Shelf-Awareness Book Review: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?: Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen

[Note: I write short book reviews for Shelf Awareness, a great website and newsletter book review service. I’ll be posting the reviews that don’t run in their newsletter, with their permission. The reviews I write are for the “Readers” edition of the newsletter.]

Book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?: Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen by Vanessa Van Petten (Penguin Group, $15.00 Paperback, 9780452297418, August 30,

Vanessa Van Petten has written two other self-published books and is the founder of She’s made a name for herself as a sort of translator between teens/tweens and their parents, helping both sides learn valuable coping skills, communication tools, and how to navigate the modern teenage world.

The current book focuses on two major sections that offer strategies for parents to work with their children: Build The Relationship and Learn About Their Life. Written to parents about teen life, struggles, and perspectives, Do I Get My Allowance uses many specific case studies from Van Petten’s personal work with families, talking about facial cues, social communication techniques and technology with a confident and relaxed style. Her own voice is strong in this book, talking to parents directly and caringly about how to both provide the limits teens and tweens still need and crave while learning to let them be themselves and find their own way in an often confusing and fast- paced world.

At times, Van Petten’s analysis seems more armchair psychologist than it should be, though there are many references to specific research studies peppered throughout. The chapters on Online Bullying and High Risk Activities are particularly good, giving parents a new way to look at the specific phenomena and how they might best support children who are dealing with them. Overall, the book offers a positive middle of the road approach for parents who may not quite have a handle on the latest technology or challenges in their teenager’s life, offering sound experiential advice and insightful commentary drawn from the author’s own professional work.

–Rob LeFebvre, Freelance Writer & Editor

Discover: A confident primer on supporting your teen through this modern world by getting to know them, with examples and a caring perspective throughout.

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links for 2011-04-11

Идея за подаръкикониикони

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not enough

how do you express the subtler, poignant feelings that grip like ice and don’t let up until an inevitable thaw in some unspecified future? twitter and facebook are full of pithy, creative, interesting bits of verbiage, but NONE of it allows any sort of deeper communication. maybe the only way to express and receive validation for these kinds of thoughts and feelings is within a smaller group, perhaps even only within a dyad. there are so many things that i am and that i feel and not all of them are unified at all. rather, they float, random and listless, agitated and aimless, until they eventually go away, or become so strong that they have nowhere left to go but out into the world, breaking barriers and crushing all that are in their path.

how do you express the utter futility of existence along with the complete certainty that it all indeed means something wonderful? i’m going to say that, for me, i’ve only heard it expressed in music. and only rarely.


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disco is alive

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it’s not the suit, but the song.

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So, I’ve noticed that I’m not writing about me anymore. Some might think this is a good thing, but I’m wondering if I spend too much time writing about other people’s creative output, I’ll lose my own. So, as of now, I’m planning on writing in this thing once per week. Probably from the netbook. Though i’d love to be all space age and write from the iPhone, the truth is that the whole keyboard thing is an issue. I’ll check into maybe getting a 3G dongle for it, or learning how to tether the netbook to the iPhone for 3g access.

So, enough about that crap. I’m 40, as of this past monday, and it’s once again time to take stock of the me. Because the unexamined life and all…just isn’t my thing. So, back to the examining. Soon, anyway. Not RIGHT now, of course. THis is just me priming the pumps, so to speak.

Things to write about:

Family, Kids, Spouse
Friends and Acquaintances
The Superhero Novel That Shouldn’t Be That Hard to Finish, For Chrissakes
Sex, Drugs, and Disco
General Philosophical Meanderings

And….there you have it. The topics of note. I’ll probably also be dumping some links in here from time to time, as they’ll help me keep up on shit. And stuff. TTFN!

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links for 2009-08-17

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links for 2009-07-09

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This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

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links for 2009-02-27

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