Does anyone have advice to give regarding a teen (16) who wants to do what friends are able to do like date/or ride with friend (just got license)?
Teen was able to date when turned 16, but during other times has lied about who she was with. I thought we were close and tried to keep an open relationship with her. Also, she doesn't understand why we will not let her ride with her friends - some who have just got their license. Understand theirs going to be trial and error. How much do you give?
Great question! Of course every parent has their own idea of what the appropriate age is to date and be "alone" with friends or a boyfriend/girlfriend. Follow your instinct based on the maturity of your child. How do they handle peer pressure? Are they able to make good choices when faced with a crisis, or do they crack under pressure? We need to remember that all teens will make mistakes, but if they are not learning from those mistakes, you should question the amount of freedom they have. It's ok to start by giving them a small amount of freedom and adjust based on how they handle it.
Keep the lines of communication open with your teen and let them know that you don't expect them to be perfect, but you do expect them to respect your rules and decisions. They may not always like your decisions, but they need to understand that your job as a parent is to protect them. Stick to your instinct when you feel that they should not be alone in a car with someone or a group of friends. Take time to listen to their rationals for wanting to do something or go somewhere. Let them know that their opinion is important in your decision making process. If they feel like they are being heard, they will be more likely to accept your decision, even if it's not what they wanted to hear!
I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with your daughter and setting boundaries, but high school is the notorious rebellion stage so I'm sure there is much empathy for your position!
Personally, I can say that during my high school and teen years, though I got along great with my parents the second any hard boundaries were set I felt compelled to argue. It's really quite strange how the teen mind works, but even if I agreed with what my parents were saying something about wanting to prove one's independence and worth makes any form of limitation a painful reminded of a teen's naivety and vulnerability (as much as they don't want to admit it).
Regardless though, I think it's great that you're setting boundaries while trying to keep your relationship open and close. It's very important to have limitations for teens but still having a close and trusting relationship is fundamental for teens to grow without too much restriction.
I'm sorry you are having a hard time communicating with your teen. I know it's difficult and frustrating at times. I think The best way to deal with this situation is to talk to your child and ask her questions such as, "Do you think your friend is the best driver?" or "What would happen if there were too many distractions in the car and there is an accident?" Reasoning with your teen usually fares better than reprimanding or deciding an option for them. If you let her come up with a reasonable strategy regarding the concerns, she's more likely to listen and follow what the two of you decide.
There is a lot to be said for making your home very inviting to your daughter's friends. Stocking the freezer with pizzas, adding a bumper pool table, PS2, and a TV really helped us to keep an eye on our teens while they brought friends under our roof. No driving needed when it is at your home and we rid our home of all alcohol so that was not an issue. We , of course , would check up on them with "excuses' from time to time. Also, we made sure that each kid dropped off their keys if they drove and had to come to us to get them back (which prevented any last minute "joy riding" without our knowledge). Getting to know the friends will help your daughter overall. It may sound like a hassle, especially if other kids are in the home. But ultimately, it is worth it!