It’s prom season again. And for many parents, this could be an emotional event. Prom, short for promenade, is a ball held at school usually for junior and senior high school students. Oftentimes, this includes a dance, and students dressing up in formal attire such as suits, gowns, and cocktail dresses. Proms have evolved over the years, and it can have various themes depending on the preference of the school’s organizers. It has traditionally been celebrated to acknowledge the student’s passage from teendom to young adulthood. And that’s why it may be emotional for parents who realize that their kids are no longer babies.
In the US, prom can be both scary and exciting as it is commonly associated to alcohol, sex, and drugs. American teenagers would engage in underage drinking that have reportedly led to injuries, unplanned pregnancies, car crashes, and dropping out of school. Consequently, “prom safety” and “prom survival” tend to be typical concerns for American parents.
Though prom in the Philippines may not be as liberal, it still brings reasonable fear to parents. Mother of eight children, actress, and chef Nadia Montenegro shares five tips for managing prom.
1. “I should meet their friends, dates, suitors, barkadas in my home.”
Even before prom season, it is essential for Nadia that she is acquainted with her children’s friends. Getting to know them at a personal level is a must.
2. “Follow your curfew or else!”
Nadia is strict about grounding her children (it can even last up to weeks), and confiscating their mobile phones if they do not abide by her rules.
3. Know the prom details
Gain access to your child’s teacher, ask for full details, and provide your instructions. For Nadia, she makes sure that she has spoken to the teacher prior to the event, and given feedback about the name of person or guardian who will be picking up her children and bringing them home.
4. Chaperone, if possible.
Thankfully, Nadia had three of her youngest daughters attend prom at the same time. She didn’t have to assign a chaperone, since all three went to prom together.
5. No alcohol! No drugs! No after party!
In line with her assigned curfew and being aware of prom details, Nadia ensures control is in place for her children. This is to avoid underage drinking, drugs, and unnecessary after parties.
Like most parents, Nadia felt emotional seeing her three youngest daughters get dressed up for their prom. “Just thinking of it brings back emotions, especially my bunso. When I looked at them that night, I was filled with pride, joy, and peace knowing that I brought up beautiful God-fearing girls. They know their God more than I do, and that gives me comfort and rest.”
ALL DOLLED UP. Sisters Sophia, Ayisha, and Samantha Asistio get ready for a fun night out with friends.
She believes parents should not worry about “adult” prom activities as long as they are confident that they have instilled the correct values in their children. To form these values, she stays realistic in all her conversations with her children. Presenting to them the consequences of wrong decisions, and making these clear to them.
Nadia also feels blessed to see how her older children have properly abided by her rules and have grown up to be responsible individuals. Hence, she feels assured that her youngest children will follow suit.
Prom is still regarded as one of the most important and memorable events of a student’s high school life. It is our role to ensure our children are raised with sound judgment, healthy self-confidence, and grounded morals to prevent them from being steered by peer pressure and making faulty choices.
Tags: Denice Daily, Denice Sy, Nadia Montenegro, Prom