A 25-year-old “youthologist” offers firsthand insight to assist parents and children in building better relationships.
By the time Van Petten was ready to celebrate her Sweet Sixteen, she had already achieved success as the founder of RadicalParenting.com, a website that curates parenting tips from teenagers. Building on the same formula that won her numerous accolades and skyrocketed sales of her two previously self-published titles, the author culls advice from teenagers and translates it directly into language parents can understand. “Some of the advice in this book you may not like,” Van Petten cautions parents in the introduction. This might be particularly true of the chapter entitled, “Risky Business: Smoking, Drinking, Sex and More,” in which the author adamantly states from the get-go, “Every teen will engage in ‘risky’ behavior.” Practical solutions on how to address issues ranging from chores to curfews, and even cyber bullying, can be found here, in addition to exercises for parents and their teens to improve family unity. Most effective is the author’s discussion of the distractions and difficulties presented by society’s increasing reliance on technology; she suggests enforcing electronic-free times and areas and engaging in family-wide discussions about what it means to be a good cybercitizen. Van Petten’s overarching message is that all teenagers are different, and regardless of their issues, most teenagers wish their parents would talk and listen to them more, not less.
A rational approach to defuse hand-to-hand combat parenting.