Senior Prom

bestyearsJanuary 29, 2014

What are your seniors doing after prom?

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I don't have a senior this year but did last year. In our area, there is usually a sleepover after the prom -- co-ed, which of course I was not crazy about, but that is what most kids seem to do. Actually, it seems like very little time is spent at the prom. Most kids rent a large van/limo/party bus type of thing, go out to dinner as a group, my son's group went to dinner in Georgetown, and then finally on the the prom for a while.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 2:42PM
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I hope you hear from people who have kids just out of high school, best, and from your region, as times change rapidly with respect to afterparties, and customs vary by town and sometimes even by school. Our eldest was not a partier, and the younger two were at boarding school where student life deans are involved in those decisions---supposedly! One of ours did attend a prom with girlfriend who attended a private high school in another town over from his school. He was a houseguest at her family's home for the weekend, but after prom they went to an afterparty at another girl's home/ farm. It sounded pretty wild--- little adult supervision although car keys were all collected, alcohol was provided, the kids stayed overnight in the guesthouse. They listened to music, played wii, and some went night fishing. Those parents had brunch for the kids at noon the next day. I have no doubt that my other kids attended similar parties after winter formals and I knew nothing about it.

I think I would have strenuously objected to any of mine going to a hotel afterparty, for lots of reasons including liability for damages incurred by other kids if they rented rooms or suites together. Some kids whose parents would not let them attend any afterparties retained their limo and just partied in the car, driving around town all night. None of my kids' schools ever had school sponsored, all night events after dances as some communities do.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 2:48PM
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It's been 10 years, but my son went with a group in a limo to dinner and prom. Our school did host an all-night after prom party that he supposedly went to but who knows? Getting a hotel room was big even then and I talked to him about it, he swore he wasn't, but again, who knows? He had been dating his then GF for about a year and we already had had the talk....I told him if she got pregnant he could forget about college because he'd be working at McDonald's to pay for Pampers.....that must have scared him enough....he graduated from babies. I have to say I am really appalled at the co-ed sleepovers....can you imagine ever asking your parents if you could have or attend a co-ed sleepover? Same goes for parents who have parties and supply liquor to teens.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Let's face it, parents feel they have to give in to the whims of their kids. They might be called mean, odd, or worse. How is a kid supposed to deal with that? Really. Parents seem to be lacking a backbone these days, and appear to be afraid of their kids, lest they become 'unpopular'. It used to be who wears the pants in the family, the husband or wife? These days, it seems like the kids. Since when is the word no so hard to say, or understand?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 5:49PM
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I'm not afraid of my kids. I was always one of the stricter parents (according to my kids, I was the strictest, but I know that wasn't quite true) and I heard about it plenty of times from my kids but I didn't care. But they are good kids and never game me any trouble, so I allowed them to do the sleepover thing. You know, picking your battles.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 6:47PM
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Both my boys did the sleepover party. I didn't really have a problem with it. 1) Seniors recognize that their days together are numbered and they just want to enjoy every moment. 2) For my own prom (many,many years ago), I was out til 4:30 AM. Was that any better? And 3) Ensuring that the party house parents are home and on the same page as you about alcohol etc, all should be fine.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 5:58AM
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I've had two seniors in the last three years. I have a backbone, I am not afraid of my kids and my kids are growing into tremendous adults. Both did co-ed sleep over parties, with parents home. They had a great time. Three months later they are off to college and who knows what kind of parties they are having now! Well, I do know. :)

Our motto is that there is a time for sex and drinking and HS is not that time; focus on learning who you are, on school and relationships. We stressed no drinking and driving. Our goal was to raise smart, well balanced adults who could and would create a wonderful independant life for themselves. We are extremely lucky and proud that the two who have flown the nest are doing just that.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Other than making their own private plans, in our area grads can sign up for one of 2 "after grad ceremony dinner" activities:

Safe grad: students show up within a short timeframe after ceremonies at a location where they board a bus that takes them all to an undisclosed field (leased out by local landowner). Alcohol is permitted, underage students must have a form signed by their parent/guardian to allow them to ingest liquor should they choose to (and imagine the possible pressure from their peers). Only students that signed up and paid the fees are allowed, no last minute additions to this party. Come dawn, they are returned to their pickup location and must be driven home by someone who did not attend. For this event police officers are present to maintain control, and they support this event as long as underage kids have their form signed.

Dry grad: alcohol and drug free alternative. Kids are bussed to a fun activity (example - paintball) for the beginning, then bussed to a 2nd location for the rest of the evening through to dawn. Are not allowed to drive themselves home because of fatigue from being up thru the night. One year 2nd activity was at the local university pool. Another year was a rec hall where numerous air inflated jumping/bouncing playground units were set up, along with other things - photo booth with costume props, slip and slide if weather and space permit. Another year was rafting in a local river via a rafting company. Kids must purchase tickets prior to the evening and in both activities are encouraged to attend the planning meetings to participate in their party. A lot of parent volunteer help is required, and fundraising is done by the kids to balance out rental and insurance costs. Food, snacks and beverages are provided. If someone chooses to leave early they are denied entrance back in. Parent chaperones required thru the night, and try to remain as much in the background as possible. The idea of the dry grad is to demonstrate to kids that there can be a celebration of achievement without the abuse of alcohol or drug substances. One invited guest (non grad from same school) per grad student allowed, must be over 16 years of age.

Safe grad attracts 75% and the dry about 25% of students who participate.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Not afraid of kids here, either, but a realist. The department of justice says that up to 81% of high school students have tried alcohol. I'd rather mine be at a house where the adults take the keys and allow no one to leave after a certain time unless a parent comes to pick him or her up.

In other news, parents have been trying to stop kids from having sex since forever, and it has basically never worked. Obviously, all parents have stated rules of behavior and values their own family adheres to, but recognizing the fallibility of impulse control and the immature decision making abilities of adolescents is another layer of protection (pardon my pun) for the child.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Kioni, what great choices --- clearly a lot of thought and input from all stakeholders went into crafting those excellent solutions !

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Our high school has an all-night grad party as well that just about all students attend, but the sleepovers are happening after the prom, not graduation.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Thanks all. We've always been strict parents. We have two very well-adjusted, academically successful kids who are leaders (one college sports team captain; one high school Student Body President). Youngest child, DD, is 18, and getting ready for prom at the end of May. I suddenly find myself on the opposite end of like-minded parents. We've all been pretty strict all along.

This group wants to spend the after-prom hours in a beach house. I've given DD my permission so long as there is no driving -they will go in a limo, and so long as the house is locked once they enter, and nobody goes outside. None of the teens have a problem with these stipulations.
At this juncture, my feeling is, "if we haven't done our job by now, we haven't done our job." DD is leaving for college 3 months after prom. Nothing is going to change in those three months. She will face much more difficult situations in college (which is likely to be 1000+ miles from home) than she will at an after prom party.

Many of the parents are really struggling with this. Just not ready and feel like they are implicitly giving permission for sex, alcohol, etc. I don't feel that is any more true than it will be three months from then. We aren't giving our permission for college so that she can have sex, and drink and do drugs; and we aren't giving our permission for this after prom party so that she can have sex, and drink and do drugs.

So this rather cohesive group finds ourselves at odds. I don't feel pressure to rescind my permission (don't want to ever model giving in to peer pressure), but of course if it means some girls can't be part of the group, everyone feels badly...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Kioni---it totally blows my mind that the police are participating in what they know is illegal activity---underage drinking. Parents can just sign a form now and it's OK for teenagers to drink?

I must be getting old! Don't get me wrong, I am not religious and am very liberal politically but I am really having a hard time with these parental approved parties. My youngest graduated HS in 2006....have things really changed that much in 7-8 years?

Of course I am not naiive---I know kids drink, have sex,....... we talked to all our kids about good choices, responsibility, when you choose the action you also choose the consequences, etc....and if the inherent message is sex and drinking are not OK in HS, then how are drinking parties and co-ed sleepovers OK? They are still under your wing in HS, going off to college "officially" changes that, even though I agree...if they wouldnt do it in June they probably wont do it in September...but still.

My nephew attended one of these parties and was accused of rape. He was innocent, and they were able to prove his innocence but what an ordeal for all involved,not to mention the thousands in attorney fees. And if they had not been able to prove his innocence there would have been no going off to college.

I think the issue is mixed messages.....I am so glad my kids are grown and gone and I do not have to deal with this new phenomenon!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 3:38PM
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I agree that the SafeGrad party is kind of outrageous and I don't understand how the police can partake in it -- aside from it just being wrong, it sounds like a huge liability.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 5:49PM
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Parents in our town would fall over and die if anyone tried to propose that Safe Grad party here.

Last year my DS went to the prom and went to a coed sleepover after, at a home where the parents were there and I did speak to the mom ahead of time regarding sleeping arrangements (they had boys on one floor and girls on the other, though I'm sure some may have snuck around!). It did take me a few days to say yes, but once I knew who all the players were (all really good kids) I said yes.

I know my kid isn't a drinker, especially because he's on meds that don't allow him to drink (good planning on my part to let him go on Accutane for 6 months of his senior year?) but he has had a GF for a year and a half and while I like to pretend in my own mind that they haven't had sex, I'm not stupid. But I do know they are both super sensible kids and they're being careful if they are having sex. And I also know they're not having a LOT of sex because they're really not alone that much.

So much depends on the kid. I kept a much tighter leash on my older DS, who didn't have quite the same amount of common sense that his brother has (and still doesn't, frankly).

I have a DD who turns 13 tomorrow. I just know I'm going to be in for a whole new story by the time she's in high school! Yikes.

PS Right after I graduated from HS, my parents allowed me to rent a cottage on Cape Cod with my three best friends for a week. Knowing what sort of stuff we did that week, I don't think I could ever give any of my kids permission to do the same! I was a "nice girl" but had discovered alcohol by then and we got drunk, picked up hitchhikers and went to their house (!), made out with boys on the beach, had a bunch of male friends come down for a few days and stay with's amazing we all survived.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:28PM
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Sue, your story about the Cape brought back memories. I remember when I was a teen, a couple of my best girlfriends and I went to Martha's Vineyard for a couple of days and we hitchhiked -- everyone did on the Vineyard back then. And when I was in college in upstate NY students used to hitchhike downtown! How times have changed!!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Sueb, I think many of us must have had similar experiences :-) My kids complained that I knew far too much to allow them to get away with much.

Whenever people complain about "kids today" those of us in the group who went to college in the seventies look at each other and roll our eyes in shared amusement.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 10:33PM
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After some problems many years ago, we now have Safe Prom. The kids drive to the school, and there is a promenade from inside the school, down the steps, and into coach buses. There's music, red carpet, theme decor, emcee, It's a pretty big deal, parents come to watch, even alums show up to watch. The kids ride the buses, and they are nice, downtown to dinner and prom, then bus home again. You MUST ride the bus. They are paid for with donations, not in the prom ticket price. Once they get back to school, most of them have an overnight planned at someone's house. I was comfortable with my son's arrangement, knew most all the kids, a good group, knew the mom, and it was a small enough house that it would be hard to find a secluded room! Glad it wasn't at the house with 20 rooms , 3 staircases, and a hidden bookcase door lol!

Here's what I learned from a parent, though. The kids will stash alcohol on someone else's yard, under the landscaping, days before prom.

Edited to add: there is no alcohol or smoking permitted in any way with prom. The kids sneak it in to parties, but not the prom itself. Parents hosting are pretty good about monitoring, for the most part, but you must know the parent, and the kids.

This post was edited by bpathome on Fri, Jan 31, 14 at 8:08

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:37PM
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And here in lies the ills of teens.
You are all nightmares for teachers who have spent 12 years trying to teach safety and respect. I would love to have names and addresses. I would send the cops to anyone's door who is providing alcohol for underage drinkers. It is not your choice to provide alcohol for any CHILD that is not your own--and if you do provide for your own that is a HUGE red flag for "child abuse" in my world.
I have three of my own, the youngest will go to her senior prom this year. No sleepovers, no alcohol. It is possible. Allowing your kids to act like animals because you are too lazy and too naive to protect them is why we are in the mess we are in. Have you looked beyond High School? Do you see the weddings that are $$$$ out of control? Do you hear of the binge drinking on college campuses? When I can do "A" in high school what will I do for an encore AFTER high school?? Thanks for nothing lazy parents--your legacy is killing society.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 6:21AM
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Sure---- let's pretend teens are not having sex or drinking, Arcy. No sex education, no birth control, pretending that somehow at age 21 it is magically all right for them to drink. Other countries with more permissive attitudes about such things have fewer drunk driving accidents and incidents and lower teen /unplanned pregnancy rates. Burying your head in the sand doesn't help teens, it harms them.

It's also illogical and disingenuous to suggest that teen alcohol use in a somewhat controlled environment results in over the top weddings. Your comment about kids acting like "animals" doesn't deserve a rebuttal, but I will say I hope you are not a high school teacher.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 8:01AM
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I attended a women's college during the 70s. You would not believe the amount of drinking and one-night stands that went on the first few weeks of college, most by those who had strict parents and/or attended strict high schools, like Catholic schools.

Things slowed down a bit after classes really got started, but there were several pregnancy scares and two abortions, that I knew of, just among the freshmen in my dorm that year.

Repressing kids only works on a very few. Most will take the first opportunity to find out what drinking and drugs and sex is all about.

I doubt much has changed. I think geogirl's attitude--give them the skills and knowledge to make informed, intelligent decisions, and set some limits while they are under your roof--has a good chance of producing adults who don't do foolish things just because they can.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Well, arcy, my money is on your kids behaving worse than the norm when they finally get out from under the rock you have forced them to live under. Or they are already smug, sanctimonious, narrow minded and judgmental people, just like their mother. Either way, sad for them and society.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:49AM
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Just because my child went to a friend's house to hang out all night after prom does not mean there was alcohol served. Not at all. The original post was about after prom co-ed sleepovers. I would not serve any underage child a drink (except my own). However, I am glad that should or if my kids partake (one a little, the other not at all) then they are in a safe place and are not driving or in a car. Safety and respect are important values to teach our children. That is not the same as abstinance from alcohol or sex.

Like I said before, I don't think HS is a time for drinking or sex. However, I would be foolish to think that all children would listen to my wisdom :) .

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:55AM
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My state (California) has a social host law. If you serve alcohol to minors, you are liable if something happens. I don't know what other states have laws like this.

kiani's "safe prom" thing blew my mind too! I know we can't always keep kids from drinking, etc., but we don't have to openly approve of it and encourage it!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:00AM
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According to her "My Page", Kioni is in Canada, where the drinking age is either 18 or 19 (varies by province).

In the UK, 16-year-olds can have a beer in a pub if they are having a meal with a parent.

Just some perspective...

(Who has a difficult senior, although I am not lazy or naive. And he is not an animal).

This post was edited by maureeninmd on Fri, Jan 31, 14 at 11:16

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! I created this post to gather opinions. I would really hate to see this discussion turn into name-calling, finger-pointing chaos. Parenting is a challenging undertaking, and nobody has a monopoly on the absolutely right and proper thing to do under all circumstances. Can we just leave it at that and continue to share opinions and ideas without feeling the need to set others on the proper path?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 3:30PM
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When I was in college about 10 years ago, there were a few kids that I know of who ended up in the ER during the first week of parties freshman year. Shockingly, they were the kids whose parents NEVER EVER let them drink or go to parties. Who would have ever thought...

I had the after prom party at my house in high school (and the senior skip day party and a few others). There was alcohol (beer only, no hard liquor), my parents were there, the neighbors were informed, no one drank to the point where they passed out or became ill, everyone's keys were taken and just about everyone who went to the party went on to college & a respectable middle class life without any lingering effects of having a good time in high school....

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 3:39PM
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The reality is, kids are gonna be kids, and do what *they* want. I don't think good/bad parenting has much to do with it. Our values are just that, *our* values, and can't be force fed to our kids, no matter how bad we may want it or how hard we try. Given the right opportunity a kid will do something you may never think he/she would do in a million years.

My oldest is 51, and in her young days, drinking beer or smoking pot was about the worst thing a teen could do. These days, it's heroine, and that isn't even close to being one and the same! As for sex, some things never change, but there's also 'X', extacy(ecstacy), and if that happens to get slipped into your daughters drink, her life will never be the same, or will yours. I realize this is only a hypothetical example, but again, it's all about your teen and his/her opportunity, and not so much about how he/she was raised. Never say, 'not my kid.'

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 4:22PM
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patty, you might be confusing roofies (rohypnol-the 'date rape drug') with X (aka Molly).

My only question to the OP is, "why a beach house if no one can go outside and enjoy the beach?"


    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Maddie, I had never heard of molly, but thanks to ms. cyrus, we're now all familiar, It was my youngest DD now 37, who told me about 'x', and it being a date rape drug. Thankfully she realized it was serious and would never leave a drink setting on the table, even taking it on the dance floor, as would her girl friends.

This is what I found on x:

What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a synthetic amphetamine-like (speed-like), mind-altering drug that can cause you to hallucinate. It has been known to cause death, especially when mixed with alcohol. It is often mixed with speed by drug dealers, often without the user knowing. Ecstasy does not often come in a capsule, btw. To see some photos see our drug photos page, so you will know what they look like if you see them.

MDMA, also referred to as Ecstasy or XTC is one of a series of �"designer drugs�" created by chemically modifying methamphetamine. One of the other drugs in this class is MDA (3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine). To read more on this drug, read our article on Ecstasy. Or check out these websies: and (For more drug links, go to the Drug Links page).

By now you are probably saying you have heard of Ecstasy and that it is not a date rape drug. It has been reported as a Date Rape Drug by law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada, as it has been given unknowingly to many victims since its appearance in the mid-1980s.

So we decided to include it here for educational purposes, but more and more Ecstasy is being used to enhance the effects of alcohol and marijuana, PLEASE don't mix these drugs, it can be a deadly combination! Some teens think the speed-like feelings they get from Ecstasy will counteract the downer feelings of alcohol and pot -- wrong again! It is important to note that most of the deaths that have occurred from MDMA have been from dehydration. If this drug is used it must be taken with a lot of water. WE are NOT recommending the use of this drug, just providing information.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 5:16PM
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We hosted a few "after prom co-ed sleepovers" here at our home. Although not easy, we felt like we could provide the adult supervision necessary (no sleep for us) and had the space for the kids to spread out. We served breakfast in the morning and made sure everyone arrived and departed safely. Many parents supported us in these events.

Re: after graduation, I was on the "All Night Graduation Party" Committee for several years. The high school was open, events were planned, chaparones were on shifts thoughout the night, plenty of food, fun and games, with over 90% of the graduates attending. The kids often went home at 5:30-6:00 a.m. to sleep. Some then headed off to the beach for the day.

Our children knew that we were anti -beach house. NO WAY! That's why we opened our home.

Other parents did the same (we have been through this with three children) and we took shifts chaperoning. In other words, you have to have a plan, and it is essential that you communicate, both with your children and with their friend's parents to provide a safe place for these special life events.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 5:26PM
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maddielee -in answer to your question - a beach house for two reasons. First, they want to be able to play their music loud and make noise. That is difficult if not impossible in a hotel. Second, some beachhouses offer prom packages, where the reservation doesn't end until 6pm Sunday night, so they would have use of the beach on Sunday.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 5:49PM
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I can't imagine some of the after-prom activities described here--not only the sanctioned alcohol consumption, but just the expense and hoopla. Maybe it's our part of the country or our social class, but after prom just isn't a big to-do in our kids' lives.

We have had kids attending prom for the past four years and will have one attend this year. The most "extravagant" prom so far involved a group renting a limo, going out to eat and to prom, and then coming home for a sleepover and movie marathon.

We're not prudes and our kids are not living under a rock. They have contraception and active social lives- we don't keep them under lock and key. But it sounds to me that all these "safe alternatives" for after prom makes it seem like if schools/parents/communities don't intervene, the "normal" setting is drunken debauchery after prom and that just isn't our experience.

My guess is that the kids who would be out driving drunk after prom are out driving drunk after a regular weekend movie or football game, anyway. Where is the "safe" alternative for that?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:47PM
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My DD went to Prom last year. The prom was held at a venue about 45 minutes from our town so her group of friends rented a limo(most kids do this here). There were many trips to the 'shore' and 'downtown' after the prom(we are in the NYC suburbs). My DD was not allowed to go. After the prom, a local gym opened their doors to the kids. This place is called "bounce" with big trampolenes and foam pits. My dd came home, changed and I drove her to this place for a few hours. Then I drove back, picked a bunch of kids up and drove them to a friends house where they hung out till early morning. Picked her up at about 5am and she slept most of the next day.(me too!).
My son is going to prom this spring... I'm expecting same routine.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 5:37PM
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