Some of our youth are at that grand juncture of life – AKA high school graduation – preparing for the next major step. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate the years of preparation to achieve this event. Providing some general guidance in terms of prom etiquette to your graduates will make the evening memorable for all of the right reasons.

If your teen is bringing a date, be on time to pick her up. Go to the door and politely greet the parents with eye contact and a firm handshake. Obey their curfew, too. Sitting in the car, texting “I’m here” or worse, honking from the street are definite no-no’s!! A corsage is a must as well as a boutonniere. They are worn on the left hand side of a dress or lapel. Or on the left wrist, as the case may be.

Sharing expenses is the next issue. Plan this out ahead of time. Often teens will want to rent a limo or share the cost of dinner out at a fancy restaurant. The tipping cost should be factored in, too.

Dress appropriately for the event. This calls for formal attire. Young men may want to rent a tux and young women could opt for a full length gown or ¾ length (cocktail length). A shorter dress length isn’t recommended nor is showing too much cleavage either. The focal point should be the face and not other competing body parts!!

Your teen’s dining manners should be impeccable. Brush up on polite dining manners especially for a formal meal. We’re not eating “fast food”. Take your teen out for a formal meal to practice before the “Main Event”. Remember your teen doesn’t want to be grossing out his/her dining companions!!

Advise your teen not to ignore his date. Get out on the dance floor. Don’t spend all of your time chatting with buddies. And the same for the ladies…don’t ignore your date either and chat with your best girls all night. If someone asks your teen daughter to dance, she should ask permission of her date. This may seem outdated but it’s still a gracious gesture.

Cell phone manners are a must as well as taking “selfies” or other pictures. The cell phone shouldn’t be used for texting or calling anyone. Be in the present moment and enjoy this “once in a lifetime” milestone. Taking group photos is a fun way to create memories. However, taking photos of others in an embarrassing situation and posting them on social media isn’t. Always get permission before posting any photos.

When the event is finished, thank the organizers and chaperones. Be diligent on getting your date home on time. Walk her to the door.

If an After Grad party is planned, be prudent if there’s alcohol being served and you are under-age. Just drink pop, instead. If the party should get out of hand with “crashers” showing up, remove yourself immediately from harm’s way. Have a bail out plan before-hand with your parents if need be.

These events are great opportunities for your teen to become poised and polished. This formative training will reap huge dividends for them in the future. Besides, your teen wants to remember his/her Graduation with pleasure and not pain. These tips will help to make that a reality.


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