How to boost self confidence for a very small child

October 2, 2022

“Go, shorty / It's your birthday / We gon' party like it's your birthday”. You may well associate these 50 Cent lyrics with celebration and embarrassing table dancing. While “shorty” is often a term of endearment, for many undersized children it has the complete opposite meaning. 

Short children are constantly reminded, and ridiculed, for their height. From patronising head rubbing to provocative, “can you get that jar at the top of the shelf” type questions, it is no secret that smaller kids have a harder time of it. This can have a detrimental effect on their self-esteem that can extend into childhood. So here are some tips for parents of children who may be suffering a confidence crisis as a result of their height. 

  1. Don’t freak out, it’s probably not a medical problem

You might be thinking that if your child’s growth has slowed down, it is because of a hormone deficiency, underactive thyroid gland or a genetic disorder. However, for most shorter, generally healthy children, it is unlikely that a medical problem is the root cause of their height.  According to a 2013 study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, 99% of healthy children in the third lowest percentile for height – i.e., shorter than 97% of kids of the same age and gender – did not test positive for any medical condition.

  1. Don’t patronise your child

Just because your kid may be shorter than their peers, does not mean they are intellectually or emotionally limited. There is a high chance that they experience some form of mocking or babying by others. Make sure you aren’t joining in by accident.

  1. Don’t keep them out of physical activities

Relate to our advice above, do not keep your child out of physical activities. You may think of this as a form of protection. It is really a form of exclusion, and further patronisation. By preventing them from playing sports with their peers, you are both limiting their physical growth further and reinforcing their diminished height as a severe problem. 

  1. Keep their height in perspective

In an ideal world, you would probably like your child to be a touch taller. But if they do remain shorter than average, its not the end of the world. There is also a high chance that they will grow up to be taller than you think, thanks to a late growth spurt. To increase the probability of this happening, make sure your child eats healthily, sleeps enough and exercises sufficiently. They might turn out to be one of the tallest in their class!  

How to boost self confidence for a very small child

October 2, 2022

“Go, shorty / It's your birthday / We gon' party like it's your birthday”. You may well associate these 50 Cent lyrics with celebration and embarrassing table dancing. While “shorty” is often a term of endearment, for many undersized children it has the complete opposite meaning. 

Short children are constantly reminded, and ridiculed, for their height. From patronising head rubbing to provocative, “can you get that jar at the top of the shelf” type questions, it is no secret that smaller kids have a harder time of it. This can have a detrimental effect on their self-esteem that can extend into childhood. So here are some tips for parents of children who may be suffering a confidence crisis as a result of their height. 

  1. Don’t freak out, it’s probably not a medical problem

You might be thinking that if your child’s growth has slowed down, it is because of a hormone deficiency, underactive thyroid gland or a genetic disorder. However, for most shorter, generally healthy children, it is unlikely that a medical problem is the root cause of their height.  According to a 2013 study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, 99% of healthy children in the third lowest percentile for height – i.e., shorter than 97% of kids of the same age and gender – did not test positive for any medical condition.

  1. Don’t patronise your child

Just because your kid may be shorter than their peers, does not mean they are intellectually or emotionally limited. There is a high chance that they experience some form of mocking or babying by others. Make sure you aren’t joining in by accident.

  1. Don’t keep them out of physical activities

Relate to our advice above, do not keep your child out of physical activities. You may think of this as a form of protection. It is really a form of exclusion, and further patronisation. By preventing them from playing sports with their peers, you are both limiting their physical growth further and reinforcing their diminished height as a severe problem. 

  1. Keep their height in perspective

In an ideal world, you would probably like your child to be a touch taller. But if they do remain shorter than average, its not the end of the world. There is also a high chance that they will grow up to be taller than you think, thanks to a late growth spurt. To increase the probability of this happening, make sure your child eats healthily, sleeps enough and exercises sufficiently. They might turn out to be one of the tallest in their class!  

Members only content

Sign up or login for free to access