MIL Shames Preteen Granddaughters for Being 'Too Tall'


two teen girls walking outside

We may forget it sometimes, but it's not easy being a preteen. That age between childhood and a teenager is often riddled with anxieties and fears as a deeper understanding of the world and how they fit into it is developing. It's the age range where many insecurities thrive, and it can be a very challenging time for the kids and the parents who hope to support them. The very last thing preteens need is someone else to feed into body insecurities -- which is exactly what one mom is fighting off with her two kids.

  • An anonymous mom (OP) took to Reddit to seek advice on a situation she faces with her mother-in-law (MIL) and her husband.

    Posting in the JUSTNOMIL community, a mom shares some backstory on her family and her MIL. "I have two daughters- 9 and 12," she started her post.

    "Since they were born, my in laws have made comments about how they shouldn't try to grow too tall, how we should strap books or weights to the top of their heads, etc."

    OP says her in-laws are from a different culture "so I chalked it up to cultural differences."

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  • According to OP, she has asked her in-laws not to make these comments.

    "Of course, I've asked them to not make those comments to them, and that obviously height isn't under conscious control," she said, adding that whole family is made up of doctors, so this shouldn't be a new concept.

    "The thing is, I'm short (5'2") and my husband is 5'11", so we're not likely to have Amazons," she explained.

  • The comments were bad enough for OP that they came from MIL, but now her husband is making remarks too. 

    "Well, as my girls have gotten older, my husband has started to get in on the comments, pretending to be startled when coming home at how tall our girls are (my 12 year old is 5'4" and my 9 year old is not quite 5 feet)," she explained.

    "My [eldest] brushes it off, rolls her eyes and says 'I like my height, Dad', but my youngest came to me last night because she's worried she's going to grow into a giant and she doesn't want to," OP said.

  • Mom is really upset that her youngest daughter has become self-conscious about this.

    "I am livid," she admitted. "Of all the stupid things you can't control about your body, why did these jackals decide to seed this fear of height into my daughters."

    OP also says that she is upset with herself, too. "I'm also livid with myself for not speaking up more strongly," she explained.

    "I have reassured both my girls many times that they are completely normal, that being tall isn't a bad thing (I mean, they're not even tall, which makes this all the more crazy). I've gone off on my husband for perpetuating this, and he just laughs. Is this an Indian cultural thing? I'm not sure what to do."

    The mom asked the Reddit community their advice on the situation and if she should be more upset with MIL or her husband in this situation.

  • The Reddit community came through with opinions on the situation.

    "As an Indian woman myself, unfortunately taller woman aren't favoured by many," one person commented. "It's also seen as shameful to be taller than men in areas. Your in laws might be hoping your kids might eventually, in the future, end up with Indian men. If that is what they're hoping for, the girls being over 5'4" will be seen as a horrible thing by your in laws."

    That commenter suggested OP talk to her husband and in-laws and let them know the kids are feeling terrible about the comments tha they are tall. "It might not matter to your in laws but maybe your husband will understand."

    "I am a 6'2" woman. Tell your youngest she can ALWAYS reach the top shelf alone if she's tall," another person wrote. "Best thing ever."

    "My dad used to tease me about the size of my feet when I was a teenager and it made me incredibly self-conscious and ashamed of how big they were," another commenter shared. "You need to put your husband in check before he gives them lasting scars."