save up for that special pair of shoes or the corsage. Getting that limo is easy with Limo Find, you will be able to get what you need on your budget.

Time Waits for No Dress

Your daughter has been thinking about her prom dress for years. It’s time for you to start thinking about it at least four months in advance, to give you time to help her choose her prom dress carefully and have the dress altered to make sure she feels elegant and comfortable. Many young women shop online for their dress, so factor in delivery time as well. Dress styles change annually, and in recent years, the trend has swung back and forth between cocktail-length dresses, high-low hems, and full-length gowns.

If your son is the prom-goer, he may choose a tie, pocket square, and cummerbund to match his date’s outfit.

Have an Adult Conversation About Safety

“The talk” about sex, drugs, and alcohol should have taken place long before prom rolls around, and your teen should be very clear by now on the rules. Helping your teen prepare for prom means carrying that discussion forward by ensuring your teen understands that you trust them and that you will always be there for them—even if they screw up. Remind your teen that prom isn’t an excuse for misbehavior that could have lifelong consequences, and create a comfort zone for your teen to share any concerns they have about peer pressure. Create an exit strategy to use if your teen feels uncomfortable, and make it clear you’ll come pick them up any time if they need you.

If you and your teen work together to plan, budget, and anticipate fun without expecting a life-changing experience, you can dial back the worries and take pictures you’ll both enjoy for years to come.

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