Review: Help Your Kids with Growing Up by Robert Winston

Something a little different from me today!

My son Ollie is now 9, 10 in a couple of months time and while he’s still my little boy, he’s definitely growing up and changing.  He doesn’t always want to hold my hand walking to school any more, and he’s not quite as kissy and cuddly as he’s been in the past.  And with my nephew hitting 17 this year, there are lots of questions that I’m being asked about how bodies change when you are growing up, so I thought it was time I refreshed myself on the whole “puberty” business, as it was quite a while ago since I was involved! LOL!

So it was perfect timing when the opportunity came up to review Help Your Kids with Growing Up by Robert Winston, and I jumped at the chance, thinking that this could be just the book I need.  Because I have to be honest here, there’s a lot of things I’ve been putting off talking about.

So to the book! OMG! What a lot of information there is. Being female, I think I read the whole section about male puberty with an “ew” look on my face but realised that this is going to become our “go to” book over the coming years when I’m asked a question about bodies and “stuff” that goes on!

The book is bang up to date with a whole chapter about Digital Life, which teaches about staying safe online, privacy, social media, digital habits, digital footprints, false information, digital respect, cyber bullying etc.  I have to admit that this was a chapter that I found particularly useful.  I work in the digital world, so it was really good to refresh myself on this and look at how children can be affected and how we as parents can set good examples.  It certainly made me look at my digital bad habits and look at a plan of how to change this.

I particularly loved the chapter about Achieving Potential – starting with school life, hobbies and interests, money matters, careers and university and the alternatives to uni.  I particularly love the pages on goals and ambitions.  As someone who works a lot with goals and ambitions and visualisation and taking action, I really enjoyed the fact that there was a section about this really important part of life which can really help to inspire kids for their future.   There is also a section on Speaking up.  I think this will be a really useful one to go back to time and time again.

Ollie and I have read some sections of the book together.  There were a few “ews” and “yucks” through the Male Puberty chapter along with a few giggles and hiding behind hands too, but there was a lot that I was able to explain to him and with the help of the well laid out text, colourful illustrations and short, sharp sub sections, it was really easy to navigate through and reference.   There are “parent tips” and “teen hints” and “good to know” short tip sections too.

There are still some chapters which I think that at 9, I’m happy for him not to be reading yet. There’s plenty of time for that in the future and when I think that the time is right.

I really do feel that this is going to be a reference book that we’re going to be bringing out at lots of times over the coming years and I am really pleased to have found something to help me to answer lots of questions that come up along the way.  It’s a book that we are leaving lying around for either of us to reach out to when we feel the need.

Thank you to publishers Dorling Kindersley for this review copy.

Growing up, the transition from being a child to becoming a young adult, is one of the most amazing stages in a human’s whole life…By encouraging communication between parents and their children, we hope that many teenagers can approach this exciting stage in life with confidence and enjoyment, while feeling supported and understood.  Professor Robert Winston

About the book: 

Professor Richard Winston has written and published a new no-nonsense guide to puberty and adolescence.

Broken down into 12 key chapters, Help Your Kids With Growing Up covers every aspect of development from the age of 10 upwards. These include Growing Up, Female Puberty, Male Puberty, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Achieving Potential, Digital Life, Wider World, Families, Relationships, Sexuality and Sex. Combining no-nonsense text, engaging illustrations and bright graphics, the book has been designed in a way which makes information both clear and accessible, and easy to use with handy ‘teen hints’ and ‘parents tips’ highlighting key points throughout.

Covering everything from the menstrual cycle to sexting and even cyber-bullying, this visual guide to puberty and adolescence is a must-read for all parents and tweens embarking on those scary teenage years.

Help Your Kids with Growing Up is the only guide to cover contemporary issues such as internet safety, whilst also tackling key topics such as sexuality and body image. Expert-written content by Professor Robert Winston offers a straight-forward, unpatronizing approach to tricky topics, with special chapters on puberty by Dr Radha Modgil. Stunning graphics and illustrations make this invaluable for tweens and teens alike, whether as a quick-reference guide or cover-to-cover read.

Non-judgemental and up to date, this is the essential illustrated guide to adolescence for both parents and their teens.

You can buy this book here:

About Robert Winston:

Robert Winston is Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London and runs a research programme in the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology. He is an author and broadcaster and regularly writes and hosts popular science programmes, many of which have been shown around the world.

Previous DK books include the award-winning What Makes Me Me?, Science Experiments, Human, Science Year by Year, Utterly Amazing Human Body, Home Lab, The Skeleton Book and Utterly Amazing Science, winner of the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2015.


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Kim Nash