Looking back at how things went, the successes and failures, trial and errors, in my own experience as well as friends and acquaintances, there are a million things you can do right / wrong. What I have learned is it's what you do during these pre-teen years that dictate what kind of teen years you're in for. Set the rules now before it's too late. Let them know early on that there's no need
to start a debate. That's big. I find it's alright to explain things to kids so they understand your decision, but only once. A debate isn't necessary. For example, a conversation between a parent and a 12 year old daughter should go something like this: "Mom (or dad) can I hitch hike to the party at Axl Roses house?" "No sweetie, you don't have anything to wear and you have homework to do and Axl Rose is and asshole." "But all the other kids are hitch hiking to the party at Axl Roses house!" "You asked a question, you got an answer, that means the conversation is over. Get me a beer."
Your kids will learn early on that there is no need to whine, plead and argue. They will respect your authority. Or, you could offer to go to Axl Roses' party with them. See how that goes.
In the new world, this rule will be included in a free parenting handbook that will be given to all the “would be” new parents.
AND SO IT SHALL BE WRITTEN!