In some conversations with your teen, less is more. I know it is so wonderful when your teen comes to you......finally, for some help. And in the rush to wanting to be the best parent ever, you say too much, with a "honey, you know what I think you should do...." Problem solving comes so easy to parents, it is a job we do with relish. When kids are young, they absolutely want to hear everything you have to say, and then even more reinforcing, they will actually do what you say. That is because in childhood, you are your child's #1!
When your teen hits adolescence, you have been dropped down the list a bit. Coming to mommy and daddy for help is "so babyish." Teens go to friends first, and you, only sometimes, or not at all. But there will be those times, that a shoulder to cry on is just the thing, and you will be called into action. Unless your teen specifically asks for your help in solving the problem, your best bet is to just listen. Cause if you happen to say the wrong thing, this wonderful moment can turn on a dime, and you will get a sneer and a "you just don't understand!"
So like Jeremy's mom, just a hug, and a: "honey that must have been so frustrating, disappointing, upsetting," take your pick, and then mums the word!