Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I'm Grounded? Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen

Vanessa Van Petten, Author
Vanessa Van Petten. Plume, $15 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-452-29741-8
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-54369-6
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-54081-7
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Van Petten, founder of the popular Web site RadicalParenting.com, offers parents a candid view of the contemporary teen's world in this eye-opening text. Van Petten uses actual stories about teens and their often anxious, angry, or befuddled parents to introduce each chapter. Pointing out that she is neither a parent nor a teen (nor a doctor, therapist, or counselor), the college-grad author has nevertheless earnestly investigated her subject and includes current research on teens as well as hundreds of "real quotes, interviews, e-mails and advice from actual teens." Van Petten explores a variety of timely subjects, including peer relationships, teen/parent communication, bullying, technology, and "risky business" (smoking, drinking, sex, and more). Her outlook on technology and "Internet savvy" is particularly incisive, emphasizing not only the hazards of "time-suck" activities (i.e., Facebook, chatting on IM, and texting) but also the many social and academic benefits of the digital universe. Like a crafty spy, Van Petten comfortably segues from parent to teen perspective, and while noting that each adolescent is unique, she skillfully opens doors to the collective teen psyche. (Aug.)
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