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This Is So Awkward summary

Cara Natterson & Vanessa Kroll Bennett

Modern Puberty Explained

4.1 (19 ratings)
19 mins
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    This Is So Awkward
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    Modern puberty hits different

    Remember puberty? For most of us, it started around age 11 and lasted 3 or 4 awkward years. But puberty today is shockingly different. It starts far younger, takes much longer, and unfurls alongside the confusing whirlwind that is social media.

    Puberty is traditionally defined as the path to sexual maturity – including everything from growth spurts to body hair to the first period. But it also brings huge changes to skin, bones, and, most profoundly, the brain. So let's define puberty broadly as all the social, emotional, and physical changes kids undergo on their path to adulthood. 

    These changes should be familiar to any adult. We’re all survivors of puberty! But over the last few decades, the onset and duration of puberty have shifted quite a bit. 

    Research shows that the average age puberty begins has plunged over one year per decade since the 1950s. Why? No one is sure. Factors may include diet, chemicals, and obesity, but the issue is complex. While periods start around the same age, kids begin physical changes far younger, creating a huge lag before their brains fully mature in their mid-20s.

    Another change is that puberty itself stretches nearly a decade now versus four years in the past. This means an awkward decade when bodies turn adult but decision-making stays woefully teenager.

    But what impacts modern puberty most has to be social media. Preteens explore identity on apps disconnected from parents, and information spreads fast, for better or worse. It’s no surprise that teenagers have more body image issues than ever before. Stress, anxiety and depression are on the rise too. 

    Puberty will never be easy. But understanding its evolution helps everyone adjust. With social changes from technology to new norms around gender and sexuality, parents have a responsibility to compassionately guide kids through this rite of passage. Because one thing never changes – kids need the loving support of their parents as they develop into adults.

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    What is This Is So Awkward about?

    This Is So Awkward (2023) is the ultimate guide to navigating the cringeworthy, bewildering realm of adolescence. Blending scientific insight with compassion and frankness, this indispensable toolkit helps adults support teens through the tumultuous journey growing up.

    This Is So Awkward Review

    This Is So Awkward (2022) offers practical advice on navigating the challenges of adolescence and developing healthy relationships. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It provides insightful guidance on communication, body image, friendships, and more, helping young people navigate the awkwardness of growing up.
    • Combining expert knowledge and personal stories, the book offers relatable examples, making it engaging and relatable for its target audience.
    • The book's humorous and relatable tone keeps readers entertained and makes the sometimes uncomfortable topics feel approachable and less daunting.

    Who should read This Is So Awkward?

    • Parents of tweens and teens looking for guidance on puberty-related issues
    • Teachers looking for advice on leading puberty education and supporting students
    • Coaches and mentors interested in understanding teen experience 

    About the Author

    Cara Netterson is a pediatrician and a leading voice on puberty and adolescent health. She’s written several books, including the bestselling The Care & Keeping of You series, with over seven million copies in print.

    Vanessa Kroll Bennett is a puberty expert, writer, and podcaster who helps adults navigate uncertainty while supporting kids. She is co-host of The Puberty Podcast & founder of Dynamo Girl, a company building kids’ self-esteem through sports and education.

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    This Is So Awkward FAQs 

    What is the main message of This Is So Awkward?

    The main message of This Is So Awkward is understanding and navigating through puberty with confidence and empowerment.

    How long does it take to read This Is So Awkward?

    The reading time for This Is So Awkward varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is This Is So Awkward a good book? Is it worth reading?

    This Is So Awkward is a valuable read for anyone going through puberty. It provides helpful insights, advice, and relatable stories to navigate this challenging phase.

    Who is the author of This Is So Awkward?

    The authors of This Is So Awkward are Cara Natterson & Vanessa Kroll Bennett.

    How many chapters are in This Is So Awkward?

    This Is So Awkward has 8 chapters.

    How many pages are in This Is So Awkward?

    This Is So Awkward contains 256 pages.

    When was This Is So Awkward published?

    This Is So Awkward was published in 2021.

    What to read after This Is So Awkward?

    If you're wondering what to read next after This Is So Awkward, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Teenage Brain by Frances E. Jensen & Amy Ellis Nutt
    • Thicker Than Water by Kerry Washington
    • Gifted and Distractible by Julie F. Skolnick
    • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
    • Growing Up in Public by Devorah Heitner
    • Brainstorm by Daniel J. Siegel
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do by Amy Morin
    • Retrain Your Brain by Seth J. Gillihan
    • Stop Checking Your Likes by Susie Moore
    • DEI Deconstructed by Lily Zheng