–Jason, 13, Stamford, CT
“Dear Vanessa, Thanks so much for the wonderful presentation(s). The feedback that I have received has been outstanding. It is such a pleasure to listen to you. A couple of the parents said they wish that they had a few hours with you! Thanks again and good luck with the new book. All the best,”
“Vanessa Van Petten’s new book “You’re Grounded!” is a courageous venture into parent/teen relationships told with sincerity, compassion and candor. No topic is off limits and her insights are clear, valuable and immediately useful. This is a wonderful resource destined to build bridges between both generations!”
-Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
“Vanessa Van Petten, 22, an interesting and accomplished young woman from LA, is a builder-of-bridges between parents and teens and the author of “You’re Grounded.” She’s a prolific writer, blogger and brings her positive messages to enhance communication between parents and teenagers. I found her blog online and was fascinated to speak to this young colleague who so values the importance of parent-teen relationships…Her interesting perspective can be helpful to parents and teens alike.”
-Sue Blaney, author of Please Stop the Rollercoaster, see full article here.
“Step back mainstream self-help books, there is a new genre taking over bookshelves nationwide. You’re Grounded by Vanessa Van Petten tackles the infamous issue of parent-child relationships from the most unexpected perspective: the child’s. The book dives into the minds of both the parents and the teen in hopes of extrapolating some kind of logic and reason in understanding why each behaves in the manner in which they do and why it appears quite the opposite to the other person. Van Petten not only explains what the issues are and how they come about, but how to approach them from a parental and teenage perspective. Unlike other experts, Van Petten highlights both sides of the story pointing out their strengths, weaknesses, and necessary improvements. The first person narration sets the tone to be friendly and light, whilst at the same time experienced and knowledgeable. The latter combines with empirical evidence from recently published medical and psychological studies to bolster the book’s message and help carry it home. Van Petten confronts those issues that no one wants to talk about head on and shares a point of view that is often discarded. Well researched, well informed, and well written, You’re Grounded! offers a truly a refreshing new look at relationships from the perspective of an educated and articulate former teenager”
-Insight Magazine book review to be published when I release my book
From an AOL News article on Youthology:
“(March 2) — As Will Smith once rapped: Parents just don’t understand.
But 24-year-old “youthologist” and “teen whisperer” Vanessa Van Petten might.
Moms and dads tap Van Petten to help them tackle one of parenthood’s dirtiest jobs — communicating with troubled teenagers in all of their text-messaging, door-slamming, curfew-breaking glory. For $150 an hour, Van Petten and her self-trained associate youthologists make house calls, bringing a hip “peer coaching” method to families in need.
“I go into their houses and sit on their floors and go through their backpacks with them,” Van Petten told AOL News. “Parents realize it’s the one thing they have not tried — reaching teens on their level.” Van Petten — who, after getting grounded at age 17, authored a parenting book called “You’re Grounded!” — even turns to kids, of all people, for their parenting advice. The slogan at her blog, RadicalParenting.com, is “parenting from the kid’s perspective” — and she makes good on it, featuring posts by 80 writers who all happen to be under the age of 18.
“The discussions between teens and parents are polarized because each party is set in their way. … Youthology can help bridge the gap between the two worlds,” Becca told AOL News in an e-mail. “If kids were in a situation where their parents were more helpful and understanding and less judgmental and condescending, they’d be more apt to be open with them.”
Van Petten recently raised her profile with an appearance on the Bravo reality show “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” The cameras rolled as she counseled the wayward teen daughters of hands-off parents Lynne and Frank Curtin, who complained that their daughter, Alexa, 17, was disappearing for hours and failing to communicate with them.
“Alexa, you need to come home,” Curtin pleaded with her MIA daughter in a cell phone call, before relinquishing the phone to Van Petten. “And here’s Vanessa.”
“I promise I won’t make it terrible,” Van Petten said. She later gave Alexa “time and space” to collect herself before discussing why she ignores her parents’ attempts at discipline. (Turns out, Alexa thought they weren’t spending enough quality time with her.)
In another session, Frank Curtin told his daughters Van Petten was “coming by to talk to us about maybe improving our relationships.” Eye rolls abounded. In the words of 19-year-old Raquel: “I thought it was super random and super weird that my dad was like, ‘This author is coming to talk to you.’ ”
But Van Petten broke through to Raquel, a party girl in search of inspiration.
“Vanessa definitely gave me that, like, extra push that I needed to start doing my artwork,” Raquel said in a scene from “Real Housewives.”
Van Petten is not a parent herself, and at 24 she is much closer in age to the adolescents she counsels than to their parents. She doesn’t have a psychology degree or any other formal credentials — just a personally designed coaching process called “parentology” that aims to “inspire” teens as they deal with “self-esteem, study skills, room organization, friends and getting along with parents.”
So what exactly qualifies this 2007 Emory University graduate to dispense parenting advice? “I actually love that question. I say, ‘Let me talk to your kids,’ ” Van Petten said, adding that her age is an advantage in relating to teens. Unlike some of their parents, she knows what a Facebook wall is and what it means to be “de-friended” by a crush.
“I listen to the music they listen to. We go to concerts together,” Van Petten said. “I know their lingo because it’s my lingo, too.” ”
“I read and enjoyed your book. It’s a fascinating window into the lives of today’s teens. I’m amazed at the maturity and balance with which you depict the roles of both teens and parents. You manage to give good advice without sounding preachy, which is a tough line to walk. If your readers can put to use any of the common sense tips you pass on, I’m sure they would benefit! You could probably market this in the global community as a “road map” to peace between nations, not just between teens and parents…As a teacher and a parent I enjoyed the glimpse into the lives of today’s teens. The insights Vanessa share will help me in understanding my students and give me tools to build better communication in the classroom and at home.” -Middle School teacher and mother.
“My family (myself, my wife and two kids) all read the book at the same time. It was really helpful in just getting us talking. Some advice my kids really liked, and other sections my wife and I found extremely helpful and then we were able to talk about her strategies and make our own. A totally different kind of approach to parenting books and advice, more collaborative than I was with my parents which is what the our kids generation is all about.” -Brian Weiner, author of “Toad Catcher’s Creek” Children Literature
“I bought this book for myself, but plan to give it to my daughter who is growing up too quickly. This book is great because it tells the story from both sides of the coin, in a way that can be easily understood by all parties involved.” -Dr Chu Hsien Lin, Father, Boston MA
-A. Wiseman Santa Fe NM Vanessa Van Petten’s website, Radical Parenting, is a Godsend! It’s one of the few places I can go to get information from a teen’s perspective. I already know the parent’s viewpoint and sometimes I am just stumped. The teen writers give me great info and I have actually been able to employ some of their suggestions with great success. As the parent of a 14 year-old boy who is becoming a man, I need heavy-duty glasses to see into his world. Thanks to Radical Parenting and the book, “You’re Grounded”, I’m a few steps ahead of the game.”
“This book was a fantastic eye-opening experience into the lives of teenagers from the perspective of a teenager. Ms. Van Patten really is able to show us how the world has changed for our youth today and how we better can understand what they are facing. I enjoyed the book tremendously and have been able to employ some of the ideas to strenghten the mother/daughter relationship with my daughter. I have bought copies of the books for many of my mom friends as I know they too will get a lot out this book. Thank you!”
-Catherine Nofri, Los Angeles, CA
“Family members are facing some distinct but not uncommon challenges with their teenage kids. I am gifting this book to them, in hopes that some resolution is on the horizon, due to Van Petten’s practical approach and accessible “teen speak.””
“Reading You’re Grounded made me pause and examine some of the ways I was interacting with my teenage daughter. It made me change my approach in some situations and improve our relations. Vanessa is very insightful with a good common sense approach to problem solving. Her links also keep me up to date and bring a smile!
Importantly, following her blog has helped bring me up to speed and increase my understanding of social networking, its use and implications. The information has reached beyond my family and even changed my thinging on its use in my profession.”
-Deb Edwards, Mother of 2.