Prom and graduation are two of the biggest memory-making events in a teenager’s life. These days, it’s not just the students who get excited about the planning and celebrating. Many parents take part in every aspect, from picking out the fabulous attire to extending curfew on these special evenings. It’s also a time when parents should ask themselves, “What can I do to make sure my teen stays safe and makes smart decisions?” These are good questions, considering that for some teens, these events bring increased pressure to break the rules, like drinking alcohol.
The good news is that parents should not feel helpless. In fact, they should feel encouraged. When it comes to underage drinking, studies show that parents have a lot more power over the decisions their teens make than they may realize. According to the Roper Youth Report, 74% of teens ages 13 to 17 say their parents are the number one influence on their decisions about whether they drink alcohol, and that finding has been consistent since this survey began more than a decade ago.
“We know it’s not always easy to talk with teens, but parents are actually very effective when it comes to helping their kids make good decisions, like not drinking alcohol or giving in to negative peer pressure,” says Rudy Williams, OLCC Deputy Director. “Parents can be very influential by keeping the lines of communication open, setting firm rules – and sticking to them, and teaching their kids how to make responsible choices.”
The OLCC offers these additional tips for parents for prom and graduation celebrations:
The OLCC congratulates students and parents on keeping prom and graduation celebrations safe and healthy. Enjoy every minute of the season and help your teens create positive memories that will last a lifetime.