There are many good reasons to provide your teenager with a mobile telephone. For starters, it can help you stay connected. It's easier to text your child at 10 a.m. than it is to track down her whereabouts by calling all her friends' parents. If your teenager is now able to drive, she can call when she reaches her destination. In these and other ways, mobile telephones offer a sense of security.
But before you begin to rest easy, make sure you enact some safety measures [source: Direnfeld]. Teenagers have a firm grasp of technology: They can set passwords on their phones so you can't access their texts or e-mails. And because teens usually keep their phones within arm's reach, you may never realize your child is getting texts or phone calls in the middle of the night.
Remember, it's OK to insist that you know your teen's passwords. Plus, many cell phone providers offer parental controls that can set limits, so you could decide that your teen's phone can't send or receive texts or calls past 9 p.m. on a school night.
With technology comes responsibility, and teens don't always understand the ramifications of impulsive actions. Take the time to discuss online safety, such as why it's not a good idea to send an explicit message or photo, or to befriend people your teen doesn't know in real life.
Now that your teen has a cell phone, is it time for some parental espionage? Find out, next.