How to Keep Prom Events Safe, Simple, and Fun

The flowers are in bloom, we are enjoying more sunshine, and most kids have started their countdown to summer vacation. This can only mean one thing; spring is here! For high school students, this means Prom weekend is approaching.  Parents know that this is an exciting and memorable time for their high school students; however, with the dress shopping and tux rentals come the inevitable stressors. I am sharing a few “prom hacks” concerning how to have fun at prom while keeping events simple and safe.

Safety first

As parents you play a multi-faceted role in your child’s prom experience. In addition to hearing about the creative way that son or daughter asked (or was asked!) part of your role is also to set a few guidelines to ensure their safety.

Start by planning ahead. Once the prom group is formed you can ask your teen to share their date’s and their parent’s contact information. Forming an email chain with the other parents can be a helpful way to discuss pre-and-post prom events, note start and end times, and confirm safe transportation options. Once plans are in place you can make your expectations for the weekend’s events explicit.

Remind your son or daughter that their safety is your first priority.  Discuss prom night rules with your teen; this can include setting a curfew for the evening and asking them to check-in via text or calling once they have arrived to the events safely. Be sure to remind your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving. Consider offering to help them setup a driving service to promote ease and safety. If your teen needs help because of a driver who has been drinking encourage them to call you – no questions asked. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Less stress is best

Think strength in numbers. Once you have your parental email chain in place offer to co-host pre-or-post prom events with the other Moms and Dads. No need to take on full responsibility alone. There are bound to be a few sets of involved parents who are available and willing to help out with weekend events, even in small ways. Divide and conquer the “to-do” list so no single person feels the whole burden. Having extra sets of eyes around is a great way to ensure adequate supervision. If you teen is not keen on the idea of your presence at their party, simply inform them that you are there to help out the hosts. Assure them you want them to have a fun at prom!

Have some fun at prom!

It is prom weekend after all! Coordinating a prom group is no task for the faint of heart. If your teen is stressing about complicated group dynamics, encourage them to put together their own (perhaps smaller) group. This can be a great way to sidestep some of the stress while still making sure they have fun at prom and get to enjoy the company of their good friends all evening long. That is what matters most anyway! Some teens feel overwhelmed by all of the prom-related hype. Remind your teen that the outcome of their evening is all about their perspective. Invite them to notice the small meaningful moments of the night, instead of focusing solely on the things that did not go “as planned.” Take a peek at this this article for suggestions on how to help your teen cope with pre-prom anxiety. Before they head out, let them know that you would love to hear all about their evening and see their pictures once the weekend has ended. Letting your teen know that you care about the things that matter to them builds trust and respect in the parent-child relationship.

 

Prom holds a lot of expectation, which can add pressure to your teen’s experience of the weekend’s events.  By weaving some of these “prom hacks” into the mix, both you and your teen are likely to sidestep some of the unneeded stress so everyone can focus on what matters most; having a fun, memorable, and safe weekend!

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Ready to Learn: Getting My Child Ready for Kindergarten

The end of the school year is around the corner, and for many kids the promise of summer is all they can think about. For teachers and parents however, there is much to be done before the end of the school year. If your child is enrolling in kindergarten this fall, here are some tips to prepare them for their new role as full-time student.

Enrollment: Checklists for Mom and Dad

Let’s start simple; although some children enroll on the younger side, and others enroll on the mature end of the spectrum, here are a few things that need to be completed prior to enrollment:

  1. My child is 5 years old, as of September 1
  2. My child is up to date on vaccinations
  3. My child has completed any required medical screenings (eyes, hearing and speech)

My Child is Going to Kindergarten: Now What?

Change can be hard for many kids (and for parents!). Here are a few ways to instill excitement in your child and help with the transition.

  1. Visit the school prior to the first day. Many schools provide a meet and greet for students, families and teachers.
  2. Talk about it. Anxiety is born when children don’t know what to expect. Talk to your child about all the fun they will have in school. New friends, fun teachers, circle time and library hour are all enjoyable parts of school your child gets to look forward to!
  3. Take your child school supply shopping. There is nothing like a new princess backpack or Superman lunchbox to get your child excited for school! Let your child pick out a few personalized items to aid in building up the excitement and help them feel confidant.

Kindergarten Readiness

What is kindergarten readiness? Kindergarten readiness is the what pre-school teachers, guardians and parents evaluate prior to sending their child to kindergarten. The main areas teachers and educators evaluate are independence skills, social skills, executive functioning and recognition of colors, numbers and letters.

If you don’t feel like your child has mastered these skills, don’t fret! Children learn quickly! Spend your summer investing in your child; set aside 30 min per day reviewing their ABCs, numbers, colors and shapes. If your child lacks social skills- get them involved in play groups, summer camps etc. Summer is a great time to socialize and learn!

Fun and Simple Ways to Promote Kindergarten Readiness at Home

Give your child a leg up by working on the following this summer:

  1. Counting 1-10- use visuals to aid in number recognition
  2. Writing their name- start with their first name
  3. Recite the ABCs- sing the song, and point to the letters to aid in recognition
  4. Have play dates! Take time to invest in your child’s social skills. Focus on sharing, nice hands, nice words, waiting their turn.
  5. I can do it!- If not already doing so, have your child practice dressing themselves, focus on outdoor clothing (shoes, hat, gloves, jacket).

If you are worried your child has deficits or is not quite ready, seek out an educator, other parents or your pediatrician. These people are here to help you and are a great resource to give you the reassurance you need.  Remember, kindergarten is a place to learn! No one expects your child to be perfect or have mastered all skills prior to beginning school. Now- enjoy your summer!

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