Parents and prom night—feeling the peer pressure?

Are you experiencing “parent peer pressure” to provide alcohol to your teen on prom night?

Maybe your child is pleading with you to buy beer or host a cocktail hour before the dance, then promising to take an Uber or limo. You really want your teen to make the most of the big night—and they’ve told you that other parents are doing it—so is it okay just this one time?

The short answer: absolutely not.

The longer one: you may think it’s normal for teens to drink, especially on special occasions. The facts prove otherwise.

A 2017 study of Idaho students showed

  • 70% of seniors self-reported that they hadn’t drunk alcohol within the last 30 days. That means it’s more normal to not drink underage. Knowing this should help your teen understand that they don’t have to drink to fit in or have a good time at prom.
  • 90% of seniors said their parents would feel it’s wrong or very wrong for them to drink multiple drinks once a week—so it’s likely that that same 90% of parents are not supplying their child with alcohol for prom. Don’t take your child’s word for it that everyone else’s parents are doing it—they’re definitely not.


  • You can face jail time and fines for providing alcohol to minors—and be held accountable if a teen you serve is injured within your home or even after they leave.
  • Injuries happen. From alcohol-related crashes to sexual assault, bad things can happen to our teens when they drink, and they can affect your child permanently.
  • You don’t want your child to be embarrassed when they think of prom. Drinking may lead your teen to do something they’ll regret—like having unplanned sex.
  • Just because you did it doesn’t make it ok. If you made it through your teen years injury-free while imbibing, you’re lucky. Today, we know a lot more about the dangerous effects of alcohol on teen brains, so it’s no longer acceptable for parents to think of drinking as a rite of passage.