Some cell phone providers offer GPS tracking so parents can know exactly where their teen is. ATT wireless, for example, provides this service for $10-15 a month. However, this tool should not be used as a means of spying on your child. If you do, your child will only feel resentment and distrust towards you. For example, it should be used only when your child is not picking up your calls, to confirm that your child got home or to a friend’s house safely, or in an emergency.
- “The Sex Talk”. Don’t be afraid of telling your teen exactly what you expect from them. If you don’t believe in premarital sex, tell them so. If you want them to use protection, tell them so. Your child isn’t going to know what you expect unless you tell them. However, your teen will probably have questions and is probably to shy to ask you questions. Encourage them to go to a family planning clinic such as planned parenthood or to a church run teen organization to learn more. No matter what your beliefs are, it’s not a good idea to keep your teen in the dark when it comes to these important issues. Children are naturally curious.
Don’t be too lax but don’t be too controlling either. Make sure that your teens know you’re the one in charge but show them that you are willing to listen and compromise. Your teen will feel less motivated to hide things from you when s/he knows that you are reasonable and understanding. Give your teens a curfew but be willing to extend it once in a while for a special occasion if they have been following it.
Use technology to stay connected. Even if you are busy all day and all night, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected to your teen. Learn how to text. That way, even if you are not in the same place, your teen can feel like s/he can always reach you if s/he needs a quick answer and vice versa.