Parent involvement in prom should be limited

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Sabrina Brennan

Natasha Talukdar, Staff Writer

Prom night is considered the most important evening of the year for many high school students. With long-term planning and stressing, excitement builds up quickly for this special night. The thrill of pre-prom, after-prom, and the prom itself, is something that is inevitably felt by every attending student.

But what about parent involvement? Parents may be the people who pay for your entrance to prom, your dresses and tuxes, all other accessories and maybe even hair and nail appointments. Often, these are the only things students want their parents to be involved with.

Events like after-prom can be something uncomfortable to discuss with parents and pre-prom can be something of an embarrassment, with crowds of teary parents and multiple cameras flashing simultaneously.

“With dress shopping and pre-prom planning, my mom was really involved,” said senior Sarah Autz. “My parents are always involved in everything I do, and I think they rightfully should be. For example, pre-prom is a great time to take lots of pictures and make memories of us kids growing up.”

Students look forward to celebrating the near end of the school year. Parents often cherish seeing how much their children have grown.

But is monitoring their children and their every movement during prom night a good idea?

The fear of alcohol, drug use, and automobile crashes are only some of the many nightmares high school parents experience.

A simple talk may not be enough for some parents, leaving them wanting more comfort in knowing their child is safe.

But the alternative is sometimes not acceptable to the student. Some parents may wait right in front of the prom location, ready to pick up their child the minute prom is over.

“Prom is always a bit stressful but a lot of fun,” said Ms. Shahnaz Autz, Sarah’s mother. “It is enjoyable and emotional for us parents, but you still feel responsible for the choices they are making. I basically left everything up to Sarah so she would enjoy after prom as best as she could. I left it open so she and her friends would feel responsible. Being supportive is key.”

Establishing trust between parents and children is the most important thing. Parents should leave their child to enjoy their special night, but they should also establish ground rules. After all, parents only want their children to be safe.

“Parents should be informed about what their kids want to do,” says Autz. “They should inquire to make sure that everything is legitimate and they should make sure that everything is safe.

Parents’ stress should not get in the way of their children’s excitement of prom. Most teenagers are already worried enough about getting the perfect dress or suit for prom. Prom can be stressful but teenagers should use it as a bonding time with their parents.

“For girls, shopping for prom dresses is a great opportunity to bond with their moms,” said junior Gisella Snailer. “Pre-prom is family time, but prom and after-prom are for the kids.”

Of course, it is important to make sure the kids have a plan and are safe for after-prom. It is better, however that parents do not interfere too much, since this is our special night.