QOTW - Prom Season

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
QOTW - Prom Season
15
Tue, 04-23-2013 - 11:55am

I'll admit I stole most of this from CM Melissa (thanks for the legwork Melissa!!) and added in a few extra questions at the end:

Here are some scary statistics related to prom season: 

-Teen traffic deaths during prom season weekend are higher than at any other time of the year.

-An American Medical Association study reported that 10% of parents believed it was appropriate and safe for underage teens to attend both prom and graduation parties where alcohol is served, if a parent is present.

-Most date rapes and sexual assaults against girls are alcohol and drug-related.

-A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services national survey reported 39% of high school senior boys considered it acceptable to force sex on a girl who is intoxicated by alcohol or high on drugs.

Read more stats along with suggestions on how to talk to your teen about prom at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carleton-kendrick/prom-death-and-sexual-assault_b_3115940.html?utm_hp_ref=parents-teens

  • 1.  What are your rules when it comes to prom night?  Do you host a gathering, or allow your child to stay out all night?  Would it make a difference if was parent supervised, even at a hotel?  
  • 2.  Do you contribute to prom costs, if so what's your dollar limit or do you have certain parameters?
  • 3.  Does your school have a junior/senior prom, just a senior prom, and if so, do the juniors have an "equivalent" dance?

4.  Does the prom include dinner at the event or do they go out to dinner separately?

5.  Does the school require breathalyzer tests and/or purse checks upon entering the event?

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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 04-23-2013 - 1:53pm
  • My thoughts on prom have changed a lot since my kids were small.  I used to think you had to protect them from themselves at senior prom; as I got older I realized that if I hadn't prepared them for life well enough by senior prom, I shouldn't be sending them off to college 2 months later.  I didn't worry about my oldest and I'm not worried about my middle child either. 
  • 1.  What are your rules when it comes to prom night?  Do you host a gathering, or allow your child to stay out all night?  Would it make a difference if was parent supervised, even at a hotel? - Our oldest went with almost 20 other girls (it was an all-girls' school), only half of whom had dates.  One of the girls organized the event:  meeting at one girls' house for pictures, then prom, then a late night comedy club, then they all went back to the girl's house where the boys slept in one room and the girls in another.  The parents took turns staying up all night!  This was the nice, high-achieving group in the class, no drugs or alcohol.  The next day they went to an amusement park.  
  • My now-18yo will be going to the prom dateless.  She & her friends will be going to their own homes overnight, and then the next day they're going to go to a cute artists' town about an hour away, stay at a B&B, and come home on Sunday.  None of them were tempted to go to the beach or to get drunk or use drugs - in fact DD is adamantly against it.
  • 2.  Do you contribute to prom costs, if so what's your dollar limit or do you have certain parameters? - We paid for everything, pretty much:  dress, shoes, prom ticket, jewelry & after prom weekend. We can afford it, but more importantly my kids are rather frugal and don't want us to spend a lot on something that they view as a fun evening/weekend but not a major life event.
  • 3.  Does your school have a junior/senior prom, just a senior prom, and if so, do the juniors have an "equivalent" dance?  - Separate proms.  The juniors were back in March.

4.  Does the prom include dinner at the event or do they go out to dinner separately? - Dinner is included.

5.  Does the school require breathalyzer tests and/or purse checks upon entering the event? - I don't think so.  However, the kids are not allowed to transport themselves to or from prom.  They must go to the high school, have pictures taken, and then are taken by bus to the prom.  They are required to stay there and can only leave by bus. 

Also, parents must attend a parent meeting before prom or their child can't go.  Dates must be registered if they're not students.  All very sensible guidelines that minimize the school's risk.  In fact, the Catholic school was quite a bit more liberal than the public school.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 04-23-2013 - 3:36pm
  • 1.  What are your rules when it comes to prom night?  Do you host a gathering, or allow your child to stay out all night?  Would it make a difference if was parent supervised, even at a hotel? 
  • I tend to be of the same opinion as Mahopac, if I am sending her off to college in 3 months, I better have already raised her to make the best possible decisions, prom included.  All the kids in my daughter's group are going back to their own houses, but they are getting together mid- morning sunday to all go canoeing about an hour away from the house.  If she had asked to have a gathering at our house I would have been more than happy to host it and I would have been fine if she had wanted to go someplace afterwards to spend the night, though I would have wanted it to be at a parent supervised place, and I don't see her or her boyfriend objecting to that.  I am one of the most liberal parents of all her friends, so most of her friends parents would have said no before I would have.
  • 2.  Do you contribute to prom costs, if so what's your dollar limit or do you have certain parameters?  
  • I bought her prom dress, she is paying for the rest of the costs.  If DH had been in charge, she would have paid for the entire thing on her own.
  • 3.  Does your school have a junior/senior prom, just a senior prom, and if so, do the juniors have an "equivalent" dance?  We only have a senior prom, their class is extremely large.  They have never had juniors in on it and don't have a separate junior dance at all.

4.  Does the prom include dinner at the event or do they go out to dinner separately?  No, they go out to dinner ahead of time.  In fact I had never heard of schools having dinner included at the prom except for ones that were transported to a place by bus and brought back.

5.  Does the school require breathalyzer tests and/or purse checks upon entering the event?  Ours does a breathalyzer test and purse check at the door (I won't voice my opinions on this one), they also do have to have a consent signed for any non-school kids going to the prom, which sounds like its pretty standard at all schools now.

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Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 04-23-2013 - 4:37pm
1.  What are your rules when it comes to prom night?  Do you host a gathering, or allow your child to stay out all night?  Would it make a difference if was parent supervised, even at a hotel?  It's actually pretty easy for us this year. DD is a new 16 and not yet driving. Her date is driving but in our state, he can't drive her until he's held his license a full year (and he hasn't.) So, he's driving to our house, we're driving them to the prom together and picking them up.... which is actually a situation several of the juniors are in.... no shame! I'd be up for dropping them off at a diner for a post-prom snack which is common around here, her date can hang out at the house for longer if he wants but we've decided that we don't want her and her date driving in the car of her older classmates to a second location after prom. I doubt she'd ask but we are prepared to say "no."

  • 2.  Do you contribute to prom costs, if so what's your dollar limit or do you have certain parameters? We told DD we were willing to give 200 dollars towards her prom. That paid for the dress and two tickets. DD purchased the bouteniere, appropriate bra, shoes, purse and accessories on her own.
  • 3.  Does your school have a junior/senior prom, just a senior prom, and if so, do the juniors have an "equivalent" dance? DD's program is only 80 kids total (40 juniors, 40 seniors.) The prom is for both grades.

4.  Does the prom include dinner at the event or do they go out to dinner separately? Dinner is included

5.  Does the school require breathalyzer tests and/or purse checks upon entering the event? No breathalyzer but bags will be checked. They can't bring in any food or drink... not even bottled water. If they exit the building for any reason, they are not allowed back in. It'll be less than 100 kids so not as hard to chaperone as your normal senior proms (which can easily be 1000 kids in regular high schools in our area.)

I'll be honest, the prom isn't a big deal at her school. It's less than two weeks away and many of DD's classmates haven't figured out if they are going solo or bringing a date (or 3 since they can bring up to 3 guests lol.) None of the juniors are doing limos.... possibly some of the seniors but don't know. A few got their dresses from thrift shops. I know a couple got them for free through a program that does that in our area. We're not hearing about any 400+ dollar dresses and the like. A few haven't even looked yet. It'll be fun but it's really just a dance.... lower key than the winter formal her old school had.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2013
Wed, 04-24-2013 - 11:50am

  I used to think you had to protect them from themselves at senior prom; as I got older I realized that if I hadn't prepared them for life well enough by senior prom, I shouldn't be sending them off to college 2 months later.

Wow, I love this!! I'm happy that I decided to lurk on this board today- reading this made me realize I need to adjust my parenting thinking/strategy as well.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 04-25-2013 - 11:55am

1.  What are your rules when it comes to prom night?  Do you host a gathering, or allow your child to stay out all night?  Would it make a difference if was parent supervised, even at a hotel?

For our senior prom, there is an all night party at the school after which is a really great event--they have entertainment, food, activities--a lot of people in the community donate things.  No one can leave before it's over unless their parents pick them up.  I'm really glad they have this cause I wouldn't be so pleased about staying out all night otherwise.

2.  Do you contribute to prom costs, if so what's your dollar limit or do you have certain parameters?

For DD we did pay for her gown(s) and probably threw in a little more money.  She paid for the limo (one of those big SUV ones where they could fit about 15 kids).  If DS goes, I'll probably pay for his tux. (Boys are really much less expensive than girls--don't have to do hair/nails, jewelry).  The way the senior class raises money during the year, DD's prom tickets were only $14!.

>3.  Does your school have a junior/senior prom, just a senior prom, and if so, do the juniors have an "equivalent" dance?

We have over 400 kids in a grade, so the juniors have a separate prom, which is much less "gala."  It's basically just a dance in the school gym while the senior prom is at a restaurant or hall.

4.  Does the prom include dinner at the event or do they go out to dinner separately?

The senior prom includes dinner

5.  Does the school require breathalyzer tests and/or purse checks upon entering the event? I"m not sure.  I do remember that when DD went to the sr. prom they got a lecture from the limo driver that if he saw any alcohol he would be driving to the police station cause he was not going to lose his job for serving alcohol to minors.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Thu, 04-25-2013 - 3:55pm

Another article on proms and spending. Seriously, I had no idea people went that far. So glad we aren't in a school where it's this big a deal. Though, I'm impressed with the school that fundraised enough to get their ticket price to 14 dollars! Dd's prom is 40 dollars this year and I know the current juniors have big plans to try and make it free for next year. I think they'd be doing pretty darn good if they managed 14!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/04/24/prom-spending-on-rise-again/2110537/

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 04-25-2013 - 4:56pm
The original dress Jordyn would have loved to have was $500, but she knew she would never get it. The second one we bought after the first snafu was still more than I wanted to pay, but at the last minute, there were slim pickings and I am hoping she can wear it at least once in college. I know in total we won't even spent half the "average" on prom, but this is a one time thing. They opted not to get a limo at all and their group is small, but they are all good kids so I don't anticipate any issues with drinking. I don't believe the seniors do any fundraising for prom, but I am not positive about that. Our tickets are a graduated price, $25 a month out, $30 2-3 weeks out, $40 1 week out and at the door to promote early ticket buying. The seniors spend more time fundraising for project graduation which is completely free the night after graduation for the entire overnight. That may be a topic for another thread, but I was astounded by the budget for project graduation, but maybe its because its such a large graduating class.
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Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Thu, 04-25-2013 - 6:12pm

The dress thing is tricky. I was surprised at how few places there were to shop for dresses. Our local Macy's had seriously, 4 styles in stock and that was last month when you'd thing most girls were shopping. Another Macy's had more selection but not a ton more. JC Penny had several but only a variety of color... not much variety in style.The bridal shops were outrageous. DD tried one on out of frustration that was cute, 450 dollars and already fraying. We passed. Forever 21 had some for a steal but you know, you buy from a place like that and every other girl has the exact same dress lol. We checked out the local goodwill that did have the most selection believe it or not but nothing she loved in her size.

We ended up ordering DD's online from Nordstrom (a dress none of our county shops were carrying.) It was a great price and I was surprised considering where it came from. Helps that she didn't want a long dress which I know run more. Still, gotta order fairly early when you go online so you make sure it works on your body. She opted for glittered sneakers for shoes... sooo adorable with her dress and super practical for dancing (she thinks it's gross when all the girls go barefoot lol.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Fri, 04-26-2013 - 8:47am

Prom is tomorrow.  While it is a big event, it's nothing like what is described in the article.  Well at least for most kids.  Most kids aren't doing the limo thing.  Some girls will spend too much (IMO) on dresses and shoes and what not, but most take pride in finding a deal.  

Afterwards most kids head to house parties that are pretty well supervised.  Of course there is some heavy partying, but since we've talked about how to avoid dagerous situations for years now, I'm not concerned.  Plus dd#1's group of friends is a pretty tame group.

  • 1.  What are your rules when it comes to prom night?  Do you host a gathering, or allow your child to stay out all night?  Would it make a difference if was parent supervised, even at a hotel? 
  •  
#1 will be going from the dinner and dance to a good friend's house.  The boys in the group will be leaving at 2am to head to one of their houses (just a couple miles away) for the rest of the night.  At about 10am the mother of the boy whose house they are going to is having breakfast for the entire group.  

These parents are ones I trust completely.  #1's friend actually ask her mother to contact the "moms who do stuff" to organize who was doing what.  I had to laugh when I got that email because it went to most of the moms of the kids and most of us have been volunteering with school stuff together for years.  I'll be sending snacks for the night, and may stop over to see the kids post dance.
Last year they all came back here and at about 2 we sent the boys out to the tent they had set up that afternoon.  I had breakfast for them in the morning.

  • 2.  Do you contribute to prom costs, if so what's your dollar limit or do you have certain parameters?

We gave #1 $200 towards clothing costs.  We'll also pay for her hair.  She was smart and chose a dress that was clearanced (it was last year's color), and is wearing shoes she already owned.  She forgoed a purse and will just give her phone, lipstick, etc., to her boyfriend to put in his pocket.  I've picked up the supplies to make his boutonniere.  After freshman homecoming when the florist wanted to charge us $25 for a rose with the world's smallest piece of ribbon tied to it, we decided to make all boutsonnieres from then on. They are super simple to make and we have fun getting creative.
  • 3.  Does your school have a junior/senior prom, just a senior prom, and if so, do the juniors have an "equivalent" dance?

It's a jr/sr prom.  

4.  Does the prom include dinner at the event or do they go out to dinner separately?

Dinner is included.  However, most kids have heavy snacks before hand and plan on a meal afterwards.  The food tends to be "meh" at best.

5.  Does the school require breathalyzer tests and/or purse checks upon entering the event?

I'm not certain.  I think so, because I know kids have been refused admittance in years past.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 04-26-2013 - 1:42pm

I hadn't added it up but maybe I will here:

Dress: $170 (from a Chinese online made-to-order site) + fitting (probably another $80) = $250

Shoes: $98

Jewelry & bags:  free! she's using mine that I got for a black-tie wedding two years ago.

Hair, makeup, manicure: free - she wants me to do her nails, her hair is short, and she wouldn't let a makeup artist near her face.

Prom ticket:  $70, I think.

Overnight stay at B&B on Sat night:  $80.

She'll pay for her gas to get there, her meals in the cute town, and anything she wants to do there.

So I guess we're spending about $500.  We actually spent more for our older child, whose dress with fitting cost close to $350, plus shoes, jewelry, prom ticket, limos, comedy club, and amusement park the next day.  Here's the thing, though:  if I told either of them my budget was $100, they'd have found ways to make it work.  Neither of them looked at prom as anything other than "something everyone else is doing so I have to do it too."  They would have skipped some things, or shopped elsewhere, or used their own savings to pay for it.  No big deal.

Sometimes I think parents fantasize about prom even more than the kids.  A foretaste of wedding Bridezillas and monsters-in-law. ;)

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