Okay, this is a little long but I couldn't explain it in any less words
I have a daughter who's very small for her age...small enough that we're having tests done to find out why. She's almost 3 but she's smart enough to know that everyone else as old as her is bigger, and she's very sensitive about it. People comment on her size whenever they hear how old she is, and she will cry or keep asking me later if she's big enough.
We've been avoiding social situations where Sophia will feel uncomfortable. We have to go to a birthday party in a couple of weeks, though, for a little girl turning three. We haven't met her, she's the daughter of my husband's coworker, so my husband will be the only one who knows anyone there. Anyhow, we got the invitation yesterday and they had put their little girl's clothing size in it...she's huge compared to my daughter, already a 5t or 6 (Sophia is wearing 18 months). So I know that people there will be even more amazed at how little Sophia is compared to the birthday girl, given that they're the same age.
So I'm wondering if it would be odd for us to tell them ahead of time that Sophia's very small and that she's sensitive about it, so they can tell the other guests not to say anything? or if that would seem too weird.
Yes, it would be odd.
Have your husband do it anyway.
I assume his coworkers know about her, but it would be a good idea for him to casually mention it to the person who issued the invitation.
If it was to make her feel better, and you guys as well, then I don't see any harm in it .. I have a niece who is VERY tiny at 11 years old .. in fact, she can share clothes with both her 5 and 3 year old sisters .. we tell my niece, since she complains about always being so small, is that one day, she will LOVE being so tiny .. and then she won't be complaining!
Personally I wouldn't say anything to the hosts. It may sound slightly harsh but it's something that your daughter is likely to have to hear for the rest of her life if she's going to be small for her age.
What I would do is have a talk with your child. Explain about averages and differences in people in simple language. If she's old enough to notice how other children are she's old enough to have noticed that some people are thinner, fatter, taller, darker or lighter.
Believe me the birthday child also hears about size but the other way because that's VERY large for a child that age.
I know what it's like because I have the opposite problem with my youngest who is 5 now. He's in an 8 and isn't even in kindergarten, some of the employees at my oldest's school started thinking he was in kindergarten before he turned 4. That was the year it got really obvious and we started telling him the whole thing about differences. We hear comments all the time from people and he's had to learn that it's just part of him and to deal with it.
Haven't you heard that the best things come in small packages? My cousin is 10 and wears a 5T, his 7 year old sister is taller. However, he is the all-around silver medalist in the southern region for gymnastics and he is the gold medalist in Texas. All his team mates are taller and not nearly as skilled as he. My MIL is 4'10". My son is 2 and wears 6 mo pants.
Some people are just meant to be small and it's not something she should ever be ashamed, or worried, about. I think telling people not to mention it kind of reinforces the idea that being small is not desirable, even though I know that is not your intent at all. It also may draw attention where it wouldn't have been otherwise. If people are made aware of it, then they might stare or something (people can be so rude and tactless these days). If she sees you and dad laughing it off and not making a big deal, then she might adopt that same outlook. My aunt and uncle had all the testing done on my cousin and he's fine. They just look at it like God wanted him to be a gymnast, so he made him small.
I really understand where you are coming from because I worry about my son too. Are you and DH short? Genetically, she may just be predisposed to being small.
I have a tiny granddaughter. She will be three on August 31 and still only wears 18mths also. She weighs 23lbs. So far she does not seem to notice that she is smaller than her peers. The ironic part is that her older sister is 5 and wears a size 7. The little one wears clothes that the older wore when she was 10-12mths.
I agree that the best way to handle this situation is to talk with your daughter. This is something she will have to deal with for a long time, perhaps her whole life and you won't be able to control others reactions or comments about her size. The birthday girl probably has issues dealing with her size as well since she is big for her age. Everyone has to learn to deal with their differences and we are thankful that our granddaughters "differences" are only size and not something much more serious.
I would like to add that there is a real benifit to a child who doesn't grow much: savings on clothes. My giant has gone from a 5 last spring to a 6-7 in the fall to an 8 now. You might even save money on food, my kid eats two big bowls of cereal before 10am every day and he's skinny.
I just read an article about this today. Why not teach your daughter to say, "Thank goodness everyone is different. It keeps the world interesting" then leave it alone. If they persist on knowing if something is "wrong" with her, politely ask why they want to know. They will probably drop it.
Good luck with the testing. I hope you get an answer, even if she is JUST FINE. The not knowing is the hardest.
another comment i use when people make fun of me is im not small im fun size.. it usually just makes them laugh and then they leave you alone. ive been short my whole life so i know what its like, its much easier if your daughter learns to cope with that fact that there are people in the world that are going to make fun and point fingers, but the most improtant thing is that she has good self esteem and loves herself just the way she is
I guess we won't say anything in advance. She just gets so sensitive...the last time we went to someone's house was at Thanksgiving, to my sister's, and she had other guests who kept going on about how tiny Sophie was, and she just kept begging to go home. I hate seeing her unhappy.
My older daughter is actually big for her age...she's 4 feet tall already and she just turned six. I think that's some of it, that my kids compare themselves to each other. (which usually ends with Sophie biting Valerie on the belly, which is the part of her sister at mouth level)
I always want to say "Why are you so fat?"
But then, I'm a feisty old lady...
Well, I do understand the comments........but we get them for the opposite reasons.
My DH is 6'6" and all of my 5 children have his genes! My oldest is twelve and has to buy shoes in the men's dept. because show carnival doesn't carry any girls big enough to fit her feet. She is taller than me now and I'm 5'7".
Oh and btw my 6 month old can wear 18 month old clothes!
My oldest daughter had a friend in her class last year that was very tiny. She was 11 at the time and bet she could still wear a size 6 in little girls. You should have seen them together, it was pretty funny with my daughter being a giant!
What we have done is taught them to love who they are and not tiptoe or walk on eggshells with them.
People point out their height all the time and then they see her feet and have a duck! She has learned to love it.
She knows that God created her totally unique with an incredible purpose in life! I have also tried to teach them that EVERYONE has things they don't like about themselves......EVERYONE!
I always want to say "Why are you so fat?"
But then, I'm a feisty old lady...
...I don't know if that's being feisty, it sounds more mean-spirited to me! Not every person that is fat, gorges themselves. Metabolism and thyroid levels, and genes can play a part in that. That's the problem with people, they judge other's too quickly. That's the reason a little three year old girl has anxiety about her appearance in the first place.
Let her know how special she regardless of size.
If an adult makes mean remarks to a less-than-3 year old child, they deserve mean remarks back.
If my calling attention to their bigness is mean, so is their calling attention to a child's smallness.
Turnabout is fair play. If they can't take it, they shouldn't dish it out.
You're right, I agree that an adult who insults someone should be prepared to get insult in return. They are equipped to handle it.
However, I still don't think a good reply to "why are you so small", is "why are you so fat?" It's not a weight issue, I also don't think that a good reply is ask in response "why are you so ugly?".... I just don't think you need to tear someone down to build yourself up.
The person asking the question in the first place (and in this instance it's a kids party, so the chances of that question coming from a child is highly probable) may have had no malice intended, just curiousity or concern.
I don't think most people are that mean, especially to a child.
I just think it's important to let the child know she's special, and to embrace it. God was involved in the plans.
I think the reply depends on the circumstances. I would seldom actually say that, but would love to do so...
The original poster did not say children. It was implied that she was speaking of adults.
quoteeople comment on her size whenever they hear how old she is, and she will cry or keep asking me later if she's big enough. :unquote
Quote: She just gets so sensitive...the last time we went to someone's house was at Thanksgiving, to my sister's, and she had other guests who kept going on about how tiny Sophie was, and she just kept begging to go home. :unquote
Those are adults, not kids. The people are not being consciously mean, I assume; but are thoughtless. The hurt is not lessened by that fact.
Too many people believe the old adage :
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
That's a crock. Physical hurts heal much faster than psychological ones.
I didn't mean for anyone to start arguing because of my post
I was talking about adults...kids love Sophie's size because they can carry her around or have her be the baby when they play house...and Sophie can hold her own when other kids tease her (there's a boy at her sister's school who she has named "Butthead" his mother is not amused, but he does act like a butthead around her and sometimes it's all I can do not to laugh...he will walk around on his knees and say, "I'm Sophia," and she will say, "I'm Sophia, you're Butthead")
By the way, I am very fat and I have had a few kids ask me why I am so fat, and I always tell them, "Because I'm made out of cake." They're usually really impressed
But anyhow, I didn't mean to start anything...I just needed some advice from everyone on what would be appropriate, and I got some great advice, so thanks, everyone!
I don't think either of us is angry, Texas_Rose.
I am very short myself, and when kids ask me about it I tell them "The better to sneak up on people, like a little mouse! I wear quiet shoes (Keds) so they can't hear me and I'm short so they can't see me..." heh, heh
"Because I'm made out of cake."
. . . I just love, love, love that answer . . .
sorry I don't have any recommendations regarding insensitive adults, other than to reinforce to your daughter "perfect packaging" immediately following the hurtful comments . . . it will hopefully maintain and enhance your daughter's self esteem . . . AND "maybe, just maybe" the adults will clue into the fact their comments were out of line . . . (but don't count on the latter) . . .
Just wanted to say that I wasn't angry either... I was just trying to get my point across, and I reread it before posting to make sure it didn't have a tone, I thought it sounded okay ....I would have added if I was really mad
I think that comments on the height of a short or tall child might be an adult's way of making conversation with someone they don't really know. It's something obvious about the child that in most cases won't offend because it's not something caused by the parents.
And for all you short adults out there I promise that tall adults get their share of comments. I'm 5'10 and I hear about it but my sister gets it worse because she's four inches taller than me.
tell your daughter "its not how big you are, its how much you know" and tell her whenpppl ask about her size she should tell them that.