Vanessa Van Petten

Parenting Speaker

Vanessa Van Petten is a CNN columnist, winner of the Mom’s Choice Award and an author with Penguin Books. She travels the country speaking to all types of groups about family relationships, teen lifestyles, advertising to Net-Generation and many other issues pertaining to Gen Y. She also gives keynote and inspirational speeches.



Speaking Topics:

In order of popularity:

  • Understanding the Net-Generation, Digital Kids in Adult Friendly Terms

This workshop gives a complete overview into what kids and teens 6-18 are doing online and how parents and adults can leverage the Internet’s assets and help their children avoid it’s pitfalls. We also look at social applications, online trends and even slang. Vanessa talks about how technology is affecting all areas of life in new ways–friendship, dating, school and even self-esteem. She also adapts this presentation for companies looking to understand the net-gen consumer or future employee.

  • Teen Secret Communication 101: The Science of Relationships

Have you ever wished you could know when someone was lying to you? In this dynamic presentation, Vanessa Van Petten teaches teens and parents how they can use scientific research to get what they want from their relationships, stop fighting and understand their sometimes frustrating counterparts. Using social and emotional literacy skills, Vanessa provides youth with a new strategy to fight bullying, lying and drama. Vanessa’s unique perspective, hilarious stories and groundbreaking research have stunned and delighted audiences all over the world.

  • Social Literacy: Anti-Clique, Argument Prevention and How to be a Human Lie Detector

This program is unlike any other parent or teen workshop. Ranging from audiences of 12 to 600 Vanessa teaches participants how to use a totally new form of communication to radically change the anger/guilt cycle, clique formation and the decline of teen empathy.

  • Specialized Teen/Parent Issues:

Van Petten can mentor families on many issues: Teen health, how to safely use the Internet, fighting forums and personal development.

  • Millenials in the Workplace

How can employers and other employees best utilize Gen Y skills, while avoiding our pitfalls? Vanessa does keynotes and workshops for companies looking to adapt for and understand the next generation of employees.

Girl Workshops

Vanessa uses very unique techniques to connect with and teach girls about self-care, bully prevention, cliques, jealousy and drama. To get more details on her approach, feel free to contact us.

What Makes Vanessa Different: One of the reasons so many communities have brought Vanessa to speak is because she is young enough to know where teens are coming from and have them open up to her and she is old enough to respect and translate for parents. She also interacts with thousands of teens on a weekly basis, her research studies, one-on-one work and position in the media give her a platform to understand youth in a very different way.

Vanessa’s Story and Bio:

Vanessa Van Petten, teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!,” writes along with 60 teen writers, ages 12-20 to help parents and adults get an honest and open view into the world and mind of youth. Van Petten, now 27, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emory University in May of 2007, the same month, her book “You’re Grounded!” launched and was named in the “Top 5 Hottest Books” on Amazon it’s first month.

Radical Approach: Vanessa teaches, applies and is currently doing research on the principles of Dr. Paul Ekman on human lie detecting and emotional reading. She often teaches audiences–both teens and parents, how to read facial microexpressions, be a human lie detector and excel at social literacy to be able to read who they are communicating with. Vanessa has found this essential to her help for teens and parents. Parents learn to better understand their teenager and kids grasp the importance of social literacy to prevent bullying, cliques and miscommunication with their parents. This makes for lively and unique presentations.

•Her site contains thousands of articles, videos, screencasts and live chats with Van Petten, teen writers and trendsetters from 34 different countries to offer parents a win- dow into the daily lives of their teen and tween kids. She shows parents how to talk with their screen-obsessed net generation children about everything: including safely using Facebook, smoking pot, High School dances, oral sex, and gives them tips from actual teens. is read by thousands of teens and parents daily

•Van Petten is now on an international speaking tour and was chosen as one of the top 100 Bloggers to watch by Women’s Magazine.

•Van Petten also writes a column for CNN.

•She was featured on The Dr Drew Show, CBS News, and Fox News, The Doctors, The Real Housewives of Orange County and has been in the Wall Street Journal, Teen Vogue, MSN Money, Good Housekeeping Online, Atlanta Insite Magazine and the World Journal. She has been an expert on Playboy Radio, KBUR, WCOJ Philadelphia and more for giving a young perspective on awesome parenting.

•Vanessa also runs a popular website called The Science of On this website she shares the latest research on human behavior, relationships and personal development. She gets the most interesting studies from around the world and synthesizes it into bite-sized science, for every day people to use in every day life.

See her Media Clips here

Example Presentations:


From Sandbox Summit at MIT in April 2011 on Kids, Families and Technology


From Bina LA Event November 2010


“My wife and I were so impressed with the topic and your presentation. You are amazingly articulate (no ums, you know, ahhs), on point, concise, poised, with good presence and comedic timing.  And not just for your age – for any public speaker.  You have a career in television.  I can’t believe how polished you are.  You made the time fly. For the first time, I got the generation gap between my son (16 years-old) and me (46).  All parents know there will be a generation gap.  This is as certain as death and taxes.  But your insight into technology, youths’ need for connectiveness, their “playground”, “friends”, social pressure, and sadly, their collective weakness to interact person-to-person, were mind-blowing. I have a much better understanding of what taking away a cell phone or computer means to our son when he’s grounded.  It makes some of his behavior (good and bad) more understandable.  (He’s glued to YouTube.) I was slightly skeptical that a young person like you could provide helpful parenting advice.  In an era when a seven-year-old can give relationship advice (true story), I thought you had to be older and be a parent first.  Boy, was I wrong.  Your insight was gold to us and we will always appreciate your information. We bought your book and look forward to reading it.” –John Chavez

“Your company’s values strike a magnificent chord with me. I attended a presentation in Stamford, CT, and ever since I feel that your cores are, to say the least, well thought out and wise. You truly have a mindset to help us teens survive these difficult years, and I would love to assist you in whatever is necessary. If we can establish a good link between the writer and the teen, then perhaps Radical Parenting can grow even mightier.”
–Jason, 13, Stamford, CT

See more testimonials here.

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