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Ds anxious about lack of development (puberty).

(29 Posts)
Solo Thu 20-Jun-13 12:26:33

My Ds will be 15 in August. He's 6'3" and very slim and came to me in tears last night.

He told me he's worried about his lack of underarm hair (school kids take the mickey) and muscle mass ~ or lack of it and that his voice will not break. He has a mass of pubic hair (though he seems to think it's not) and as far as I can tell, everything in his boxers is developing normally.
He says he's spent days on the internet looking at possible reasons for it and has come up with something that says a lack of sleep can cause a delay, and he does have sleep issues that I've had him to the doctor about, but was no help if I'm honest.
I've tried to reassure him that everyone develops at a different rate, but of course, he doesn't want to be lagging behind.
Can anyone give any thoughts or advice that I can help him with or is anyone else going through this with their child or gone through it and come out the other side with minimal 'damage' as I'm at a loss really.

Ds doesn't know his father, so can't talk to a man about it and also doesn't know his paternal history etc, so doesn't know if it's a family trait being late.
My brother's voice never 'broke' it just deepened, but his Ds's voice did seem to break.

Argh! what a minefield!!

wigglybeezer Thu 20-Jun-13 12:32:20

My DS1 is the same age and has virtually no underarm hair, he does have a deep voice though, no idea about pubes, he hasn't let me see him naked since he was about ten. His development doesn't really sound behind to me but it sounds as though he needs a trip to the GP for reassurance.

Solo Thu 20-Jun-13 12:40:23

Thanks wiggly I think my Ds wouldn't worry so much if he had a deep voice. He just has a tiny patch of armpit hair.

I may take him to the GP, but I was trying not to make it too big a deal for him. Taking him to the doctor might make him more anxious.

claraschu Thu 20-Jun-13 12:45:08

The doctor will tell him it's normal.

Some boys just develop late; I know a few like this. There is some evidence that developing late means doing other things late too (like dying). I'm not sure where I read that, so not sure it's reliable, but it might cheer him up!

Silverfoxballs Thu 20-Jun-13 12:45:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Solo Thu 20-Jun-13 13:04:36

I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow for myself, so I might throw in a quick question as well.

Yes, I'm glad I've always been really open with Ds; I've always told him that he can ask me anything at all and that I'll answer him honestly, that other kids/boys/teens wont necessarily know what they are talking about. I don't ever want my Dc's doing what I did and having 'playground lessons!!' hmm, talking about this kind of stuff, plus sex and all sorts and not knowing what's true and what isn't. Children deserve better IMO.

secretscwirrels Thu 20-Jun-13 16:28:04

All sounds in order to me.

Two teenage boys here and both developed very differently. DS1 was well into puberty at 11 and DS2 was really 14 before there was a hint.
Under arm hair seemed to be one of the last things for them both. Muscle mass comes much later. DS2s voice broke very slowly over a period of a year or so and DS1 went fairly quickly, again though, this was not in the early stages of puberty.
They seem to go roughly in this order but at different ages;

Massive growth spurt
Huge feet and hands
Pubic hair
Growth in the boxer region.
Voice breaking
Under arm hair
Muscle development.

DwellsUndertheSink Thu 20-Jun-13 16:38:19

my ds is 13.5 and still a diddy 5'5" with size 6 feet. His red book puts him at 6'2" eventually, but at the moment he is just slow growing.

He got himself in a right tizz about not growing, esp as many of his peers are enormous already. But we are now in Massive Growth Spurt stage (2 inches in 5 months), with him eating me out of house and home (a whole loaf of soreen after dinner last night) and feeling completely exhausted.

Im not looking forward to the new pair of shoes every week foot growth spurt, but he is because it will improve his swimming times, apparently!

Fortunately he has not reached the smelly stage either, but that cant be far away.

secretscwirrels Thu 20-Jun-13 17:25:09

The smelly stage is short. It is followed closely by the Lynx stage which is worse.

lljkk Thu 20-Jun-13 17:38:55

I think real thing he needs to learn is that it's okay to be different. To develop on a slightly different track. To be confident inspite of unwelcome comments.

He's totally normal, btw! We go to the swimming pool & I'm amazed at how little body hair the mid-teen boys still have (can't trust the girls to be real).

watchingout Thu 20-Jun-13 17:48:27

Can your DS talk to your brother? Or another sympathetic male? Although I think you're doing a great job grin if he will talk to you anyway. My DS 16 would rather gargle with bleach...

Just as reassurance, my DH has minimal armpit hair, but a lovely hairy chest and is definitely all man grin

Solo Thu 20-Jun-13 18:08:21

Oh, we've had the smelly stage for some time now <envy<<<--- hurl >

Ds did grow 3" in less than 4 months (Feb to June) and has size 10's the 29" waist (actual) 30.5" where the trousers sit. The 30" (at a push) chest measurement that is the surprise with him being as tall as he is.
He did try shaving his upper lip, but I get the feeling that was to encourage growth and take away the baby face...I asked him not to do it as he doesn't yet need to. He has hairy lower legs.

Think I'll speak to the doctor.

Thank you for the replies.

Solo Thu 20-Jun-13 18:11:22

Watching my Ds doesn't get on especially well with my brother and there isn't really anyone else he can turn to. If I spoke to my brother about it and Ds got to know, I know he wouldn't like it and I don't want to have him stop talking to me ever about 'stuff' iyswim smile

chickensaladagain Thu 20-Jun-13 18:14:01

My brother finished his gcses at 5ft 4 and still looking like a little boy

By the time he finished his a levels he was 6 ft 4!

He was very long and thin but really filled out into a strapping man in his early 20s

It's perfectly normal, if frustrating

hugoagogo Thu 20-Jun-13 18:25:02

ds is 14 6 ft 2 and very skinny, his voice is so deep it makes my head throb, but doesn't seem to be hairy at all.

I expect your ds is normal, these things vary such a lot; think of those girls that get their periods at 8-9 and others not 'til they are 14-15.

Solo Thu 20-Jun-13 18:35:52

Thing is chicken, Ds doesn't have a height 'deficiency' if I can use that word, he is skin and bone.

I've just had a really good look at him and I am going to speak to the GP about him even if I have to make another appointment to do so. I rarely go to the docs and nor do the children, but I think I will.

RNJ3007 Thu 20-Jun-13 18:37:12

If it helps, my DH still has nearly no armpit hair, no leg or arm hair, but is otherwise your typical manly man... Everyone is different. I teach baby faced 5'4" hairless (facially/chest) 16 y.o boys, and stupendously hairy, deep voiced 13 y.o's.

scherazadey Fri 21-Jun-13 09:46:23

I also work with teenagers and, yes, development varies hugely. I remember one boy who was 5'10" with facial hair and deep voice in year 7 really standing out amongst all the other tiny year 7 boys but now in year 10 he actually looks young compared to some of the others and is one of the shorter boys in his group! Same with girls, some developing what seem like huge boobs in year 7 or 8, only to be overtaken by girls who don't start developing at all until year 10! Hugely frustrating and embarrassing for them when they don't feel they conform to the 'norm' but there really isn't a 'norm' at all.

Mandy2003 Wed 03-Jul-13 14:55:09

Bumping for Solo's attention - what did the doc say?

I started a thread last year here about my DS who hadn't grown despite having all the changes in the underpant and voice departments at 13.

An update - he's very slowly grown about 4 inches in the last 18 months but is now coming to the end of Year 9 (he is 14 and 4 months now). But he's getting depressed because everyone else in the year is shooting up in height almost visibly and he isn't. Feet still only size 6 as well.

So, did the doc reassure you or does he think your DS needs any tests?

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 03-Jul-13 21:49:59

My dad has no armpit hair and I'm pretty sure that he has gone through puberty. Some men just have less than others.

Solo Thu 04-Jul-13 16:53:13

Thanks Mandy! smile
Actually, I have failed (again) to ask the doc about it. I was trying to remember what it was I needed to ask the GP and thought 'Ah yes! my smear test!' so, no I have no answers yet blush. I think it might be better to make an appointment specifically for Ds and ask him then.
I will report back when I have spoken to him smile

TBOG my Dad was not very hairy either and in fact did not ever wear deodorant as he did not sweat under his arms (lucky or what?!) and never ever smelled!! I did not take after my Dad! grin

anywinewilldo Fri 05-Jul-13 13:32:56

I do not think you need to take your DS to the doctors at all, or even ask about him. He sounds perfectly normal, so he just needs your reassurance.

My 15 year old DS is only 5'3'' with no major signs of puberty as yet, and still only has size 6 feet - your DS should count himself lucky that he's only worrying about his voice and armpit hair!

kritur Fri 05-Jul-13 19:34:07

Robert Winston has a great DVD called the Human Body which I used to teach biology a few years back. It explains about the range of time it takes for puberty to occur and that everyone is different. It does say on that that the hormones that cause the body changes are active at night so there may be something in the sleep theory. But some men just aren't that hairy.

Solo Fri 05-Jul-13 23:39:02

Hmmm, yes, but it's the extremely thin body, especially the upper body that concerns him too.
He has stopped talking about it as much as he was, so maybe my explanations have settled him a little. I hope so! smile

Elderflowergranita Sat 06-Jul-13 00:11:38

Sorry if this seems intrusive but do you know what Ds's father's development was like at this age? He sounds pretty normal to me smile.

Ds1 is 14 and 6ft tall. He is very lanky and skinny, but similar in growth pattern to DH, though he will be taller. Dh weighed 8 stone and was 6ft tall when he was 18.

The voice thing happened gradually and is on-goiing. He has no underarm hair at all.

I really wouldn't worry in the least.

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