June 19, 2010,
M.P. asks from Brighton, MI on November 03, 2009
15 Year Old Son Insecure About His Height
My son is now 15. He is 5ft 3" and 110 pounds so not a big kid. He is self conscious about his height. I've spoken to him about it and explained that boys go through their growth spirts at different ages. His dad is 5ft 9 1/2 and I am 5ft 4 1/2. So neither of us are real tall but not short either.
Has anyone experience this situation with their teenage son? If so, what did you do?
Those teenagers think this is a tough time for them, but it is a tough time for us parents too.
I look forward to hearing your responses.
B.H. answers from Detroit on November 03, 2009
Hello M.. My sons are not teenagers but I have plenty of relatives who are teenagers. And from what I have experienced they will find something to be insecure about while everyone else thinks it's not a big deal.
My niece who is 15 wants a nose job because she feels her nose is too big. I'm constantly telling her their is nothing wrong with your nose! But, she does not believe me. I think if at least one of their peers make a comment on their appearance they are going to take it to heart.
I remember when I was that age I wanted a bigger chest and was very self conscious.
I believe that all you can do is reassure him everytime he makes a negative comment about his height. In the end two things will happen. He will eventually get taller (at his own pace) or as he gets older he will accept himself as he is and be extremely happy with what god has given him. I have accepted that I will never be a D cup.
This may sound wacky but I would do a search for famous people who are short and then tell him this person is not 6 feet and look what they have accomplished.
I tried this with my niece. I found pictures of a few girls who did not have little cute perky nose but who were very attractive.
Hope this helps a little.
1 mom found this helpful
J.N. answers from Chicago on June 19, 2010
Hi, I know you asked a while ago but I just found this. As long as your son eats well, I'm sure he will hit his growth spurt a little bit later on. You could check him out for celiac disease but he's at a good weight so I doubt that's a problem. However, a friend of ours found out that their son had celiac and after removing gluten from his diet, he grew 6 inches in one year. He was beginning to look malnourished though.
On a different note, I'm sure you know that boys grow so much later than girls. My friend's husband was 5'3" in high school and everyone was shocked at their high school reunion when they saw this guy walking in at 6'3". They didn't know who he was. My brother grew 5 inches in college. These boys sometimes just tend to grow late. I know it doesn't help him right now, but he will get through this.
1 mom found this helpful
L.H. answers from Detroit on November 05, 2009
I don't have any advice or stories to share in comparison, but I will tell you this: I am only 5'3" and my husband is 6'2" or 6'3". I've always been, and continue to be, proud of how he carries himself. He's always been a tall guy compared to the others--even in middle and high school--but never slouched or was self-conscious about his height. He's always stood tall, and I've always like that about him. He looks pretty funny next to my 4'10" mother! Hopefully, your encouragement will help your son appreciates who he is and how god made him. I hate seeing tall people slouch!
S.C. answers from Lansing on November 04, 2009
My dad, brother and even my husband were all pretty short in high school. My dad was always the smallest kid in his class. After graduation, he grew to be 6'1". My brother didn't reach his full height until age 18. He probably started high school at 5'5"ish but now he's 6'2"! My husband started high school at 5'3" or 5'4" and by the time he graduated he was 6'. With a 5'9" dad and 5'4" mom, your son may not reach 6 feet, but I'm sure he'll eventually be average height! Just try to assure him that everyone develops at a different rate. Boys of course are slower to grow than girls. He'll get there!
D.S. answers from Grand Rapids on November 04, 2009
M.; in fact most men will be taller than their mom, so he will at least grow another inch, i grew up taller than my family since they are dwarved, my family is about 4 foot, and he should be so lucky to be that tall, we need to learn to love ourselves for what we are, why is it when we are short we want to be tall, ? or tall we want to be short? or if we have straight hair we want curly? visa versa, he may feel short cause kids in school have teased him and he could always come back with some one liners, my dad who is short, and i mean deformed short by dwarfism, he walks under his freinds and look up their noses and say hey clean that thing out will yah, short people can be loved and just as much as tall people, just sounds like a typical boy of 15 with low self esteem issues, keep smiling and keep letting him know you love him , life could be far worse, he is healthy and normal, and women love short guys, they are much cuter than tall guys, ahahahah have a good day D. s
A.H. answers from Detroit on November 04, 2009
I have a five year old, but even at this age and earlier; kids are subjected to what should be the norm via media and peers.
I am trying to teach my son that he is perfect the way he is. Your son sounds old enough that he should have had some exposure to genetics in school? If not, crack open some material or research online for him what it means. I would guess he will not reach his full height until he is in his twenties... I would hate to see him with a negative image of himself for something that cannot be controlled.
I am also teaching my son about judging others or going with the crowd on issues. I am teaching him that he is an individual that should make his own decisions and not judge other people for who they are, what they look like, etc, etc. Too many do this and only hurt feelings and a poor self-image and esteem come from it.
P.M. answers from Detroit on November 04, 2009
If you can help him understand that everyone feels this way about something.....their height, their hair, their freckles, their jeans....teenagers always feel like they're the odd one, even if they're not. It is a difficult time in life. My son had the opposite problem, 6'2" at age 12. (Now 6'5" at 15.) He stuck out like a sore thumb, didn't fit into the desks at school, wore different clothes (the hip, trendy clothes are not generally found at the big and tall shop)
Help your son see the ways in which he is a wonderful person. Height is not something we control, so there's no point in "trying" to grow. If he can understand that being a man is about who you are on the inside, not the size of your body, he will hopefully get comfortable in the skin he's in. Physical attributes are what you are, but they are not who you are.
C.M. answers from Detroit on November 04, 2009
My brother didn't grow til he was 18. He was 5'4" then all of a sudden he was 6'1".
A.V. answers from Detroit on November 04, 2009
I have a 17 yr old that went through a similar situation. He was about 5'7" at 15, but was very concerned about his eventual height. I am 5'2.5" and his father is 6'1", so he had a good chance of getting beyond 5'7". He is 5'10" now. We encouraged him to embrace his height. Once his muscles started to develop more (which was later than some of his friends) he did grow taller. You are right, everyone grows at different ages.
My son played football, and was not a very big kid, we realized that some of the high school teams best athletes are not the tallest. He also wrestles, and the best kids are the shorter ones - they seem to have better control over their bodies.
Good Luck to your son on his growth spurts, and to you for making it through those teenage years.
A.L. answers from Detroit on November 07, 2009
I also have a 15 year old, a 11, and 8 year old. By God your right, this teenage stuff is a lot harder on the parents or in my case the mother. My 15yo is taller than me now and he lives for it but it isn't hard when I am only 5 foot. But he is also now taller than my X too, which of course has not helped his big head. But my 8 year old is very short and probably will not be much taller than me. He gets discouraged when he gets called names but he likes it that he is like me, because at this age his mother is still great. A talk I had with him helped alot, he is really big into gymnastics and being short in gymnastics is not a bad thing, actually it's pretty beneficial. Also he went to a special gymnastics camp this summer and met Johnathan Horton that won a Gold medal at the Olympics and he is only 5 foot 2,seeing is believing. He proved to Travis that being short doesn't mean you can't accomplish goals bigger than life. Let me tell you there was nobody at that camp calling Travis short that week, not after standing next to Johnathan Horton.
Try to find out some famous short people that he knows and make him understand that being short isn't always a bad thing and he is only 15, he will have more growth spurts. I had a growth spurt in college. Heck he will be the one at his highschool reunion being the tallest and cutest. Tom Cruise is only 5'7 and he makes a ton of money!!! He can do it too!!! At least you don't have to deal with the big head, I may have to move soon just to make room for it!
V.E. answers from Lansing on November 05, 2009
Everyone develops at their own rate. Tell him to embrace his individuality. Love who he is and will become. I'm 5'8", my childrens father is 5'9". The ped. told me my oldest son would grow to be 5'8" because of his baby/child growth charts. Guess what, he grew to be 6'2" after he graduated high school. My second son, grew to be 5'8". He is 23 yrs old now and embraces his stature with humor and wit. My third son was always short and rotund in school. Guess what, after he graduated he slimmed down and is now 6' and weighs probably 145#'s. My daughter stands 5'6". All my children are confident and love who they are and have become. To me they are all lovable, individual and unique people. Your child should love himself for what he has become and can do. Best.
S.M. answers from Saginaw on November 04, 2009
Hello M., I agree, parenting is a hard job. Having said that, Michale J. Fox wrote a book titled "A short story". The title is in reference to his height. Coming from a man who was so successful, your son may relate. Hope this helps.
J.M. answers from Detroit on November 04, 2009
My father graduated high school at 5'0. His brother was over 6 foot. My father did grow 10 more inches while in college and in the military. My son (9 this month) is projected to be 5'3''. Did you or husband develop late?? I am 4' 11" (mom) I had issues but grew out of them. It is corny, if people reference my height, I say at least my feet touch the ground. It gets them thinking?? My Uncle married a woman taller than him. Size doesn't affect your personality unless you let it.
H.S. answers from Detroit on November 04, 2009