Prom is among the highlights of most kids’ high school years – especially their senior prom. For parents, it’s a mix of excitement, nostalgia for their own prom and concern about their child’s safety.
For separated and divorced parents, there’s typically an extra layer of anxiety and stress. However, it’s important to be a united front for your teen. Let’s take a brief look at a few things you and your co-parent should work out.
Budget and expenses
Unless your teen has been saving up and is going to pay for everything themselves, you could be looking at hundreds if not thousands of dollars for tickets, transportation, clothes and more. That could be less if you have a girl, but prom dresses can be extremely pricey. It’s best if you can sit down with your child and work out a prom budget and then together determine how you and your co-parent will divide your share of the costs.
Rules and expectations
With the exception of a relaxed curfew, these probably won’t be much different than what your teen is used to having. That would likely include things like not riding with someone who’s been drinking (or doing any drinking themselves), letting you both know where they are and whom they’re with and having a special word or phrase they can text you if they need help.
Whether your teen is going alone on a date or with a group, it’s best if all the parents can have some communication. Sometimes, a group of parents split the price of a limo to help make sure their kids stay safe on the road.
Find a way to share the experience
It may be too much for both of you to be there to see your child off. If so, make sure you share photos and videos or participate via FaceTime. You can also find other ways for both of you to be part of the big night.
Remember that this is just the beginning of big events in your child’s life as they move into adulthood. You still have graduations and (possibly) weddings and childbirths ahead of you. Learning to put your differences to the side and focus on your child will help ensure that you get invited to these events.