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.

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Chances are you won't hear the phone ring-and you won't get to chat (even briefly! Tami Beck, a mother of two in Shawnee, Kansas, remembers when a boy came to pick up her 15-year-old daughter and called from the driveway.

"He pulls in and gets on his cell phone and says, ‘I'm here,'" Beck recalls.

"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."Parents need to understand that this is a very real risk," says Parry Aftab, executive director of Wanda Yee, a mother of three daughters from Ridgeway, New Jersey, requires that they keep their accounts set to private, an option offered by the site so that parents can determine who has access to their kid's page.And a reminder: Keep your computer in an open area, like an office or the kitchen, where it can be monitored by anyone coming in and out. Then the mother heard that the girl wanted to have sex with her son. "I told him I'd like to see him wait until he was at least 18," she says. And girls need to be taught how to be respectful of a boy's feelings.One woman with three sons was astonished last summer when a girl took a liking to her 15-year-old and got aggressive.