It’s a terrifying thought, isn’t it?
Your teen is going to the prom, maybe “stag”, maybe with a date – but alone. No, not alone in the sense that no one else will be there. Alone, without you. What could happen to your child? Imagine your worst nightmare. Now, magnify it by 1,000 percent.
Want gory details? This will be tough to stomach: According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 in 5 female high school students is a victim of physical or sexual abuse at the hands of their date.
And, 1 in 10 teens, who disclosed that they never drove drunk, admitted to occasionally driving after drinking alcohol. And, what do you think the odds are that your child will be having at least a sip at the prom?
Whether you’re the parent of a son or daughter, it’s scary.
Are you scared yet?
Good. Now, here’s how to tame those fears and guarantee your child comes home safe and sound.
The demand for limo services, especially on prom night, can be pretty high. It’s best to plan out the transportation even before you go dress or suit shopping with your child. Determine how many passengers there will be – whether your child wants to bring friends or just take his or her date, and then negotiate a price.
Typically, the limo company will quote the number of maximum passengers allowed in the vehicle based on the guidelines from the manufacturer.
This will be the gross weight of the vehicle and a number of passengers based on an average of 150 pounds per passenger.
Unless your teen is a football player, wrestler, or unusually large, you should be able to get a decent number of people in one vehicle. Even so, booking the maximum number of passengers is probably a bad idea as it will be very uncomfortable.
A good limo service will give you both the maximum number of passengers they can accept as well as a comfortable number of passengers so that no one is squished in the back seat.
Allow Time For Pictures
Proms aren’t usually on a strict time schedule. So, make sure you book extra time for things like pictures and goofing off. Yes, your teen is going to goof off – shocker.
Generally, you should be fine booking an extra hour over and above what you think you need to get your teen to and from the prom. This will give the driver enough time to allow for traffic, extra pictures, and picking up other passengers who might be running a little behind.
Tell The Limo Company When You Want Your Child Home By
Communicate with the limo company. The chauffeur will abide by whatever rules you set because they’re paid to do so. They’ll pick your children up, and drop them off at whatever location you specify. You can even ask the driver to position the vehicle so that it’s in the photos.
Lay Down The Law Without Your Teen Fighting You
Have you ever told your teen to do something, and then they end up doing something completely different?
Who hasn’t, right?
Teenagers have a mind of their own. Here’s how to get them to do what you want, without negotiating or threatening them. Set rational boundaries. Teens are naturally curious and always looking to push for more freedom. It’s natural. At the same time, they are very naive about the world. They’ve never really had the experiences you’ve had.
They don’t know any better.
Rather than lecture them, acknowledge their concerns about having to come home too early or before they’re done having fun.
Give them a menu of choices within a specific set of boundaries.
For example, instead of setting a hard curfew, allow them to choose their own arrival time, within limits. You could require that they come home by 11PM. If they do, then they will be relieved of all chores for the weekend. If they choose to come home at midnight, they will have to do all their chores.
If they come home at 1AM, they can do so, but they will be responsible for everyone else’s chores in the house – no exceptions.
In this way, you get to set boundaries, but also give your child a choice about them.
At the end of the day (or night), your teen will do whatever they feel like doing. There’s no sure-fire way to force them to obey you. But, if you do set reasonable ground rules, and your child understands that you are not being adversarial or authoritarian, you have a much better chance of having your child follow your wishes. Plus, if you’ve done a good job hiring a limo company, that company will have trained drivers who have the proper licensing and experience with proms and teens.
This kind of professionalism will help keep your teen safe, even when there are other forces out there working against your child’s welfare.
Robert Scott Singleton is the web Developer at American Limousine, a Los Angeles based small business that has provided Limousine transportation for more than 40 years. Robert started as a Limousine driver in 1998. Having graduated at Hayward Alameda Technical College, he soon moved from behind the wheel to the computer for American Limousine. He resides in Los Angeles as a single man and no children.