Teens look forward to their proms for a night of style, socializing, and unbridled fun. But behind the glitz and glamour are risks that have long been associated with prom nights. Risky behaviors such as driving under the influence, unprotected sex, and other prom-related incidents are just among the most common worries that parents stress about during prom nights. If you are worried about your teen’s safety, here are a few ways on how you can keep her safe:

1.    Know the plan.
You need to specifically know what your teen has planned for the night. She needs to be clear on who she is hanging out with and where they will be heading afterwards. After-prom parties are common and without adult supervision, it can easily put teens vulnerable to all kinds of pressure and even danger. With the wrong crowd, your teen can be easily enticed into drinking alcohol or trying illicit drugs just for the sake of being cool. So don’t feel guilty if you need to know important details regarding your teen’s prom because it’s her safety that’s at stake.

2.    Talk about choices. Proms can be an opportunity for teens to exercise sound judgment.   It’s then important that you reinforce your child’s values so that when she is in a rather tempting situation, she will choose to take the high road. Adolescence is a time of experimentation but your child needs to understand that for a single night, one hasty decision has the potential to change her life forever.

3.    Teach your teen how to say NO to peer pressure. Teens are under a tremendous amount of pressure and they can easily yield to what is considered a norm amongst their peers. Tell your teen that it would not make her any different or even uncool if she chooses to stand her ground in situations or issues that she doesn’t seem to agree about. Tell her that if her friends would like to engage in any activity that she considers inappropriate, she has every right to refuse.

4.    Talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol.
Prom nights have been associated with sex, drugs, and alcohol. You need to explore how your child feels about these things so you can educate her. Talk about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and even date rape drugs. You also need to be clear with your stand on illicit drugs and alcohol. Your teen needs to know that drinking alcohol and using drugs can put her in great danger because these substances can impair thinking.

5.    Set rules and a curfew.
You can let your teen enjoy her prom without having to follow her every move if you set firm rules. Be very particular on who is taking your teen to the prom because drunk driving is often an issue during prom nights. Ask for phone numbers of your teen’s companions so that you can easily contact them when necessary. You also need to hear your child’s sentiments regarding her curfew. If your teen is sensible and if you think that the activities that she has planned for the night will not put her in any kind of risk, then a later than usual curfew can be appropriate.

6.    Be involved. Aside from setting restrictions, you can keep your teen safe by being involved in the preparation. By doing so, you will also get inside scoop on your child’s plans. Get in touch with the people behind the preparation and offer help. You may also contact parents hosting after-prom parties just to make sure that it will be properly supervised.

The prom is a milestone for teens and although they are entitled to enjoy it as they should, parents need to set limits so that they stay safe. What are your concerns during your teen’s prom night? How do you keep him or her safe?