Help Your Teen Enjoy a Safe Prom Night

The high school prom is a milestone and an event most teenagers look forward to for months. It presents a wonderful opportunity for you as a parent, to share in your child′s anticipation and excitement. It′s also important to remind your teenager about important safety issues regarding drinking alcohol, drug use, all night parties and driving safely.
Let your teens know there are guidelines you have set to help keep them safe. Agree together on rules for the evening. Remember that every teen is different. Some teens are more responsible than others–even within the same family. Let your teen know your expectations and views. Remind your teenager that there are consequences of breaking the rules, and be sure to follow through by firmly enforcing those consequences if the rules are broken
Spell out the rules
Make the rules and expectations clear to your child. Prom time is an excellent time to partner with parents of your child′s date to make sure that all involved on the same page. Make it clear that ALL the parents have the same goals for a safe evening (including parents of other teen couples who may be attending the Prom together as a group).
Be clear and sincere to your child that it is always a safe option for them to call you if they experience potentially unsafe situations. The consequences can come later – make sure you respond to your child′s situation without immediate judgment – their safety comes first.
Expectations and rules may vary, but here are a few items that must be included on any list:
  • Absolutely No Alcohol!
  • Refuse to drive with ANYONE who has been drinking!
  • Always Buckle Up!
  • No cell phone use or texting while driving!
  • Be home at curfew!
Prom night is fast approaching at a number of area schools. Havre High School celebrates its Prom on Saturday, March 17. Be sure your teen has safe transportation for the evening. Encourage your teen not to ride with an individual who has been drinking or who refuses to wear a seat belt. All too many times the unbuckled person, in a severe crash can kill an individual who did the right thing by wearing their seat belt. The unbuckled person is a flying projectile in the event of a crash.
Here are some facts you may not know:
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for youth ages 15–20, nationwide.
  • Nearly two of every three teenage passenger deaths, occur when the driver is another teen.
  • Seventy percent of teens killed on prom weekends are not wearing their seatbelts!
  • Teens buckle up far less frequently than adults do.
One of the worst things for a parent is to be notified that their child has died in a preventable accident. Talk to your teens about these dangers. Help your kids make their prom a fun and safe night full of good memories.
Havre Public Schools and the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line are committed to promoting safe and healthy lifestyles to become long–lived, responsible citizens. For more information on this or related topics, call 265-6206.