For many decades, going to the prom has been a rite of passage for teenagers in New Jersey. Having a date, dressing up and going to a fancy event is an exciting occasion that most high schoolers look forward to. However, there are also some dangers that teens face during prom season.
Pressure to drink alcohol or do drugs is perhaps more rampant on prom night than on any other night of year for teenagers. Perhaps that is why, according to the Huffington Post, prom season is the deadliest time of the year for teen drivers. One third of alcohol related fatalities of children below the legal drinking age occur during prom and graduation season. And parents, it seems, may be part of the problem. One study found that one in ten parents were okay with their teen drinking alcohol at a prom party where another adult was present.
In order to prevent senseless teen drunk driving deaths, there are some steps that parents can take to keep their children safe reports U.S. News & World Report. The most important but perhaps hardest part is simply bringing up the topic. By initiating a conversation, parents open a dialog with their teen that allows them to communicate effectively and honestly.
It is also important for parents to not talk down to their child when discussing subjects like drinking. Finding the right balance between authoritarian and confidant will let teens know their parents care about them but expect them to behave in certain way. Finally, teens and parents should talk about what to do in the event a circumstance arises where drinking is taking place. Having a backup plan can go a long way toward preventing a teen who has been drinking from getting behind the wheel.