Advanced search

Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you need professional help, please see our mental health webguide

Psychological effects of being tall for age

(31 Posts)
MolotovBomb Fri 09-Nov-12 16:04:45

I hope that I'm posting this in the right place.

My DD1 is 3.9yo but could easily pass for a 5yo (long feet too; a child's 11). She has looked older than her age since she was about 8mo and has always been the tallest of the girls in her peer-group

I'm 5'8"; DH is 6'2", so she was always likely to be tall.

However, she's started saying 'so-and-so is smaller than me', 'so-and-so's feet are not as big as mine'.

This makes me worry because I have really suffered the effects of always feeling 'big'. In a nutshell, I was always the tallest girl in my class (then when I was about 14 other girls matched my height) but I was teased for it, and being fat. In hindsight, I wasn't fat. Maybe a little plump until I was 14 or 15, but not fat.

Anyway, it really knocked my confidence/ego ... my parents separated when I was 19 after my mother had an affair and it triggered an eating disorder in me. It manifested in anorexia nervosa because of the years of taunting, bullying and knocks to my self esteem.

So now you might be able to understand why 'oh, isn't she big?' comments really bug me. I want to scream at people "She's not that big, you fucking idiot!!" How do I stop allowing this to bother me? How can I prevent my (mostly) managed insecurities affecting my beautiful
little girl?


DoItToJulia Mon 14-Jan-13 14:59:46

I'm another 6 footer! Size 9/10 feet.

I totally agree that when I was younger I looked older and was expected to behave older than my years. I remember distinct disadvantages to my height, like trying to find a ballet class and being told I was too tall, trying to go on fairground rides and being told I was too tall for the age appropriate ones and too young for the size appropriate ones. It was only as I got older that I found all of the advantages out!

Lots of people commented on my height and they did it a lot too. Eventually, it stopped bothering me. My DH is shorter than I am and that attracts the odd comment, but he just says how brilliant it is to be married to an Amazonian woman!

I am not sure I agree with the posters saying that commenting positively about your daughters height may have the effect of making her feel superior because of her impressive stature. Why wouldn't you tell her how awesome she is? Why wouldn't you tell her her height can be an advantage? Why would you ignore it when you can positively influence how she feels about it?

Fwiw I think that the OP has valid concerns and is a lovely mum for wanting to help her daughter have positive self esteem. And as you can see from this thread, tall women rock!

pickledsiblings Mon 14-Jan-13 15:43:24

Yes DoItToJulia we do all want our children to have positive self esteem but it doesn't have to be achieved by patronising others as in ..."Oh poor Megan..."

OP I agree that you should stress the advantages of being tall to your daughter but not at the expense of others. None of us have any choice on the whole over how tall or short we are <I'm a shorty btw smile.>

GetOrf Mon 14-Jan-13 15:49:16

It's lovely to see so many people veing positive about being tall. And OP you sound like a brilliant mother in this resepct, wanting to ensure that your d doesn't have insecurities about her height. I think if you can positively reinforce what your dh says that would be great.

I am a 6 footer and was from youngteens, and have always loved it. It's great being tall. My dd is a shade taller than me now, and although she went through a period of being self conscious she now likes being the tallest girl she knows, and all the benefits height brings.

DoItToJulia Mon 14-Jan-13 16:02:50

Short women rock too, btw!

I kind of see where you are coming from pickled, but I was just worried that the OP may see your comment and think that she needed to downplay her daughters height or the sake of others. That I wouldn't recommend!

CalamityJ Mon 14-Jan-13 16:06:45

5 foot 10 and the tallest girl in primary school. I loved it as it meant I was better at things smaller girls weren't (sports for example). Yes boys were intimidated but the positives always outweighed the negatives including being able to see over everyone's head at any event you go to grin. I got into clubs aged 14 (accompanied by adults and not getting drunk) and never got ID'd till I was 24!

"Lovely and tall" is perfect for how to describe her height. Big and tall aren't the same thing so if you can try and reevaluate that, and make sure she's the right BMI or is within reasonable range on the NCMP (national child measuring programme) then you might see things in a more relaxed light.

Kats2 Wed 17-Apr-13 17:39:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now