Children is our most prized possessions. They can make you laugh, cry, and even get you upset. How you respond to your child is the most important thing. Your response will determined how your child will turn out.
My daughter (Athena), test me a lot. At first, I thought " This little girl is really trying me" But, as the years pass, (and me attending a few parenting classes) I realized that some of her behavior came from a place of pain and misery. My husband and I have been through some real rough spots in life, because of this she has been acting out.
I didn't know that our behavior rubbed off on her. We were out of control in the beginning. Now when I talk to my daughter, I don't raise my voice, I don't try to make her feel I am superior and her opinion's and feelings don't matter. She has the same right as I do to speak her mind.
First we need to establish boundaries! Establishing boundaries is very important. We want our children to speak to us, let us know how their day was or what boy or girl they like. We need to make sure that when they speak, it's coming from the heart, but in a proper meaningful matter. When it comes to their behavior, you may have to treat each child differently to a certain degree, because all children behave and develop differently. Some children you may have to be more gentle with what you say, others you may have to have authority in your voice. this is to show that " you can be a kid but you have to have respect". Now, I am not saying that they need to respect us because in actual reality it goes both ways. That's right, we both "the parent" and "the child" must respect one another.
We as parents wants what's best for our children. In reality, they may go left when we want them to go right. All we can do is just support them in whatever they may want to do in life and facilitate that desire and determination. We can not raise our children they way we were raised. The world we were raised for no longer exist. We must learn how to adapt and unlearn to relearn to the new world order.
Children coming up now are more far advance then in the late 60's or even in the 80's. In those times the internet wasn't around until the late 80's. Hitchhiking was a thing in the 60's and 80's, now it's not normal to do so. When I was coming up beatings was the normal, now it's against the law to put your hands on your child. I noticed through watching other's handling their children, that if you put your hands on them they become even more rebellious. I don't recommend this at all anyways!
To really connect with your child find a common interest you two like and set a schedule to do those activities. My daughter and I play temple run2 when her dad get's home from work. We even color and draw with one another. this is to feed their inner child as well as feeding your inner child. Sometimes it's challenging to find out what your child is interested in. For example( true event), my daughter wanted to take ballet classes, then two days later she said she wanted to play baseball like I did as a child. My daughter even said she wants to be a cheerleader. I found out that she wants to be a doctor. My daughter says she still wants to do ballet now. I am still looking for a program in my city to facilitate her desire to dance. You have to look for clues. Hear what they are saying and not saying. This will give you a general idea of what they want to participate in. Once you find out exactly what they like to do, encourage that, plant the seed for them so they can see, (1). you are listening.
(2). you support them.
(3). you are willing to help them get there.
Every day give them encouraging words to boost their self-esteem and confidence. One day they will grow up, so enjoy them while you still can!