This is a very personal and concerning topic related to boy puberty. Approximately 2/3 of boys 13-14 years old notice an increase in the size of one or both of their breasts. Enlargement of the breast(s) is called gynecomastia and indicates that breast tissue is forming.
Why do boy’s breasts grow during puberty?
Isn’t this something that only happens to girls?
The reason boy’s breasts grow is the same in them as in girls. A hormone called estrogen stimulates breast growth. Boys normally have a small amount of estrogen in their body but some boys have a little more and so their breasts start to grow. This happens during puberty as hormones are trying to hit the right levels. It is typically a normal experience during puberty.
Your son probably does not think it is normal to suddenly feel his chest being tender and seem as if he is developing breasts. Most boys are embarrassed when their breasts grow and feel very self-conscious. Also, their breasts can be a little tender as they are growing which only makes the situation more unpleasant. You might notice that your son is reluctant to remove his shirt because he doesn’t want anyone to see what is happening under there. He would also prefer to wear more loose-fitting shirts because his breasts hurt.
Your son could very likely be harassed or teased by other boys who haven’t had this experience yet. To complicate this even more, he, himself, will probably be concerned that he is becoming a girl.
The Good News
Most boys see a reduction in their breasts within 3-6 months. Again, for most boys this is a temporary change that will self-correct as his hormones regulate themselves during puberty.
This is an emotional topic for our sons and although they probably will not say anything to you, it upsets them. As parents, be sensitive but try not to ask too many questions. But now, if they want to change their shirt choices, you know why.
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