The two musts of parenting are; always to label irresponsibility as irresponsibility and going hand in hand with that, always being a good role model for our kids. Now, always labeling irresponsibility as irresponsibility is really, really important. Kids will ask parents questions that they know the answer to. And the main reason they ask those questions is because they want to test to see if their parents are going to give them responsible answers. If the parents give an answer that isn't responsible, then the kid can't really trust that asking a question or presenting a scenario where they don't know the answer, then they trust that they are going to get a straight answer from their parents.
Now, the way to always give good responsible answers comes in either two forms; either you can actually label it period, that is just not the way to do it. Or as I used to do when I worked with street kids and they tell me about the latest slick hist they did from some store is make some off hand comment like, I am sure I still have my jail pass so I can visit you the next time you are not quiet so slick. Now, the second thing that comes, goes right along with this is always acting responsibly and acting as a good role model for your kid. The must is always being a good role model for your teens. Now, do as I say and not as I do, doesn't work anything and it certainly doesn't work with your teens. It always have to be walking the walk as well as talking the talk. And teens look at things in black and white, there are no gray's. So, sitting by and watching TV, watching a football game and knocking down a six pack of beer, even though you are not going to drive for the rest of the night, a teen sees you do that and figures knocking down a six pack of beer is fine only they are going to do it while they are driving. You smoking a joint socially at a cocktail party, teens will then extrapolate into smoking joints is good, even during school. So it is real important that you step back sort of look at yourself in what you are doing from up above and say is this in black and white what I want my teen to be doing? If it is not, then don't do it. If my father could choke down liver every Wednesday night while we were growing up so we wouldn't grow up with a liver bias. You can also obstane from your goodies for the sake of your kids.