For Parents Speaking of delaying puberty (in another thread)

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Yes I agree with that. I didn't hit 100 pounds until highschool and yet I got my first period at 12.

Not sure about the 105 pounds thing....according to the growth chart the pediatrician gives us every year, my daughter will likely be 105 pounds and 5'1" at most if she follows the path she's been on forever, when she is 18!

Also not sure about the body fat thing. They send a paper home every year from school (PE) called a fitness gram and it measures their body fat. Her % is always in the 14-16% range. So I don't know if she will ever get to the over 20%.

She is 12 1/2 and 4'9"...probably weighs about 80 pounds now. She has started developing...probably about a year now....she has a few friends who got their periods and likely weighed about 80, I think anything is possible.

I think it is also body daughter has a very petite bone structure....tiny wrists and fingers....but she will, of course, get her period even with a small bone structure!

It's one of the few things out there that is still a true unknown..and that can be challenging for some parents...that not knowing!
Alright puberty jokes aside, putting on my serious hat here:

There is definitely a weight/fat component to hitting puberty. My son is 5'1" and 72 pounds at almost 12. No joke, no exaggeration... he's a walking bag of bones and has his weight monitored bi-monthly by his pediatrician. His doctor said flat out there is no way he'll enter puberty until he puts on some weight... He told us when there is a span of more than 50 in the height/weight percentiles... He is in the 84th percentile for height but only the 16th percentile for weight, they are classified as severely underweight and would not begin to have any signs of puberty until this gap closes. This child does no sports at all...

For the parent who said her daughter is 4'9" and 80 pounds at 12 1/2... her percentiles for height and weight are close to the same (9th for height/15th for weight)... so though she is super tiny for her age, she's still the exact right weight for her height which would allow her to develop at the time mother nature intended.
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I do think the rough guideline is true of period starting about 2 years after "breast buds" form. My dd has had great pecs for the past year or two, and the pediatrician said it was definitely not "development", but in the last month I've noticed those "buds" starting. She's 10 1/2, so I assume she'll be 12 when she gets her period, which I guess is average. She's quite short, but seems at least the right weight for her height and could not be considered "skinny". I'm in no rush for this of course, and she is scared of getting older, but it'll happen regardless! I'm sure I'll be looking for lots of good "period tips" from gymnasts when we get there!
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As for gym delaying puberty as a whole, there is research that shows elite gymnasts (or any top athlete) do have delayed puberty, that would not happen if they weren't athletes. It has to do with weight and body fat ratios. We see this in girls with anorexia as well. It has been a while since I did the google searches but I remember the number of training hours that influence the delay in puberty being around 20 hours but it has to begin before puberty begins. If an 11yr old who is already hitting a growth spurt and developing starts training 20+ hrs, she is less likely to stop puberty. It might slow it by a few more months but not the years that we see with young elite gymnasts.

I think this is right. Also, I've read that once they stop training that hard, the body catches up on its development, so in the long-term it turns out the same.

Interesting discussion about the weight, height, body fat triggers. My older DD is 10 and already has little breasts. She is very short for her age, slim with no extra fat on her anywhere and very active. However, she is probably about the right weight for her height.
Well I think my dd will be delayed not that she is at age to develop yet, but if I go on her growth is very slow she hasn't lost many teeth, saying all that to me it is showing that she is going to be a late developer. So will be interesting see.

My dentist told me about research correlating the loss of primary teeth to the onset of puberty - very interesting. Keep those baby teeth girls!
I didn't start until almost 16. I remember feeling that was a little too late. Although I could practically drive myself to the store for personal items :rolleyes: I was thin but not athletic.
My SIL started at 9! She has always been super-athletic, lean, and petite. So, I'm not sure what that means for my girls, but I'm sure it will be an adventure when it all happens.
I find the baby teeth correlation very interesting. My DD just turned 13 ( 2 weeks ago) and she is showing very little signs of puberty. She has also only lost 6 teeth so far. 4 on the bottom and 2 on top. X-rays have shown that she does have her permanent teeth in there though.

As far as size goes she is about 4'10 and weighs around 85-90 lbs. Muscular build.

She also has a twin brother who isn't showing any signs if puberty either.

The teething thing is interesting. We'll have to see with my little daughter ZZ who lost two of her bottom teeth while she was still five! Eeek... My three bio kids, including my older daughter (and my two boys) were all late teethers. My older daughter E had a very normal puberty age wise while training more than 20 hours per week.

As far as the body fat theory goes, I have to question this since I was 95 lbs when I graduated from high school and was 12 (and probably 80 lbs) when I had my first period. I was always really small, thin and athletic so I'm sure my body fat percentage was low.

Even though I've been through this with one daughter I do still wonder why this is a subject of such intense interest to us gymnastics moms?

Best Wishes,

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I don't think I believe the teeth thing. My older dd got her teeth and lost her teeth late. Her last baby tooth came out after she was 15. However she got her period at 10.
I think it's a bit of both, high intensity training plus the fact gymnasts naturally draws girls in who are smaller and may have ended up hitting puberty later anyway. I didn't really start puberty until I slowed down on competitive gym when I went into high school so I was 14 going on 15. That's later than my family in general. My little sister had the same thing, but she's much skinnier than I am but taller, a very typical intensive ballet dancer. She's 18 now and I think doesn't even menstruate all the time :-/ She's dancing with a professional ballet company now and has got to have 0% body fat. Anyway back to gymnasts, by the time I was 11 I was training L 10 for 20-25 hours a week. I was probably about 4' 8" at the time and even though I was more of the powerful muscular gymnasts, I was skinnier than I am now. By the time I graduated high school I made it to just over 5'. That made me just a bit shorter than the women in my family and I filled out and developed normally. So I think because of the intense training I was doing at that age I delayed puberty, but when I eventually went through it nothing was messed up by it. I think if girls are in the gym 9-15 hours around that 9-12 age there wouldn't be that much of an effect. Obviously that's not a rule but more of a generalization based on what I've seen.

The only girl I know who never went through puberty because of sports was a cross country runner I knew. She was one of the top in the country by the time she was 14 (her older sister was nationally ranked too). By 13 or 14 she ran 100 miles a week with a very restricted and regulated diet and had no body fat and sticks for legs. She kept this up until college and never started to menstruate or develop. In college she had to quit running freshman year because of fractures to her hips and vertebrae. Last time I checked she's obviously gained weight and developed a bit but I think she got put off balance for her whole life.

But with your average gymnast it shouldn't be a problem.
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Not sure about the 105 pounds thing....according to the growth chart the pediatrician gives us every year, my daughter will likely be 105 pounds and 5'1" at most if she follows the path she's been on forever, when she is 18!...Also not sure about the body fat thing. They send a paper home every year from school (PE) called a fitness gram and it measures their body fat. Her % is always in the 14-16% range. So I don't know if she will ever get to the over 20%.

Yes, i wondered this for very petite girls as well. I think the 105 is a critical point for average height girls. And of course it is more a marker, not an absolute. I jumped on google for more info and the fat % I am seeing is 17% as a more general marker. This makes sense because most average girls are in the 20-25 range. And top athletes are almost always in the 12-16 range. Obviously there is crossover as well.

And that 17% does not mean once you hit it, you get your period. It just means your body has enough fat to start the process. I read that 22% is needed to sustain reproductive health (ovulate monthly, sustain a pregnancy).

As you pointed out, it is definitely one of those unknowns that we wish we had more info on. It would certainly help us prepare our dd's (and ourselves!) better.

Someone mentioned the ratio of height to weight, and I think that must play a part as well. If you are below the 10th %ile in height and weight, you likely are not going to hit that 105 lb until adulthood, if ever. I think that 105 has more to do with average height girls in the 25th-75th percentile. I'm thinking the body fat marker is likely a better one to go by.

Also remember that pre-pubescent girls tend to have lower body fat - in the 13-18% range but as the move into puberty, the fat emerges : the hips widen, the breast develop, etc.
My dentist told me about research correlating the loss of primary teeth to the onset of puberty - very interesting. Keep those baby teeth girls!

Uh oh. Kathy is losing teeth right, left and center, while her twin, who is less athletic but taller and skinnier, seems to be holding on to hers.
Wow, there is ALOT to think about in this Lets see. Kadee is still itty bitty (turned 6 in Aug). She claims she is getting "bumps"...:rolleyes:. Kadee, you are 6, you are not getting "bumps". Mommy is 34 and she barely has "bumps". (my Momma always said I had the furniture disease..what was supposed to be in my chest was in my
I started going through puberty at 9 (started my period at 11). Women on my moms side were around 11 (puberty) and 13 (period). Women on my dads side were 7(puberty) and 9(period)!!!!! (she better not follow in the footsteps on my dads side..that means she starts going through puberty next year...:eek:) Kadee is itty bitty 42 inches and 36(ish) lbs. She in like the 3%..but its in both height and weight.
She was late getting some of her baby teeth..and has yet to lose one. (she really wants to..and imagines them loose often..same as having Who knows when she is going to go through what. How big she will be. I am the family giant on both of my sides of the family at 5'3" least a far as females go. Females on her dads side are all 5'-5'3". On both sides of both sides of the family in the men..they are either super tall (Kadee's dad is 6'6") or super short (her grandfather on her fathers mothers side is 4'10") So this poor kid has no guide posts in what she may grow
We shall just sit back and watch it all unfold. And deal with it while it happens.
And try and persuade my 6 yr old that she doesnt need a training bra for her "bumps"..and that the little cami undershirt will keep them under control for
Actually, my younger DD has always had 'bumps', although they are not real breasts. She was a chubby baby and has always had a slightly plump looking body. She is only 8 and has had a curvy looking figure for years, which I find quite strange as I come from a family of three girls and we were all thin until at least 10.
I am with Mary, the longer it is delayed the better right? So don't want to deal with it! My dd is 11 and doesn't appear to be anywhere near.
I'm not listening -la-la-la! Gymnastics and dance are going to delay puberty in my daughters until they're 18- la-la-la! I can't hear you - la-la-la! :scared:
Yeah, I know... we're not supposed to reply to old threads. But someone "liked" this comment of mine today, about 6 years after I posted it, and it was funny to go back and read it. Just for the record, dance and gym did NOT delay puberty for my girls till they were 18 (big shock). Interestingly enough, my gymnast, who practices 20 hours a week, hit puberty almost a full year before her fraternal twin sister, the dancer (former dancer now :() who was only dancing about 10 hours a week. I am now the mother to two 16-year-olds who are going to take their learners permit test this weekend! :eek:
It's hard to know what comes first the chicken or the egg. Does gymnastics make kids short, or is it the shorter kids who find they excel and choose to stick with the sport longer.

I have found in the past the kids who go through puberty earlier or those who go through piper try in a very big way are more likely to drop out for a variety of reasons like developing fear, losing interest in the sport, wanting to spend more time on teenage activities. While those with later puberty or those who develop less tend to be more likely to continue with gymnastics through their teen years.
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