OH GROW UP … Toddlers to PreTeens Decoded

By Kathy Fray

From the author of the ever popular book “OH BABY … Birth, Babies & Motherhood Uncensored” comes this, her next installment: “OH GROW UP … Toddlers to PreTeens Decoded”.

Renowned for her ability to ‘cut through the crap’, Kathy is a parenting author with a unique writing genre, that blows the cobwebs off antiquated ideologies, while engaging the reader with entertaining realism – including comprehensive explanations of each age stage of childhood development; getting to the bottom of the good, bad & ugly with pharmaceutical medications; effective natural health remedies and healing therapies; nutrition as you’ve probably never seen it explained before; and phenomenal enlightenment into fully grasping our children’s innate individual personalities.

Kathy describes OH GROW UP as being about “parenting with spirit” – strength, guts, soul – whatever “spirit” means to you. The result is a truly remarkable eclectic fusion of ordinary old-school middle-of-the-road methodologies, combined with extraordinary old-age-new-age philosophies … including Parenting’s 21 Golden Insights, 21 Magical Secrets, and 21 Universal Principles.

OH GROW UP is written for parents anywhere in the world because such knowledge is universal, and the book is divided into four distinct sections:

  • AGE STAGE OVERVIEWS – Understanding the physical, intellectual and social-emotional development of children, through each different age
  • CHILDREN’S BODIES – Parenting using Physiological IQ
  • CHILDREN’S MINDS – Parenting using Intellectual IQ
  • CHILDREN’S SPIRITS – Parenting using Soulful IQ

As Kathy explains “These days, parenting with spirit is about being equipped to empower our children to learn who they are and what they stand for – and so this book is rational and radical, sensible and ethereal, credible and incredible … just like our kids.

Available in printed hard-copy and downloadable e-Book

Chapter Topics


THE ‘TODDLING’ TOTS – One & Two Year Olds
Physical development, Intellectual development, Social-emotional development

THE ‘PLAYFUL’ PRE-SCHOOLER – Three & Four Year Olds
Physical development, Intellectual development, Social-emotional development

Physical development, Intellectual development, Social-emotional development

THE ‘WANNABE TALENTEDS’ – Seven to Nine Year Olds
Physical development, Intellectual development, Social-emotional development, Moral development

THE PUBESCENT PRETEEN – Ten to Twelve Year Olds
Physical development, Intellectual development, Social-emotional development, Moral development, Looking to the future – identity vs role.


Parenting using Physiological IQ

Living in a Toxic World
Overfed yet undernourished, Holistic health

‘WHOLISTIC’ NUTRITION for Physiological Wellness
Nutrition IQ, Dump the junk daily diet strategy, A-Z of Extraordinary Foods, Food additives to avoid

NATURAL HEALTH – Remedies & therapies for wellness & health
Wholistic wellness plan, Trendy old natural healing remedies, trendy old natural depression remedies, A-Z of natural healing therapies

DISEASES, DRUGS & NATURAL ALTERNATIVES – The good, the bad & the ugly
Pill for every ill & bill for every pill, A-Z of Diseases, conditions, drugs & natural alternatives


Parenting using Intellectual IQ

Hardware and Software
The Mind’s Hardware (the brain); The Mind’s Software (personality & intelligence)

PERSONALITIES! PERSONALITIES! – Each so magical & mystical!
Personality overview, Personality typing, NLP, Love languages, Birth order, Scholastic education styles, Divine destinies (astrology, numerology).

THE FOUR NEW IQs – Environmental IQ, Cosmopolitan IQ, OldAge-NewAge IQ, Streetwise IQ
Environmental IQ (knowledgeable children caring for their planet);
Cosmopolitan IQ (insightful children understanding the faiths of others);
Old-Age New-Age IQ (discerning children appreciation the beliefs of others);
Streetwise IQ (empowered children safe from illicit drugs)


Parenting using Soulful IQ

Teaching Soul

Parents of the void, Oh God what the hell do we tell them?!




​Allison Roe MBE, world records in the marathon & 20k

‘Kathy Fray really gets it. Her parenting philosophy is holistic, centred and well-grounded, and her views on nutrition and wellbeing are informative and inspired. I personally believe the motherhood experience makes everything else in life pale into insignificance, but we need mentoring and tools to be the best parents we can be, so am delighted to recommend Oh Grow Up to any parent of young children and indeed, to anyone who wants to live a more healthy life.’ ​Allison Roe MBE, world records in the marathon & 20k

​Barbara Kendall, MBE, Olympic & World Champion WindSurfer

“I finally got to read your book… WOW it is great and touches on so may areas I have been working on and has all the same philosophies I have lived with for many years!! Such a great easy, practical, humorous read that is full of learning and many reminders that you can do a better job in so many areas with a shift of mind set and behaviours”. Barbara Kendall, MBE, Olympic & World Champion WindSurfer

​​Dame Susan Devoy, DNZM CBE, World Champion Squash Player

‘I have over the years devoured many ‘parenting books’ – in fact my husband even gave me one last Mothers Day … is that a man’s idea of the perfect gift? But just as we encourage our children to become life-long learners, the same principles apply to parenting – and there are always new ideas and approaches that can help prepare you to face the challenges of raising children. This book is like a ‘Bible’ not to be ingested in one sitting but something to refer to many, many times as you share the different milestones with your children. It is comprehensive, covering a multitude of topics and undoubtedly a great resource to call upon. This is a modern up-to-date parenting manual that addresses many of today’s issues.’ ​Dame Susan Devoy, DNZM CBE, World Champion Squash Player

​​Rob Hamill, Trans-Atlantic Rowing Champion & author of The Naked Rower

‘I have three energetic boys yet confess to having never read a parenting book before. Perhaps I perceived they were, as Kathy puts it, ‘patronising, pious, mothercraft books, with condescending definitions of the perfect parent.’ Well then, this no-nonsense guide is not how parenting books are supposed to be! It has got, as Kathy says, ‘so much incredible and fascinating stuff to tell you!’ that it’s difficult to put it down. You can randomly flick to a page and immediately be drawn in. I wish I had read it eight years ago when we were starting our family. Oh Grow Up is pacey, easy to read, and incredibly informative. It’s as up-front, humorous and hard hitting as Muhammad Ali and punches above its weight with its non-politically correct stance on many parenting issues. And the comprehensive nutrition and health ‘power to the people’ sections (which can be treated as a reference tool for dealing with health issues) are compulsory reading. So, please please please read it. Same goes for the entire Western World; someone needs to deliver a copy (or two) to Oprah!’ Rob Hamill, Trans-Atlantic Rowing Champion & author of The Naked Rower

​​Ray Richards, NZ’s leading Literary Agent

OH GROW UP is an amazing manuscript. There is a touch of genius in your work, especially the ability to read and research so widely, to extract the knowledge and wisdom that you discover, and integrate it into a powerful and comprehensive narrative. I have not known another person who possesses that remarkable grouping of qualities. Equally to the point you have friendships and relationships with all manner of people who you talk with, and you consult and quote, and who you retain as close personal friends … The closest comparison I know is in the books of Bill Bryson … One impressive lady, as determined as an elephant and as soft-hearted as a bird of paradise. Ray Richards, NZ’s leading Literary Agent

​​Heidi Hendrikse, Daily Post

Not only does Fray give parenting tips that really work, but she also includes discussions about physical development, nutrition, diseases, drugs and remedies and many other topics. The chapter on personality types is a great help in tailoring your parenting style to your child’s character. Heidi Hendrikse, Daily Post

​​Catherine Campbell, Nelson Mail

This is a comprehensive book with topics ranging from age-stage overviews and nutrition through to the A-Z of diseases and drugs together with their natural alternatives. It is a reference book to dip in and out of as you see fit; otherwise, you could be in serious danger of neglecting your child, as it’s easy to get caught up in the next interesting chapter! Thanks to this broad base of information there is something for everyone, from first-time parents to, as Fray rather eloquently puts it, “the gnarled, well-honed, old-hand guru grandparent”. Fray is opinionated and she makes no apologies for this. In her author’s note she admits that there may be parts of the book which are “a tad too out there or new to your thinking” … Her essential philosophy is one of holistic health and this comes across strongly in her guide. She talks about parenting the whole child – physically, emotionally and spiritually … use it to understand and enjoy your children. Catherine Campbell, Nelson Mail

​​Her Magazine

Personally, I devoured the parts about ages and stages. I agreed wholeheartedly with the chapter on being environmentally aware and responsible … Read this if you like Diane Levy [or] Nigel Latta. Her Magazine


Employing her usual approach of insights from a parent who has done the hard yards, as opposed to those from a parenting expert, Kathy Fray brings us excellent material outlining the physical, mental, social and emotional developmental stages of every age of childhood. Her advice is clear … and is a welcome input to those of us who are confused about the plethora of advice available. As Kathy herself describes it, Oh Grow Up is about ‘parenting with spirit – strength, guts, soul’. Kidspot

Kiwi Mummy Blogs

As I see it there are 2 parenting styles the salmons and the apples. The salmon-like parent chooses to swim upstream ignoring the flow of the majority. Making the tough choices, gasping for air and really LIVING life. Salmons know the direction they are going in and they set themselves determinedly (if that is a word!) to achieve their course. Apple parents are like an apple-bobbing barrel. They float around next to everyone else and don’t try too hard to experience the highs and lows of parenting. Everything is average and as soon as a new idea plops in the barrel they all splosh about a bit then go back to what they were doing before. Apple parenting is easier probably, not as many hard decisions to make just a lot of doing what everyone else is doing. Apples don’t have to make decisions for their children they just do what everyone else is doing. I think Kathy Fray would be a salmon in this analogy. Her book is very comprehensive. It’s not just about parenting styles and getting your offspring to turn into healthy, contributing adults it’s about everything. It’s a bit like having a readily accessible experienced (and opinionated) parent who has a large dose of nutritional and health background and a generous swig of hippy (and I mean this as a compliment) thrown in for good measure … I really like that she treats a child as body (lots of health, food, alternative medicines), soul (parenting with strength and love, building relationships) and spirit (values/morals, the fourth dimension, eternal). Many great parenting books are pretty much all soul, which is fine and necessary but we are people with a physical body and, most important to me, a spirit … Kathy’s writing style is easy to follow and pretty relaxed, be prepared for a few expletives. The book covers toddlers to teens but the food and medical stuff is relevant to anyone … She’s not a PC ‘everything you choose is okay’ type which I love. I think as parents we all need to be more salmon and less apple in order to help our children grow up to become strong, loving and whole adults who will be healthy in body, soul and spirit. Kiwi Mummy Blogs

Angela Patterson (Early Childhood Teacher), Soul Destiny Foundation

Her introduction cuts to the chase clearly outlining her intent and dispelling with the myth of parental perfection. Truthfully and succinctly Fray describes her latest book as ‘eclectic, boundless and liberated; it’s eccentric, unconventional, alternative and passionate; and once again has an undercurrent of spiritual awe for parenthood and life.’ The honesty of her delivery style gives a balanced perspective that culminates in a refreshingly informative and grounding presentation. This is not a clinical prescription for those afflicted with offspring; moreover, it reads as a relaxed chat with an experienced traveller … one with an open file of well-schooled contacts. Fray’s wise work is supported throughout with quotes and avenues for further reading. This effectively positions OH GROW UP as a key resource, one with depth and scope for guidance from both within and beyond its covers. Fray has developed her gentle, funny and non-judgemental book in a way that is both thought provoking and relevant to all people spending time with children. By first covering general developmental steps the reader can familiarise with the style of her vehicle in preparation for the interesting journey ahead through sections discussing the care and nurturance of the mind body and soul. Each chapter combines the perfect measures of humour, fact and experience to maintain the high energy nature of this book. There is something for everyone in this enlightened decoding of those parenting myths, whether you take what you need and pop back for the rest later, or read and re-read. This is a very practical book that will resonate. Angela Patterson (Early Childhood Teacher), Soul Destiny Foundation


I’m almost finished reading “Oh Grow Up” and I just wanted to drop you a note to say how fabulous it is! So readable, interesting and entertaining. I love your holisitc, diverse and accessible approach. Thank you, once again, for providing a guiding light through the winding tunnels of parenthood!! Warmest appreciation, Jessica


Forget a New Zealand guide, this book should go international. It really resonates with a shift in thinking about raising kids in the 21st century and offers insightful solutions. Well done you. Nikki

Glenys, Foster Mum

Dear Kathy, I just want to say a huge ‘thank-you’ to you … I’ve found it very enlightening and I love the way it’s written … I particularly enjoyed the section on ‘Children’s Spirits’. The way you have written that is so real and open and honest. Many thanks again. Glenys, Foster Mum


I’ve just finished reading Oh Grow Up! FANTASTIC!! I’ll be arranging for a few copies for our Parents Centre library too! The book won’t live on my shelf amongst my other parenting books – I have well over 40, as with 3 kids under 3 I needed all the help I could get! Now with baby 4 on the way (and the 3 now aged 2, 3 and 4!) I need books like yours, that dont ‘dumb’ me, since I have my own knowledge, but help me fill the gaps when I have forgotten or stumble across something new. Anyway, it won’t live on that shelf, but rather will live in my kitchen with my recipe books, simply because I found your chapters on homeopathics and other remedies so damn useful. I’m no stranger to alternative health but your guide is so simple, so now I feel I can make the next leap and really get it involved within our family. And I’m working on the food thing too, I think your chapter will help me polish that, and give me the encouragement to make the final changes I need to… This is an amazing book, I’ll refer to it often! THANKS!! Ashlee

Vanessa, Mum

Kathy, your 2 books “Oh Baby” and “Oh Grow Up” are just fantastic – thank you! The books really resonate with me and the direction I’d like to take as a parent. You know these days I’m referring to either of those books on a weekly basis. Really looking forward to your next book coming out. Vanessa, Mum

Karen, Mum

Hi Kathy, I’m loving the new book and try to feed my family as well as possible. I found chapter 6 brilliant. Thanks Karen

Gaylene, Mother

Just wanted to say thanks for the book – a real gem. Has been my bible especially for the first 4 months … your book covered it all for me and our lovely new son … I have recommended your book to lots of friends and to the local hospital … Thanks again for writing a book with all the facts but in such good humour. Looking forward to reading your next books as he grows up. You are right the intrepid journey of motherhood is amazing. until you become one you don’t understand how special it is. Gaylene, Mother

Rebecca, Mum

Oh Baby was my bible for my first baby and now my second. And I’m so excited to be reading this next book too. Will be a book I refer back to many times throughout my kids childhood. You’re amazing Kathy Fray!! Rebecca, Mum