I wish I had some advice for you. But I am a 1st time parent of a 22 month old daughter. I can only wait for your problems to invade our house.
I do have to agree with you on the statement you made about us speaking to our parents that way. I would have never even thought of it. It was nothing for my dad to thump us on the head or even yank us up & bust our buts in the middle of TG&Y (remember those) if we whined for a toy more than once or even mis behaved in any way. If a parent chooses to punish in that fashion these days, they are looking at possibly loosing their children.
I think it is a good thing to let your children speak their mind and have their own oppinion about life. They should be treated as individuals and not simply told to be quiet, just because they are kids. I feel that gives them respect & they need to be shown respect in order to give respect.
BUT.....that just might be a bad thing too. We were not aloud to disagree or even state our true feelings to our parents. We were taught to keep our mouth shut and "go with the flow". So maybe with that frame of mind the children do not talk back, agure and all the other things the teenagers of these days do & say. It all just seems like a catch 22 to me.
There has to be a way to balance it all out equally, we just have not figured it out yet. BUT teenagers are going to be moody and know it alls I guess. I was....were'nt you? I just kept it to myself and knew I better wait until I was out of sight before I rolled these green eyes of mine.
I hope you get some helpful info from some of the other parents here at the boards. & Let me know if you find the secret weapon!