Before I was a parent, I was a youth leader. As individuals, teens had unique personalities, skills and stories, but one thing that was universal was the effect that parental communication had on them. Whether it was a criticism, a suggestion, or merely a bit of helpful information, the teens tended to look down on it, or even become hostile toward the messenger. As a youth leader, I found that I could provide the same criticism, suggestion or information and it would be received with consideration, respect or enthusiasm. The difference was that the teens saw me as an adult peer rather than a parent.