Hi Dr. Laura,
I was listening on a podcast and got a kick out of your reference to parents threatening to take away their teenagers' cell phones. You are absolutely correct that is an empty threat because the reason the parent usually gives the kid a phone in the first place is to make the parent's life easier.
I was a teenager without a cell phone and I know there are many parents out there today who also grew up without a cell phone. If your parents dropped you off at a football game at school, for example, they said I'll pick you up right here at 9 pm. If you weren't there, you didn't get to go again. That was a consequence and a major one if you were social at all in school. Same goes for all the other things I occasionally hear on your program.
When will I know when my kid is finished at practice? Music lessons? The mall? This is not rocket science. Find out from the coach or teacher what time they will be ready to go home. Give the kid a watch and tell them what time they are expected to be right back where you dropped them off. Make sure you tell them out loud that you know the batteries work so they don't try anything smart! I see no reason to give a kid a cell phone. Given current events in our society it will only serve to distract them and potentially get them into trouble. Legal trouble in some cases.
Love your show!