Petite Kids and Their Feelings - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-24-2002, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Both my dh and I are petite people. I'm 5'0 and my dh is 5'8-5'9 and we are small boned. For myself, I have had struggles over the years with my size, but mainly in finding clothes, etc.

My ds is 6 yo and is petite in size also. Now himself and other kids are noticing. How to deal with this??? I have tried to talk w/him in the past about his size and how everyone is different and has special talents. For example~he is a very fast runner and is great w/his large motor skills like riding a motorcycle, riding a 2-wheeler at age 4. But this morning, he was in tears. He had a friend spend the night last nigth and he kept questioning Dane's age, his size and talents. His friend is on the large end~he is only 8 wks. older and weighs 20 lbs. more than Dane. And BTW~his friend likes to brag and will lie sometimes as well. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but it just kills me to see my ds so sad.

My dh just left to take them riding and my dh is really pissed off. He had to deal w/this as a kid and seeing someone basically "picking" on Dane is hurting him too. How to deal with this?

Thanks~

Lisa

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#2 of 9 Old 08-24-2002, 04:02 PM
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I'm not sure if this will help or not, but it's the same on the other end of the continuum. People started not believeing my daughter when she told them how old she was when she was not even 2 years old - and it hasn't stopped. A few kids have accused her of lying and come to me to get the "truth" And in our culture, bigger is not better for little girls - although perhaps the opposite is true for boys :-/

I've tried to make it a point to never say she's "too big" for soemthing, but to put the "blame" on the object - "That shirt is too small for you" rather than "You're too big for that shirt". I think it helps. As far as other kids, I've always figured that the ones who gave her the hardest time were the ones who felt a bit insecure about their own bodies in some way, although with really young kids it may be more that they're just starting to see past themselves, and to realize that kids come in all sizes. It sounds like the issue with Dane's friend goes beyond size - if that wasn't there he'd find something else. I think you're doing the right thing, just keep emphasizing that people come in all sizes and that's how it should be.

And I love the name Dane, it was on the short list we considered if Rain had been a boy :-)

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#3 of 9 Old 08-24-2002, 04:10 PM
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Hello lisamarie!
My DD is also small/petite. I have noticed that because of her size, bigger kids tend to treat her like a 'baby', ie - pick her up, try to do things for her, basically try to cater her. Have you ever seen that movie Simon Birch? The scene when all the kids take turns picking him up and carrying him, remind me of what my DD goes thru LOL!

I have reminded the other children that she is older and not to pick her up with out asking her first. For the most part, I feel that she needs to learn how to fend for herself, so I leave it up to her. If she asks for my help, then I do my best to help.

She has learned. She is very loud and direct with what she wants and what is okay or not okay with her. She does tend to be a bit bossy, but I think that stems from needing to be, not so much personality KWIM?

Right now, it seems our biggest problem is other adults. They look at her and see a 3 or 4 yo, not a 6 yo. When they see how she behaves and how well-spoken she is, they tend to get upset that their 3or 4 yo aren't like that. They try to use my DD as an example. I have to remind them that she is 6 yo, and that their children are fine.

Well, just my input, hope some of it helps or even just lets you know you are not alone.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-24-2002, 07:35 PM
 
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Having a petite child makes me cry sometimes. DS turned 8 on Tuesday. People ask him how old he is expecting to hear 5 or maybe 6. When we stareted him in Kung Fu San Soo 2 years ago, the instructor did a double take. We had to get him a size 00 Gi and I took a 10" hem in the pants. : When there are promotions (DS is a 2nd degree brown belt now) the audience laughs when he goes up to demonstrate with his father (DS is 48 " tall and 43#, DH is 5'8" and 220#). : ( Kids on playgrounds will exclude him unless he explains he is their age only smaller.

Teaching him to speak up for himself has helped. Kung Fu has helped a LOT. It is an art that emphasises defense not attacks, uses physics and leverage, gives DS an advantage because of his size, confidance because of the skill, and earns him respect among the people who see him work.

Oh and those adults who are so cruel to laugh at my son during Kung Fu San Soo demonstrations? They stop laughing as they see this " little boy" flip his father (who outweighs him 5 to 1) like a pancake.

For us it has been about emphasising the positives of being small. It might help he's homeschooled.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-25-2002, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really want to thank everyone for their kind responses. My poor dh had quite a day with the boys. The other little boy, kept picking on my ds, even after my dh talked w/him about it! BTW~he also has a problem w/authority figures. Anyways, after I took the other little boy home, I spoke to my ds about the situation. It doesn't seem like he is afraid of him, but he has asked repeatedly, why the other boy is so mean. I gave him a few verbal tools that perhaps he could use, but some he didn't want to because "it wouldn't be kind". He is very sensentive to other peoples feelings. Ms. Mom had also suggested an old "Mothering" article about "bullies". I did get that out to read yesterday too.

The other boy's mother wanted to know how things had gone, so I gently told her. She has noticed a change in him for quite awhile and his negative behavior. I was so relieved that she listened w/an open heart and mind.

mamamouse~thanks for sharing the story about your ds. I have thought alot about putting my ds into some sort of martial arts. In fact, I wouldn't find learning w/him.

Thanks again for your stories and support!

Warmly~

Lisa

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#6 of 9 Old 09-09-2002, 09:49 PM
 
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My 3 year old son is on the small side. He was a preemie and has always been very small. He was small for gestational age as well. I am also concerned about him being small. He is 3 1/2 and only weighs 26 pounds and is about 38" tall I am guessing on that) Most 3 year olds we know are 10-20 pounds heavier, though he is not that much shorter. I am 5', but dh is 6' so he has a decent chance either way.

We will probably homeschool him and this is just another good reason. I think being with a variety of ages will better help him realize kids come in all sizes. When they are mostly with the same age kids, I think it is easy for them to compare themselves to others. I don't want him to feel small.

Already, kids have called him a baby, kids his own age. He is very verbal for his age and doesn't talk like a 3 year old. He sounds much older and really likes playing with older kids. He has already come to me at the park when some kids called him "too little". It breaks my heart. I was small and was constantly picked up and sometimes teased by by other kids. I didn't really mind, but I know it is harder for boys to be small.

We also say things like, "that bike is too big" or "that tree is too tall" instead of saying he is too small for it. We also focus on how strong and smart he is instead of the typical "big boy".

It's hard to read your posts about how smaller boys may have it when they are older. I so want to protect him from that. Though, I know that I can't always. I know there is always a chance he will be taller also. Especially when he's older. But, it does make me sad when he already is getting teased a bit.
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#7 of 9 Old 09-09-2002, 10:27 PM
 
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We were eating dinner at a salad bar last night. Another father with 2 little girls was at the next table and was occassionally watching us. He leaned over and guessed the kids ages to range from 6 months to 5 years. DH corrected him explaining they were 8, almost 6, almost 3, and 6 months. DS piped up with "Yep! I just turned 8, but I know I'm the size of an average 5 year old. I'm just small for my age." He said it so matter of fact. I know he's heard me explain it before, but it was wierd coming from him, ya know?
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#8 of 9 Old 09-10-2002, 03:48 AM
 
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I can so so so empathize. I'm 5'1" and DH is 5'7" and our mothers are both 4'11" ... our kids will not be particularly tall. And DS#1 is already at the bottom of those statistical charts for height.

This past weekend we saw someone we knew, she hadn't seen us in a long time or our kids ever, and when she asked our kids' ages, I said, "4.5, 2.5 and a half." DS#1 is the 4 and DD is the 2. Well, this mama of three little ones herself said to 2yoDD, "How do you like having your two little brothers?"

Well, anyway, it hurts him, I know it does, he says so, and he's the smallest in his preschool class, and he's had some problems with bullies, too ... though I didn't associate that with a size thing.

Is that article on bullies in the Web-site archive? I don't keep any back issues ...

- Amy
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#9 of 9 Old 09-10-2002, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Its good to hear from other mom's. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only mom in this situation. It can be so heartbreaking can't it? I'm sure that there are some info. on bullies in the archieves and maybe you could order the past issue about bullies from Mothering. I think its from last year sometimes???

Thanks~

Lisa

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