Exclusive Interview With Author and Youthologist Vanessa Van Petten

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Vanessa Van Petten was a typical 16 year old girl who had issues with her parents. After sitting down and writing her parents a letter about things they knew nothing about she realized that what was missing was “how to communicate” with them.

Van Petten spoke to her friends and other teens and soon realized that this was a common problem among teens. As a solution to the problem, Vanessa wrote a book called, Your Grounded.

Fast forward a few years and Vanessa has three books, a very successful website called Radicalparenting, a parenting advice site from a teens perspective, and has become a well known expert and speaker on the subject of youth, parents and family.

Have U Heard had the opportunity to speak with her at the AllyKatzz 2010 Tween Summit  where she provided some great parenting advice. Click on keep reading to hear some of the tips that Vanessa shared with us:

Can you tell us some parenting advice that you have read that you did not agree with?

Keep the computer in a common room.  This is advice that your child can easily get around.  Teens are very good at hiding windows and hiding screens and we get online on the xbox or the psp.  Some friend is going to have a computer in their room.  There were so many easy ways to get around it.  I always say that by having the computer in a common room it’s a security blanket.  The problem is if we are curious about something there are ways to find it.

Any other tips for parents?

One of the tips I suggest is that one of the teens wrote in that she was having problems sleeping at night because her phone was buzzing or her computer was going.  The parents now have a downstairs charging station and if the mom comes down and the phone is not there she gets in trouble.

Kids also have an alternative facebook account.  One for their mom and one for their friends.  This is something that a lot of parents don’t know.

What age is a good age for facebook?

At 13 you can ask for the passwords, approve friends.  At 15 you don’t have the power to do that because they are too old.





One Response to Exclusive Interview With Author and Youthologist Vanessa Van Petten

  1. Chelsea says:

    I agree that plenty of teenagers are savvy enough to hide windows, log in from other places and get away with things online that would shock their parents. While not all of these things can be prevented, parents that use “I’m not computer savvy” as an excuse need to get educated. There are password protected softwares and tons of tips on how to help keep your child safe online. Ignorance is no excuse.

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