SF Counseling Center

The Tall Child

A common phenomenon is when a child is tall, the adults around her expect more from her than is reasonable.  Let’s say the child is in 3rd grade, but she is as tall as a 5th grader.  Teachers and parents (as well as other adults) can often have the experience of demanding more from her than they would for another third grade child.  (This can also be true for particularly intelligent children, or children who seem to be more mature).  The ‘feedback loop’ is that the child seems older or more capable than others in her peer group.  Suddenly, expectations go up.   While the child may be on track developmentally, she may ‘get in trouble’ for not using the judgment of a fifth grader.

A similar phenomenon occurs to older siblings.  They seem so mature.  Sometimes we expect more from them than is appropriate.  It is one of the small ways we can misjudge our children and create minor problems.