Maybe it doesn't seem like it was that long ago that you were a teenager. Perhaps you can relate to many of the things that adolescent of yours is going through. And it's good for them to know that they're not alone. But be very careful here. If you tell your child, "I know exactly what you're going through," you could lose your credibility with the teen and completely turn them off. Why?
The truth is, you don't know exactly what he or she's going through because the world is not the same as it was when you were a teen. Research shows that sex happens younger and drinking, drugs and even gambling are more pervasive than ever [source: Vivo]. So don't nod your head in an all-knowing manner before they've finished their story. Don't wax nostalgic about what happened back in your day at school if it's not nearly as severe as what's going on now. You may be able to relate to the challenges, but despite popular belief, your adolescent struggles of yesteryear aren't a mirror image of today's dilemmas.