Younger Daughter Taller and Bigger than Older Daughter?

Updated on April 23, 2013
C.M. asks from Guilderland, NY
15 answers

We have two daughters, Becky, 15, and Rachel, 12. Becky, a 10th grader, is 5'0'' and about 95lbs. She's been that size for about two years now, and may be done growing. Rachel, on the other hand, is in 7th grade, but she already stands 5'7'' and weighs 125lbs. She passed Becky in height when she was 8 and Becky 11, and has towered over her ever since. While both sisters have been fairly mature about this, I don't think Becky is particularly thrilled that her little sister towers over her. It doesn't help that EVERYONE mistakes Rachel for the older one. To be honest, the way they behave toward each other almost seems like a role reversal. Rachel can pick Becky up easily, which she does often, spinning her around, giving her piggyback rides, etc. We've always treated them according to their ages, however, and I don't believe the older sister/younger sister dynamic has changed in any other way. In another year and a half they'll both be in high school together and Rachel may be even taller by then. Could this be an issue?

How have your daughters handled it when the younger one is so much taller/bigger than the older one?

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answers from Wausau on

My sons are 2 years apart in age but so similar in size that people mistake them for twins.

Age is not a factor when it comes to genetic growth. It shouldn't be a big deal unless someone makes it one.

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answers from Salinas on

Ummm....weird that you asked a very similar question about 2 years ago for a "friend" but about adults. Now you are asking for yourself about teens. I just find it a little odd, that's all.

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answers from Los Angeles on

My 6 and 7 year old boys are just under 13 mos apart. The 6 year old outweighs the 7 year old by about 10 lbs and is about 2 inches taller. I also have a stepson that is almost 11 and my 6 year old weighs a couple lbs more (he is NOT overweight, he is off the charts for height/weight) and is only about 1.5" shorter. My 7 year old takes it in stride and it doesn't seem to bother him too much that his brother is bigger than him. The 11 year old, on the other hand, does not like that his almost 5 years younger brother is almost as big as him. Truth be told, my stepson doesn't have much of a chance at being very big- his mom is short (and doesn't have any height on either side of her family) and my husband is very average. There is obviously nothing that anyone can do to change how tall they will be, so they really have to get used to it and learn to be happy with the way they are.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I know you were asking for daughters but my two sons are almost exactly the same. My older one is probably 5'8-5'9, and my younger one is 6'3 pushing 6'4. They are 3 years apart too (18 & 15). Our ped told us years ago that this would probably happen.

With my two I just celebrate the gifts and traits of each one. They seem to be fine with it (and I would think it would be even worse for males). My younger son laughs that he still thinks of his older brother as "the older brother."

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answers from Washington DC on

Genetic recombination. I know a lot of families where the younger one is taller. My sister was taller than me from about the time she was 11 or 12. If the older one doesn't want to be picked up, she should say so. I don't like being picked up, by anybody. My SD is bigger than me (again, since about 11) and I had to enforce that early on.

I wouldn't treat the height like an issue. The older one is still older, with all the expectations and suchlike. What you might find more of a problem is if people treat your younger child like she's a teen (I had a friend who was treated like that) when she's not responsible/old enough. You may need to remind people now and then "She's 12. Really."

I think it will sort itself out in the end. Just make sure that the older daughter doesn't get her clothes stretched out by a growing younger sister. I hated that.



answers from Washington DC on

Doesn't matter if it's an issue or not - unless Rachel gets her legs shortened, there's really no "solution". They'll just have to deal with it - issue or not.
I'm not sure what's going on, but you asked an identical sister/size question 2 years ago for a "friend"? Is this just a fascinating topic to you?



answers from New York on

It will only be an issue, if you make it one. I am sure their friends realize this. High school won't change a thing.



answers from Fresno on

nothing you can do, im 19 and 5'0 and even after my daughter I still weight 95 pounds, iv been small my whole life. and my little brother is 13 waaay taller and out weighs me by much! Theres nothing wrong with being small nor is there anything wrong with being a little bigger.



answers from Kansas City on

My sister is 3 years younger than me. We were the same size when she was in Kinder and I was in 3rd grade. People thought we were twins. She went right by me. (Luckily, my mom NEVER made me wear her hand-me-downs). Now, I'm 5'2" and she's 5'7". My two youngest boys are nearly the same size. They are 5y and 2.5y and the 5yo is only 1" taller. I figure #3 will pass #2 very soon. People already think they are twins. It is what it has never bothered me:)



answers from Portland on

I'm the oldest and the shortest in my family. Everyone gained on me by the time they turned ten... even my brother who is 8 years my junior.

It could be an issue if everyone makes a big deal out of it. I wouldn't direct the girls to act any differently than they already do. And be sure not to give the older one the pass-alongs/hand-me-downs from the younger one. :) It was a bit of a sore spot when I was younger, but that's a relatively short window of time. Ultimately, people will stop mentioning it as they get older. You may want to tip extended family who you are close to (and know won't tease with the knowledge that it bugs Becky) and let them know not to mention it.


answers from Boise on

My kids are all over the place height wise. My 9 year old DD is only, maybe, an inch shorter then her 11 year old brother is average/tall for his age. She's a behemoth compared to her brother and loves rubbing it in. I often times have to remind myself that she is younger then she looks.

It is what it is, people come in all different shapes and sizes.



answers from Los Angeles on

My kids aren't like this, but my sister and I were. I was 4 years older, never more than 2" taller, and she was always heavier by 10-20 pounds. She passed me in height when we were about 12 and 16, and she's now 3" taller than I am.

I always looked super young too, so people definitely mistook us sometimes as the opposite of what we were. We just laughed and corrected them. We were always treated according to our real ages though. She never picked me up and treated me like the little sister.

I don't think it's going to be an issue. By the time Rachel comes to school, Becky will have established her social circle. Kids will know her as the older one and it won't be a big deal.


answers from Grand Forks on

My boys are three years and eight days apart. The seven year old is the same height as the ten year old and weighs a couple of pounds more. They have been mistaken for twin since they were about four and seven years old. They have explained to strangers asking if they are twins so often that it sounds rehearsed. "We're not twins. I'm ten, but small for my age" and his brother will say "and I'm seven but I'm big for my age." So far my ten year old has not shown signs of being terribly bother by it, but maybe it will bother him more when he is in middle school or high school (unless he has a big growth spurt). Of course, girls don't usually put as much importance into being big and tall as boys do. I'm only 5'2" and I don't remember ever being bothered that I wasn't tall.



answers from Austin on

My second was always bigger than the first... they were just 20 months apart. When I was pregnant with #3, they were about the same size...(1st was about 4, and #2 was 2.....) people thought they were twins!

#2 started passing her sister at about that point.....

Now, oldest is 30, and #2 is 28.... oldest is about 5'4", and #2 is about 5'8"...... oldest always said "I'm petite and proud of it!" I don't think there were really any issues...

And... oddly enough, I'm taller than my sister... she is only about 5'2", and I'm 5'7" ....... when she would call me her "little sister", I would jokingly reply.. "Who's the little one now?"


answers from Chicago on

I was 5'11 by 8th grade. My Sr. yr I hit 6'2. My sisters both stopped at 5'7. My sisters made sure I never forgot who was the youngest and who were the oldest and remind me to this day that they can "drop kick me at the drop of a hat."

Basically - they will have rivalries and arguements about it - it is what it is and one will eventually show their dominance. It is as it should be.

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