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Wise Counsel Interview Transcript: An Interview with Annie Fox on Parenting 21st Century Teens

David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

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Dr. David Van Nuys: Welcome to Wise Council, a podcast interview series sponsored by CenterSite, LLC covering topics in mental health, wellness, and psychotherapy. My name is Doctor David Van Nuys. I'm a clinical psychologist, and your host.

On today's show, we'll be talking about dealing with teenage dating with my guest Annie Fox. In 1977, Annie Fox M.E.D. and her husband David co-founded the Marin Computer Center in San Rafeal, California.

It was the world's first public access microcomputer facility. There she began exploring ways technology could be used to empower kids.

This led her to write her bestselling introductory computer book, "Armchair BASIC," which launched her as a nationally respected writer and designer of children's software.

Then, in 1996 at the dawn of the Internet age, Annie dreamed up the idea for "The In Site," a highly acclaimed web resources for teens. One of The In Site's most popular features is "Hey, Terra," a cyberspace relationship advisor.

Annie's award winning book, "The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating" is based on hundreds of email questions from teens around the world, and Annie's responses to them.

Annie's second book for teens, "Too Stressed to Think: A Teen's Guide to Staying Sane When Life Makes You Crazy, " co-written with Ruth Kirschner, was published last fall.

Annie's currently working on a new series of books for middle school students which will focus on issues of identity, popularity, personal power, and self acceptance. Book One of the series will be published in fall of 2008.

Through her web work, her writing, and her live presentations for students, teachers, and parents, Annie continues working toward her goal of helping teens become thoughtful, compassionate, socially responsible adults.

Now, here's the interview.

Annie Fox, welcome to Wise Council.

Annie Fox: Thank you, David. I'm delighted to be here.

David: I'm delighted to have you. You've written a number of books for teens, and you've raised two of them yourself. You regularly give workshops for teens and for parents. So, all I can say is, "You're a brave person."

Annie: [laughs] I think teenagers get a bad rep, David, they're really quite loving creatures.

David: [laughing] Oh, really? OK. It's been a while since I had any in my house, and so maybe memory is playing tricks on me.

Now, you started out writing a computer book. How did you get from there to being an expert on teens and the parenting of teens?

Annie: Interesting. I'm not an expert on computers. My computer book was really an absolute beginner's guide to microcomputers and programming.

I wrote it because I needed to learn about computers and I found that all the beginner books made some very huge assumptions about what a person came to page one already knowing. I knew nothing, and even though they were beginner's books, I couldn't get very far in them.

My husband David and I were opening the Marin Computer Center in 1977. Because I am a teacher by training, I was entrusted with teaching the classes, but I didn't know anything about computers to be able to teach.

And so, my approach is always, "I need to understand it before I can teach it to anyone."

Because there were no books around, David was kind enough to work with me very patiently until I understood it well enough, so then I could write a book, so that then I could teach it.

I think the same is true about parenting and teaching parenting skills, especially when you get into the area of adolescents, because there are some very challenging skills that you're called upon to use.

Actually, from computers, I went into computer game design for children. Creating product for kids has always been what I have done.

When the Internet came around, and I became exposed to it in the fall of 1996, it seemed, at that time, when my daughter was a senior in high school and my son was a sixth grader that I was in the thick of both ends of adolescence.

With the Internet being right there, it just occurred to me that what I needed to do, and that my path has always been working with kids, kind of a synthesis of technology. How can you use technology to empower people?

David: That's certainly a good question.

Annie: In the fall of 1996, I was doing some consulting work that had me on the keyboard an awful lot. Every day at 2:30, I willing took my turn to be the afternoon carpool mom. Our daughter was senior in high school.

Our son was a sixth grader, so I had a quite an interesting mix of twelfth grade girls and sixth grade boys in my minivan.

We kind of had a movable conversation going in that car for several months where the kids, who I knew very well and they trusted me, would ask me all kinds of relationship questions.

"What was going on with this person that I had a crush on?" "What should I do? I'm a little nervous about trying out for the play." These kinds of things, and I found that my advice was welcomed by them, and they seemed to be happy to receive it, and so, when the Internet became a course of...

Well, let's say a place where teens were hanging out more and more, and not particularly doing anything of value from my perspective, just hanging out in these inane chat rooms. It seemed to me that maybe there was an opportunity here for me to create what I would call a virtual carpool for kids online, kids who didn't have access to me and my easy way of giving them straight talk.

In a virtual milieu, they could send me questions, just like the kids in my carpool, and I would answer them.

David: Well, it's interesting the way that your background in computers and your interest in computing, and then your training as a teacher and your experience with your own kids as they moved into the teen years, how those have all flowed together to create what you're doing today.

Annie: I think that's absolutely true. If someone had said to me prior to that, "Someday this is what you're going to be doing." If they had described the form of it, I would not have understood it. But the substance of it makes perfect sense to me.

David: Yes, I'd like to start broad, with us talking about parent-teen issues generally, and then kind of narrow it down as we go on, to talk about some of the issues around dating.

Now, you do workshops with both parents and teens, and you also get lots of email on your websites from both. What sorts of questions are parents asking? What are the big issues today?

Annie: The big issues for parents are out of control teens. For them, they have seen, very often, a sudden and seismic shift in their relationship with their son or daughter.

They don't understand what's happening. They feel that they're lacking communication skills to get, to have the same kind of closeness that they once had when the child was young.

They don't understand that the shift is normal. They take it very personally when their kid says, "Back off, Mom." And so, the family tends to get fractured at that point.

It's very sad, and on some level it's perfectly normal, which is what I tell parents. The kids need to push back against you in order for then to achieve their ultimate goal, which is to become independent, fully functioning adults.

But parents are a little slow on the uptake sometimes. When the shift happens they take it personally and think there's something they've done wrong, or they think there's something that their son or daughter is doing wrong when really, what they're doing is emerging from one phase of childhood into young adulthood.

David: OK. Now, you use the phrase "out of control". Are they really out of control? It sounds like from what you're saying, maybe the parents are...

Annie: [laughs]

David: ...they want to be over-controlling.

Annie: Well, I think that's a good point, David. In some cases, what prompts a parent to write to me is what I would consider out of control behavior.

Kids sneaking out at night, kids being extraordinarily rude and disrespectful, blowing off school, doing the kinds of things that parents worry about. Substance abuse is part of it. It could be out of control in terms of an eating disorder, or cutting as a symptom of depression and a deeper-seated problem.

But for the most part, if I could sum it up in one sentence, parents are saying, "She doesn't listen to me anymore."

David: Mm-hmm.

Annie: So it's clearly a breakdown in communication. It's interesting because what the teens most often say about their parents when they write to me is, "My parents don't trust me, and they don't listen to me when I talk to them."

David: OK. Now, I was on one of your websites and one of the sub-heads was "Why 21st Century Teens Need 21st Century Parenting." [laughs]

Annie: Yes.

David: What's that about?

Annie: Well, 21st century parenting is different than 20th century parenting, which is what you and I got.

David: Yes.

Annie: That was much more managerial on some level. You came home, you did your homework, your parents had food for you, everything. The needs were taken care of, but the social and emotional development for the most part was not a realm that they delved into. I don't know about you, but that was certainly the case in my family.

As a result, you more or less muddled through on your own, and I think there are some pluses and minuses to that approach. There were more adults around then. The world was a much slower, quieter place, and we had more reflective time. You were able to think on your own, to figure out what your path was in life. It was easier. There certainly weren't text messages interrupting you all the time, and you weren't bombarded with media messages that were telling you how you ought to be.

So that, in conjunction with adults who were less hurried, who you could actually talk to -- not always your parents, but some adult that you could trust and talk to if you needed to -- it made for us growing up maybe better able to handle the world we were growing into.

But 21st century parenting is very different, because the kids today are much more stressed out about academic expectations. Social expectations that come from media messages that are telling especially girls, at a very young age that they need to become more sexualized.

There are all kinds of brain interruptions that happen where children are no longer given the luxury of downtime. Their schedules are packed, parents are busy, and parents are often not around.

There's all this ambient noise going on, and I think it's detrimental in their development. So what parenting for the 21st century teens means, as I perceive it, is creating a certain, almost a subspecialty in the social/emotional development of adolescents that maybe our parents didn't need to have or they didn't need to have it.

Because kids are more stressed out now, I think from the email that I am getting, I feel often that I'm a surrogate parent.

David: You know I'm really struck as I listen to you talk and it does cause me to think back to my own childhood and growing up and that I played and played. I played with other kids a lot.

We played in vacant lots. And there were long stretches of time in which we had to be creative and make up our own games and activities.

I contrast that with what you are describing and I realize that kids today they go from ballet to gymnastics to dance class to soccer practice with hardly any interruption, except for maybe the TV that's now in the back seat of the van. [laughs] And the busy thumbs texting.

So I kind of get what you are saying about how busy and how there aren't these spaces in young people's lives anymore.

Annie: Right. And there's no spaces in the lives that their parents either. So we're all in a carpool, moving somewhere. And we're missing so many connections. It's very, very sad.

David: What an image. You know when you talk about kids being stressed. One voice that pops up in my parental head, that definitely comes from the last century or two, is the voice that would say, well, what do you mean the kids are stressed?

They need to toughen up. How stressful can it be to be a kid, compared to the life of an adult? I apologize for having this reactive place...

Annie: I understand because it is, these should be the best years of your life, kind of point of view. And you hear that, but I think if you ask any adult if they could recall being in middle school, they will cringe. Because even back then, when we had all these stretches of time to kind of hang out with friends, and be on our own, and figure things out and pick up a book and read just for pleasure, the developmental challenges of middle school were there.

The worry about what other people think about me. Do I fit in? Do I measure up? Am I popular enough? Am I pretty enough? Am I, you know, athletic enough? Am I lovable? All these questions are timeless.

But it just seems to me that if you take those normal transitional things going on at that time and you put the other layer on top of them, all this noise and interruption and speed and anxiety, that it makes them less able to cope.

David: OK. Now let's look at the other side. I asked you what sorts of questions you were getting from parents and I know you are also hearing from teens. What sorts of questions are they asking?

Annie: Most of the email I get from teens is not about parents. Parents should be delighted to know that most teens, if you ask them what they want more of from their parents, which is interesting, what they want is more time from their parents. More time to just sit and chill.

David: Really?

Annie: They love being on vacation with their parents. Because their parents are out of the norm of their every day craziness as are the teens. The family is just together and that's what teens say they want.

So when they write to me, they're really not often writing about parents. They're mostly writing about issues with their friends. High drama of friends who will turn on you on a dime, which leaves the kid who's writing extraordinarily confused. It's like, "This was my BFFL, my best friend for life..."

[laughter]

Annie: "And all of a sudden, he or she is not talking to me. Not only are they not talking to me, they're turning everyone else against me, and they're using technology to do it."

David: Oh yes, there's this horrible, frightening case that's been in the news, where a young girl ended up committing suicide because people had fraudulently drummed up the feeling that nobody liked her.

Annie: Yeah, I've heard cases like that. It's extraordinarily sad. So the issue of having conflicts with friends is what teens write to me mostly about. That and what I call the boyfriend-girlfriend zone.

David: Yes.

Annie: Which is a place that is fraught with confusion and huge gaping fissures that can trip you up? Once again, parents haven't done a really wonderful job educating their kids about what is expected of them. Call it dating etiquette, but everyone is just completely checked out. [laughs]

David: Well, what's a parent to do? I mean, often kids seem to be giving the signal that they're more interested in their friends than in hearing from the parent, and that the parent's advice is experienced as intrusive. I remember feeling that way sometimes as a parent.

Annie: Yes. I think it's a delicate balance, David, and I completely agree with you. You don't want your parent lecturing you or looking over your shoulder and reading your email, knowing all the nooks and crannies of your life. But on the other hand, if you're a really tuned-in parent, you ought to be able to tell when something is going on with your kid.

So they walk in and you see, you can just read them. Use your EQ skills. You just read the face that you know so well. You say, "How's it going, on?" and they say, "Fine." If you know what fine looks like and that doesn't look like fine or sound like fine, don't buy it.

David: Uh-huh.

Annie: Now, what are you going to do after you've gotten this gut feeling there's something going on here? Can you pound down their bedroom door and force them to talk to you? No, you can't.

This is a process. It's a process of building trust, so that kids know that when push comes to shove, I really can talk to my mom or dad in a way that feels safe. So they're not going to jump down my throat.

David: That's a trick there, isn't it? I gather that you want them to talk about their feelings.

Annie: Of course.

David: And you want them to feel safe.

Annie: Yeah.

David: Yet you've got standards and so on. [laughs]

Annie: This is the nuance of 21st century parenting. The difference between 20th century parenting is "What are you crying about?" [laughs]

David: Yeah, or "Because I said so."

Annie: "Because I said so." Right, that's 20th century parenting at its worst. 21st century parenting is much more nuanced. When I talked about having a certain sub-specialty in social-emotional development of adolescents, you need it! You absolutely need it.

So parents need to educate themselves. They need to learn about adolescent psychology, so that they can be better able to support their teenagers. The best advice I ever heard was, "Talk less and listen more."

David: Mm-hmm. Now, some people might be tempted to put you in a very permissive parenting box. What about rules? Have the rules gone away? What about boundaries?

Annie: It's really important, and that comes with communication too. Because if you don't communicate your expectations to your kids, then they don't know what the family values are. If you say, "It's my expectation that you will not drink in high school.

That's what your expectation is. It's is my expectation that you will not have unprotected sex. Whatever it is, you fill in the blank and you make it really clear.

This is our expectation for you. Let's talk about it. Let's talk about it not as a clean up after the earthquake discussion, where everyone's really upset, but let's talk about it now. Let's talk about it when we are all calm and if you want some rationale, as teens will often ask for, you want some rationale why your parents feel this way, we'll tell you.

And if you, as parents, don't know why you cling to these values, well maybe you should do a little self-examination before you have these substantive conversations with your kids. Because they're very sharp and they want... they just abhor hypocrisy so you can't just say, because I said so. You need to know why you feel the way you feel. Why this is important to you as a parent.

David: It seems like there are so many issues, places where these sort of potentially conflictual boundaries around issues of dress, makeup jewelry, tattoos, music, piercings, Internet, dating, sex....

Annie: OK, let's take piercings. Your kid says, I want to get a nose stud. And you say, oh my God, you are going to get your nose pieced.

That's disgusting, no, but why, mom? Well, I just, you know, it's a complete turn off... and if you probe a little bit, what mom will actually say, if you get past well you'll get an infection, blah, blah, blah, what they might say is: What will people think?

People out in the world, people will see you with a nose ring and they will draw some conclusions about your character. Now, I know, Sweetheart that you are a good kid, but other people won't think that way of you. And so, we're giving the message that other people's opinions are very, very important.

Now, if that's a value you're sticking with, then you can't blame your kid for saying, we need to pay $85 for this pair of jeans because they are the right brand. If I don't wear this designer brand of jeans, I'm going to be seen as a loser. There are conflicts here.

David: Um-hmm. Yes, I remember those discussions.

Annie: So either you say to your kid, thinks for yourself. Then you got to live that way. And man, I'd rather have my kid get a nose ring than have unprotected sex.

David: Yeah, yeah. You have to choose your battles.

Annie: Absolutely. And if you are the kind of parent that says, no, no, no, no, all the time, you're likely to raise a kid who is one of two things, either they are very concerned about pleasing you and so they don't make a move without checking with you and getting your approval.

I don't think you want a young adult who can't think for themselves. Or they will sneak behind your back and really push the limits. Because you have kept them on too short a leash.

David: Yes. You kind of eluded to this a bit earlier. I think it's really an uphill battle for parents, these days, because of the impact of the media on the one hand and the impact of friend culture, youth culture, if you will, on the other.

I am a movie addict myself and I'm shocked at many of the movies that I go to, in terms of the sexualization of children, in terms of the lines that adults have written and put into the mouths of children, for example, the movie "Juno" which on the whole I found to be delightful.

I could enjoy it as an adult and a number of other movies that are kind of in that genre, but at the same time those movies seem to be setting up a kind of expectation that, oh, yea, this is going to be happening in high school or junior high.

Annie: I understand what you are saying. What was that movie rated?

David: You know, I don't know.

Annie: I'm guessing it was probably "R", if not for anything else but the language.

David: I'm not sure about that.

Annie: I'm pretty sure it was "R" which means the attempt is to say kids under 17 should be seeing this movie without a parent's permission.

I understand what you're saying about the films and the media and the pressure on girls especially, very young girls especially feel this pressure to become sexually active. And, it leads to all kinds of problems, but I'm also thinking that this is not a media issue as much as it is a parenting issue. You said before, maybe, I sound like I'm on the permissive end of parenting.

The truth is David and I, my husband and I - I think we're strict parents on some level if strict means our expectations are very clear here. And there will be consequences if you fail to meet our expectations.

Keeping agreements is something that we were extraordinarily consistent about. As a result, to our knowledge our kids did not sneak around and lie to us.

We talked about stuff that they wanted to do when they felt they were ready to move to the next level, whatever the next level was, in independence. We talked about it ahead of time. Often, they felt they were ready before we had caught up with the fact that they were ready. It's often a game of compromise.

The end result is that your kids are moving towards independence where they will be completely making their own decision. It doesn't make any sense to me if that is what you as a parent are training them towards to keep them on a short leash until graduation day in high school and then say: OK, now, make all your own decisions. It doesn't make any sense.

If you are feeling like the media and the friend and youth culture is impinging on your family values, then pull the plug. We're all so afraid to say: my kid would have a fit if I told them, hey, you know, Thursday night is family night or from seven to nine each evening we are unplugging all digital media. That includes parents answering emails and cell phones as well. We're going to just chill. [laughs]

David: OK.

Annie: If you create an oasis that is media free I think you have a good chance if you start it early and make it consistent and keep these ongoing conversations available to your kids, that you have a good chance of creating a foundation for them. You can't keep the world at bay nor do I think its responsible parenting to throw up your hands and say: I give up.

Dr. David. Yes. Yes. Let's talk a bit about dating, I'm wondering, do teens date anymore? I was shocked. One of my college teaching assistants recently told me that they don't date anymore in college. In his experience they are not dating. He says they go to parties; they get wasted and they "hook up". Is this what is going on in high school as well?

Annie: Try middle school. I think we of the twentieth century [laughs] called the process of dating for the most part, I think, a guy called a girl up and said, what are you doing Saturday night; do you want to go to a movie?

Dr. David. Exactly.

Annie: Or do you want to go to a dance at the school? Or whatever it was. Do you want to go bowling? And it was the two of you going somewhere together.

I think that definition has morphed into something that for some communities looks like group dating where you have a bunch of kids hanging out together. I think that can be extremely healthy and a good transition into what could come later as a one-on-one thing.

But, I also hear middle school kids use the term 'going out' or 'we're dating' when they reference someone in third period says, you want to go out and then the other person says OK.

And then for fourth and fifth period everyone says, did you hear they are going out and by sixth period they have broken up. So, is that dating? No, I don't think so. They call it that.

David: Right.

Annie: Yes, it is different, and parents need to be hip to that. They have to understand what are the social norms, within the group of friends that, your kid hangs out with. It's not necessarily something to be feared, but in terms of high school those parties can be problematic if parents aren't home or if in many cases parents have the idea that, well, OK yes, I will serve alcohol here because at least I'll know where they are drinking. That happens, too.

David: Yes, it does. I remember being concerned about that.

Annie: As well you should.

David: Those parents weren't really being responsible.

Annie: They are not being responsible, and they say, oh well, at least I'll know what's happening under my roof, but what they don't know is that often there is sexual behavior going on under their roof that's been lubricated by the alcohol that they've provided.

And the peer pressure that girls experience and boys as well to become sexually active or to hook up even in high school it can be very problematic.

You as the parents are somewhere in the house and have been mandated by your son or daughter: don't you dare come downstairs. And you think I'm here. I'm here in the house. I don't have a clue what's going on downstairs, but I'm here in the house. It's just ridiculous.

I have actually heard of people who went away for the weekend and said to their teenage son or daughter, it's OK. You can have a few friends over. And they were surprised when they found out later that 50 or 75 kids descended on the house.

David: Yeah. We've seen movies about that. I'm blocking on titles, but we've seen movies where exactly that scenario happens.

Annie: Yeah.

David: But the sub-text somehow, and I think these are movies that kids see and I think the sub-text is, that's just what happens. That is what's supposed to happen at some level.

Annie: It doesn't matter what kids see or expect. It is up to the parents. It's your home. It's your liability.

David: Right.

Annie: And it's your moral responsibility, in loco parentis, as they say. If kids are under your roof, you are their parent. You know, I am not real permissive, actually, at all.

David: OK. I'm starting to get that. [laughs]

Annie: But, I'm real big on building trust and actually communicating. And the other part of it, David, I think a lot of parents miss this. They need to model the kind of behavior that they want their kids to emulate.

If we're so upset that kids are emulating the behavior of actors, celebrities, friends who maybe don't share the same values as we do, then how about giving your kids some real role models in the way you are out in the world - not just what you say you want your kids to do but what do they see you doing in your relationship with the people that you work with, with your neighbors, with your spouse.

How are they seeing you handle conflicts, potentially awkward moments, situations where maybe your honesty is tested and your integrity? What are you showing your kids?

When, for example, you are at the supermarket and the cashier gives you more change than you are entitled to and your kid is right there, what do you do? Do you pocket it and go home, or do you say to the cashier, excuse me, you gave me too much change.

I know we used to call these in early childhood education teachable moments. Well, those don't go away. In fact, your kids observe you more than - and you know how critical they can be of you - well, they are watching you.

So, as a parent of a teen I think it behooves you to walk the walk. If that has to do with substance abuse, get your act together. If it has to do with being in control of your emotions when you're stressed out, get your act together because you are showing them something that you may not want them to emulate.

David: OK. Well, this sounds like wonderful advice. As we begin to wind down here, I think when I asked you about privacy that was an issue that was raised in yesterday's newspaper where there was a big story about how young people seem to have lost all sense of privacy in terms of the things they are exposing about themselves on Facebook and MySpace and other social networking sites.

What guidelines do you have for teens and parents in relation to that?

Annie: Most of the social networking sites have their own kind of terms of use agreements, and parents should read them. Many of them state a certain age that they say you need to be in order to register for these sites to set up your own pages.

I know for sure that many kids lie about how old they are. I know that there are 11 and 12 year olds setting up MySpace pages who then lie and say they are 16 or 17. They can't really do the math or they're not smart enough so they give their actual birth year. But, they say that they are 17 when you do the math and they're 12.

Parents need to know what their kids are doing online. Kids are very egocentric in that they believe that their experience is everybody's experience. It's all about me, but they are very shortsighted in terms of the bigger view. That's where parents need to come in.

So, if you were to ask your - again, I go back to daughters because daughters tend to be the ones who are posting more provocative pictures.

If you said to your daughter: would you put a huge billboard over the freeway with you dressed in your panties and bra with your phone number on it? They say: please, mom; of course not. You said: what do you think you've just done with this web page here? It's a way bigger billboard and not only that, many more people than just the people riding on 101 north are going to see it.

They are clueless. They are so naïve in terms of that, that if parents don't give them guidelines I don't know who will. Now, many parents I talk to about cyberspace will say: my kids know way more about this technology than I do. So, again, they've abdicated their parental role here to the detriment of their kids, I believe.

This is not a technology issue. It's a parenting issue. If your kids are online, you need to know what they are doing. If you have not given them clear guidelines about appropriate behavior online, educate yourself so that you can give them guidelines. The easiest thing to say is if you wouldn't say it don't post it.

If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't post it. If you wouldn't walk into a public space and announce yourself in a certain way in a bar, I know, in a train station, don't do it online and here's why, sweetheart.

There are plenty of sites, and I've got some links to them on my website that help parents educate themselves about topics of cyber safety. They really need to because it's like giving 12 year olds butcher knives or machetes and say: here, cut yourself a piece of cheese. It's too much weaponry, and kids are kids.

David: Yeah, and you mentioned your websites why don't you just tell us a bit about your websites.

Annie: Yeah, the easiest one to remember is anniefox.com that's a-n-n-i-e-f-o-x dot com. That's my site that kids can email me on, there are letters posted from other teens and parents. I answer them of course. There are parenting tips there. There are all kinds of online resources for parents.

My specific site for teenagers is called theinsite.org that's t-h-e-i-n-s-i-t-e dot org as in the cool site the "in" site, but it is also about being insightful. Being able to look inside to know what is it I'm feeling? How well do I know myself in terms of how I respond in situations make me uncomfortable?

It's really a very broad and deep site to help young people figure out what makes sense to them in the world, and there are lots of empowerment tips there. I'm a big proponent of kids taking charge of their own lives, but they need to be educated and self-aware in order to do wisely.

David: OK, well as we wind down, I wonder if there is anything that you haven't had a chance to say that you would like to say here.

Annie: If you are a parent listening to this and you have got a problem in your family that seems to be focused on your son or daughter, email me...annie@anniefox.com. You will never have to wait more than 24 hours to get an email response from me.

And I would say the same for any teenager who needs some help figuring out something right now. I'm an online resource for people. This is what I do. It is my work. Annie@anniefox.com and I will be more than happy to do anything I can to help you.

David: Well Annie that is such a generous offer. Annie Fox thanks so much for being my guest today on Wise Counsel.

Annie: My pleasure David, thanks for inviting me.

[music]

David: I hope you enjoyed this interview with my guest Annie Fox. Most of my guests in this series have been Psychologist and Psychiatrists. Annie is neither of these, but she is a psychologically sophisticated teacher with lots of wisdom for both teens and their parents.

I have been aware of Annie's work for quite a few years and recommend her to you without hesitation. Her websites at www.anniefox.com and www.theinsight.org are full of useful links and resources.

You have been listening to Wise Counsel a podcast interview spons0red by CenterSite LLC Until next time this is Doctor David Van Nuys and you have been listening to Wise Council.