Kids also use their cell phones to spread the news about parties.
Beck demands that her daughter turn off her cell at on weeknights and at midnight on weekends (before this, calls were coming in as late as a.m.! If you're concerned about calls your kid is making, another strategy is to use shared minutes on family plans; that way, you can scrutinize the phone bills.
(Also, be sure you know the numbers of your child's friends.) Internet sites like myspace.com, facebook.com, and xanga.com, where teens can post pictures and trade messages, allow kids to meet tons of new people.
While the dangers should be obvious, teens can be oblivious.
Then waiting for him to come to the house to pick you up? "Even the concept of dating is outdated," says Beth-Marie Jelsma, a psychotherapist in Rochester, New York.
Remember sitting by the phone, waiting for a boy to call and ask for a date?
Researchers at the RAND Corporation have found that teens are more likely to have sex when there is less after-school supervision.
So if your daughter is home when you're not, show up unexpectedly on occasion or ask a friendly neighbor to check up on her.But that doesn't mean kids aren't sexually active: Studies have found that some 50 percent of teenagers, ages 15 to 19, have engaged in oral sex."I have an 11-year-old middle schooler who came home saying that a boy wanted her to have oral sex with him in the parking lot," says Tonja Krautter, a psychologist in Los Gatos, California, who works with adolescents."I said to my daughter, ‘Tell him he needs to come in.Your parents want to meet him.'" And to make sure their kids end up where they say they're going to be, some parents insist their kids call home by landline to confirm their whereabouts using caller ID."Kids almost seem to be running the bases backward," says Marisa Nightingale, of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, referring to the new sexuality.