I’m not changing fast enough!

Last updated on September 26, 2020


I had the first sign of puberty at about my 12th birthday, and feel my body is going through puberty far too slowly. I’ve only been beginning one new change per year. So at 12 years old, my testes drop, and growth there is suddenly halted, then at 13 my voice dropped, and hadn’t changed from then. At 14, some pubic hair growth has happened slowly, but consistently. The past year I have grown four inches which is the primary marker of stage three. I grew at that rate for a full year, but nothing else has really happened. My penis hasn’t grown since birth and my facial structure has been the same since kindergarten (tiny chin the size of the tip of my pinky, weak jawline, etc.), my shoulders still narrow.

I’m starting high school in a couple of months, and I feel like this is social suicide. Basically, my held back development has been affecting my life. In anything physical, like a swim meet, a race, sports game, or anything physical, I am always defeated by other guys my age. I’ve never really met someone my age who is as small as me. I just don’t want to feel weak in front of my peers in high school, or if a weak facial structure would be seen unattractive. I always feel like a target when walking alone on the street as I almost got kidnapped once even though my dad says I’m past the age when I’d be vulnerable to that, but my body isn’t! All I ask of myself is that I just want to be at least a little less of that little boy than I was last year! I don’t want to walk into high school looking like a sixth grader! I was always rejected in grade school, always the shortest in the class.

Weeks, months, years passing by, and barely anything changes! I talked to my dad about it a little, and he told me that on his side of the family, we are slower developers. I figured it was hereditary, but to go through only one change a year is just too slow, then I wouldn’t finish puberty until I’m 30! It just effects me in so many ways and would affect me, even more, when I grow older, when I start driving, have a job, etc. So basically, my question is that this has been bothering me so horribly. I think my life would be so much better, that I can live a regular high school life, and would do wonders for my self-confidence if my body just picks up the pace for once! When will things really start happening?


For boys, the stages of development are roughly two years in length. It generally takes about eight years to get through all the changes — you’ve only been at it for two years so far. To notice signs of changing at 12 only puts you about a year behind the average, which is well within the normal range.

There are more changes going on than you probably realize. Since you are focused on a few, you are overlooking or discounting the other changes that you don’t care about. Still, the changes will come in the proper order and at the proper time for you. Just be patient.