History on me: I'm a single/divorced mother of 3 teenage girls (ages 18, 14, and 13)--now in a long-term relationship, and originally a teenage mother myself, I can say this is a tough area for any mother (or parent for that matter).
I would say not to be too lenient one way or another. Don't be ignorant as well. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening, and avoiding it won't make it go away--just makes it worse when you do deal with it finally. OPEN COMMUNICATION and EDUCATION are keys to learning what your child is doing and guiding your child into making good decisions. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that they only need to parent until the child is a teenager and then let the child make decisions based on what they were taught as a small child while growing up. While on some level this is true, the teenager still needs to be guided to adulthood. Raising a child to say no to their peers takes more than just saying no. You need to role play and teach them "WHY" they are to say no to their peers(whether is it saying no to drug, sex, breaking the law, etc). This will help your child to come up with rebutals when their friends start making arguments towards breaking your family rules and values.
1) Keep the lines of communication open!Have a family meeting with your child to better understand your child and to state the family rules and values. Don't assume they are known; tell your child exactly and consequences for their actions. Everything in life has a consequence, some are short and some are long. Some are known immediately, and some are not known until years later, but there are consequences for EVERYTHING!
2)The child needs to know the family rules and the consequences for breaking those family rules. Be aware of your child's friends and activities at all times! If they won't tell you and they can't be checked out (such as no parental supervision), he/she can't go.
3) Teach your child the consequences to his/her decisions BEFORE they commit the crime. In your case, have her babysit/co-babysit for FREE (like one mother suggested), or get one of those babies that you hear about and they actually print out the results of how your child takes care of this baby doll. This will be able to show your child if he/she has what it takes to handle caring for a baby of their own. Many will find it a bother and then you can explain the precautions to take to avoid those circumstances BEFORE they happen.
4) Find someone in your community that has been pregnant (a teen mom or dad) and have them discuss with your child how sex affected them, their lives, and their goals.
5) Find someone in your community that has been affected by a sexually transmitted disease and how it affected their lives.
6) Teach them the art of volunteering their time.
7) Ask them to explain their goals. What does he/she want to be as an adult? Does he/she have any goals? If not, help them to set up some goals and a plan of action to make them happen. If so, explain that their actions could actually keep those dreams from happening.
8) Find a mentor in your community for your child.
9) Help them find some hobbies to keep them busy and away from the negative behaviors and friends.
10) Help your child to better see you as a person. Relate to them as a person, but remember to be a parent first and foremost. You cannot be a friend AND a parent. You are the parent and must come so from a place of authority. But sometimes you can see be more like a person if you are willing to discuss your childhood and some of the lessons you learned along the way. Also, let them know that your decisions, mistakes, or story in anyway does not condone their behavior, but instead is being told so that he/she can better relate to you as a person and that you (from your experiences) can understand the situation and feelings that go with it.
If you need anything, feel free to contact me.