Keeping the cell phone handy is how many parents touch base with their teens. Julie Mayfield, mother of four children of which two are teens, uses texting and cell phone calls to catch up with her teens. "I also email a lot with my daughter who is in college and she and I have even started twittering so we'll talk that way too."
Teens prefer texting instead of calling and prefer receiving a text from their parents over a phone call any day. When hanging out with friends, teens don't enjoy getting a call from mom or dad. Felicia A. Williams, mother of two teens, chooses texting as her number one way of contacting her son. "All I need to do is send him a text that says 'I just finished cooking' and it's amazing how quickly he comes home. Most of the time he comes along with several friends, but it's a surefire way to keep in touch."
Meeting up with your teen during the day is a good way to swap schedules and keep connected. Amy Marshal, mother of two teen girls, tries to meet up with her daughters at lunch or dinner. "My daughters are busy with school and sports so sometimes the only way I see them is at meal time. Since they are able to leave their high school during lunch break, I meet up with one or both of them several times a week so we can catch up."
Some parents find the only way to keep up with busy teens is to have a note board in the kitchen where teens and parents write down where they will be each day. Lisa Johannson, mother of three active teens, keeps an erasable note board on the refrigerator where everyone can leave notes as they come and go. "My teens write down where they are going and when they will be home so I don't have to keep calling them to see where they are," she says. "I do the same so they can always find me too. This keeps us all from wondering where everyone is."
Using instant messaging is also an effective way for teens to quickly contact parents throughout the day. Janice Moores, a busy mom of three in which two are teens, gets IMs from her kids throughout the day. "I work at my computer most of the day so it's quicker and easier for me to receive an IM from my teens than having to answer the phone. All the information I need pops up right on my computer screen so I know where the kids are without disrupting my work."
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