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Rules for Post-Prom Parties

Prom time is an opportunity to begin transforming your relationship with your child in preparation for their fast-approaching adulthood.
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Group of Teenagers getting ready for Prom
Group of Teenagers getting ready for Prom

Prom time is an opportunity to begin transforming your relationship with your child in preparation for their fast-approaching adulthood. One of my readers sent me the rules she and her daughter developed as a condition for holding a post-prom party at their home.

These rules respect the parents' right to not have their home trashed and their desire to uphold the law, but they also respect the child's wish for fun. Note that the mother and daughter negotiated the rules together. By sending out the guidelines for the party in advance, this family made their expectations clear and showed that privileges come with responsibility.

Feel free to use or modify these rules. You will not be sorry. You will be teaching your child accountability while at the same time allowing them to enjoy this right of passage.

Subject: Post Prom Sleepover

Hi All,

As you may or may not know, we are hosting a post prom sleepover for the 28 kids listed below. My husband and I will both be home and we have established some ground rules which Suzy has communicated to the kids via Facebook. But we also want to be sure that you have the same details so here they are:

1. All the kids must be in our house by midnight. No going to other parties and showing up here in the middle of the night.

2. All the kids have to come in through our front door, be greeted by us and be checked off the list of invited guests. They also have to hand over their keys. We are not serving any alcohol and, as you will see in the rest of the rules, we are doing all that we can to prevent any from being brought in. However, we realize that there is always the possibility that someone will outsmart us, so removing the keys is an added precaution. No one can have back his or her keys without coming to us first so that we can make sure they are OK to drive.

3. All bags, backpacks etc. will be left on the first floor of our house with us. We realize that many of the kids will be bringing clothes to change into, which is fine. The bathroom they will use is on the first floor and that is where their bags must remain. They will be hanging out and sleeping in the basement. They can also bring pillows or sleeping bags if they want. Anything they bring in is subject to random searching by me or my husband.

4. No containers of any kind can be brought in. We will provide soda, water, etc.

5. No open food can be brought in. If they want to bring food, it has to be store-bought and sealed. Anything homemade has to be dropped off earlier in the day by a parent.

6. We will be visiting the basement periodically at random times to make sure that no extra kids have shown up through the basement door and to be sure everyone is OK.

7. We will call the parents of any one who does not follow the rules or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and will have you come pick up your child.

Suzy is in the process of getting me an email address and phone number for the parent of each child. The names in red are the ones for whom I don't have that information yet. If you know that parent please forward this along and copy me so I can keep track of who has received this email. Here is the list of kids who are invited:

[list deleted to protect their identities]

Sorry if these rules seem harsh but, unfortunately, this is the reality of hosting teenagers these days. Even good kids sometimes do dumb things! We are trying to protect your children as well as ourselves.

Please let me know if you have any questions.