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Born 24" long, weighing in at 10lbs 4 ozs, my daughter is now 5 1/2 years old and 52" tall - she wears a size 10 top/8 bottoms (attached is a pic of her at 3 1/2 with her classmates, to give you an idea of her height).

Tallest Elf

We have yet to meet someone and answer the oft-asked "And how old are you?" question, and our answer not be responded to with shock, a snort, or a comment like "Oh my. She's so tall!"

These types of comments may be well-meaning (in fact, begrudgingly, I'll admit they are), but they are unnecessary and will probably begin to make her self-conscious.

How should I handle them?

asked 29 Nov '09, 22:18

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

YMCbuzz
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edited 07 Jan '10, 02:51

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
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OK that didn't work. Can someone advise as to how to upload pic? I tried to link to public URL on Facebook photo.

(29 Nov '09, 22:19) YMCbuzz

I am intested in the response because our daughter who is only 14 months at the moment is also tall and will likely be a tall girl going through a lot of similar things at your daughter's age.

(30 Nov '09, 01:50) Tammy ♦♦

@YMCbuzz follow these directions to post a picture http://moms4mom.com/questions/2939/how-do-i-post-a-picture-on-moms4mom-com

(30 Nov '09, 02:01) Tammy ♦♦

+1 Loved this question

(30 Nov '09, 12:14) Emi

I think the picture doesn't work becuase we don't have permission on facebook to see it. I just tried copying the url directly into my browser and get a vague error saying either the page doesn't exist or I don't have permission.

(30 Nov '09, 20:23) pipthegeek

@pipthegeek - yes I remember us trying to do something similar. Facebook gives you a URL to use, but still enforces security on it (only your friends, etc., can see it). That's probably a good thing, but in this case, it's frustrating. Facebook needs to implement a "make this picture public" feature.

(03 Dec '09, 21:51) Scott ♦♦
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Oh my she is so lovely :) (totally helpless comment but had to say it)

(07 Jan '10, 09:19) Emi

:) Thanks, Emi :)

(11 Jan '10, 01:41) YMCbuzz
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We have a family FULL of tall kids. Our oldest is almost 13 and the last time I went to secretary of state offices..they thought he was there to get a drivers license! But I think for boys it is more acceptable than for girls. My husband is 6'5" and I am 5'8" but we both come from tall families. Our beautiful daughter has been bigger since about age 1. People always think that she is about 3 years older than she is. Now she is 8 and is WAY taller than the boys and girls in her grade. She is going into the third grade this fall and I worry about how her classmates are going to treat her. I know that she is conscious of the fact that outside of the walls of our home, she is bigger than other kids. It is really hard. Plus, at 8 1/2 yrs I am seeing signs of early puberty. What to do..??

(09 Aug '10, 23:12) Midwest Mama

im so glad im not the only one that has a tall daughter...She is so tall that people think she 7-8 yrs when she just 5. It hurts me so bad when kids make fun of her for her height. I love the idea of not putting her in the back of the line behind all the boy in class and not to line them up according to height. people look at her like their is something wrong with her because of her height, like she should be smarter, faster or act better. I want to scream "SHE ONLY 5!!" I need help on what to tell people when they say things like that.

(27 Aug '10, 20:49) Ashley 2
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How about giving her a stock response and teaching her that her height is special. If someone were to ask her how old she is, maybe she could say 'I'm tall for my age - have a guess' and keep it fun. You could also concentrate on how special this gift is - always emphasize all the things she can do that maybe other kids that are shorter can't.

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answered 29 Nov '09, 22:46

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dreamerisme
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That sounds like the "defense mechanism" I developed with people said I looked young for my age. As a kid I would have loved to have people guess that I was older than reality, but now as an adult, I'm grateful to look young for my age.

(29 Nov '09, 23:54) mkcoehoorn

I've never really had a problem with people commenting on her size, the bigger problem is people assuming that she is older than she is, and expecting more (i.e. better behaviour) of her. And to be honest that probably also applies to us as parents. Unconciously she is 'big' so she should be acting 'big'.

I did once have a little chuckle to myself at a play area where my daughter was playing with another girl her age, and climbing all over the place. When other girl protested "but she's doing it!" to her mother, the mother said "Yes, but she's much older than you."

In any case, I think the second* most important thing to teach our children (and to learn ourselves) is to dare to be different. If your child has no choice about being outwardly different, maybe that even helps?

(* The first is the golden rule)

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answered 07 Jan '10, 06:25

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Benjol
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+1 for the Golden Rule !!

(07 Jan '10, 09:20) Emi

This has been on my mind lately too. Our 8 month old is very tall for his age. He comfortably fills out 18-24 month old sized clothing. People often expect him to be able to do things that older babies can do (like walk and talk). When I tell them how old he is, they often respond with, "Wow, he's a big baby." I usually just say, "Yes, he is." My husband has started saying which sports he thinks our son will have an advantage at because of his size such as, "Yes, he is big. We're hoping he'll be a rugby player." Even my family sometimes makes comments such as, "What are you feeding him?!" To which I like to respond, "Mama makes good milk."

It won't be long until he starts to understand these comments regarding his size. My husband and I have become more aware of the comments we make to each other regarding his size. It is hard not to talk about how big he is. I think about it every time I pick him up! That being said, I'm hoping that we can teach him that people come in all shapes and sizes. And if we help to build his self-esteem in all areas he hopefully won't feel any negative effects from people's comments on his size.

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answered 07 Jan '10, 17:14

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1

You've described how I feel and my concerns very well.

(07 Jan '10, 19:06) YMCbuzz

I am in a similar boat- my son is not even 5 mos. old yet, and weighs over 20 lbs and is 28 inches tall- he is in 12 mo. clothing! When people ask how old he is I say, "He's huge. He's only 4 1/2 months old", so I can avoid THEM saying he's huge. .... & my husband also is planning out his future sports career ;)

(07 Jan '10, 21:40) DazedandConfused

I hate to stereotype, but I think it's a bit easier to handle gargantuan size when your child is a boy... not to diminish your concerns, though. :-)

(09 Jan '10, 15:47) YMCbuzz

I remembered the ad campaigns of Benetton and remembered that the diversity in them was the beauty of their campaigns. ( Before they decided to get really controversial that is)

As a teenager I remember having different thoughts on beauty, but these colourful pictures with children, and young people smiling stuck in my mind.

United colors of Benetton picture

Benetton Children

Benetton girls

Just as an idea, I wonder whether you could look at some pictures together and discuss how different each person is, in the way they look... and that this is such a natural thing. Skin colour, height, hair colour, are just a few things to talk about maybe.

Also talking about your own childhood (who does your daughter resemble height wise? that parent could approach the topic more matter of factly?) and perhaps just explaining how you were able to do certain things better and quicker because of your height, could be helpful too. ( If you are or were athletic, a good swimmer or a skier...)

Although I haven't been able to answer how you should handle the comments, maybe with the suggestions I have made, your daughter might only feel a little bit conscious or hopefully not conscious at all if she feels really comfortable, natural and happy about being tall, both emotionally and physically.

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answered 30 Nov '09, 12:12

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edited 30 Nov '09, 12:23

Our daughter is tall too (at 15 months). What really struck us was how many people commented on her "chunkiness", but she was absolutely the right BMI for her age, but they tend to thin out as they grow. So for her size, she looked older, and therefore "bigger". Of course, being slightly nerdy ourselves, we always wanted to pull out the BMI charts and say, "look, she's right here, which is comfortably in the normal range..." :-)

Now she's really thinned out. She's still tall for her age though. I like dreamerisme's answer for when she gets older.

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answered 03 Dec '09, 21:56

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edited 07 Jan '10, 02:52

6

It's amazing how people let their observations about kids easily escape their lips, but will hold their tongue when observing about adults.

(06 Dec '09, 00:15) YMCbuzz
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and people will tell their kids off for making those sorts of comments about adults (e.g. she's really fat isn't she mummy?), even when they are simply statements of fact with no judgement attached.

(06 Jun '10, 15:11) Meg Stephenson
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@Meg: That's a keen observation. But children seem to learn quickly that they can say horrible things to each other, as long as they hold their tongue when speaking about/to adults.

(06 Jun '10, 18:10) Scott ♦♦

I was a tall girl (5'7" by the time I was 12, eventually leveled out at 5'9") and my daughter is tall, too. She's 2 years old and is the size of a 4/5 year-old. One of the things I'm trying to prep her for the most is her own personal awareness, something I didn't get for myself until later in life. As a mom, I can't always influence what other kids and adults will say about her size. However, I heartily agree with Benjol's comment about the dangers of others expecting certain behavior from her because they think she is older. I fell into that trap growing up, feeling bad all the time that I wasn't living up to all these expectations. I was pretty smart, so I could reach some of the academic bars that were set. But my size got me into trouble emotionally, because I needed a few more years before being ready for certain activities (like walking through the hall at school all by myself, or riding certain amusement park rides for the first time, etc). I'm making it a goal to teach my daughter to be aware that other people may have certain ideas about her because they may think she is older than she really is, but she should make up her own mind about what she wants and doesn't want to be doing.

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answered 04 Aug '10, 20:44

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I totally understand you. My daughter has always been very tall for her age. She is 4 yrs old and wears clothes for 6/7 yr olds. I love her and I think she will be a beautiful, intellingent, and tall adult. I am pretty tall myself and I was never self conscious because my family always made it seem like that wasn't a problem and I hope to do the same with her. Yes, some kids made fun of me but I was always so popular even through high shool. I am close to 6 ft tall and have a lovely husband at 6ft tall and I love my life and couldn't ask for anything else. Don't worry about it, I was just fine and I'm sure your daughter will be fine as well as mine. Tall girls are beautiful and don't ever say anything negative about her height in front of her. forget what everyone else thinks

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answered 19 May '10, 04:52

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Danielle
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Tell everyone who comments on her height that she'll be a top model.

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answered 04 Jun '10, 12:15

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I too, have a tall daughter..she is 7 years old, but when she tells her age we get the same response every time: "OH MY GD she is sooooo tall! She looks like she's 9 or 10!". It bothers me so much, b/c she never thought there was anything wrong w/ being tall until the adults make the comments, it gets me so mad. When she starts 2nd grade in sept I am going to have a talk w/ the teacher and ask her to please not line them up in size order....I think that is rude, as teacher's would never line kids up from skinny to fat, nor should they bring attention to differences by doing size order. I remeber all through elementary school I was always last in line, behind all the boys, while all the pretty petite popular girls were at the front of the line, it gets me sooo mad that it still goes on today!

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answered 07 Jun '10, 02:29

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kelly S.
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+1 Good point about lining up in size order. I had forgotten about that until now.

(07 Jun '10, 12:42) Tammy ♦♦

I totaly understand where you are comming from. My daughter was a month and 2 days premature. She was 6lbs 1oz and 21" long. She just turned 7 and towers over children who are 8 and 9 years old. She dosn't mind being tall it works to her advantage most of the time (her friends say she gets all the best clothse because she has to shop where the bigger kids shop) but the biggest issue we seem to face is that people expect her to be older (and act accordingly) because of her height and are in shock when they find out she is in fact younger then she looks.

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answered 09 Sep '10, 03:58

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Asked: 29 Nov '09, 22:18

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Last updated: 25 Sep '12, 22:35