teenage honesty and saying no
This morning our DD, 16, said she needed to talk to me. I could tell something was up. She asked if she could spend the night at a friend's house tomorrow, but also (and I give her tons of credit for her honesty) wanted to know if they could go to a party (at the house of a friend of a friend of a friend) for about an hour and then go back to the friend's for the night. Without a single question from me, she stated she knew there would be drinking going on at the party. Obviously, she said she and her 2 friends wouldn't drink, and she would drive. She would call when they got back to the friend's house. I believe her about not drinking for lots of reasons. I think she really just wanted to hang out a bit and see what it was like. (She's very much into experiencing "new" things right now and finding ways to be independent.) I explained to her very calmly the reasons I just couldn't let her do this. Her father also calmly pointed out that until she is 18 we are responsible for her safety and well being, etc. I "apologized" if she felt she was being punished for her honesty, but really couldn't see anyway I could justify permitting her to do this. We even came up with a pretty decent, alternative, fun activity that showed we trusted her.
She seemed to understand, but she did mention that sometimes it seems unfair when "good" things happen to kids that are less honest, don't work as hard, and do drink/party/etc. Her example was a fellow teammate that's being seriously looked at by several colleges to participate in their sport. She knows this girl drinks regularly and lies about it to her parents. How can we help her see that the good decisions she is making now will benefit her in the future? How can we help her understand that we have to make these decisions regarding the party? How in the heck do we balance our desire to have her keep being honest and open with us and a typical teenage desire for independence and new experiences? We don't want her to just "shut down" when it comes to talking with us, but sometimes when she does, we have to say no.
Any suggestions, advice, experiences to share?