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To not understand why some parents think that having a tall child makes them a superior parent?

(257 Posts)
coppingpandy Thu 31-Jul-14 09:27:04

Has anyone else noticed this? Some parents go on and on about having a tall child, as if it makes them better than everyone else, or as if it's because of something they've done parenting-wise.

I have noticed it both on here and in real life.

My DD's best friend has always been a fraction taller than DD, and for the past 7 years since they became friends at pre-school, her mum has not stopped going on about it. She mentions it all the time, as if it's medal-worthy that her DD is the tallest of the pair!

My DS is the youngest in his class, and so is quite small compared to lots of other children who are almost a year older than him. The mum of a very tall boy in his class is always mentioning the fact that DS is small and that her DS is so much taller. Again as if she deserves a bloody medal for her child being tall!

AIBU to think it's strange?

(Cue lots of parents protesting "But my child really is tall) grin

adeucalione Thu 31-Jul-14 09:30:03

I think people talk about their child's physical features sometimes - blonde hair, long eyelashes, whatever - but this is noticeable to you because it is a sensitive area.

Having said that, if they really are making an unkind direct comparison with your child, then you should say something when it happens.

TheNumberfaker Thu 31-Jul-14 09:31:01

I have never come across a parent who wore their child's height as a badge of pride.

picnicbasketcase Thu 31-Jul-14 09:31:31

'Dd will soon catch up, I put her on the rack for two hours every evening'

coppingpandy Thu 31-Jul-14 09:31:59

It's not a sensitive area at all adeu. I don't care about height at all. I agree that sometimes parents talk about physical features, but not all the time, surely?

My DS has blonde hair, but I don't say to other parents "Isn't it funny how my DS's hair is blonder than your DS's hair?"

SaltyandSweet Thu 31-Jul-14 09:34:34

Both my DSs are really tall for their age. I have never brought it up in conversation in either a good or bad way (and there are both good points and bad points to being taller than average in your age group. I speak as someone who was always a head taller than my friends, it's not always a good thing). I think perhaps you've been unfortunate in meeting a certain type of competitive parent wink. And being tall at a young age doesn't mean you'll still be taller after puberty, lots of my friends caught up with me.

flowery Thu 31-Jul-14 09:35:11

Have never come across this. DS2 is tall. I would find the idea that another person's coincidental physical feature should be something for me to feel superior about bizarre in the extreme.

Boysclothes Thu 31-Jul-14 09:35:20

DS is short. It's a terrible upset to me as my family are all giants and if I'm honest, there has always been a small amount of short man jokes and feeling superior cos we're tall. I married a man topping six foot and now looks like I will have a full grown DS who is about 5 foot 8.

Just have to remind myself how amazing DS is and how it really doesn't matter!! But I can totes see myself being one of those tall parents if DS had been tall. Tall people often feel like it confers some superiority. And tall children imply health, vigour, growing. Tall people have always been remarkable and seen as better, for hundreds if not thousands of years. When your tall child is next to a small child the same age you'll feel a little swell of pride. I notice it every day that people compare their tall children to short DS.

Batmansbuttocks Thu 31-Jul-14 09:35:36

I have never seen this on here or in real life. I have 3 DC. My kids are all tall but I can't think of one comment I have made that would suggest superiority. In fact it's always upset me slightly that more has been expected of them younger.

Are your projecting some insecurity about your DC's size?

coppingpandy Thu 31-Jul-14 09:35:51

I've noticed it on mumsnet too. A handful of posters have to bring up their child's height each and every time they post about their child.


Boysclothes Thu 31-Jul-14 09:36:41

Not saying that tall IS better, by the way. But height is a desirable feature.

coppingpandy Thu 31-Jul-14 09:37:05

No, not projecting, Batmans.

Batmansbuttocks Thu 31-Jul-14 09:37:31

Boysclothes you are definitely projecting! Lots of people don't feel like that at all shock

Velocirapture Thu 31-Jul-14 09:38:20

I have seen this and have been complimented on DS being tall. It's always been older people though, maybe they are actually complimenting me on feeding him properly?

TheFallenMadonna Thu 31-Jul-14 09:38:53

At the moment, I do talk about how tall my DS is, because it is a source of wonder to me. He reached 6ft before he reached 13 yo.

It doesn't mean I think I'm a superior parent. I'm just a bit bewildered by it really. I think it is noteworthy, but I dare say I am boring all my friends stupid. Meh.

SlicedAndDiced Thu 31-Jul-14 09:39:52

I kind of understand.

It's almost like a badge of honour thing, but I think maybe they just think they are doing a really good job if they grow quick?

My niece tells everyone who will listen about how giant her one year old is, how much bigger his feet are etc.

(Actually dd is three months older and much bigger, but she is just average really)

coppingpandy Thu 31-Jul-14 09:40:02

To be fair, the parents that I know in real life that talk about height are competitive parents.

DD's best friend's mum went into the school in year 1 to complain because DD was on a higher reading book than her DD, and she made a huge fuss until her DD was put onto that level too. So with her, I think height is just another thing to get competitive about. Unfortunately though you can't choose your childrens' friends!

The child in DS's class, who happens to be very tall, is actually the most badly behaved child in the year too. The mum is one of those superior types, and I think she likes to look for things that she can feel superior about

wellnowthenmardybum Thu 31-Jul-14 09:40:58

I have a tall dd, and the only people who mention her hight are the parents off small children. Quite often it's a comment to do with how she must be a good netball/basketball player

youmakemydreams Thu 31-Jul-14 09:40:59

Dd is very tall. She is head and shoulders above even the boys in her class. Other people comment on it not me.
It's not unusual for my family we are all tall apart from ds2 who is cutely quite short like his dad.
I don't think I've ever heard it used as a badge of honour although sometimes you do get a wow my child is tall moment when you see them next to their peers.

choochootrain1 Thu 31-Jul-14 09:41:06

I haven't experienced this one OP, I have experienced the "isn't it funny how my child walks/talks/eats/cries etc better than yours" type statements though, whatever it's for it's pathetic - they're kids and it's not a competition. Id be tempted to reply something snarky but then I just think oh let them have their moment if they're that insecure, I'm not - and I jog on

ElephantsNeverForgive Thu 31-Jul-14 09:41:40

In this house it's the DDs who boast not the parents.

They aren't especially tall in the outside world, but they are both taller than me, which amuses them greatly.

It's my own fault for often shouting "Small people, food!" Up the stairs.

Flexibilityisquay Thu 31-Jul-14 09:42:01

I agree, it does seem to be a way parents like to compare their children. My DS is, and always has been, small for his age. I have a relative, with a child a year younger, and every single time we see them she will comment that her DS is the same height as mine. It drives me nuts! I can see they are the same height, they have been for years, and I don't particularly care! I have also seen it in relation to other children. It definitely seems that a lot of people think taller is better.

sinisterfish Thu 31-Jul-14 09:42:31

yeah i love bragging about my tall child and how i have to buy a 12 year old adult mens clothes and shoes that cost double the price of kids clothes

oh and adults looking at him playing and thinking he's way too old to be playing with kids his own age. it's great!

LizzieVereker Thu 31-Jul-14 09:43:22

I know what you mean, OP. I think it's almost a caveman, deep conditioned response: tall= sturdy= good hunter/ will attract a mate. I also think parents unconsciously look for reassurance that their child is healthy, and we equate height/ growth with health and good nutrition. (Not suggesting that shorter people are unhealthy obviously). People also assume that a tall child (especially a boy) won't get bullied, which is not necessarily the case.

MrsWinnibago Thu 31-Jul-14 09:45:16

BoysClothes I find that "short man" jokes are told by insecure people anyway. Most unattractive.

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