A Teen’s Point of View: A must read for every parent

We are working with Vanessa Van Petten from  www.RadicalParenting.com  to get insight into a teen’s point of view on parenting.

Our question was:

Did your parents ever talk to you about body boundaries? How has that affected how you keep your body safe:

Below read this insightful and honest answer from an incredible teen – this is a must read for EVERY parent

Setting Boundaries: No Means No

Hope is a teen writer for Radical Parenting.com, a parenting website written from the kid’s perspective with 82 teen interns! Hope is 15 years old from Stratford, NJ. She loves reading, writing, socializing with friends and her favorite subject is English because she wants to be a writer/editor.

         Growing up, my parents and I talked about everything. I consider myself lucky to have this type of relationship with them. They passed down several rules to me that I will always live by. I couldn’t get tattoos. I couldn’t get several piercings. As I grew older, my parents wouldn’t let me wear short skirts or revealing clothing. They also advised me to stay pure until marriage and taught me that no means no. Honestly, I feel that these principles are very practical and help me strengthen my self-respect.


My parents started helping me set body related boundaries for as long as I can remember. Talks about issues like this became more and more frequent into my teenage years. I even found myself initiating those conversations most of the time. Body related issues come up so frequently in life, in magazines, and on TV. They’re so hard to ignore because these issues need to be addressed. More often than not, I hear girls at school crying because they let a guy take advantage of them. As cruel as this may sound, whose fault is that? No means no if you are willing to say it. I don’t see a reason to allow people to walk all over you. Sure, there is pressure. You just have to set limits and deal with it. My parents used to always tell me to respect my body and take care of it because I only get one in life. This is a great rule to live by.

I strongly advise all parents to talk to their children about setting boundaries regarding their body frequently. Lack of self-respect and a low self-esteem can drive people to do risqué things. Teenage years can be so tough and confusing. Because I have respect for my body, however, I don’t have to date guys who only want me for my body, just to make myself feel attractive. Many people I know do not have that mindset and I feel so bad for them. They let others take advantage of them physically because they think that is what relationships are all about. These issues are not always this serious, though. Sometimes, in school, my friends get a little too touchy-feely with me to the point where I feel uncomfortable, so I tell them to stop. Not helping your child set body related boundaries results in him or her, most likely, getting stepped on in the future. Why wouldn’t you do all that you can to make sure that your child respects themselves and makes good decisions. I respect my body, I love who I am, and, with the help of my parents, I set firm body boundaries.

Vanessa Van Petten  Author: “You’re Grounded!”
Twitter: @vvanpetten


"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

To Top