Every year, a few weeks before prom, local high schools in my area park a badly smashed car on the front lawn right by the sign of the high school.

It's well-intentioned and laudable that the school officials try to scare the kids into not driving drunk or while texting, but I don't think it's effective. It's tired and trite at this point.

Having seen three kids go through this rite of passage and worry sick about what could happen, in my opinion the best deterrent is YOU.

Know your kids. Take the time to really relate to who they are and what they're all about. It's not easy. As uncomfortable and worn out that your warnings and stories may be, they have the most impact.

Let them know how much you care and how much you know about what they're going through. Also, as parents we have to be able to effectively articulate what is right and what is wrong and what the consequences are.

(Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media)
(Dennis Malloy/Townsquare Media)

All the wrecked cars in the world couldn't scare me into not doing the stupid things that would have gotten me into real trouble. It was knowing that disappointing my parents was the worst thing that could happen in my teenage world, along with the certainty of hell to pay from them.

While I admire the effort of the schools, it just rings hollow in light of the only thing that really works....good, strong parenting. And even then, there are NO guarantees. I wish everyone a fun and safe prom season!

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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.

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