7 Things You'll Hear if You Have a Kid That's Big for Their Age
by Sa'iyda Shabazz
Photograph by Twenty20
My son is tall. At his four-year well visit, he was 46 inches. That’s six inches above what's considered “average” for someone his age. None of this came as a surprise, though. He was average height until he was about 2 1/2, then he just shot up and never stopped. Since then, people began treating him like he's a freak for being so big.
I’m not unaware of his height. I live with him and buy his clothes. But his height is often one of the first things people comment on. “He’s so tall! How old is he?” And then they’re shocked at his age. I mean, seriously?!
Here are just seven things I hear all the time that I wish people would stop saying.
“He’s gonna be a basketball (or football) player one day, huh?”
Look, just because he’s tall doesn’t mean that he’s going to be athletically inclined. This is something I know from personal experience. And even if he does love sports, he may not like basketball. Maybe he’ll be a really tall soccer player or baseball player. Height doesn’t equal a gift at playing sports.
“What do you feed him?”
Well, let’s see: I start with a Miracle-Gro shake for breakfast and then we go from there. Um, that’s a joke. Most moms of bigger kids aren’t feeding our kids any different than average-sized kids. We may feed them more frequently, because I know it seems like my kid is ALWAYS hungry, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
“Are you sure he’s only (insert age here)?”
No, I just gave birth to the kid, but I actually have no idea how old he is. Yes, I’m sure! Why would I lie about my kid’s age, especially if they’re a giant?
Kids who are big for their age often have expectations placed on them that are more advanced developmentally than where they’re at.
“Why isn't he talking/walking yet?”
Because he's not old enough yet! Kids who are big for their age often have expectations placed on them that are more advanced developmentally than where they’re at. Never mind the fact that development happens on a curve, and some kids will always be "ahead" or "behind" others, placing those expectations on them based on their size is unfair.
“He’s tall! Does he get it from his dad?”
There are SO many things wrong with a statement like this. First of all, not all dads are tall. My son gets his height from me (I’m 5’9”) and my family. His dad and I are the same size, and his dad was short until high school. Secondly, this is such a heteronormative question. A mom friend of mine who is married to another woman gets asked this question frequently. Yes, her son biologically has a father, but they don't know if that's a trait received from the sperm donor. So, let’s stop assuming that only men are tall, yeah?
“He gets bigger every time I see him!”
Well, maybe a little bit, but not really, unless you only see my kid a couple times a year. Yes, children grow rapidly—this is not news.
“How come he isn’t in school yet?”
This was really common when my son was younger. “Well, he’s only 3, so he doesn’t have to be” became almost like a mantra.
Here's the thing: Parents of big kids know that they have big kids. You don’t need to constantly remind us. Please and thank you.