Teen Tuesday

I am only getting older and I promise my readers a view into the world and minds of teens.  Therefore I have taken on a few interns as teen writers to teach them about blogging, writing, entrepreneurship and give them a space to showcase their articles.  I might be biased, but can I just say that they are fabulous!

In their first article assignment I asked them just to introduce themselves for you.  Every Tuesday I will be posting a few of their articles, sometimes I will give them topics, but I also want them to explore whatever they feel like writing about and bring teen trends to you!

Please take a few moments to read their bios and the advice they wish all parents knew!

I am so so so happy to have them on my site, I will open their articles up for comments with my approval and will only be sharing first or pseudo-names for my writers to protect their privacy.

My first assignment for them was to answer a few basic questions about themselves and any messages they have for you.  I am so happy that they all did their own interpretation of the assignment and you can definitely see their personalities a bit!


Juliette is a 15-year-old high school student in North Carolina.  She is interested in pursuing a career in writing and in her free time enjoys volleyball, juggling, and photography.

-My name: Juliette
-My Grade: 11
-Home State: North Carolina
-Favorite movie: The Illusionist
-Favorite website: Wikipedia

-Favorite topic to write about: Topics that I have personal experience with or effect my life

Biggest misconception about teens: That we are constantly trying to find ways to go behind our parents back and generally deceive them.

-What you wish all parents knew: Your teen’s behavior is highly guided by your own actions and this can be having either a good or bad effect.

I am in many ways in ordinary teen: going to the movies with friends, going to high school, and of course dealing with my parents.  However, I am rather unordinary in that I will be blogging about teenage life in order to help you understand the world your teen lives in.  I love to write and I am looking forward to blogging on this site very much.  Hopefully, my entries will be as enjoyable for you to read as they were for me to write.


Alia is a 13 year-old from Nebraska. She loves to play the Acoustic guitar and, wants to be famous musician and a famous actor in Hollywood.

My name is Alia. My home state is Nebraska (Go cornhuskers! lol). I love to play the Acoustic guitar. I am currently in the eigth grade studying concert band as my major and percussion as my minor.

I would have to say my favorite movie of all time is, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I absolutely love the message in that movie.

Like most teens these days, my favorite website is youtube.

The topic that I like to write about the most is The Everyday Lives Of Teens, from the relationships, to the gossip, to the hurt and pain.

I think the biggest misconception about teens is the thought that, we don’t don’t understand or we don’t care about anyone else but ourselves. Teens have feelings just like everyone else. We might not show it in the best way ever, but we still care about other people. The one thing I wish all parents knew is, that teens not only want them (our parents) to hear us, but to actually listen.


Hello readers!

My name is Shannon and I am at the ripe old age of sixteen. I have the fantastic privilege of interning for Vanessa Van Petten and I wanted to properly introduce myself by giving you a snapshot of my life and my view of the world.

I currently reside in Maryland, home of the Chesapeake Bay and Washington Wizards. I’ve found that it is a bit dull here when it comes to excitement. I mean, I’d never expect to have one of those “I was just walking down the street and you’ll never guess who I ran into…” stories. But on the upside, we do have exceptionally interesting weather and experience all four of the glorious seasons—spring, summer, winter, and fall.

I attend a private all girls High School. I usually receive a variety of interesting and sometimes peculiar comments about this because a) it is a private, all girls high school, b) it’s a Catholic school and c) the neighborhood where it’s located is a bit sketchy. Some of the more outlandish and humorous ones include: “Have you ever been shot?” “Are there a lot of lesbians at your school?” “Do you really have to wear those uniform shoes every day?”

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So anyway, I’ve just finished sophomore year which I find both exciting and scary. Exciting because it means one year closer to freedom and scary because it means…one year closer to freedom. All I ever hear from my friends is that they want to get out of high school, onto college, and start “real life”. But to me real life doesn’t just mean being freed from the rules that my mother enforces. Real life means change. It comes with real responsibility, real decision-making, and the need to really know what you want. If you were to ask which me of those things I find both terrifying and exhilarating I would check the box marked “All of the Above”.

I am a total movie-holic. I don’t have a specific favorite movie because I watch so many so often that it changes all the time. I do, however, have a specific collection of movies that could be considered my favorites because I never get tired of watching them. They are as follows:

The Notebook— I always cry when I watch this movie. It makes me feel hopeful that true love might actually exist.

Pirates of the Caribbean— First of all, the fact that pirates get to do whatever they want is fantastic. Also, the sword fighting and the music during scenes are always in sync. That combined with the humor, action and romance makes for a very entertaining trilogy.

Ocean’s 11/12/13— It completely blows my mind that there are actually people in this world who are smart enough to pull off heists like the ones in these movies.

The Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum— These movies always give me chills. To think that it is possible for the government to have that much power and that much control without the public knowing—scary. Plus Matt Damon is a total babe and the character he plays is practically a military robot which I think is super cool.

My favorite website is Facebook. Yes, I know that sounds like a stereotypical teenage cliché, but I can’t help it. The creator of this website is truly a genius. I’m not kidding when I tell you it’s an addiction. Every time I get on the computer my fingers are instantly itching to visit my profile and check out all the latest news and newest scandals. With the push of a button I have immediate access to all the intriguing lives of the people I know and love. Plus, it’s an easy way for me to keep up with my friends who are out of state or off at college. Who could want more than that?

I don’t think I could narrow it down to one topic that is my absolute favorite to write about. I like expressing my opinion about all sorts of things but there are a few that have earned the title of my favorites. They include: sex, true love, alcohol and drugs: condone or condemn?, equality—black vs. white, women vs. men, etc., and my all-time favorite: Nick Jonas. Yes, Nick Jonas. As for as boys go, NickJ is totally boss. My mind wanders to that shy-smiling, piano playing, finger tingling, singer/song writer quite often.

One of the biggest misconceptions about teens is that all teenagers are having or are thinking about having sex. I’m not saying that we don’t think about sex, but a lot of us aren’t actually interested in doing it. Our lives are busy enough! Trying to balance school and sports and clubs and social lives is already difficult. Throwing sex into the mix brings about a whole new list of complications that we literally don’t have time to deal with. Plus, the majority of us either don’t have jobs or don’t have jobs that pay well enough for us to support a kid or to pay for secret STD checkups.

One thing I wish all parents knew is how badly we, as teens, seek their approval. Most of the time we flat our refuse to admit it, but really and truly we just want to satisfy them. And one of the reasons it is so easy for us to pick fights with them is because we feel like we’re busting our butts trying to please them and all they can do is point out our flaws. It’s not that they say, “I think you suck” but small things, like mentioning the C we got on our paper instead of congratulating us on the A we received on our test, really hit us hard.

So there you have it. A quick look into the life and mind of Shannon James. I’m super excited to get started and can’t wait to continue writing to all of you!

Until then,


(from Vanessa)  I love them! Aren’t they great?  I am looking for a boy! Anyone know any aspiring boy writers?

More from my teens next week.  If you have a topic you would like them to write about, please post in the comments and we will consider it!  I will have some more writers to introduce you to next week as well!

Do you need a blog makeover? Are you trying to get more traffic or parent readers? Check out Vanessa’s mom blog makover and teleclasses!


No Responses to “Teen Tuesday”

  1. Scott
    June 24, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    Congrats to all the new interns! I look forward to reading everything you have to say!

  2. Mary Kay
    June 25, 2008 at 8:15 am #

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you’re doing here Vanessa! Not only are you bringing in fresh perspective (in addition to your own, of course!) on the topics we parents REALLY want to read about, but you’re also teaching them and instilling your amazing entrepreneurial spirit into them as well! Bravo to you!

  3. Vanessa
    June 25, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    oh thanks Mary Kay!

    I really really am excited about learning from them as well as teaching them. I hope they do not mind, I have been ending them all of these writing and online marketing articles, but I am so proud of them!


  4. Suzette
    June 27, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    I can’t wait to read the teen posts! This interpship for teens is just another great example of how you are always a step ahead Vanessa. Wise beyond your years indeed! And congratulations to the teenage bloggers. This has to be the ideal internship: no commuting required!

  5. Kenyatta
    July 1, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    As a mother of one of your interns, I want to say thank you! You have know idea how much joy and confidence this experience is giving my teen. And, the MTV opportunity is iceing on the cake!

  6. Vanessa
    July 1, 2008 at 8:35 am #


    I am so so so glad!

    Yes, for all of me readers I am trying to get all of my interns opportunities beyond just writing including some stuff at MTV and other cool perks like screenings etc, because I am very grateful to have them and want to encourage their careers.

    Thanks for being supportive!

  7. Kayla
    July 1, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    I am a tween going on teen and I have a blog with basically what a teen thinks. Check it out: elferkid.com

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