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Prom Season Safety Tips for Parents from NewBridge Services

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Teenage boy placing a corsage on his prom date's wrist. The high school prom season is in full swing, the kick-off to a whole host of end-of-school-year festivities that provide teenagers plenty of unsupervised time. Before they dress up in tuxes and gowns or head to the Shore with friends, talk to your teenagers about staying safe and making smart choices. 

It’s crucial! Our community has already lost a teenager in a post-prom car crash. NewBridge Services, a community nonprofit that provides counseling, housing and education in northern New Jersey, offers parents 10 tips for keeping your children safe:

Prom couple in purple sitting on a bench.

  1. Articulate rules and the consequences of violating them.
  2. When your teen goes out with friends, ask him who is driving, where they are going and when he will be home. Tell him he must call if plans change.  
  3. Instruct your teen not to drive with anyone who has been drinking alcohol, and let her know she can call you for a ride at any time.
  4. Don’t be swayed into letting your teen partake in risky activities just because “everyone else’s parents said yes.”
  5. Discuss the dangers of alcohol and club drugs. 
  6. Offer to pick up your teen if he finds himself in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.
  7. Invite your child’s friends to your home so you can get to know them.
  8. Communicate with other parents.
  9. For post-prom festivities, rent a house at the Shore and allow your teen to invite his friends, so that you can supervise their fun. If that is too costly, get other parents to go in on the rental. 
  10. Praise your teen when he or she uses good judgment in the face of peer pressure or temptation.

“As they get older, teens must begin to take responsibility for their own decisions, but communication, guidance and advance planning can help steer them in the right direction,” said Michelle Borden, NewBridge’s chief operating officer and a licensed a clinical social worker. “Keep in mind that teenagers’ brains won’t fully develop until they reach their mid-20s.”

If you or your child needs support, contact NewBridge at 973-316-9333 or services@newbridge.org. 

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