Teens often want to know if you can understand the choices they're facing, so they may ask blunt questions. Did you have sex before you were married? Did you smoke pot? Were you bullied? You may wonder if it's wise to own up to your past. If you did engage in behaviors that you hope that your child won't at this age, you may think that admitting them is some form of tacit approval. You may worry that your teen won't respect your authority if you were anything less than perfect.
There's no one way to answer those types of questions, but research from some studies reveals that being honest about your past helps your teens turn down risky options [source: Klass]. It's unlikely you'll glorify anything that your teen hasn't seen glorified on television, so instead, take time to talk about how you made your youthful decisions, and what you wish you'd done differently. If you feel you made a mistake, talk about why that is. Showing your teen that you faced the same issues that he or she is facing now will remind your teen that you're a reliable source for these tough questions. And you can be honest without relaying every single detail of your past.