My son is 12. About 6 months ago when we measured him, he was a couple of inches shorter than me (I’m 5’6"). About 3 months ago, he was just the same height as me. Now, I just measured him and he’s 5’9.5"
He eats ALL THE TIME, although I can’t complain because it’s mostly pretty healthy. But when I saw him at soccer practice recently, he looked so awkward and stumbly… not at all the graceful smooth runner he used to be. It’s like he can’t quite figure out the dimensions of his body.
Is this just a normal guy thing? Will he eventually stop?
Yep its normal. Its the puppy phase. My two sons, my sisters two and all my friends sons have gone through this. They start eating you out of house and home, grow and are clumsy for a while. I call it getting their manmeat. At that stage its murder getting them to help you move a washer for example. Just too clumsy. My 2 stopped this about late 17 early 18. My smallest baby is 180 lbs and my oldest 230. But man, the steaks they ate!
Yeah well, I had my period and wore a 32B bra when I was 9. These things happen. Its awkward enough being ahead of the pack so try not to make him feel weird about it by a) continuously commenting on it b) acting like it isn’t happening. He might appreciate a book he can read privately (something like this)
My husband’s mother had two sons and one daughter living with her (she had another son and daughter being raised by someone else) when she met and married his stepfather…who had four sons and one daughter of his own. So that’s six boys (including my husband) and two girls, all hitting their teens at very nearly the same time.
MIL handled it partly by encouraging everyone, especially the boys, to get restaurant jobs after school, where they could get at least one meal free. My husband worked for Pizza Inn, and he arrived at work just after the lunch buffet, where his first job was to clear the old slices of pie off the buffet. He’d gather them up, put them in a box over the oven, and happily nosh his way through them until he got his (free) dinner. He did this for a couple of years. He’s always been a very hard worker, but he was able to eat that pizza and stay at 115 pounds (he was 5’ 8") until he got out of high school. He just had a very, very high metabolism back then. He and his brothers once managed to eat all of the food at a local buffet. Half a dozen active teenage boys is something like a swarm of locusts…they eat everything right down to the ground. Bill and his brothers were extremely active, and always hungry.
The metabolism slows down once they hit about 25 or so. They grow into their knees and elbows around 18-20, but might still be a bit physically awkward for another couple of years.
Your son is normal. Has he noticed what girls smell like yet?
One thing about that slowing metabolism is they might still eat like they are 18 and growing. So encourage him to eat healthy as much as you can (for a twelve year old boy it isn’t easy). He’ll mow through anything - and likely keep the weight off - but if he gets used to a diet of Doritos through this stage, it might be hard to break. So keep a lot of healthy stuff around - and fewer chips and soda.
(Plus chips are expensive to feed a growing teenage boy)
Is a poll doable around this theme? I almost posted one about a month ago, but the timing of “puberty” is so fraught with multiple events (& definitions) that it might prove meaningless (well, less meaningful than even most polls around here). I mean, you’ve got the growth spurt, the first ejaculation (the other type of spurt), first period, boobs budding, body hair… I’ll post it if I get some sort of consensus on how to parse the meaning of the term.
You’re describing my husband - at 40, he finally had to quit his pack a day Dorito habit when his belly just grew and grew and grew…
Lynn, you were also describing him. He tells me about how he used to eat as a teenager, and I saw it myself when I met him when he was 30 - he was an eating machine. I saw him eat his own dinner one day, then clean up the entire table of everyone else’s dinners. If there had been any chocolate available after that, he would have eaten that, too. That scene in “Friends” where Joey gets left in the restaurant with six dinners and says to the waiters, “You’re about to see something special, guys” - that was him.
Ha! My son’s just turned 13 and he’s the same way. He sleeps like the dead then wakes up and eats his way through the house. It’s painful. I keep telling him “Stop eating. I can’t afford you.” Unfortunately he thinks I’m joking…
He had a massive growth spurt in the summer that coincided with him doing a musical. They spent four weeks doing about 12 hours a day of rehearsals, often doing two complete run-throughs then the performance as well. Plus all the other stuff they were practicing. He grew about two inches in those four weeks. I was wondering if all that pounding his bones took encouraged them to grow? Is that likely? Or did it just coincide with a growth spurt? He was eating like you wouldn’t believe during that time!!
I met my husband when we were both juniors in high school, and frequently had lunch with him. If we ate in the school cafeteria, he would eat two or three of the standard school lunches, plus any leftovers from my tray. If we ate off campus, again he’d eat two or three standard meals, and my leftovers. This was at about 11:00 AM. He’d get to his job at 1:30 or 2:00 PM, clean off the buffet table, and then start eating those leftover slices. Plus, if someone sent back their pie for any reason, he’d eat that, too. PLUS he would eat an enormous dinner at the pizzeria. And when he got home, he’d eat another late meal. He was so skinny back then that his knees were bigger around than his thighs.
When he enlisted in the Air Force, he really, really liked that chow hall. All he could eat, really and truly. And he liked most of the chow hall food, too. I ate there sometimes, after we got married, and it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t great, but the price was very low, and the food was actually better than something like Denny’s.
These days, he’s concluded that he won’t be able to eat any pie larger than the individual serving size. He’ll also be able to eat a small salad. But he’s over 50 now, and his metabolism is no longer a teenage male’s raging furnace.
My schools published these books with the names, sections and contact information of every student and teacher, plus pictures of each section (about 40 kids).
The 6’4" guy in my 10th grade section had been the shortest person in his section the previous year. If you look at a group of incoming 9th-graders you’ll see that they are a curious mix: many of them (specially many of the girls) are already at their adult height, while others look like they’re skipping a 5th-grade class. Looking “as if he’s made of knees and elbows” is pretty much the basic description for teenage boys.
I might suggest if he isn’t in a sport now, you might try to get him to do one. Its a great way to work out the sorness and keep his mind off of things. When the hormones hit it can be really… I don’t have a word for it. Distracting isn’t quite the word. Its almost like you can zone in and out. Sports are great for burning that extra energy and testosterone and letting the old brain rest.
I grew pretty fast up until around 16, then slowed down and the other boys caught up. I was on the swim team practicing twice/day, and mom’s job did seem to be primarily shoveling food at her squawking baby Cowbird. At 15 I got a restaurant job and the extra activity and food was great. The restaurant was closed on Sundays, so if we worked Saturday night we’d get whatever pies were unsold. I could definitely snarf a whole raspberry banana pie in one sitting.
I don’t remember any knee or elbow soreness though, nor do I remember any of my guy friends ever complaining about it. That’s news to me. I drank gallons of milk though, and mom gave me extra bananas for potassium, since I used to get charlie horses in my calves and the doc said that might help.