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Why Plan an After Prom Party

by Lori Heatherington

From the time I enrolled my daughter in elementary school it seemed that the world was out to ruin her innocence.

Her know-it-all six year old friends with older brothers and sisters shared the world’s reality with her on a daily basis. And I, who was happy living in the land of talking stuffed animals, was in no hurry to debate the concept of Santa Claus.

Unfortunately, that age of innocence doesn’t last long enough. Whether we like it or not, reality plops itself on the sofa in our living room and sits there while our children struggle through adolescence. About the time that we’re able to find some common ground, they’re talking to us about claiming their independence and graduating from high school.

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in parenting, it’s that we can protect our children from many things when they’re under our roof. Once they’re out of sight however, their own their own. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad will happen; unless they’re with one of those know-it-all friends they’ve known since the first grade.

Seriously, peer influence can be a constant source of challenge, growth, and heated conversations in homes across America. In addition to marketing messages that conflict with our parenting goals, our teenagers are heavily influenced by their friends. Therefore, it’s imperative that we do what we can to guide and protect them.

The pressure to experiment with alcohol and drugs is a constant source in the lives of teenagers and is often the gateway to risky sexual encounters. In addition to alcohol, many teenagers resort to tobacco, club drugs, inhalants, steroids, and methamphetamines just to fit in. Why not make it easy for them to just say no on prom night!

Because prom night is seen as a “right of passage,” anything parents can do to create an alternative to rented hotel rooms and unsupervised parties is a wise idea. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (see www.madd.org/stats/2421), on the weekend of my daughter’s prom in May 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FARS data reported that there were 246 total traffic fatalities. From the “Prom/Graduation Weekend Alcohol-Related Fatalities – 2000” report, 136 of the motor vehicle traffic fatalities (55.2%) were alcohol related.

With the help of the community and one another, parents can take a stand against the negative persuasion and fight the devastating statistics as reported by the NHTSA. By following the outline in the After Prom Party Guide, parents can plan and implement an After Prom party to keep their teenagers off the street after the prom. Designed to insure the safety and well being of high school teenagers, all-night After Prom parties are a sure bet for free food, fun and entertainment.

Although most parents come to accept the fact that their children do make their own choices and they can’t blame the first grade friends for every bad decision, no parent wants the challenge of “what if” questions of themselves. Prom night is supposed to be a wonderful time – let’s make it our mission to keep our teenagers safe and off the streets. That idea was the motivation and the inspiration behind the After Prom Party Guide.

About The Author Lori Heatherington’s experience with after prom party planning began when she took it upon herself to coordinate an after prom party for her daughter’s senior class. That event and ensuing research resulted in her new book, the After Prom Party Guide, available at http://www.After-Prom.org.

Lori holds a marketing degree from Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas. She co-authored her first book with her husband, “The Complete Small Business Internet Guide” (published by Macmillan). Lori currently works full-time for the Humane Society of Northwest Montana as Administrative Director.

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