I'd like to add to what I've already said that our parenting changes and shifts a little as the child grows and displays good judgement in decision making. The rules I enforced (sounds like a warden, lol) in my children's earlier years, where relaxed to a degree as they matured. Did I know where they were and who they were with and if there were parents there for supervision, you betcha! But they were not interrogated when they came home, though they both always enjoyed chatting with me (while I baked or ironed, it was easier for them so the entire focus wasn't on them, a little something I learnt from my Mom) about what they did ect...
Each stage of maturity brought more responsibility to them and trust they earned from me. They were aware of this because I had explained it when they were young. Did they make some not so great decisions, of course. They also had to suffer the repercussions of that decision. That's how I as a parent helped them get ready for adulthood, college and independence. My goal was to raise self sufficient , independent, dependable and responsible adults. It starts from day one in very micro mini steps.
I remember a particular lack of judgement on my sons part, I think he was 13/14, and afterward he knew that our trust was very badly bruised. The fact that he disappointed me was worse for him than the actual punishment.
Along those lines he still remembers my saying before he'd leave to go to a function with friends, "Remember, you represent our family, our values and what we stand for." He would hear my voice when at a cross road, and sometimes
(I am a realist) it would help him make a better decision. Even if he made a poor decision, he would say later, hearing my voice in his head took the fun out of it.
I agree that when raising children you are not their friend, you are their parent. However, I had such fun with my children, though boundaries were always observed. Today, as adults, we are friends. They also look to their father and myself for advise ect... and that pleases me so. I try to always remember that there are certain subjects that I do not touch on, out of respect for them. Example, anything sexual, where my girlfriends and I can get quite over the top joking around, my children would be very uncomfortable, I am their mother after all.
At the end of the day, it is on you shoulders whether or not you did the right thing by your children and for your children. So if you're going to lean a little more one way than another, chose the lean in the direction of safety. I've never heard a parent regret keeping their child safe. Have heard many wish they could step back and put the restrictions in place ect... I guess it comes down to "what are you willing to live with?"
Sorry I went on so long. I am just passionate about being a parent, and now a grandparent! Oh, the fun that lays ahead!