Prom night: It's a memorable and celebrated rite of passage for many teens. And it's the subject of countless teen movies, so everyone's (read: parents') perception of the evening might be very far from the truth. So what really goes down on that storied night? Mom and Dad, it might not be as bad as you think... or it could be much worse.
While the experiences vary across friend groups and high schools across the country, one thing is clear: Prom is a event all high school kids will remember forever. And that's exactly what makes the night so significant.
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But for parents, the evening is often full of worry and fear -- and for good reason. Statistics show that more than half of high school students (54 percent, to be exact) have four or more alcoholic drinks on prom night. Meanwhile, a survey completed by Seventeen magazineand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that roughly 14 percent of teen girls have sex on prom night.
For parents who are sending their teens out for the evening, those numbers can be daunting. But are parents a little too worried? Is prom night really that bad? While teens across the country gear up for the highlight of their high school social lives, we asked moms to confess their wilder prom night memories from years past, and they didn't hold back.
Take a look at what actually happens on prom night to find out exactly what to look for and discuss with your teen:
- "When I went to junior prom, my friends all got together after prom to hang out together and wait until our big post-prom day theme park trip ... but my parents wouldn't let me go because it was at my date's house. So the next year, the same friends were getting together, and I was dating a different guy. For some reason, when I asked if I could go to the party, my parents said yes ... only I really didn't want to go since my date wasn't invited (mind you, they'd already said I couldn't go to his house). So I told my parents I was going to the party and ended up going to my date's house where I spent the night hanging out in his living room with him and another couple. Other than some kissing, nothing "naughty" went on. Of course, the irony is that at the party I should have been at, there were a bunch of teenagers drinking. Maybe my parents should have listened to me?"
- "We went to dinner. Then prom. Then after-prom. Then the hotel we all got rooms at. We played drinking games and ate and talked then maybe got an hour of sleep. Then breakfast and home to bed."
- "I went to prom, ate dinner, and danced. Then my friend's dad drove us home again after the dance."
- "I drank at a house party after the prom and had sex with my boyfriend."
- "Got drunk and [had sex with] my boyfriend in a hotel room. We only stayed at the dance long enough to get our picture taken."
- "I skipped and went to our bay house and sit around with my girlfriend playing pool, fishing, and having the best night ever. My parents still don't know."
- "We ended up in our own stretch limo. Had sex in the limo on the way to the hotel party. Then a bunch of us went in that same limo to Denny's. One of our friends puked on the floor under our booth table. We just covered it with his hoodie."
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- "Went to prom, then to my boyfriend's house, and had sex. Woke up the next day to bobby pins everywhere!"
- "Got stoned, danced, then partied our faces off after."
- "I went to the prom long enough to take pictures and left. My parents thought I was staying at my friend's house that night but they did know I was going to an after party. But I went to the after party ... then went back to my boyfriend's apartment (which my parents would never had allowed) and stayed the night."
- "Senior year, we went to prom and then to a bar that a big group of us had rented out for the after party. I had sex with my date on the third base line of the minor league baseball stadium (the bar was under the stadium and they let us go through to the field)."
Well ... there you have it. Locking our kids up and throwing away the key won't work, but it seems the real prom stories can be bad enough that a long talk is in order before sending the kids out educated enough to make intelligent choices.
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