"In your post about 13 - and defiant, you mentioned that teens goes through a normal detachment. Can you tell what is normal and give me some resources that you recommend for learning about teen behaviors?"
In generations before ours, youth age 12-18 were beginning their adult lives. They started apprenticing for real professions. They began intense studies. They worked the same hours as men and women in fields and running homes. Many girls took care of the elderly or began teaching careers. They even started looking for their future spouse. To accomplish all of these things it was necessary for the youth to see himself as an individual. Someone that had a special mission; a person that had to pave his OWN path. They had vision. All of these youthful feelings are normal and necessary to accomplish what God has sent them here to do.
Today, our children have the same feelings that youth from generations past felt, but our society has made these feelings confusing. For years now we have encouraged our children to play more than work. (These times should be more balanced) I remember when I was in High School, I was told to really have fun now, because soon REAL life would start, and that wasn't going to be fun. Now that I think about it, they were telling me to be selfish. They pretty much required it of me for many years. All media, and the overload of social and recreation time feed self. People who are taught to feed self, have a hard time finding their direction or mission in life. Mission is about serving other people.
I hope you are seeing the confusion. They have normal ambitious feelings, but they don't have enough opportunity in our society to practice being self sufficient and adult. Once they are already confused the transition can be difficult for the youth and the parents. Both for the same reason; they have been trained to be docile. Don't get me wrong, there are many great people who learn later in life how to find their life's purpose and go for it, but for the most part, we were all trained to indulge in recreation far to often for our own good. We should all study more. There is a great article that talks about youth of the past versus the teens of today. It is called "The Myth of the Teenager". http://www.home-school.com/Articles/PlattTeenagers.html I found this very true and interesting!
To help our youth find themselves, we need to show them the healthy way to detach from. We need to encourage ambition, projects, study, and good peers. Family should still be Cool to a youth. If your youth thinks family is dumb, then he probably thinks a little too much of himself. Character building is a great solution. In "Building Children with Character" I talk specifically about what children of all ages need to develop good character. I have specific segments for each age group. You may want to listen to that again for ideas on how to teach character.
Any attitude problems, pouting, aggression, laziness, disrespect, or defiance should be corrected. These are selfish behaviors that indulge in out of control behavior. These can all be taught using the four basics, and the five teaching styles. Continue to pre-teach good behaviors and new life skills. Explain to them that when you see that they are able to govern their own behaviors, then they will be given adult privileges. Help them learn to master communication and behaviors. They will be so grateful to you for your diligence in helping them stand apart from the "norm" by being able to govern themselves.
The most important thing you can do for your child is build your relationship with him. In fact, if he is a HIM, then probably the best person to take an active mentor role in his life is your husband or another really inspiring man. Your daughters might also want daddy attention when they get older, but in the long run, they will want to be like you if you are inspiring and love what you do.
These years are also a great time to find other inspiring mentors, outside of home life, to make lasting impact on your youth. The right mentor, or group of mentors can launch your youth into a healthy adulthood and mission. The wrong mentor....well stay away from them. Disaster!
Regular prayer with your youth will also give them the strength that they need to call upon God for help and find the truth in the confusing world around them. I also talk in detail about prayer in the class "Raising Warriors for God".
Above all, make yourself available and safe to talk to about anything, and watch for signs of problems. Note: Children who are too secretive or withdrawn from family might have a bigger issue. (Pornography, Drugs, ETC.) Pornography is probably the most common. Always be on your guard against it!