Confide in your teen. The flip side, of course, is sharing your own thoughts and feelings with your teen, even if they are difficult, complicated or a little embarrassing:
* Tell them about your day, starting with the facts. This may ease your way into a conversation.
* Tell them about your feelings in different situations, including things you consider to be failures. This conveys the message, "It is OK to fail, as long as you learn from the experience."
* Tell them about yourself and your experiences growing up. Start with the general descriptions and avoid specific examples at first. Just set the stage for developing a two-way conversation.