Growing Up is Hard to Do, yet there are very few comprehensive “how to” manuals for young people, to help them negotiate and understand what momentous changes occur on the winding road between infancy and adulthood. In this helpful, highly readable manual, Dr. Spence, an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, with further sub-specialty training in Pediatric Gynecology, examines each stage of development, pointing out the many difficulties that may be encountered along the way. He tackles the issues head-on: conception, the early years, off to school with potential bullying, childhood sexual abuse and what happens during puberty. In warm, empathetic, and accessible language, concerns like sex, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and gender issues are discussed. In addition, he delves into subjects such as smoking, alcohol, marijuana, illegal drug use and the risks of the Internet and teenage driving. Nutrition, obesity, anorexia and exercise are highlighted. The last chapter comments on the value of completing one’s education and choosing an appropriate career.
In treating young people for over forty years, Dr. Spence has seen many teenagers and their families suffer the tragic consequences of poor or uninformed choices. He wrote Growing Up is Hard to Do to provide honest, unfiltered information in the hope of helping young readers avoid many of the “potholes” of early life. Though the book is written specifically for young people negotiating growing up, parents, caregivers and teachers will also find it very helpful in providing information and context for further discussion.