Kate Beckinsale 'flunked' adolescence.

The 38-year-old 'Contraband' actress admits that her teenage years were a nightmare and has done her best to help daughter Lily, 13, through the awkward phase.

She said: ''I had a child young enough that it doesn't feel too far away from my own experience. I feel like I flunked at adolescence really badly. I found it really difficult.

''I'm very supportive of how tricky seventh and eighth Grade are for girls. I think it's a very difficult time, but she's doing great.''

Kate - who is now married to director Len Wiseman but had Lily during an eight-year relationship with actor Michael Sheen - says she has her family to thank for allowing her to balance motherhood and a career.

She told Parade magazine: ''It's a constant juggle. It tends to be one extreme to another. I'll do a crazy blast of working and then I'll be home for a bit.

''It's tricky and something that I don't think I'd be able to pull off without having my parents come out and help out. ''I do feel that family is very important and I'm lucky enough that my parents are very happy to come and stay with us for a couple months.''

But one plus side of the job is being able to work with Len - who she married in 2004 and who recently directed her in 'Total Recall'.

She said: ''The fist time we met each other was when we were filming 'Underworld', and then we worked together again after we'd been married a short while, and now we've been married seven years, so I've had quite a few different experiences along the way.

''It's different each time. We love it. I think one of the things we like least about our jobs is that it can force separation from each other.

''One of the things that's so nice about working together is that not only do we enjoy each other professionally, but we actually get to sleep in the same bed at night and hang out with our kid on the weekends, so it's great.''

But she has this tip for couples who work together: ''I guess always argue over text so other people aren't embarrassed!''