1. 12 hugs a day. Hug your child first thing in the morning, when you say goodbye, when you're re-united, at bedtime, and often in between. If your tween or teen rebuffs your advances when she first walks in the door, realize that with older kids you have to ease into the connection. Get her settled with a cool drink, and chat as you give a foot rub. (Seem like going above and beyond? It's a foolproof way to hear what happened in her life today, which should be high on your priority list.)
5. Special time. Every day, 15 minutes with each child, separately. Alternate doing what your child wants and doing what you want. On her days, just pour your love into her and let her direct. On your days resist the urge to structure the time with activities. Instead, play therapeutic "games" to help your child with whatever issues are "up" for her.
7. Listen, and Empathize. Connection starts with listening. Bite your tongue if you need to, except to say "Wow!....I see....Really?...How was that for you?" The habit of seeing things from your child's perspective will ensure that you treat her with respect and look for win/win solutions. It will help you see the reasons for behavior that would otherwise drive you crazy. And it will help you regulate your own emotions so when your buttons get pushed and you find yourself in "fight or flight," your child doesn't look so much like the enemy.