The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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I am 12 years old, 5' 4" in height, about 155 pounds, African American , started my period at age 10 and I haven't grown in a while. I started to grow when I was like 8, then at 10 I stopped. My sister says that I'm going to stop growing. This might be true since my parent are both 5' 6", but at times, I don't believe her. I don't know. Am I still going to grow, and does any of the information I gave you, affect my growth or my development pattern? My ideal height is 5' 9, and I'm not sure if I'll make it.


While it doesn't happen with boys, some girls do go through two shorter growth spurts instead of one long one. I cannot say if this will happen to you or not. To know absolutely for sure, a doctor can take an x-ray of your wrist to see if you growth plates (the areas at the end of your bones where the bones grow) are still open or not. Otherwise, you can use the Tanner Stage Calculator for Girls to determine approximately what stage you have reached in your development. If you are in stage four, then you will not likely grow much more than an inch or so. If you are already in stage five, then your growth is finished.

Thank you! The calculator said that I am at stage 4, which doesn't make me feel much better, because I am only 12; however, I am very grateful of you helping me! My mom is taking me to see the doctor next week to test if I have diabetes. (I have five reasons why I might have it.) So, when I am there, I will ask about the growth plates. But, another question (I have a LOT of questions, but I don't want to bother you right now): well, a lot of sites and books say that the average girl is supposed to stop growing around 14 or 15, but why do you think my growth stopped so early? Is there anything I could do or eat that can help me grow more? (food, drinks, activities, etc.)

It generally takes about five years for a girl's body to change from a child to an adult. If you start early, you are likely to end early. The average time for a girl to start is at age 10 and to finish at age 15. So if you started at age 8, then you would expect to be completely done around age 13.

Diseases can trigger puberty earlier than normal, or delay puberty. That is often why doctors want to see girls who show signs of puberty before the age of eight. Diabetes is known to trigger earlier than normal puberty. Since I don't know when you started puberty, I can't comment whether this is what happened to you or not.

The increased hormones present in adolescence is known to make people who are borderline diabetics worse because the same hormones that regulate growth also interfere with insulin. Children who know they have diabetes have to be extra careful after puberty.

Good nutrition and good health allows your body to take full advantage of its potential, but it won't allow you to grow beyond the potential that exists in your genes. While the growth plates are open, there are some VERY expensive treatments that can encourage extra growth, but because of the expense and the added risks, doctors usually reserve these for children who are very small. Once your growth plates begin to shutdown, which is what happens in stage four, nothing can be done to open them back up.

Thank you again. But, when you say "when I started puberty" do you mean when I started my period, or do you mean when I started my growth spurt? If it's my period then 10, but I think my first growth spurt came at 8. My next question: 3 out of about 7: 

As you get older and when your hips widen and your breasts develop, does your waist begin to get smaller also? That is what my sister told me, but I'm not sure. because my hips are pretty wide, and my breast are bigger than most of my friends, but I'm not so sure about my waist.

Puberty is a point in time when you begin the changes from a child's body to an adult's body. Adolescence is that period of time when the changes take place. Officially puberty is marked when your hormones rise to start the chain of changes in reaction to those hormones. Generally this happens about one year prior to the first outward signs of changes. That is why you will see books talk about changes in your breasts and body hair as being secondary sexual characteristics. The primary one is the hormones in your blood, which is not visible.

Most people don't have their hormones measured, so it common to say that puberty took place when the first outward sign of it showed up. Eight is considered to be at the earliest edge of a normal range.

Optical IllusionPeople tend to measure things relative to other things. This is what causes optical illusions. In the image on the right, the two center dots are the same size, but because the left dot is surrounded by large dots it looks smaller than the one surrounded by small dots.

Now, as you grow, you do consume a large number of calories and that causes your body to slim down a bit, but I believe what your sister is referring to is that your waist appears to be smaller because your chest and hips are now larger. If you use a measuring tape, you probably will find that your waist has remained about that same size. It is just that everything around it has gotten bigger.