When Kids Start Outgrowing Their Tall Parents

I have always suffered low self-esteem because of my height. No point in denying it. It has taken me all the 47 years of my life (there, I even admit my true age) to realise that it is my mindset that has always been the problem more than my actual height. Now I can proudly say: tall is beautiful, and so am I. Just.

No, whom am I kidding, I only say it *in theory* but don’t really believe it for myself.

What happens when kids start outgrowing you though – which I, somehow, never imagined happening? Should I transfer my miserable perception of how it is not so good to be tall to my kids, or keep it to myself?

If you are anything like me, self-conscious of being a tall freak, let’s work on this together, perhaps this will make it easier? It is not our kids’ fault they are so tall; it is our responsibility, after all. And it is up to us to raise them as beautiful tall persons confident in their looks.

There was no better eye opener for me than hearing my daughter’s reaction to what has been the story of my life: being the tallest girl, like, ever.

“Oh mum, apparently I am the tallest one in our class!”, she exclaimed one evening.

I froze, realising it was perhaps time for that talk: how difficult it is to be a tall girl, but she has to own her height and be proud of it. I, half-mouthed, started mumbling that yes, she probably was, and I had always been the tallest in the whole school, and university, and work… Then I asked her to tell me what happened.

“I like being tall!”, she exclaimed. I gazed at her, speechless. She continued: “I am tall for the right reason! I can reach things that other children can’t!”

This is the attitude it has taken me 47 freaking years to come to! My girl is something else. She is not me. And it is more than ever important not to let her know about my own body hang ups. Yes, it is great to be tall! Nothing we can do about it, so we may as well accept who we are and be happy.

My new resolutions from now on:

  • Admire my tall and beautiful kids, and make sure they know that.
  • Be proud of them, and make sure they know that.
  • Remember to remind them they are beautiful as they are. Note to self: this doesn’t mean I should stop teaching them to be healthy!
  • Try to limit my fear of them becoming giants I cannot find clothes and shoes for! It is much better now than it was when I was growing up as a tall teen. Even with Long Tall Sally gone (sort of), there is still plenty of choice on the World Wide Web. In all fairness, there is much more choice for them than me, as gone are the days when I could afford showing my midriff under cropped tops, or wear mini skirts and shorts. My kids, on the other hand, can pull anything off: fashion is made with their generation in mind (mostly).
  • Relax and enjoy the ride!
  • If any of these are hard at any point: have a glass of wine, or two. Then go back to resolution number one, and start again.

6 comments

  1. Great post! Yes, I had hang ups too and I’m only 6’ tall and been close to full height since around 12 or 13 years old. When you’re the kind of kid that doesn’t want to stand out it’s tough! I came to terms with my height maybe in my 30’s or so? (Slightly older than you now). And yes…. so much easier to buy clothing these days!!

    Like

    • Thank you for your supporting comment! Yes, this is a very sore topic for me and I felt it would be good to write a brief post about it. I have elaborated a lot on our tall struggles in a book which I recently finished. I will be looking to publish it, so fingers crossed, as many of us need this kind of book to make the world look at us with different eyes…

      Like

  2. A great post, resembles my experience. I have three children/young adults, all in the 6′ range, I was so relieved when my two daughters finished up shorter than me, one by an inch the second by two. My parents, although both quite tall, dad 6′ 1 and mum 5′ 9″ had little idea what it meant for me as their 6′ 3″ daughter to be the subject of comedy and my struggles to find clothing and shoes that would fit and leave me feeling equal in some way to my shorter counterparts. Living in the South West of England, pre-internet, shopping was miserable, although thank god for mini-skirt days, although my dad thought mens size 11 shoes would fit my needs, while I defiantly forced my feet in cripplingly too small more feminine stuff.
    Not so today, thankfully there is choice and the sports wear and trainers trend has helped my offspring immensely. I felt very affronted by the looks and comments that I heard in response to my children’s stature, from the usual sources, best not to have me there and actually they seem to manage it very well, or seemingly, much as I did.
    I hope they don’t feel the excruciating pain that i felt based on what they see visually. I might have looked like it didn’t affect me, but it stabbed at my heart and reduced me most of the time.

    Like

    • Thank you for such a thorough comment! It sounds like your experience is very similar to mine! I grew up in communist and post communist Bulgaria where there were no clothes and shoes for my size at all, and pre Internet as well. I have written a book about a tall girl’s life journey that I will be looking to publish. I am certain that many women like us will see themselves in it. Wish me much in finding an agent and publisher, as the world needs to hear our voice!

      Like

  3. As the family “runt” at 6’2″ and now age 51, I was blessed to be born into a gentle and yet confident family. My maternal grandfather was 7’1″ (with red hair!), uncles 6’10”, younger brother is 6’7″ and both younger sisters are 6’4″ – and the most important thing you can do for your kids IMO is to instill in them the value and beauty of being just a bit longer than the majority of the other humans in this world. Stand up straight, smile, and lift your eyes – practice! We all have different gifts and this just happens to be one of ours. Believing in yourself is such an empowering and beautiful thing… you are supposed to be here, so OWN IT!

    Like

Leave a Reply to Angie K Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s