Question for men, particularly tall men

A few years ago, I posted regarding how we were told our son was looking at being unusually tall, and given options in case we wanted to to anything to either slow his rate of growth, or induce his growth spurt early, to take a couple of inches off his final adult height.

He’s looking at being about 6’7.

He has just turned 14, and is 5’9 1/2, and I can’t stress this enough, has not yet had his adolescent growth spurt. My brother had his around age 16, and grew six inches in one year. The boychik had a toddler growth spurt, and grew six inches from 12 months to 24 months. So he is absolutely capable of six inches in a year.

He grew two inches last year. We are buying new clothes that are baggy on him so we don’t have to buy him new ones four months later. That was going on for a while. If we didn’t have lots of cousins to give him hand-me-downs, we’d go broke on his clothes-- except now he’s taller than all his cousins. We buy everything but his dress clothes at Goodwill these days. He’s built like a refrigerator, and hit the big 2-0-0 in weight this year as well.

Thing is, DH was almost this tall at 14, and never really had a growth spurt, and topped out at 6’2. We’re still kinda holding out hope for that-- except the boychik looks just like my brother, and even has mannerisms that are like my brother’s (drives DH crazy). I don’t actually look a whole lot like my brother-- in fact, we even occasionally got asked if we were adopted-- so it’s not that my son looks like me. My brother always looked like one of my father’s cousins and my mother’s mother, had a child together. And now that’s what my son looks like. They both were very tall. My grandmother was 5’9, which was awfully tall for a woman born in Slovakia in 1917. Her father was well over 6’. There are a few very light-haired people in that part of the very Jewish family, too, so I wonder if we got a few Scandinavians mixed in at some point.

Anyway, my question: I’m just wondering: among men who are very tall, say, over 6’2, what were your growth patterns in late childhood and adolescence? Did you all have a growth spurt? Did of you skip it, just have steady growth, and still end up very tall anyway?

I realize if this is the worst thing I have to worry about, I’m doing pretty well, and there are much worse problems than being 6’7, but I’m still worried about nutrition when he’s growing this much-- he’s hungry all the time, it’s expensive to feed him, but I don’t want give him a lot of cheap, empty calories, and get him in the habit of eating that kind of food. He’s klutzy because he’s growing so fast, and he gets growing pains. He occasionally gets “How’s the weather up there?” and is shy, and really hates hearing things like that (or, more to the point, having to come up with something to say to it). I’m 5’5, and have no advice for him.

His father wants him to swim on his own, and isn’t, in his words, “coddling” him through this. I think he needs a little coddling, and DH and I haven’t been actually fighting about this, but it’s an issue. I want his father to give him advice, and maybe commiserate a little, and he won’t.

Anyway, I’m his mom, and I’m worried. I can’t help it.

So tell me stories. How did you grow? Were you always tall, or did you shoot up in high school? Did you keep growing after your growth spurt, or was that it for you? How long did the puberty process last? (The boychick is smack in the middle of it-- below the waist, he’s through it, but above the waist not so much-- he has some serious gorilla legs, but no beard to speak of whatsoever, and not a single hair on his chest. And I haven’t seen him undressed in years, but according to DH “He won’t accidentally put his underwear on backwards anymore.”) How was it emotionally coping with growing to be taller than everyone else? Did you ever get teased; did it feel good-natured, or did it upset you? Overall, do you think being really tall is good? If you are 6’4+ would you choose the height you are over “normal tall,” like being 6’2? What are some good responses to remarks like “How’s the weather?” or even just “Wow, you’ve really grown, haven’t you?” Everyone who hasn’t seen him in more than a few months feels obligated to comment on his height, for some reason.

Thanks for indulging me. Again, I realize I could be having much worse problems, and I really should be thanking whatever gods there be, but as his mother, I’m worrying. If he were upset because his favorite show got cancelled, I’d worry. It’s what we do.

I was your son’s height at 14, and topped out at just under 6 feet. Much to my consternation, I never caught up with my older brothers. Our younger son had his growth spurt later; he was average to slightly above average height until 15-16. He’s probably done at 20, and is around 6’3". People occasionally comment on his height, but not that often.

My dad was 6’ 6 1/2". I think you are worrying over nothing. 6’7" is tall but it’s not freakish. Also, a lot of people admire tall people (for some silly reason, but that’s how it is). So just leave your son alone, he will be fine. Re: your question, I don’t know when dad had his growth spurt but I know he was tall throughout high school and probably before that.

I’m currently a hair under 6’1", and I was 5’6" in seventh grade (13), 5’9" at the beginning of eighth grade (14), and ended eighth grade at 6’0".

Basically I grew steadily until I was about 5’9" and then hit my growth spurt in the spring semester of eight grade, and I grew about 3" in about 2-3 months. So I had a growth spurt, but not quite as dramatic as others I’ve known. I grew another inch or so over the next couple years in high school.

It wasn’t ever a big deal being tall- I was always a tall kid- somewhere in the 80-90th percentile, and I ended up right about there as an adult too. The only time that I was unusually tall was really the second half of eighth grade and my first year or so of high school, until everyone else had their growth spurts and we all were more or less our adult heights. That’s really the issue I suspect, is that your son’s right in the middle of that time frame when everyone his age hits their growth spurts at different times, and at different rates- some people end up kind of gawky as they grew faster than the rest of their body could keep up, and as a result are kind of uncoordinated, oddly proportioned, etc… until their coordination and musculature catch up.

As far as being my height goes, it’s just about perfect. I’m short enough that I don’t necessarily require special tall clothes, and I fit into most airplane and car seats well enough. But I’m still taller than something like 8 out of 10 men I encounter, and am tall enough to have be considered “tall” by women back when I was single. Basically all the advantages, and very few of the disadvantages of being “tall” happen when you’re in the 6’0"-6’2" range from what I can tell. Much above 6’2" and you start having to buy tall clothing, various seats don’t fit, etc… My father was 6’3", and he had minor issues with those things due to his height. I’m sure someone 6’5" would have even worse tales to tell.

6’3" here. I know I’m tall, but don’t feel REALLY tall. Folk taller than me are TALL.

But yeah - 6’7" is up in the REALLY TALL, but not FREAKISHLY TALL range.

I was 6’ in 8th grade. I believe my 1st driver’s license at age 16 said 6’3" and 155#. Didn’t “bulk up” to 175# until I took some weightlifting courses in college.

So any spurts I had, woulda been in grade school. My main recollection was always having shirtsleeves/pants which were too short - either when bought or soon after. Don’t know that my mom ever bought me tall/long sized clothes. And she did most clothes shopping at Sears, so being p-to-date w/ fashion was never a big problem.

I ate everything available. The deal was that at mealtimes the food would start around the table to my left, and when each bowl got to me, I’d empty it on my plate. When my son was a teen, he and his friends would empty the cabinets like a horde of locusts. So you just need to plan on that however tall he is.

IMO - being tall is far better than being short. The advantages outweigh any negatives. I’d suggest he just smile and ignore the stupid “weather” jokes - move on to another subject.

Height is something of a genetic crapshoot.

I had a classmate who was 6’1" in eighth grade. He was pretty athletic and was actually recruited by high schools for his basketball skills. He never grew another inch.

My great-grandfather was by all accounts a bear of a man. Accounts vary about how tall he was, but 6’6" is the most common claim. My grandmother was taller than average for her era, but no one else in the family was.

On the other hand, my son is 6’ tall, and is taller than just about everyone else on either side of the family. His twin brother is 5’9" and their sister (who at one point was the tallest girl in her class in elementary school) topped out at barely 5’.

I’m 6’2". I grew three inches in 7th or 8th grade (can’t remember which) but the gym teacher measuring my height seemed shocked and asked if I was feeling any growing pains (I wasn’t). I was still under 6’ after that growth spurt.

By the end of high school I had reached my current height and several other kids were quite a bit taller than I was.

I’m 6’6" I was always the tallest kid in my class. I never had a growth spurt, it was steady all the way through I was 6’ in 6th grade and finished growing my senior year.

I really have no idea how to answer this question. I guess slow. We had a boy in class have his voice drop the summer between freshman and sophomore year but I didn’t really have my voice stop changing until college. I certainly was built like a man by my junior year of high school and broke most of my schools weight lifting and a both of other athletic records.

God, being tall is like a million times better than being short. Emotionally, it was awesome in 5th grade when I was taller than my teacher for the first time. Sure, I got teased when I was a kid and I beat the hell out of several bullies (put one in the hospital) but kids get teased for all kinds of stuff if it wasn’t being tall it would have been something else. I wouldn’t want to be less than 6’4" below that you lose a bunch of athletic advantages and blend into the crowd too much.

Years ago a bunch of friends and I went on vacation 6’1", 6’4", 6’6" and 6’8". We spent the trip making fun of the 6’1" guy for being a midget and then we hooked up with the Rice Women’s basketball team and the shorty had trouble getting a women interested in him. He was so pissed.

I hope both of my daughters end up over 6’.

I think the secret is realizing that there are a ton of advantages to being tall. When you’re a kid it’s mostly getting things off of high shelves but once he gets into high school I’m sure he’ll realize “you can’t coach size” once he is playing sports and good at them it will change both his attitude and those around him. Even after high school and college sports most people prefer men who are tall. It’s easier to meet women and people naturally defer to you. There is a reason that the average fortune 500 CEO is 6’ tall and presidents have averaged 5’11".

As far as the tall jokes the easy response is to make a short joke that or acting like its the most original thing you’ve ever heard.

I’m 6’2". I think I was six feet tall, or at least 5’11", by the time I was 14. Certainly by 15. But I stopped growing at 6’2". I’m guessing I was 17 when I stopped.

But I’m the short one in my family. Almost all the men, and some of the women, are taller than me.

Can’t say any of the tall guys (6’6’) seem bothered by it. It seemed so normal to me (and to them) to have younger brothers who were taller than me.

My father and his brother (and his sister, also taller than me) all seem just fine with their heights.

Not a basketball player in the bunch (well, me, a bit, in high school). Not an athlete of any kind in the bunch.

Nobody seems to have any neuroses as a result of being unusually tall. Not a big deal for anyone.

I was average at 10, the same height as kids a year or two older than me at 15, but I kept on going. I put on another 2 inches between 18 and 21, then only a little bit after that. I think a lot of people had pretty much topped out by 18.

Also, I still needed 10 hours sleep at 25, when I think some people were already able to cut back.

At 6’4" I’m able to buy ordinary clothes at places that have a full range – I can’t wear clothes from the cheapest shops here, because they only carry mid-range. If I was taller, I’d either have to shop specialist, or move to a country with more tall men. When hiking, I have to carry more food, and more weight in clothing and equipment. I don’t /like/ crouching into a car, or reaching down to a sink or kitchen counter.

But I wouldn’t dream of being /different/ than I am. I don’t know why, It’s not that I really identify being taller as better, but choosing to be shorter seems like an /insane/ idea. I’d have no problem at all with my son (still young) growing up to 6’6": I’d be pleased, even though I’d sympathize.

Regarding the comments, perhaps, as a women, you can coach him on how to handle unwanted attention and unwelcome compliments? I’ve seen it suggested that women in general get more of that kind of thing, and learn to deal with it. Give it some thought. I was with people who were older than me in high school, and had no local relatives, so it wasn’t an issue. As an adult, I’d be explaining to him that people talk to themselves, and it doesn’t matter what you say in reply: you can ignore their conversation and start a different one. Again, conversational skills are learned, not innate, women are often better at this, and you may be able to give him some direction on leading conversations: watch how you do it, then teach him.

Sure is. I grew up in a pretty height-obsessed surrounding and all the guys (pre-teen and teen) were anxious about being too short. I had worried I might end up only 5’5 but I did manage to luck out at 5’8, an average height.

That being said, in response to the OP, 6’7 is definitely way too much unless one plans to be in NCAA basketball, but I am not sure whether any hormone treatments or blockers do more physical harm than good.

I’m sure that is true for some, but being short never bothered my son. He was always the smallest kid in his class and seems to have topped out at about 5’6" (he’s 22 so it’s possible he has a tiny bit of growth left, but unlikely).

When he was very young, and quite tiny, I was worried that he was going to have a tough time of it when he got older, but I shouldn’t have wasted my energy. He is absolutely unconcerned about his height. It may help that he’s had a girlfriend almost continuously since he was 12 (not the same one, he’s on #2 now) so he’s never felt his height was an impediment to finding a mate. But actually, I suspect it’s the other way around - the fact he’s got his head on straight enough not to care about his height has made him appealing to a certain type of girl.

Anyway, sorry for the hijack @RivkahChaya. You were looking for insights into having an extra-tall, not an extra-short, kid. But maybe there is a lesson from my experience. I didn’t pretend my son wasn’t an outlier, I acknowledged it, but matter-of-factly, and did my best not to ascribe any value to height, one way or the other. That’s what your son needs to know - that it’s who he is inside, not what he looks like outside, that matters.

I’m 6’2". At the end of sixth grade, I was just over 5’ tall; by the end of seventh grade I had just hit 6’. So, yah, growth spurt.
I never felt any pain or anything; I do recall having to get new shoes about every month. Before the spurt, I was of normal-ish weight and proportions; afterwards, I was quite thin and have remained so all of my life. That’s been more of a problem for finding clothes than my height, but it just takes a little more searching to find 15.5"/35" shirts and 30"/34" pants.
The only time I ‘regret’ being tall is on economy airline seats, and I’ve gotten used to that.

I never thought about this having to do with growing a lot. He sleeps 9 hours a night, and if he misses an hour, he falls asleep at 7pm the next night. If he misses a couple of hours, he might sleep 12 hours the next day. I asked his doctor at his last appointment if it were normal, and he asked i the boychik were either very difficult to awaken in the morning, or if he took naps during the day-- no to both, and he is very alert as long as he gets in his nine hours. The doctor said not to worry for now, but to watch it as long as he doesn’t start to need more and more sleep, or get drowsy during the day.

Thanks for pointing out that it could have to do with his growth. Now that I think about it, I’ve heard that before.

I hope he’s getting that from us-- but there are still some practical considerations: I have to remember not to roll my eyes when he tells me he’s outgrown his third pair of shoes this year, and I do worry that he doesn’t learn to snack on empty calories and develop habits that will be really bad for him once he’s not growing all the time, and what to do when he has actual, real pain from growing so much.

The boychik hasn’t had a girlfriend yet, but like I said, he’s shy. I was never shy, so it’s a little hard for me to relate to. Of all the different things I thought I might get in a child, all the ways I tried to imagine him being different from me, shy was never something I imagined.

Thanks, everybody, for all the responses. I do feel a lot better, and it means a lot that people took the time to respond.

That does sound vexing! We had the opposite situation - it took CairoSon forever to outgrow his clothes, and he was often given gifts of clothes that were too large for him. So he’d end up with rather babyish clothing that still fit or was possibly even too large (I think he was still, at 20, wearing a shirt that was a birthday present to him when he was 8 or 9).

If I may help alleviate your concerns regarding food, please refer to this thread from 2012 regarding the eating issue. Its one of my favorite ones, and very true.

Teenage Boy Eats Like Starving Wolf

I’m 6’4", and I did go through a big growth spurt. What that gave me was stretch marks on my chest and pelvis. I don’t know if moisture creams would have prevented that, but you might look into it. Years later, an orthopedic surgeon told me I probably had Osgood-Slaughter disease in my legs as I grew. Nobody told me at the time.

Every adolescent goes through clumsiness, and most think it’s only happening to them. Agility can be learned, though. Youtube didn’t exist when I was a kid, but now you can learn how to do everything worth doing online. Also, a lot of things not worth doing ! It can be hard to tell the difference at times. In the meantime, you can temporarily steer him away from handling glassware.

I hit 6’ by the time I was 13 or 14, but topped out at under 6’1". Both of my sons are 6’2". But none of my 3 grown grandsons (19, 22, and 26) has quite made it to 6’, although their mother is about 5’7" and father 6’2". Go figure. Their sister is about 5’9" incidentally.

The most unusual height profile I’ve seen in a family is this. A woman 6’5", her mother barely 5’, father maybe 5’7", husband 6’6", daughter 5’7". She had a voice that sounded like a man’s. Go figure.