What’s the word on every teenager’s mind right now? PROM! Yep, the season is here, and while getting all geared up for the big night is a lot of fun for young people, it can be a major nightmare for parents. So, mom and dad, here’s how to handle a few painful prom issues, courtesy of ABC News and Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief, Ann Shoket.
Control the Expenses With the average cost of prom night around $800 - the dress alone averaging $200 – you need a budget. So, Shoket says make a list of everything you'll spend money on - limo, dinner, tickets, flowers and so on. Then question every expense. Do you really need that stretch limo Hummer with strobe lighting? NO. So get creative. For example, you can rent a vintage car and act like a chauffeur for your teen. Or cook dinner yourself and decorate the dining room so it looks like a fancy restaurant.
Compromise on clothing. Prom is every teen’s “red-carpet” moment and girls looking for that perfect dress might disagree with mom and dad’s fashion suggestions. Topping the list of inappropriate prom wear are low-cut necklines. Also, stiletto heels above 4 inches, and jewelry with chains or spikes are no-nos. Shoket says girls can still show some skin, but the key word is flirty. Instead of showing too much in front, try back necklines that leave shoulders bare. Also, opt for color and loose hemlines. You can let your daughter ultimately choose the dress, just keep it within these guidelines.
Be Involved. Consider hosting a post-prom bash at your house. Think Wii bowling and karaoke. This way you know your child and their friends will have a safe place to spend the rest of the evening. Once the teens arrive, stay out of their way. You can cruise through the party about once an hour to make sure everyone’s acting appropriately, but don’t hover. If the party’s NOT at your home, make sure you give your child a ‘free-pass’ phone call. Meaning, they can call you to come get them if things get out of control, with no punishment. The goal, after all, is safety and they’re more likely to call if they know they can come to you unconditionally.