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This just came across my desk a few minutes ago and thought I should post while I was thinking about it. Part of being a good neighbor is communicating important issues, especially when it concerns our children. So, see the info below that was sent from my school district regarding prom/graduation season.

PARENT POWER FOR PROM

Make Prom and Graduation Season a Safe Time for Teens

With only 37% of students I grades 6-12th reporting nationally that “I can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations” and only 42% of this same age group saying, “ I believe it is important NOT to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs,” our community must come together to acknowledge that the event called PROM need not be a ‘right of passage’ for young people that includes risky behaviors like drinking and sex.

Parent Power Tips are listed below as you help your young person navigate Prom Night in a healthy and fun way:

Have your young person describe the ‘plans’ for the Prom Night Events during the prior week not just the night before. Sometimes having a ‘plan’ rather than going ‘spontaneous’ helps young people PLAN ahead, a skill they’re still developing! Only 29% of students in grades 6-12 report knowing how to plan ahead to make healthy choices.

Get names and numbers of other students going to the event with your child and make contact with those parents. See if you can create an ‘agreement’ with these parents to have a gathering at one of your houses after the Prom Event to ensure a non-alcoholic beverage party place.

Search the young peoples’ means of transportation (limos, too) for inappropriate items and beverages. Question the driver, too.

Role-play situations that your young person could encounter; however foolish you may feel, practicing a skill, like refusing an alcoholic drink, is the only way to learn it! A basketball player practices his/her free throw thousands of times in order to perfect the motion!

Require that your young person must check in with you AFTER the PROM event at a designated time; feel free to require a return home at a reasonable curfew.

Finally, remember that setting boundaries with your young people is what they crave. Boundaries include he family rules, parents’ knowledge of their kids’ whereabouts, and the consequences for breaking those rules. Family boundaries have been shown to be directly associated with:

· Higher self esteem
· Higher school achievement
· Decreased problem behaviors (reduced alcohol and other substance abuse.)

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