New 'Prom Pledge' Trend Could Keep Your Teen From Getting Cancer

tanningIf Tanning Mom -- you know, the woman who allegedly brought her kid into the booth with her to get some concentrated cancer-causing rays sent in her direction -- has you terrified, how about some good news? The latest trend in pre-prom pledges has turned from the standard no sex, no drinking promises to one that should put a sunny smile on your face. Kids are swearing they won't tan before the biggest dance of the year.

I have one question. Where can I get one of these pledges, and can I make my kid sign it now? OK, I guess that was two questions. But I'm so caught up in the excitement of it all, you'll just have to work with me here.

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Parents need breaks like this. We need kids jumping on board en masse to push our kids to change. We have it hard enough with the actual omnipresent sun threatening to give our kids cancer. The tanning booth is like an evil place on this planet just to spur yet another fight with our teens. I can picture the conversation now:

"But Susie's mom let's her go to the tanning booth."

"I'm not Susie's mom. I don't want you to have melanoma before you go to college."

"You're the meanest mom ever, and I hate you."

Sound of stomping followed by the door slamming.

Sigh.

I remember what it was like to be a teenager with pasty white skin. I was raised in the eighties and nineties, when you weren't having a fun summer if you hadn't spent at least one night with ice on your shoulders or one weekend peeling skin off your best friend's back. Even with a mom who is a nurse and talks up sunscreen like she owns stock in the company, I spent many a day out in the backyard in barely there clothing trying to avoid yet another teenage boy calling me Casper.

We fought like crazy over that disgusting white stuff she wanted to smear all over my back. And I'm already there with my daughter, having the same fight. Although at 6, my kid is fighting back against the tube of sunscreen more because she wants to get outside NOW, less because she actually digs browner skin ... but I know it's coming.

The power of a pre-prom anti-tanning pledge isn't simply in keeping kids out of the tanning booths for a few months. It's the power of peer pressure, which -- as little as we like to admit it -- can be much stronger in the teen years than a parent's rules. I'm willing to cede control if it means saving my kid's life ... or keeping her from turning into Tanning Mom.

What would you do if your kid brought one of these pledges home?

 
 

Image via Evil Erin/Flickr

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