Every teenager goes through Adolescence, a period of confusion trying to identify if (s)he is a kid or an adult. This is the period where (s)he requires encouragement, understanding and guidance from parents. It is not only a metamorphosis to children but also to the parents who are quite used to thinking them as kids. Most of us forget that we too had gone through the same phase those days and the way we searched for our identity. Teenagers exhibit both behaviors; parents just cannot determine when they will act as a kid or as an adult.
The best way to help them in this phase is to take the role of a friend (no advice please) and listen to them without passing judgments. Their first confidante should be the parents. I know it is easy to say but difficult to follow, but when you do, it does work wonders to you and your child psyche. It gives you an opportunity to recollect your days as a teenager and makes you youthful thinking about all those little moments of togetherness and fun with friends. This also gets you to connect with your teenager and talk to them at their level and also subtly influence them into right way of approaching life. This is one of the crucial periods where they face issues much different from what they have seen in life till date. Remember, parents do serve as a reference and many times their actions and reactions are based on the values instilled in them by the family.