You definately forgot finding common interests. If you find you both like a certain band or read a certain book you already have something to communicate about. As an 18 year old I found adults that I can relate to easily approachable. I knew that since I could relate to them in one way, maybe I could relate to them in others. That’s how I chose who I can trust and not.
Connecting with teens has always been easy for me. My husband and I are friends with the neigborhood teens and their friends (we’re 27 and 30). I suppose we just act like ourselves instead of trying to be bossy, but we also guide these kids in the right direction. My husband and I have had to give these kids the awkward “sex talk” (we both waited), advice on education and working, among other topics. We have our limits though and will be authoritarian in certain situations. So, let me add that if they aren’t getting the answers that they need at home, they will get it somewhere else. Teens crave this sort of info and teens deserve to get a competent and honest answer from their parents. However, if they dont get it from home, they will go someplace else to get the answers.