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Sunday, Sep. 14, 2014

Prom season parenting; have no regrets

Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010, at 3:08 PM

Prom is an exciting time not only for the promgoers but also for parents as they dote just a bit more than usual, just to make their young one's night a perfect one. From picking out the perfect dress or tux, making hair appointments and ordering flowers, we put all of the finishing touches to what should be a memorable night, but there may be one thing missing.

Do you talk to your son or daughter about the consequences of drinking? It seems that proms are like a rite of passage, making it a night to indulge a bit, and in many cases a bit too much. I hear way too many stories of children binge drinking and without any regards to their own health nor the safety of their friends or others on the roads.

Schools hold annual mock crashes prior to celebrations, and I say kudos to them for attempting to address the tragic circumstances that go hand in hand with drinking and driving. But is it enough? The kids may seem to be affected by the dramatization at the time, but do they really listen? Time to eliminate the middleman.

Parents, how would you feel if you were contacted by a sheriff that your son or daughter had been involved in an accident and you needed to get to the sheriff's office immediately? How would you feel if after your arrival you were told that your child was dead? Never another chance to talk, or hug. Laying on a slab, lifeless. Instead of planning a graduation party you plan a funeral.

This was my nephew, and yes, irresponsible drinking was the cause.

There is no easy system to teach us to talk openly to our teens about what alcohol can do to their lives. Yes, they will experiment, but parents have to ensure that there are consequences.

We need to give them the tools to say no and to praise them for enjoying their days sober. Take time to have a heart to heart with your child as you send them off to prom... make sure the goodbye you are saying is one to last only a few hours.

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Trudy J. Schroeder
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Trudy is a former Advertising Representative for the Pilot Tribune, and also a contributing writer.
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