Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Growing Up Short or Heavy Can Be Difficult

Each of us is unique; we come in different shapes and sizes. But that's an adult's view of the world. If a child thinks they're different from the other kids in his or her class, they can feel bad about it. A child who is shorter or heavier than others may be teased about that difference.

Many times, the parents' reaction to the situation determines how well the child accepts their height or weight.

Listen and understand when your child is describing how they feel about the situation. Then help your child see the problem in perspective and offer support. Focus on his or her strengths—artistic ability, sporting skills, or other talents.

Self-esteem really comes from family relationships. You can build self-esteem by spending time with your children and learning about their interests. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children need to develop or acquire some or all of the following characteristics for a healthy self esteem: A sense of security, belonging, purpose, personal competence and pride, support and reward, a sense of accepting mistakes along with failure and a sense of family self esteem.

The biggest reason that some children are shorter than their peers is genetics. Most short children have short parents. You can help your child grow to his or her natural maximum height in a healthy way by offering nutritious meals and making sure your child gets enough sleep and regular exercise.

Some children may have a growth delay, which means that a child is small for his or her age but is growing at a normal rate. Children with this delay usually reach puberty later than others their age, and they continue to grow until an older age. Often a child who has a growth delay has a parent who also went through a similar experience.

If your child is overweight, talk with your child's health care provider for suggestions on how to help your child slim down. The best way for your child to lose weight is to encourage him or her to exercise more and follow a healthier diet, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. You shouldn't limit how much your child eats, but offer healthier foods.

Reviewed Date: 04-28-2013

Eric Gyuricsko, MD
Kent Reifschneider, MD
Reuben Rohn, MD
Melissa Russell, MD
Marta Satin-Smith, MD
Health Tips
Helping Children Conquer Fear
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
How to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Kids' Health Concerns Ease with Age
What Kids Drink Is Important, Too
When Your Child Says, 'I'm Sick'
Diseases & Conditions
AIDS/HIV in Children
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma and Children
Asthma in Children Index
Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboarding Safety--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Bipolar Disorder in Children
Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Diphtheria in Children
During an Asthma Attack
Ewing Sarcoma
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis in Children
Osteosarcoma in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Vision Overview
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.