If your tall 5-year-old daughter sees you worrying about her height, she’ll internalize this anxiety & learn to hate her body—and that can attract bullying.
Okay, it’s one thing if you’re concerned from a medical standpoint and are worried about a pituitary tumor because your five year old daughter is closing in on five feet tall.
But if she’s “a head” taller than her classmates, and healthy otherwise according to her pediatrician, you should not worry.
Otherwise, think of what the worry and anxiety will do to her self-image.
There is a tall woman’s site that (at least several years ago) had a section where women would post their feelings about their height.
I’ve always known that many very tall women didn’t like their height, just like many heavy women don’t like their “thunder thighs,” and women with stringy limp hair long for thick curls.
But gee, I never knew that so many tall women could actually be suicidal over this. And even more of them literally weep over their height and blame it on all the bad things that have ever happened to them.
They blame it on relationships gone bad or not even getting noticed by men; they blame it on their ongoing depression; they blame it on all the bullying they endured growing up.
They slouch, avoid heeled shoes like the plague and are constantly tortured by self-consciousness.
After reading their posts, you’d think they were cursed with giant brown hairy warts all over their face and fungus growing out of their head.
Instead, many of these women are only 5-11 and even 5-10! I say “only” because many of the posters with a more positive attitude are 6-2 and 6-3!
I say “only” because my niece is 5-10, yet she’s the third-shortest on her college volleyball team of at least 12 girls – most over six feet!
I was walking by her team and the opposing team as they were prepping for a game, and my niece looked like a shortie among all the athletes, most of whom were 6-1 and 6-2, some even 6-4. I had the roster with their heights to verify this.
Parents Worrying About Young Daughter’s Height: Dangerous!
So your five-year-old girl is growing super fast or maybe has always been very tall for her age, towering over her kindergarten classmates and even being taller than older neighborhood children.
Sometimes she’s mistaken for a seven or eight year old. This really bothers you.
Damn, stop it.
Ever see the commercials for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital? Maybe you should pull these up on YouTube and watch them for awhile.
I’m pretty sure that every one of those parents in these commercials would trade their child’s cancer for a very long—and healthy—body.
Imagine learning your very tall five-year-old daughter’s leg pain is from bone cancer and that the leg needs to be amputated.
Hmmm, suddenly, her height won’t matter to you much.
The women on the tall women’s site, I have to believe, had mothers who continually showed languish over their height growing up.
These women, as little girls, internalized this worry and unhappiness over their height, and grew up to bear this cross. This is Psychology 101; no PhD required to understand this.
It reminds me of an article I wrote for a magazine years ago about what makes a child so fearful of the dentist – even though they’ve never experienced any pain from a dentist.
The dentist I interviewed told me the cause was the parents. “The child sees the parents’ own anxiety over the dentist and they learn to fear the dentist. If Mom is afraid, then I should be afraid.”
It’s the same concept with height: “If Mummy is worried I’m getting so tall, then it must be a really bad thing.”
Psych 101, people.
So the little girl learns – from her own mother – that being tall is something awful. The foundation has been laid; the trajectory for her growing-up years has been set.
Everywhere she goes she will feel mercilessly self-conscious about her height, and this self-loathing will attract bullies like a light drawing moths.
If your daughter is on course for being a very tall woman, then embrace it. It is just SO COOL when a woman is very tall!
The other day I saw a woman in line at McDonald’s – she must have been close to six feet.
Her husband must have been close to 6-4. He was holding their preschool daughter.
It’s a pretty good bet that the girl’s final height will be well over six feet, and that all through school, she’ll tower over her classmates. Lucky her!
If parents embrace their tall daughter’s height, even when she’s only five, this will set a very positive, rewarding trajectory. Quit your bellyaching and just be thankful your child is healthy!