The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Hi. I am really confused as to what stage of puberty I am in, and am really concerned if I am going to get any taller. Since last year, I don't think I have really grown that much, but I do think that I have put on weight and have grown like an inch, though my weight is only a little bit more than it was last year around this time (like 3-5 pounds heavier).

I have signs of being in mixed stages of puberty. For example, my pubic hair has all the characteristics of stage 4 except I am growing some much less denser hair on the part where your thigh is about to start, which sounds like it would indicate being in stage 5 of puberty. I noticed this about a half year ago, and I don't think it has increased anymore since then. However, I don't really grow any facial hair, and the only hair that I have to shave sometimes is the hair on my upper lip. I do grow really light peach fuzz on my chin, and have some lighter hair on my lower lip, but it is about the same length of the hair on my upper lip. Also I have some sideburns, but you can't see them unless you are really close to me and look in the right kind of light.

My dad is about 5'11 and my mom is about 5'4. The only short person in my family is my one grandpa who is 5'5 currently, but has shrunk a lot and use to be 5'7 or 5'8. Also, I think I am a bit narrower in the shoulders than my dad, but my broadness is about the same as my grandpa who I seem to take after in height.

Please send me a response, I get really depressed a lot at school because of my height. I am really short compared to all of my friends (and most of us started puberty at the normal time). I am afraid that I may not grow anymore, or just end up being like 5'7 and be short my whole life. I want to be like 5'8 or a little taller. Thank you.


Let's start out facing some harsh realities in life. Not everyone gets to be six foot tall. Humans are not that consistent. Currently the average male height in the United States is 5'9" tall. Being the average, that means some are taller and some are shorter. The median height, where half the people are taller and half the people are shorter is just under 5'10".

You can spend the rest of your life wishing that you were taller, but that won't make it happen. "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" (Luke 12:25). I know people who would love to have what you've been granted in your life. It is so sad when people focus on what they don't have and never take the time to appreciate what they do have.

The World Is Mine

by Dot Aaron

Today, upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair,
I envied her, she seemed so gay, and wished I were as fair,
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one leg, and wore a crutch; and as she passed -- a smile.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two legs. The world is mine.

And then I stopped to buy some sweets; the lad who sold them had such charm,
I talked with him, he seemed so glad -- if I were late 'twould do no harm,
And as I left he said to me: "I thank you. You have been so kind,
It's nice to talk to folks like you. You see, he said, "I'm blind."

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes. The world is mine.

Later, walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue,
He stood and watched the others play; it seemed he knew what to do,
I stopped a moment, then I said: "Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears. The world is mine.

With legs to take me where I'd go,
With eyes to see the sunset's glow,
With ears to hear what I would know,
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I'm blessed indeed. The world is mine.

Now that I've scolded you, and hopefully got your thinking more sound, let's talk about your stage of development.

While people follow a general pattern for growth and development, we are still each individuals. And for all our knowledge about the human body, we are still guessing about many things. The best standard for determining physical growth in height is an x-ray of the bones in your hand. As you mature from childhood to adult, the bones in your hand change shape and number in a fairly set pattern. But this only covers physical height. There are many other changes taking place as well.

Dr. Tanner developed a scale to estimate the progress of development by looking at the secondary characteristics of growth. They are called secondary because the things looked at are not directly involved in physical growth, but like the changes in your bones, they follow a fairly set pattern. But each set of patterns are not necessarily coordinated with other sets. For example, the pattern of your hair growth may not be precisely aligned with your physical height or the size of your testicles. They are only roughly close.

Since I can't see everyone who asks me where they are in the Tanner stages of development, I wrote a small program that asks you the basic questions regarding each of the sets that a doctor or someone else knowledgeable about growth would look at and it then makes an assessment as to where you are in development. One of the things I factored into the program is a weighting regarding how accurately I believe a person could assess himself on that characteristic. Studies show that boys tend to overrate themselves. I assume you took the Tanner Stages of Development Calculator for Boys.

From your description, it appears you are in mid to late stage 4. Each stage lasts about two years. Yes, hair on the inner thighs is a definitive trait of being in stage 5, but it is not something that instantly appears on day as you cross "the line." The fact that you are seeing it means you are over half way through stage 4. Since you didn't mention chest hair, I am assuming that hasn't appeared yet. Since your facial hair isn't strongly developed and you had some growth in the last year, I would guess that you haven't reached stage 5 yet. There are other factors that would confirm that guess, but this should be accurate enough. If this is really bothering you, you could ask your doctor.

Given that guess, you are likely to only grow less than an inch in the next year, if that much. However, there will still be a number of other changes taking place for the next three to four years, such as widening shoulders, body hair, facial hair, and mental development.