The teenage years are a time when children first start breaking away from their parents and discovering their own independence. While this time is full of fun adventures and new friends for teens, it can be a harrowing experience for parents. Here are four ways to reduce your anxiety and keep your teenager safe by staying in contact at all times.

Track Your Teen's Driving

Car accidents are the number one cause of death among teenagers, so it is very important to keep track of what your teen is doing behind the wheel. Today's technology makes this easy with affordable trackers that can be installed in your teen's car. These devices log information like speed, acceleration and deceleration and send it to your phone or computer. Some trackers include a GPS to show your teen's location at all times.

Get a Family Cell Phone Plan

The best way to stay in touch with teenagers is to give them a cell phone. The thought of your teen running up a mile-long phone bill might be scary. However, choosing a family plan gives you all the controls you need to prevent that scenario. Most plans, like those available from Mint SIM, include unlimited talk and text, plus features to control your child's data usage. Some plans include a "push to talk" feature that instantly connects you with your teen at the push of a button.

Know Your Teen's Friends

Even if your teen has her own cell phone, there may be times when she forgets her phone or leaves it turned off. This is why knowing your child's friends is important. Make sure you have the phone numbers of all your teenager's friends so you can call them if she doesn't answer her own phone. Keep friends' cell phone numbers and their families' home phone numbers in your contacts list.

Use a Family Calendar

A family calendar can keep you up to speed on where your teen is, what he is doing and which friends he is with at all times. If your family has smart phones, have everyone install a calendar app and sync their calendars together. You can also go the old-fashioned route and keep a dry-erase board calendar in the living room or mud room.
While these tips establish a way to stay in contact, it is up to you and your teen to use them. Combine these communication methods with an open, trusting relationship to keep your teen safe and your fears calm.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;