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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Will Kids Drink at After Prom? Don't Doubt It

When I was in high school - as my daughter would say in the dinosaur time - going to the prom was uncool. Now the average price people pay for one night is $1,000 a study says. Prom has developed the same mystique as a wedding. Missing it is a major crisis. Thank reality television for that one.

Some of that cost is for what keeps your child safe - the limousine has replaced driving your own car and After Prom is no longer a wild ride like ours which included going to the beach, building a bonfire, consuming a lot of beer, and jumping in the water sans clothing.

After Prom is at the school, chaperoned by parents, and runs from 12:00 - 4:00 AM which basically finishes the night. The kids feel like they've stayed out, and the parents believe their kids are safe.

My son is a junior and he plans on going to after prom with a group of friends. I think it's really naive to assume there won't be alcohol consumed. What worries me is who drives them home at 4:00 AM? And what have they consumed, smoked or ingested in other ways?

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the school offering a potential safe haven alternative to what otherwise would probably end up as a wild party that lasts all night. But I have a lot of questions:

How are you going to get home?
If you don't get home whose house will you stay at?
Can you tell me the names of the other parents who will be hosting beforehand so I know where you'll be and who is driving you?

Now I could get up at 4:00 and just go cart his friends home. Or I could just say no you can't go. But neither of those options are very appealing. And every time I try to get straight answers it goes something like this:
  • We don't know where we are staying. 
  • We will make a decision that night. 
  • I will be with my girlfriend. Her parents are letting her stay out all night? I don't buy that.
I suppose my biggest issue is that I'm a single parent and more of a pushover than I should be. A boy with an absentee dad is not an easy child to raise. And mine is tougher than most. But he's also a good kid, does well in school, comes home when he's supposed too and is for a teenager pretty trustworthy. So I kind of want to let him go. It's high school and he should have fun. You are only young once.

What do I do about alcohol use? Well it's going to be at the after prom or they'll all have drunk already and then it will be time to sober up. I suppose I could volunteer to help, but it's not my son's prom, and quite frankly he wouldn't want me there. What kid would?

So what will happen? If he does go I'm going to go get he and his friends because at least I know I'll be sober. And I'll know whether they are too.

What would you do?

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