How Do You Talk to Your Teenagers About the ‘Tough Stuff’?

A high-schooler's world is overwhelming; between the teenage norms of homework and school, there is also alcohol, sexting, drug abuse and a plethora of overwhelming and often dangerous topics about which to worry.

Even daily shenanigans, such as the teen-made stunt videos found by the thousands on YouTube, create risks terrifying to parents while teenagers merely shrug off their fears.
But DrugAbuse.gov says marijuana use between 2009 and 2010 was at an all-time high among certain grade levels, and the threat of drunk driving looms after every teen party. When it comes to keeping your kids safe, dismissing these facts is not an option.

"Anderson" wants to ask you how you keep your cool and get the message across when talking to your teenagers about the "tough stuff."

Are you the "cool parent" who approaches these topics with ease? Do you rule with an iron fist?

Share your thoughts and advice in the comments, letting us know:

At what age do you start talking to your kids about the risks they'll face in adolescence? How soon is too soon? Can you offer advice on having this talk with your kids? What do you say? How do you ensure your child's safety? What is the riskiest thing your teenager has ever done? How did you react?