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Dear Dish-It: Go Shorty?

Dear Dish-it,


I'm an 11-year-old girl and I'm still SHORT. I'm the shortest person between Grades 5 and 10 - and I'm in Grade 7. Why am I still short?


kgm


Dear kgm,


Great question! For most kids, height isn't something they can change, so what do you do if you don't like how tall or short you are? It might be girls feeling too tall and boys feeling too short. But some really tall boys might not like all that height and some shorter girls might get tired of all the jokes or of feeling like they're staying little while their friends are growing up.


Nice Genes

But the truth is that everyone is growing up, it's just that they're doing it at their own pace. In other words, your body grows on its own schedule. You can't wish yourself taller or stretch yourself. Or if you're already tall, you can't do anything to hurry up your friends up so you're not the tallest one.


For kids concerned about their height, there are two big questions:

    1. When will I grow taller (or stop growing)?
    2. How tall will I be?

    Your genes, which you inherited from your parents, largely determine how tall you will end up being and how fast you'll grow. Kids get taller more quickly during growth spurts, times when their bodies grow fast: as much as 4 inches or more in a year during puberty, for example!


    Height Happens

    Your biggest growth spurt happened when you were a baby. In that first year of life, you grew about 10 inches as you got bigger and stronger. Since then, you've probably seen your height increase a few inches a year. You might find out how much you've grown during your annual checkup at the doctor's office or when your pants get too short.


    After babyhood, the next big growth spurt for kids comes during puberty, a time of many changes when boys and girls grow bigger and start to look more like adult men and women. But no one can tell you exactly when you'll experience these changes. Puberty starts at different ages for different kids and it is a process that takes a couple of years. So the getting taller part will happen at different ages, depending on the kid, and whether he or she is a boy or a girl.


    In general, puberty starts:

    • between ages 8 and 13 in girls
    • between 9 and 14 in boys

    During puberty, boys and girls will have a growth spurt and grow to their adult height. So that means girls who start puberty the latest will still be getting taller in their mid-teens. For boys, the latest to reach puberty will still be getting taller into their late teens. A few of these boys may grow taller even into their early 20s!


    How Tall Will I Be?

    You might want to know how tall you will be. Will you be nose to nose with your mom or dad someday? There's no way to know for sure how tall a kid will be as an adult, but it's easy to get a clue: Look at your parents and the other adult members of your family. How tall are they? Chances are you'll be around the same height as your parents. If one parent is tall and one short, then you're likely to end up somewhere in between. But you could be taller or shorter, too. Boy, there are a lot of "buts" when it comes to height! That's because your height is determined by your genes: the complicated code of instructions that you inherit from your parents. Genes tell your body how to grow and determine lots of things, including how tall you are.


    But those genes don't make you an exact copy of your mom or dad. Kids only get some of the genes from each of their parents, and parents don't give the same bunch of their genes to each kid. If you have brothers and sisters, you know this is true. Brothers and sisters can look very different even though you have the same parents. Even identical twins can end up being different heights!


    Worried About Your Height?

    Here are some things some short or tall kids might have to deal with:

    • You’re too short to ride the rides you want to ride at an amusement park: This one is upsetting. You're all ready to board the super-fast roller coaster and the ride operator says you're too small. Sometimes, you will be allowed to ride with an adult, so try to have one handy.
    • You still have to use a booster seat in the car: Though you haven't used a car seat for a long time, older kids are supposed to use a booster seat until they are 4-feet-9-inches tall. The seats are meant to position the seat belt properly in case of a crash. If your friends don't have to use one and you do, you might feel funny about it. On the plus side, sitting higher makes it easier to see and might help if you get carsick and need to keep looking out the window.
    • You’re a girl who's taller than the boys: This can make a girl feel awkward, especially when it comes time to be paired up, like at a school dance. Eventually, this evens out, but it takes a little while because many girls have their growth spurts before the boys do.
    • Someone teases you about being too tall or too short: This kind of teasing is the worst. You can't change your height, so what are you supposed to do? As with most teasing, try not to let it bother you. Tell a teacher, parent, or another adult if it's bothering you and the person won't stop.

    What You Can Do Right Now

    If you are still worried about your height, talk to your parents and your doctor. Most kids don't have a growth problem that needs help from a doctor, but it's always OK to ask if you're concerned.


    So for most kids, it seems like there's not much to do but wait to see how it all turns out. But you can do something right now: Eat healthy and take care of yourself. If you get the nutrition, sleep, and exercise you need, you're likely to reach your maximum potential height. In other words, you'll grow as tall as you were meant to grow. And even though you may hear people say it, taking extra vitamins or supplements that you can buy in a store won't help you get taller. Just stick to a healthy diet if you want to be the tallest you can be!


    Kids who wish they weren't so tall should still eat healthy and take care of themselves, of course. Eating less won't make you end up any shorter unless you really starved yourself and made yourself sick. As they get older, most kids learn to feel comfortable with their height, whether they turn out tall, short, or somewhere in between.


    Sound Off

    What do you think kgm should do? Have your say by leaving a comment below this story!


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    • Yes - I think I'm too tall
    • Yes - I think I'm too short
    • Sometimes, but I'm not done growing yet
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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Autonomy
    "Lulu335" wrote: I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!! Oh sweetheart, your situation is so, so very far from being complicated. In fact, it's actually, entirely simple. But I'm here to help you see that, because you can't see it yourself quite yet. Brace yourself, you may never hear such advice in your life ever again. Or you might, I can't predict the future. You're in sixth grade, you said. Assuming you live in the United states and weren't held back, you're probably 12, maybe 11. The problem is, the human brain isn't fully developed until a person hits the age of about 25. This means, without debate, that your brain unable to fully grasp what being in a relationship actually entails, what it means, what the consequences are, and so forth. You can't even fathom it, my dear. I couldn't at your age; no one can. You've just begun to hit puberty at this point in your very young, completely normal life. Certain hormones are now being developed by your body that, up until puberty began, your body did not produce. Let me explain, in simple terms, what this means: these new hormones are giving you fuzzy feelings for boys, but these feelings are not what people with fully developed brains call "love." Love means being self sacrificing, compromising, giving and taking, communicating clearly and honestly, and so much more. What you're feeling is a part of love-romance-but it's not all there is to love. It's actually just a few simple chemicals being released in your brain: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and few others. Your brain releases those chemicals when, say, you see a boy you like, and those chemicals make you feel all fuzzy inside. In fact, (brace yourself,) there's nothing inherently special about the boys you like, or the boys that like you; in fact, they're also, entirely normal, and aside from a few minor differences in character, completely like most other boys their age. Had you been born in another town, gone to another school, you would have gotten the same fuzzy feeling about whatever boy you thought you liked at that school. You see? I'm not saying this to make you feel insignificant, but perhaps the insight will make moving easier for you. The next place your militant parents settle down in will also have a middle school, with a bunch of normal 11-14 year old boys and girls, all doing the exact same things the kids at your school do right now. Does that put things in perspective for you? The world is a very, very big place, and it's home to billions upon billions of people. Your situation is far from being a needle in a hay stack; it's more like a blade of grass, in a vast field of foliage. The feelings you're feeling aren't uncommon or complicated, they just feel that way to you. (Now, really brace yourself, because this is going to get uncomfortable.) We, as people, tend to think that we're special. Each one of us a unique snowflake, drifting about in big blue sky, that exists solely to show the world how special we are. The problem is, the other seven billions snowflakes (people) think exactly like we do, and in this way, we are all the same. We think our problems are new problems that no one has ever dealt with before, and no one else could possibly understand the pain and suffering we're going through. We all think this way, by nature; but it's simply naive. Heartache and suffering have existed since people existed, and possibly before then. Your situation may not be ideal to you, but once you come to terms with the fact that life isn't ideal for anyone, you might actually feel comfort. The easiest way to cope with our many problems, is to accept them for what they are: a part of the human experience. Natural, normal, repeating generation after generation without end. Again, these are concepts that require some deep thought, and you might not fully grasp them quite yet. But remember them. With time, as you grow, think about them more, and you will find peace with your life. And remember this: although you're stuck (for now) on a giant rock hurling around the sun at an incredible speed, you're not alone. With billions of other people stuck here with you, you'll never be without friends.
    reply about 8 hours
    Fun_125
    I personally think that when you ARE ready then go for it! As long as the person you like isn't a jerk to anyone or you go for it! Just don't get too serious. It's middle school. Good luck!
    reply about 10 hours
    Error44
    "Lulu335" wrote:I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!!I know, it is too late but I think you should not go for a deeper relationship, don't make it hard for yourself and try to be his just friend because you are so young .
    reply about 13 hours
    Error44
    "queenslay173" wrote:I was at school when I noticed people started to tell me this boy liked me and I thought it was cool because I'm used to that type of stuff then we started to dated in October we broke up right before christmas and it was so strange. we got back together in the beginning of January and we broke up again on the 4 my friends are really mad at me and he seemed really upset I like him but I just don't want to be with him anymore what should I do ?- confused lover Tell him your reasons and make it clear for both of you
    reply about 13 hours
    lottie_h141
    lottie_h141 posted in Style:
    thank u!!! acc helps so much. Obvs going to superstars aswell 
    reply 3 days