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Short son--need comfort/encouragement!


Garga
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Dh and I are relatively short. DH is 5'6 or 7. I'm 5'2.

 

Our oldest son is short. I don't know what happened but in the past year all his friends went from being slightly taller than him to being more than a head taller than him. They're all born around the same time--within 5 months, and yes mine is the youngest, but not by much.

 

They are literally a head taller, sometimes more. He comes up to their chins. They're all 12.

 

Today we went to the local Science Center for a homeschool class. A nice kid sat next to my son and they were getting along well. This kid was tall. Certainly taller than me. I assumed he was a 14 year old (the oldest age range for the class.) Nope. 12. I could see my son look shocked to find out this tall kid was the same age as himself.

 

I feel bad for my son that he looks so childish next to his friends who are growing up ahead of him.

 

I guess the point of this post is for you to tell me about your short sons and when they finally started growing.

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My son tends to growin chunks. He will sprout up, then just stop. He will stay small long enough for me to panic that he has malformed growth plates, or hormonal imbalance, or defective genes. Then he rockets up through three sizes before stopping again.

 

Right now he is ten and about 4 and a half feet tall. He is growing right now and has gained three of those inches in the last month-ish. So up until recently, very short compared to friends.

 

Dh is 6'4". He was average to scrawny before 16. Then he grew until the middle of his second year in college.

 

It will be fine. Shorties need guys to marry as well! I have to wear four inch heels to even remotely feel like an adult next to my husband. He could definitely stand to loose a few inches :)

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My one brother kept growing in small amounts right up until he was 24. He never did have a growth spurt but he kept growing long after the other guys had stopped. He stopped at 5'10". My two youngest brothers didn't really start growing until they were 16. They are 5'10" now too. They were the smallest out of all their friends for most their childhood. They were pretty runty looking guys. Unlike me who felt like a freaky giant my entire childhood.

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Thanks for posting, guys. I've been feeling pretty lonely in my fretting. My friends with the taller kids don't get it. "Eh, he'll grow." Yeah, easy to say when it's not your problem. I needed to hear from a few people who've been there, done that, or are feeling what I'm feeling right now. Thanks.

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My son was in the 5th percentile until recently. I found out that boys have their biggest growth around age 13.

 

Realistically, your son is probably going to be about as tall as his dad. Just keep telling him that.

 

But it is kind of a shocker how some kids get really tall around now, lol. But there were some boys who were always taller than my son who are now a head shorter. I never thought that would happen.

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My 12-year-old ds is shorter than most boys his age. It's really started to bother him, too. Dh is 5'11 but said he was short and skinny until he was 15/16. It's hard being on either end of height at that age--Too short or too tall. I developed early and have been 5'8 since sixth grade. I remember feeling like a freak being taller than my teacher. 😊

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My nephews were all short for a long time.  One had a growth spurt about the age of 15.  One had a pretty good growth spurt after his 16th birthday.  One was closer to 17.  Another one, who just turned 13, is still about my ten year old son's height (and my son is not tall for his age).  Youngest nephew is keeping his fingers crossed that he will finally have a growth spurt in his mid to late teens, like his brothers/cousins did.  Unfortunately, the youngest one also has a bit of a lisp so he sounds even younger than he looks.  It has been hard for him.  Everyone assumes that he and my son are the same age or that he is a bit younger than my son.  What has helped is us making sure not to treat him as younger than he actually is, KWIM?  

 

I know this can be very challenging and painful at times.  Hugs and best wishes.

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do keep in mind, you and your dh are on the short side of average, so your son probably will be too.

 

then again, I have a friend who she and her dh are also short side of average (her dh was a gymnast, and is still built like one.)  their oldest son - no one's sure where it came from, but he's over 6' tall.

 

2ds started growing late.  one of my favorite pics is from when he was 11, and standing between 2dd and 1ds, both of whom were finished growing at just a hair under 6'.  2ds came to their shoulders . . . he's taller than both of them.

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Some of my nephews have growth spurts at 17-18. All of them are taller than their dads. My hubby and BIL are taller than my FIL too. My brother growth spurt was late too and he is 5'11". He is also taller than my dad.

 

My younger boy grows in spurts. People think he is younger than his age which is sometimes useful because he is very playful and strangers are more forgiving of younger kids.

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My son will be 17 in March. He is a junior. When my oldest daughter went away to college he was in 8th grade and shorter than her. (She is 5-1). As a freshman he caught up to her but was one of the shortest kids in his class. Today he towers over her (and me) and is now taller than his dad. He is currently 5-11 and we think he has another inch or two to go. My dh has 4 brothers and all but one had big growth spurts in high school. My dh even grew an inch in college. It's a bit funny since a few kids that Ds played baseball with had always been taller than Ds and now Ds towers over a lot of them. I know it's tough at that age when they are shorter than their friends or other boys their age but I think it is typical for some to really have their growth spurt a bit later.

 

Another funny story. My son is in a bowling league. One day during my son's sophomore year another bowler who is 2 years older than my son brought some friends with who my son happened to know from baseball and school. The older kid said something about how short my son was. I happened to be sitting near them and I don't think they knew I heard. I was a bit surprised since the kid talking was probably my height and I'm 5-6! The older boy used to be on son's bowling team but that boy had moved up to the next age bracket so I don't think he had really seen my son close up. After that comment my son happened to walk by but that kid had his back turned so he didn't see my son. I realized then they were very close in height. Now my son towers over him.

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I took Hobbes to the paediatrician about eighteen months ago - he hadn't broken five feet and had friends who were over six feet.  I'm 5'4" and Husband is 5'6".  Calvin is 5'11".

 

The doctor examined him to find out his state of puberty, checked his charts (I had taken him in because he had dropped off his growth line) and gave me a prediction for growth that year.  The predictions have come right and he will probably end up a little taller than his father - H is 5'3" at present.

 

His father has done fine in life as a short man - Hobbes has him as a role model and seems fine with being short.  I worry about his rough-housing with enormous friends, but so far, so good.

 

L

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My husband's family are all quite short. He is 5ft 6 and that's pretty normal for the men in his family. I think he's found it hard at various times but I don't think it's a big deal when older  because men are all different shapes and sizes by the time they get to late teens. My husband's family tend to be very muscular with it so maybe they don't give the appearance of being so small, not sure.

 

My son is very tiny, very slight build and short, but does seem to be catching up a bit finally. Not sure which way he'll go as my brother was very slight and small as a young kid but is just shy of 6ft as an adult. He seemed to keep growing a long time. He is extremely slim though. My family are on the tall side. I'm the shortest at 5ft 7. My daughter is definitely following my family, she's 5ft at 10years.

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 My oldest DS takes after me and my side of the family -- he's short.  He's 5'4", maybe 5'5".  I know he'd like to be taller, but he certainly doesn't seem to waste any time fretting about being short.  I *think* the only thing that irks him a bit is that youngest DS is taller.  He's around 5'7" or 5'8".  That brotherly competition thing.

 

So while I hope your DS does some significant growing (and he probably will), it's really perfectly okay to be short.

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My almost 12 yo is 4'9 and has very slight, fine features. Combined with his pretty, long hair he gets called a girl constantly (not out of meanness--people just assume). I think that's more likely going to start bugging him more than being somewhat shorter than his mates. He's a very steady grower and has never had a real growth spurt so I'm not anticipating one anytime soon. Neither DH nor I are anywhere near tall, though some of our siblings are.

 

When we talk about it, we emphasize strength and body type. His leanness and natural muscle form are perfect for the sports he enjoys most, none of which benefit from height. He's ok with it, but secretly I do hope the disparity doesn't get too noticeable in the upcoming years.

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I'm tall and my dh isn't.. He's shorter than me.   My family sprouted young and my dh's family are all late bloomers.  My dad is 6'7", and most of my dad's side of the family are tall, so I'm used to tall people in the family.

 

My oldest son was just like your son.  I was getting pretty worried by 14/15 that maybe we should see a doctor or something.  My dh kept encouraging me that everyone in his family was a late bloomer.   Son's younger sister took after me, so he was often mistaken for a little kid when his younger sister looked like an older teen.  I remember when I started to teach him to drive that he looked *really* young for his age and there's photos of him with a group of his high school friends going camping.  They all look like big strapping teens heading into full manhood, and my son looks like this little kid.  He finally started slowly growing around 16/17 and is now a little over 6 feet, as is his younger brother who also was a late bloomer (but not as late).   Neither had a big growth spurt, it was just kind of slow and steady.

 

Boys do bloom later.  Perhaps trying to fiigure out how late/early people started their growth spurts on both sides of the family will help you too.

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Yeah, easy to say when it's not your problem.

 

I know that this is bothering you, and I'm not trying to be insensitive, but why is being short a problem? I'm short (not quite 5'1), my dh is short (5'8 and the tallest in his family by several inches), our biological and our adopted dds are short. My 12-year-old dd is the same size as the 9-year-old girls she knows.

 

Our ds (adopted) is generally the tallest kid in his social groups at 5'5 1/2 and still growing like a weed.

 

I didn't like being short as a kid, but as an adult I don't care. It doesn't sound like you and your dh are short to the point that it affects your ability to live a normal life, so why worry? Your son will probably be short; it seems like he has short genes. That's just the way it is. I wasted a lot of time when I was a kid being upset over something I couldn't change. People come in all shapes and sizes, and there's nothing wrong with that.

 

When my dd came to me about 6 months ago and announced she was short (in a tone that implied she didn't like it and that I had been hiding this information from her), I replied brightly, "Yup, you're a [last name]. We're short people! You're in good company." She still doesn't love being short, but she's accepted it.

 

ETA: To answer the original question, my ds started his first growth spurt when he was 8. He started his second when he was 11. He grew from a size 8 slim pant to a size 16 slim pant in 15 months during his first growth spurt. We have trouble finding pants for him because if they fit lengthwise, the waist is like a hula hoop on him.

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My son was in the 5th percentile until recently. I found out that boys have their biggest growth around age 13.

 

Realistically, your son is probably going to be about as tall as his dad. Just keep telling him that.

 

But it is kind of a shocker how some kids get really tall around now, lol. But there were some boys who were always taller than my son who are now a head shorter. I never thought that would happen.

 

 

My older son hit that huge growth spurt this past year at 14, and boy, did he grow.  He grew about 5 or 6 inches since last April, grew past my height, and is now almost up to my DH's.

 

My younger son has always been on the shorter size of the things.  I used to worry about it some, but my DH is one of those who grew in college, and this son takes after my DH in many ways.  So, I just enjoy him.  He's 12, but he'll still sit in my lap on occasion (his choice!), and due to his smaller size and lean form, he's also very good at doing things like climbing and pull ups.  A couple of months ago at boy scouts, they needed a scout to climb a pole to set something up, and none of the big boys could do it -- they were really just too big.  The poll was made of wood and they probably would have bent it to the ground or broken it if they had tried.  LOL.  

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His father has done fine in life as a short man - Hobbes has him as a role model and seems fine with being short.  I worry about his rough-housing with enormous friends, but so far, so good.

 

 

 

 

You know, my younger son is tough and scrappy.  Because his brother is so much bigger and still acts like a typical brother, ahem, little dude learned at an early age to not get flustered.  He'll hang with the big kids even playing rough games because he is quick and quite limber, and he's had to learn to hang tough.  I actually love this quality about him, although I used to worry about it when he was younger.

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Alternately, there is my DH. He's 5'7" tall. He reached this height by about 14 and then stopped growing. He does however, have the arm span typical of a man who's 6'1. His dad (and his dad's whole family) are quite tall; his mother and her mother are quite short.

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I'm short (barely 5 ft 1).  My husband isn't short (5 ft 11).  My dad is very short for a guy (5 ft 4).  One of my kids seems as if he will be average like his dad.  The other (who is also 12) is on the shorter side.  He has not passed me yet. 

 

Honestly, it doesn't bother him or me.  I think the only time it would feel like a problem is with sports.  He hates sports (not surprising because it's hard to keep up when one is so much smaller).  Otherwise, really it hasn't been a problem. 

 

Looking at other kids around his age they seem to vary quite a bit.  Some are very tall...some are very short. 

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My son just turned 13 in October.  There is a HUGE variety in heights among his 12 and 13 year old friends.  He is one of the tallest at 5'6".  The shortest is older than my son and over a head shorter.  A year ago, my son was about average with other boys his age.  He has grown over 8" in the last 6 months.  That's a weird age where some kids have hit their growth spurt and some have not.  My brother was under 5' tall until he was 15 or 16... he's something like 6'2" now (my parents are 5'6" and 5'8" so even though he's short now, it doesn't mean he always will be).

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Not my son, but a nephew.  He graduated high school short and round.  Honestly, he looked like Tweedledee.  When he came home from boot camp a year later, I didn't recognize him - he had gotten tall and slim.   All his growth came after high school.

 

On the other hand, my husband is 6'4".  All my son's life, he has been hearing people say "oh,  you're going to be tall just like your Dad!"  He was tall as a youngster.  He stopped growing around age 14 and we don't expect a late growth spurt.  He has scoliosis and has had a few back xrays.  A couple of years ago his orthodpaedist told him his bones show he is not going to grow much more.  He said he'd probably be 5'9", maybe 5'10".   Now 5'9" is not that short, but this kid had been told all his life he was going to hit or pass 6'.  It was a disappointment to him - I could see the distress on my son's face when the doc said that. So did the doctor, who said "Hey, that's not so bad!  I never got past 5'7"!" 

 

And we realized we had never noticed that this doctor is "short."  On the way home we started talking about men we know who are short.  My son's former Scoutmaster is a great man with a huge presence - he is maybe 5'5."  One of his sons, who is brilliant and also a great leader, is no taller.  There are others.  The difference is their character.  They are large in character, and ultimately that's what we focus on when we think of them.

 

But I can relate to your concern.  I do think US culture favors the tall man.

 

Now kids who my son towered over are towering over him.  It still bothers him, a little.  But mostly he is getting over it. 

 

:grouphug:

 

 

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My son is 16 and 5'8". I am 5'6" and my husband is 6'. My son's biggest growth seems to have been when he was about 13-14, and now it has slowed to about an inch a year. He wonders if it will keep going, slow and steady, or if this is pretty much it.

 

Given our heights, one would think he'd be taller, but he is also well into puberty, looking more like a man than a growing boy, so I wonder. It is what it is.

 

I've seen boys who start puberty later and they seem to grow longer. I've also seen boys who seem to stretch out puberty forever, looking like early-mid stages with the awkward body shape and only some body hair, and they seem to grow longer too. Has anyone's son looked like later puberty stages, muscles, body hair, facial hair, and still kept growing for years afterwards?

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My 18 year old is 6'3. He was over 6 feet in 7th grade. He was over a head taller than all the other boys. Around 10-11th grade, the other boys started growing and now many of them are taller than him.

That would put him in almost the 98th percentile for height at 18. He must have unusually tall boys in his class, as there aren't many men who are taller than 6'3" in general.

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My ds13 is about 4'10". He's not too happy about it. He's always been a bit shorter growth-wise than my ds15. Ds 15 has grown about 6 inches in the past year, so I think my boys hit their growth spurt a bit later than some. My dh claims he grew 3 or 4 inches after graduating hs and is now 6'1".

 

It is amazing to see just how tall some of these 12 and 13 year olds are.

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The other day I was waiting for my younger kid at drama class.  There was another boy with his parent.  Someone was asking him how old he is and he said 6.  He looked to be just slightly shorter than me.  Good lord.  I would have never thought he was six.  I would think that would be worse than being short.  When he acts like a six year old but is as tall as a 12 year old people might get annoyed.  KWIM? 

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The other day I was waiting for my younger kid at drama class.  There was another boy with his parent.  Someone was asking him how old he is and he said 6.  He looked to be just slightly shorter than me.  Good lord.  I would have never thought he was six.  I would think that would be worse than being short.  When he acts like a six year old but is as tall as a 12 year old people might get annoyed.  KWIM? 

 

I do know. It is not fun for either the parent or the child.  My not quite nine year old is 5 feet tall. He has always been big for his age.  Strangers nearly always assume he is several years older than he is.  His brother is two years younger and a foot shorter.  

 

I’ve consistently had one child at the top of growth charts and the other below average.  

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My ds is only ten but all of his friends seem to be hitting their growth spurts first. They are all taller than him even though he is technically the oldest and we are the tallest parents. Plus, he has my build and is skinnier than all of them. My dh was ALWAYS the biggest kid growing up. He was a head taller than everyone in all his class pictures. (Usually the biggest around, too). Everyone assumed ds would take after him but he hasn't so far. I am thinking he will take after me and have some huge, painful growth spurt with the shin splints and joints popping.

When I started comparing ds to the other kids, I started kind of worrying, too. But then I started thinking back to when I was in middle school and remembered that most of the kids who ended up being "short" in the long run were the first to grow and the tallest at middle school age. But, you never know. Although height is hereditary, it also seems to be somewhat random. My grandfather was 5'5 but his brother was over 6'. My dh is 6'1, his brothers are 6'4, 6'3, and 5'6.

Anyway, I decided it wasn't fair to compare ds to the kids around him or even his dad. He will be whatever height he ends up being and it doesn't really matter.

 

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My 14 year old was SO short at 12. No joke. He is just now taller than me at 14. I think he is maybe 5'3". He has changed and grown so much in the last year or so. so just wait! Change is a coming. I do not think my son will be super tall, but he is looking and sounding much more like a teen now. At 12, many of his friends towered over him. We just didn't make a big deal of it.

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Most likely he is just a late bloomer and will continue to grow.  Is he still following his growth pattern on the chart?  It would be an easy thing to have a bone age scan done and looked at by a peds endo and then make an appointment if needed.

 

A lot has to go with your demographics as well.  Someone mentioned that they thought it was rare to have many boys over 6'3" tall............well, here in West Michigan where the mighty Dutch genes run, it is common to have boys in 8th grade at 6' tall and not unheard of to have them be 6'4-6'6 in highschool.  Many of the women in our area are 6' tall or taller as well.  It is just a very tall community.

 

Then we had foster boys here who were from a Myan tribe and they were SHORT.  The one turned 13 and was 4'6" tall and 52 pounds.  He wore a size 7 pants.  That was just common for his genetic background.

 

I am 5'5" tall and feel short in our community but I have many female friends over 6' tall.

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My DS (13) is about the height of the average 10-11 yr old we see. He's about 4'11 which doesn't seem that small for someone who hasn't hit puberty! I can't decide if DS is really short or if the other boys here are just really big. DS really doesn't like it but I think he'll shoot up when he's closer to 16 or so if he takes after my side of the family. He grew 4inches this year, so that makes me think he doesn't have a problem. If he hadn't grown more than an inch or so every year, I'd probably see a Dr. I expect DS will actually reach 6ft or close to it. DH isn't that tall but my father and brother are and DS has always taken more after my family. 

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I'm not going to tell you that mine have suddenly started to grow, lol.

 

My kids are relatively "doomed". My husband is about 5'3" or so, and I'm 5'1". 

 

My middle son's "smallness" will likely be treated medically with growth hormones at some point, but not because he's small (because he has almost NO growth; weight or height). He is 5.5 and almost the same size as my 2.5 year old (there is currently only one clothing size between the two of them, and my 2.5 year old is small for his age as well). Kids at this age can be unintentionally cruel to DS5 - they do not understand that just because he isn't their size, he is still their age; there have been play refusals, some mocking. 

 

The good news? My husband doesn't remember ever being made fun of once he hit middle school. He had a gaggle of friends within his interest set (band, baseball, math), and none of them ever gave him a hard time. He had no shortage of teenage love interests (i.e. dates) when in high school either. It doesn't seem to have harmed him at all to be definitely shorter than most other men - even when he was in school.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Our extended family has heights all over the map--less than 5' 6" to over 6' and everything in between. In jr. high, I was an inch taller than my same-grade boy cousin, but he topped out with at least another foot to his height; it just took a little while for him to get around to it. It's so hard to predict, but the ped should be able to help with trajectory. I do think the average height for a person's part of the world makes a difference in how they perceive their height, and hopefully, your son's friends will be kind and not worry about showing off. Most people end up between their parents if there isn't a huge difference or big genetic discrepancy, but it's hard when it's all in the future and kids are comparing. My two boys do not grow at the same rate at all, and DH and his brother had wildly different growth patterns as well (one was within two inches of full height by 6th grade, and the other one grew more steadily and gained full height on the late side of average). My older one's legs and torso take turns growing and grow in spurts; my younger one grows steadily without significant stopping.

 

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I'm not going to tell you that mine have suddenly started to grow, lol.

 

My kids are relatively "doomed". My husband is about 5'3" or so, and I'm 5'1". 

 

My middle son's "smallness" will likely be treated medically with growth hormones at some point, but not because he's small (because he has almost NO growth; weight or height). He is 5.5 and almost the same size as my 2.5 year old (there is currently only one clothing size between the two of them, and my 2.5 year old is small for his age as well). Kids at this age can be unintentionally cruel to DS5 - they do not understand that just because he isn't their size, he is still their age; there have been play refusals, some mocking. 

 

The good news? My husband doesn't remember ever being made fun of once he hit middle school. He had a gaggle of friends within his interest set (band, baseball, math), and none of them ever gave him a hard time. He had no shortage of teenage love interests (i.e. dates) when in high school either. It doesn't seem to have harmed him at all to be definitely shorter than most other men - even when he was in school.

 

We around about the same size my husband about 5'4" and I am about 5'2" :lol:

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Thanks everyone! So far, his friends seem to be ok with his shortness. But, I do get the sense that they close him out just a bit. He is small with a little kid voice and they are tall with deeper voices and I think he literally gets overlooked. They just don't always look down to see him or hear his little voice when they're in a group. That makes me feel sad when I see it happen. It's subtle and I don't think it's on purpose. I do see my son piping up and being overlooked and I see his frustration. If he was tall and could boom out his sentence (like the others do) he would be heard. They don't actively tease or exclude him. It does seem to be inadvertent.

 

The one benefit is that he has adhd. He takes medicine, but when the meds wear off, he acts immature. Since he looks like a 9 or 10 year old instead of a 12 year old, I think he gets more of a pass when he's having trouble with impulse control, at least around adults.

 

I'm trying to be very sure that I treat him like a 12 year old and not a 10 year old myself. I remind myself that if he were as tall as his friends I'd literally be looking up at him. People do treat kids differently when they're tall enough to look up to vs. barely reaching a chin. I don't want him to be babied or treated like a baby by adults or other kids just because he looks young.

 

I'm thinking we might work a little bit on muscle building so he doesn't feel like a weakling as the boys get older and older. My BIL did that. He was short as a teen (still is) and he got buff so he didn't feel like the runt or weakling around his friends.

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