How can I help my young teen deal with his obsession with looking buff?
Being a young teenage boy can be complicated. He doesn't yet have the muscles of a man, but he's no longer a little boy. Your son may look young, but he really wants to be much older. Rather than thinking of this as an obsession with his looks, think about it as wanting to grow up before his body is ready to do so. Building muscles and looking buff are about identifying with being a man—even with being a sexual man. And although as a parent this is hard to imagine, it is a natural part of the transition from childhood into adolescence.
Use this as an opportunity to open up a conversation with your son to gain insight into where this obsession is coming from. Don't be judgmental and critical. Be open to observing, listening and asking questions. The less you judge, the closer you will become to your son as he transitions through these unpredictable years.