Forbidden fruit and not sweating the small stuff
Our DD is recently 16. She's an awesome young woman and we have no real problems. My DH and I kind of follow the philosophy of not pushing on the small stuff, ie clothes, foul language (although neither is a real issue). We always try to keep things in perspective. So far it's worked for us with her and her 13 yo brother. She knows we have pretty high expectations, but at the same time we really keep the lines of communication open. So far she's pretty comfortable discussing things with us concerning boys, sex, drugs, all the "biggies." (If some of the other parents knew the things I know about their children....)
Recently a couple of her friends have been grounded because of some relatively minor, to us, things. (talking on the phone at 3:30 am and pulling a silly prank) These things would certainly be discussed in our house, but we probably wouldn't have grounded our daughter for this. In both instances I think the parents grounded the girls because they thought they were spending too much time with a boyfriend and this was a way to separate them for awhile. (It was pretty obvious to both girls what the real agenda was.) From what our DD tells us, both girls are finding ways to see the boyfriends anyway, in other words, the "forbidden fruit" is sweeter and more appealing now.
So my question is this--for those of you that have successfully raised teens, how did you handle the small stuff? When it came to the opposite sex did forbidding your daughter or son contact with a special friend make that friend even more desirable? What worked for you and what didn't? So far we've been incredibly lucky, but we just keep waiting for the "teen" shoe to drop. Any words of wisdom?