Staying safe on prom night
Soon, flashbulbs will pop and limos will roll through Norwalk as the city's Classes of 2010 prepare for the senior prom.
For many kids, it will be their first "all-nighter," filled with dancing, photos and plenty of memories.
But it's after the prom that gets most parents nervous.
Some parents may host after-parties, giving students a safe place to hang out after the festivities.
But, no matter how hard the community tries to keep the kids on the straight and narrow tomorrow night, there will be the handful of kids who figure out how to include alcohol, or worse, into their evenings.
Here are a few tips to help keep your kids safe during one of their last celebrations as seniors:
Discuss the importance of no alcohol.
Regardless of whether they say "everyone's doing it," hold firm and explain that it's not what you expect from them. While they've heard a million times before, it doesn't hurt to hear it again.
Discuss the consequences your teen will face if he or she breaks your rules.
Make sure you know what your teen is doing after the prom, whether he's going to a friend's house or hanging out at the after-prom, or even if a bunch of friends are hosting their own party somewhere else, know where they'll be and who they'll be with.
If your teen is going to a friend's house after the prom, don't be afraid to call the parents to be sure they'll be home and won't be serving alcohol. Many parents believe that as long as the kids stay put, and they take the keys, it's OK for them to drink. It's not; it's illegal.
With all of the excitement and trying to coordinate with their friends, be sure to remind them that it's no excuse for distracted driving. If they're driving late at night, remind them not to text their friends or talk on their phones.
Finally, give them an out. Let them know that if there's a problem, they can call you for help, no questions asked, and you'll pick them up.
Sometimes kids are more afraid of what their parents will say, and would rather take their chances than ask for help.
Most of all, remind your kids to have fun and stay safe.