The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I am very close to seeing a doctor at this point, but I stumbled upon this website. My main concern is what could my height be and if I can possibly grow taller.

First, I am a Korean. I am 14 years old. Right now, I am 5 '6 and I weigh 128 pounds. My dad is roughly 5 '8 and my mom is 5 '2. My growth was about an average of most kids until grade I was 9 years old. Then I got taller than most kids by about 2-3 inches until I was 11 years old. Then starting from when I was 12 years old until 14 years old, many of my schoolmates grew to my height and even taller! I am a skinny type of person. When I was 13 years old, I would usually only have 6 hours of sleep per day and I did not grow more than an inch. Now that I am 14, many of the "short" kids are starting to be 1 - 2 inches from my height and I am getting scared. I have heard that you grow a lot during ages 13 - 15 but I have not seen significant growth since I was 11 years old.

As for my physical features, I have quite an amount of pubic hair around my crotch. I have a very tiny amount of armpit hair on both sides, I have no hair in my thighs and my chest. I have a bit more than average hairy legs. I got worried and I asked my father about when he had his growth spurt. He said that he grew rapidly when he was 15. Will I have the same growth spurt with my father? I would really like to grow more and be taller. Most of my meals are on bacon and eggs. Will I grow anymore? Can you give an estimate of when my growth spurt will be? Can you give me my final height?

Jason (age 14)

I get so many questions like yours, I finally put together a little calculator to estimate a boy's stage of development. To estimate what stage of development you are in, see the Tanner Stage Calculator for Boys.

Before we get into specifics, let's understand a very important concept: every adult is a different height. There will always be someone taller than you and someone shorter than you. You had become used to being the tallest child in your class for a while but it appears that it was because you developed earlier than your peers. Now that they are reaching their growth spurts, the comparative heights will change. The second thing you need to realize is that you maximum height is set by the genes you inherited from your parents. Eating poorly or having a severe disease might cause you to not reach your maximum potential height, but there is nothing you can do to increase your maximum height. As Jesus said, "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" (Luke 12:25).

My guess from your description of yourself is that you are in stage 4 of development. You had your growth spurt early in puberty. It is a bit unusual for it to happen at age nine but it does happen to some. There is a theory among growth and development experts that very early and very late developers don't get as tall as those near the middle. Children typically grow one to two inches a year through their childhood. Thus an early growth spurt means you started at a shorter height. However, early developers tend to stay in adolescence for more years; that is, they tend to develop at a slower rate. While late developers tend to start at a larger size, they also don't stay in adolescence as long, so they don't add as much to their height as the average boy.

I do have a calculator that predicts height, but it assumes an average development period. In your case it can be way off. The Gray Method predicts by genetics, using your parent's height. From that it says that most boys with a father of 5'8" and a mother of 5'2" will be 5'7", but it can be off by up to five inches. The KGH method tries to factor in your current height and weight to "guess" how well you have been eating, but its tables were built on a large survey of American children. Thus it is a bit skewed to give too high of readings because Americans tend to be taller than much of the world and it doesn't factor in early or late development.

Given that you are in stage 4, I would guess that you will put on another inch, perhaps an inch and a half over the next several years. Most of your growth will be in your trunk region. That is between the shoulders and waist, which grow slower that the rest of the body. I looked up on the Internet and found that the average male in Korea is 5'7". Therefore, you will be right at average; that is, about half the people you know will be taller than you and half will be shorter than you.