If your teenager hasn’t started talking about it yet, be prepared. Now that high school is in its second semester, spring is just around the corner. With the warmer season comes talk of prom. For teenagers all over the country, this is one of the biggest nights of their high school career. They’re going to want to look their best and the night will have to perfect.
With the excitement, though, also comes a lot of stress, much of which falls to the parents as the day nears closer. Start getting prepared now and do your best to make the night special for your son or daughter. While you can never guarantee a perfect night, even for prom, doing your part to make it go as smoothly as possible will leave them grateful and ready to make some of their best high school memories.
Here are some tips to helping your teen have a great prom
1. Start looking for an outfit early in the year – Dress and tux shops know when the big time of year is and will make sure to raise their prices, confident that hundreds of teens will go all out for the perfect formalwear. Teenage men tend to be easier to work with, as tux rentals aren’t usually a big deal. But for a teenage daughter, the right night begins with the perfect dress. Start setting aside money now. Begin looking for your teen’s prom outfit a few months ahead of time. Check post holiday sales at local dress shops and surf online for some great deals. The quest for the perfect prom attire can take awhile, so the more time you allow for finding it, the better.
2. Don’t immediately say “No” to a prom limousine – Because of costs, parents are usually likely to give a resounding “no” when their teen asks if they can rent a limo on prom night. However, by planning early and going in with other parents, a limo can actually be an affordable way to give your teen a great night. Check early for limo rates and call around to other parents to see about chipping in for one for a group of friends. Many limos can fit up to 20 teenagers, so the more parents chip in, the less cost it is for everyone, even for a couple of hours.
3. Help them dine in style – It’s a big deal for a teenager on prom night to go out to dinner in their formalwear. Because of the overall mood of classiness, many will want to dine at a more upscale and more expensive restaurant that evening. If the price of a dinner is a little too rich for your wallet, compromise with your teen and offer to pay half. Better yet, call around to some other nice restaurants, check prices, and see if they’re holding any specials for the upcoming prom. Even a more casual restaurant may “dress” up a special section with candlelight and fine china if they know a group of local students will be having their prom dinner there.
4. Break out the camera – It’s a tradition to snap pictures of your teen with their friends and date before the big event, so make sure to have a camera with plenty of film ready. Pay no attention to their grumbles. Most of them will act like the last thing in the world they want to do is pose for endless family pics, but the truth is, deep down, they’re having fun with it. After all, it’s not everyday they got to model in their pretty dresses and handsome tuxedos. Contrary to what they might say, the picture session will start their night out on a high note and give them mementos of this special occasion for them to look back on later in life.
5. Respect the tradition of the post-prom party – Even if you’re teenager has a standing curfew, make an exception for this one night of the school year. The prom itself usually lasts until at least eleven or later, and most teens head somewhere afterwards to continue the night’s festivities with a post-prom party. You don’t have to totally throw away the rules and let your teen run amok. Talk with them about what their plans are and get the contact info for where they’re going and who they’re going to be with. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of them being out that late, open your own home to your teen and their friends, complete with late night snacks, games, and movies.
Remember that the prom is one of the most important nights for a teenager. By doing your part to help them have a great one, you’ll be letting them make great memories and earning many parental brownie points in the meantime.