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New Parenting Book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?

September 2, 2011

One really cool thing about blogging and being an author is having the opportunity to share guest blogs. My good friend Vanessa Van Petten (founder of has just launched a new book this week. Here’s an aritcle that may be helpful to all of you that are parents of teens from Vanessa the author of “Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded? A topic we touch on regularly at Learn2Balance. Enjoy!

When I was 16 I thought it was my Dad’s goal in life to make me miserable. I was convinced
that he had a running list of all the ways he could embarrass me in front of my
friends, trick me into doing more chores or make my curfew earlier.

Our relationship would have continued to devolve until one day I saw my Dad reading
a parenting book. I flipped through it while my Dad was in the bathroom and
realized a lot of the things he did that drove me crazy he was getting right
out of this book! I looked at the other parenting books on our shelves and
realized that they were all written by adults. I wondered—has anyone ever asked
teens to write to their parents?


I decided to build a website where teens could answer questions and write to parents called  I couldn’t believe how quickly it grew and how happy both teens were to get their voices out and
parents were to have a new outlet for connecting with their kids! We now have
over 120 teen writers who give advice.

Teenagers, when given a neutral space LOVE talking to parents and often offer some of the
best insight because they are going through it themselves. We have also be so
excited to help parents who feel like they cannot reach their kids and teens.

I think teens and parents can work together to overcome their differences and learn to
work best together. We have just come out with our book: Do I Get My Allowance
Before or After I’m Grounded and it is a radical approach to parenting because
it is written from the kid’s perspective! We would love for you to check it
out—if you are brave enough to see what kids have to say!

Here is what Publisher’s Weekly had to say:

“Van Petten, founder of the popular Web site, 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. “

–Publishers Weekly

Vanessa Van Petten is one of the nation’s youngest experts, or ‘youthologists’ on parenting
and adolescents. She now runs her popular parenting website,, which she writes with 120 other teenage writers to answer  questions from parents and adults. Her approach has been featured by CNN, Fox
News, and Wall Street Journal. She was also on the Real Housewives of Orange  County helping the housewives with troubled teens. Her next book, “Do I  Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?” is being released in
September 2011 with Plume Books of Penguin USA.


Thanks Vanessa for being our guest blogger today!

Remember…to take time and Learn2Balance your life.


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