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Friday, April 1, 2011

A Mom's Take on Co-Ed Sleepovers After the Prom

One of the scariest things for parents is realizing you really don’t have that much control over what happens on prom night.  You put your teen in a limo with a driver you don’t know whose sole responsibility is to drive from destination A to destination B — not to monitor drinking or anything else.  The prom itself will have chaperones, but if kids want to sneak out they will find a way.

As I reflect on my prom night, I know I wouldn’t want my children to try anything that I did.  I actually didn’t go to my prom because my friends and I didn’t consider it to be the “cool” thing to do - so instead we met up with everyone at the after prom party.  I remember it being a very boozy night — going to bars (the drinking age was 18, but I wasn’t at the time), skinny dipping in the bay and not coming home until after sunrise. We were all drinking and driving, because it was during pre-MADD days.

In lieu of letting prom be an open-ended night for my son, I might host an after prom sleep-over at my house.  In my opinion, the advantage of parents hosting a sleepover is we have some control over what happens on prom night. You can have the teens safely back at your house, send the limo driver home, give them the basement, let them stay up as late as they want — which is part of the fun of prom night– and keep track of who your teen is with and what they are doing. If the kids are determined to have sex or get drunk or do drugs, I’m sure they could a find a way.  But the point is, they might be less likely to try risky behavior at home with adults right upstairs.

Continue reading on the Decoder blog at the Partnership for Drugfree.org


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