Advice from Prom Moms

Practical tips for parents of prom-goers.
Brett Wagner models a prom dress from Bessie’s Boutique.

The Edina High School prom takes place this month, so we asked a few parents for advice. From preparation to safety, here are a few tips for the big night out.

Valette Kaufman, mother of two boys, says her young gentlemen are usually in charge of planning their evening. “The boys ask the girls and the boys pay for prom. Going with a date, however, is not a must,” says Kaufman. “Kids go together as a group if they don’t have a date.”

Emily Wagner’s daughter, Brett, plans to attend this year’s prom. Emily Wagner says a student’s general prom agenda includes prepping, pictures, dinner, dance and after-party.

Kaufman and Wagner agree there are some established go-to locations for photos: beautiful greenery and memorable landmarks such as Centennial Lakes, Arneson Acres, the Stone Arch Bridge and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, to name a few.

For the dinner hour, “typically someone will organize it ahead of time at a restaurant or in a family home. People do all kinds of different things,” says Kaufman.

Prom can be an amazing time, but there are some safety concerns, specifically drinking and drug consumption. “The party buses are unsupervised,” says Catherine Groat, Edina High School PTO president. From her experience, the best way to have a great time and help kids avoid the temptation of drinking or smoking is “to choose to be in a group with other students who are less likely to engage in unsafe behavior or make bad choices.” If your student does decide to travel in a party bus, Groat recommends doing a background check with the bus company.

For supervision at the dance, the PTO collaborates with the student council to solicit parent volunteers to serve as additional sets of eyes, says Groat.

Wagner advises kids to “have fun and be safe. Just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean you have to be crazy.”