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Old 01-11-2012, 1:45 AM
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Default Taller younger sister with shorter older son? Help?

So I'm a father, and I have 4 kids with a fifth on the way (hopefully, that's the plan!). The current problem as it stands is that my oldest daughter (second oldest in the family at 8) is currently 6 inches taller than my oldest child and son, who is 10. (5' to 4'6). Now, I know that it might just be puberty, but the thing is, it's the third generation in my family which this has happened. My sister overshot me in height when I was 9 and she was 8, towered over a foot taller than me from the time I was 11 until I was 15, and still stands 6 inches taller than me at 6'8. (I was the middle of five, she was the second youngest of five). My father (5 years older than his younger sister) wasn't overtaken in height until he was done growing, but my only aunt on his side stands 6'2, a good two inches taller than him. Ok, since I'm done with essentially summing up the heights of people in my family, let me get to the point.
Is there any possible genetic disposition for younger females to be taller than older males? I know that generally, younger brothers are taller than their older brothers (I'm taller than mine, but also taller than my younger brother) and that older sisters are generally shorter than their younger ones (my wife is a good 10 inches taller than her older sister, my younger sister is much taller than my older sister who stands about 5'11, my mother is 5'9 to my aunts' 5'3, 5'4, and 5'2.). Is this just a genetic thing, or is it pure wacky coincidence?
The reason I'm asking is because I was physically and emotionally "manhandled" by my sister, and it would be awful if it happened to my son. Nothing too bad, it was just payback for being little big brother, and it was expected once she got the upper hand (occasionally lifting me, calling me shorty, besting me in tests of physical abilities like racing and wrestling) We still laugh about it today, and are on the best terms siblings can be (we are a tightknight family, all of us). I was upset then for being bested by my younger sister, but now I couldn't care less. But unlike my son, I had physical reserves. I played basketball and baseball in high school, and I ran cross-country (won a couple meets). I was already athletic when I was a preeteen, even though I wasn't big or strong. So I could handle the physical part, and the emotional part was no biggie, considering my parents gave me the best possible environment, and I was socially adept. My son however, suffers from pretty strong Asperger's (no severe autism or the like, he's just very bookish and socially awkward) and he's extremely scrawny and skinny. My daughter doesn't know her own strength (she is only 8!), so I'm afraid how my son would react in this case. He already gets teased enough by his peers for taking high school classes in math and science.
How do I parent this? My parents were lackadaisical hippie Babie Boomers who just found this another fact of life. I was much more emotionally and physically stronger than my poor son. What I was planning to do is to have my son talk to my sister, so she can tell him about our relationship, and also have my sister talk to my daughter as well. This won't come about for a while. What can I do at the moment?
(Yes, I posted this in another forum, but I'm asking a different question now).
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Old 01-19-2012, 3:07 PM
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Ok, you're asking a lot of questions here, let me try to respond.

First, if your son really does have 'Pretty severe Asbergers', that's probably the biggest concern here. How was that diagnosed and by whom? For Asberger's to be 'Pretty severe', your son would not only be awkward socially or introverted/'Shy', but he'd also manifest a noteworthy lack of understanding of basic environmental cues and an almost bizarre overreaction to them. Asberger's have a noteworthy lack of empathy or ability to appreciate things from another perspective, it's all really much more than 'Awkwardness' or 'Shyness'. I bring this all up b/c Asberger's is the diagnosis du jour, actual frequency is really quite less. If he does have true Asberger's, I'd highly recommend you find a qualified, experienced Child Psychologist to help him (and you) work with the Asbergers as well as the issues you're raising here.

With regard to your concerns about height, I'm not aware of birth order influencing stature, it tends to be a genetic variable determined at the moment of fertilization, rather than birth order. Also, it would be helpful for you to separate your own experiences growing up from those in your current family. Try using your experiences to help both your son and daughter show respect and empathy towards each other, in spite of the height (or any other) differences which might separate them.
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Old 10-06-2012, 4:32 AM
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