For high school juniors and seniors, prom season is a time of excitement and well-deserved celebration. It is also a time of risk. The Ridgefield Prevention Council (RPC) asked some seasoned Ridgefield parents to offer advice to first-time prom parents, to support them in guiding their teens safely through this milestone event.

Here are the words of wisdom (and thanks to all of you who answered the call):

  • Know where your teen is going after prom and who they’re going with — even if they argue.
  • Ask them to check in when they leave the prom and when they arrive at any after-prom event, and to let you know if there are any plan changes.
  • Prom is a one-night event, not a weekend. (We saw that get out of control with some kids in my son’s class.)
  • You are not the only one saying no, really.
  • Enjoy the pre-prom picture party. It’s fun to see the kids, and you can check in with the other parents.
  • Everyone else is not doing “it.”
  • Be sure to have a safe word or sentence that they can text you that means pick me up right away, so they will not be afraid to call you if they get into a sketchy situation.
  • The year before, my niece went to the hospital after prom with alcohol poisoning. So we talked about the dangers of alcohol, and she knew it was true.
  • We just told our son that we expected him to stay sober. I think it helped him to hear this bluntly from us.
  • My kids both went to prom in limos and we talked to the limo driver, told him not to allow alcohol, and gave him our contacts. Check out the credential of any driving services.
  • Say what you need to say about safety, even if they act like they know it already.

More tips may be found at powertotheparent/promtoolkit.

For more information about prevention efforts, visit the RPC Facebook page or website, ridgefieldpreventioncouncil.org, or email coalition@ridgefieldct.org.